As ‘buy now, pay later’ apps become more popular, proceed with caution


Tom Werner | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Retailers are making it easier than ever to make purchases with “buy now, pay later” loans.

Also known as point-of-sale installment loans, they are a type of short-term financing that allow you to divide your purchases into monthly installments. Services that offer them, like Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay and Quadpay, are becoming more popular as consumers look to spread out the payments on large acquisitions, without using a credit card.

“Buy now, pay later” in the U.S. grew 215% year over year in the first two months of 2021, according to an Adobe analysis. The lenders partner with retailers like Macy’s, Walmart and Peloton to offer their services.



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