The Catch With Buy Now, Pay Later Could Be Your Credit Personal finance
Although BNPL providers may not report payments on time, some still report missed payments.
For example, Zip, formerly Quadpay, does not report payments to offices, but it will send overdue accounts to collections, which can affect your score.
Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner based in Brooklyn, New York, says missed payments are the biggest risk when using a BNPL service. Since the installments can be automatically charged to your debit card, you could overdraw your account, which would incur penalty fees, before you ultimately default on the loan. It can hurt at a time when you are particularly vulnerable.
“Often times, people who use these types of plans have to stop payments for one reason or another,” says Capalad. “For it to affect their credit at the same time, I don’t think that’s a good thing.”
McClary notes that a missed payment could also result in expensive financing in the future, as interest rates will likely rise for borrowers with lower credit scores.
“Once the debt collection account shows up on the credit report, it creates a bigger hurdle to overcome,” he says. “The cost of borrowing increases as your credit score decreases. “