Afterpay Buy Now, Pay Later: 2024 Review - NerdWallet (2024)

Afterpay provides “buy now, pay later” payment plans for online and in-store purchases at many major retailers, including Old Navy, Nordstrom and Gap.

Its pay-in-four plan comes with no interest and no fees if you pay on time, though it charges a late fee for missed payments. It also offers monthly repayment terms that may help you finance a larger purchase.

» COMPARE: The best buy now, pay later apps

Afterpay at a glance

Loan amount


Payment structure

Pay-in-four plan.




Available online and in stores.

Conducts soft credit check


Minimum credit score


Late fee

Up to $8.

Other fees

No other fees.

Option to reschedule a payment


Pauses account when payment is missed


How does Afterpay work?

Afterpay pay-in-four

Afterpay offers a pay-in-four plan, which lets shoppers divide their purchase into four equal installments, due every two weeks, with the first payment due at checkout.

For example, if your purchase costs $200, you'd pay $50 at checkout. The three remaining $50 payments would be due every two weeks until you’ve paid off the full $200.

Payments are automatically billed to the debit or credit card you used to make the purchase. You can also add your bank account as a payment method. If you’re making an especially large purchase, it’s possible your first payment could be higher than the others, though Afterpay will show the plan’s full breakdown before you pay.

Afterpay doesn’t charge interest for its pay-in-four, but if you miss a payment, you may incur a late fee.

Other Afterpay payment options

Afterpay also offers monthly financing with a six- or 12-month repayment option. These loans charge interest, ranging from 6.99% to 35.99% annual percentage rate (APR) and are not available in Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico or West Virginia. Afterpay’s monthly financing can be used only at select online retailers for purchases of $400 or more.

Is Afterpay a good idea?

Whether you should use Afterpay depends on your financial situation. Weigh the pros and cons below to decide whether it’s the right fit for you.

Where Afterpay stands out

Zero-interest loans: Afterpay’s pay-in-four divides the total cost of your purchase into smaller installments for zero interest, which may help you pay for something you couldn’t afford upfront. This type of no-interest financing is hard to find among other credit products.

Free payment rescheduling: Afterpay lets you reschedule one payment per order for no additional fee. Not all BNPL providers allow this type of flexibility, and it can help you avoid a late fee by pushing the payment date further out until you have the funds.

Pauses account after missed payment: If you miss a payment, Afterpay will automatically pause your account, so you can’t make additional purchases with Afterpay until you catch up. This consumer safety feature can help prevent you from overextending your budget.

Where Afterpay falls short

Charges late fee: Following a 10-day grace period, Afterpay will charge a late fee for missed payments, which not all BNPL providers do. Although Afterpay charges only one $8 fee per installment and late fees are usually capped at 25% of the order value, this can majorly increase the cost of your purchase.

Payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus: Though BNPL providers don’t typically report on-time payments to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), some have opt-in credit reporting or will report for certain loans. With Afterpay, payment history isn’t reported, so you can’t build credit. Building credit is important because the better your credit score, the more likely you can qualify for other financing products like credit cards or loans.

Accepts credit cards for repayment: Afterpay lets you tie your pay-in-four loan to a credit card for repayment. Though this is common among BNPL providers, consumer advocates argue it’s risky allowing repayment of credit with credit because you can incur additional interest (if you carry a balance on your credit card, for example) or take on too much debt.

What to know about 'buy now, pay later'

You can now use “buy now, pay later” to check out at most retailers. The type of payment plan — and whether it charges interest or fees — depends on the BNPL provider, so it’s important to pay close attention to the loan terms you’re offered at checkout.

For some users, BNPL is a smart way to break up a purchase, especially if you get a zero-interest offer and are positive you can afford the installments. Getting approved may also be easier compared with credit cards or loans because there’s no minimum credit score requirement.

But BNPL is still a form of debt, and there are risks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a study in September 2022 raising concerns about inconsistent consumer protections, the ease of debt accumulation and overspending, and data harvesting and monetization. Another CFPB study from March 2023 identified BNPL users as more likely to show signs of financial distress.

BNPL pros

BNPL cons

  • Zero-interest plans available.

  • No minimum credit score required.

  • Available at most major retailers during checkout.

  • Some plans may charge interest.

  • Some plans may charge fees.

  • Payments may not be reported to the three main credit bureaus.

  • Easy to overspend.

  • Disputes and returns can be challenging.

NerdWallet recommends using BNPL for necessary expenses only. Though BNPL can be a convenient and low-cost payment option, you’re still taking on debt, and it’s rarely a good idea to go into debt for a nonessential purchase.

How to get approved for Afterpay

To be eligible for Afterpay, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old in most states, be a U.S. resident and have a valid email address, mobile phone number, mailing address and payment method. To use Afterpay’s monthly plan, you may need to verify your identity (likely by providing a government-issued ID).

Approval decisions are instantaneous and will depend on several factors, including whether there are sufficient funds available through your debit or credit card, how long you’ve been using Afterpay, the purchase price and whether you have other outstanding orders with Afterpay.

Does Afterpay check credit?

Afterpay may perform a soft credit check, which doesn't hurt your credit score. Afterpay doesn't disclose a minimum credit score requirement, and borrowers with fair or bad credit (689 credit score or lower) may be eligible to use Afterpay.

How does Afterpay compare?

Afterpay is similar to pay-in-four plans offered by Klarna and Sezzle, which also charge zero interest and no fees if you pay on time. Klarna and Sezzle offer monthly payment plans but with longer terms compared with Afterpay.






NerdWallet rating

  • 0% for pay-in-four.

  • 0%-36% for monthly financing.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • Pay monthly, with terms of 3-60 months.

  • No fees.



NerdWallet rating

  • 0% for pay-in-four.

  • 6.99%-35.99% for monthly financing.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • Pay monthly, with terms of 6 or 12 months.

  • Late fee: Up to $8.

Apple Pay Later


NerdWallet rating

  • 0%.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • No fees.



NerdWallet rating

  • 0% for pay-in-four.

  • 0% for pay in full in 30 days.

  • 7.99%-33.99% for monthly financing.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • Pay in full in 30 days.

  • Pay monthly, with terms up to 24 months.

  • Late fee: Up to $7.

  • May charge a service fee when you use a one-time card at a nonpartner retailer.



NerdWallet rating

  • 0% for pay-in-four.

  • 9.99%-35.99% for monthly financing.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • Pay monthly, with terms of 6, 12 or 24 months.

  • No fees.



NerdWallet rating

  • 0% for pay-in-four.

  • 0% for pay-in-two.

  • 5.99%-34.99% for monthly financing.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • Pay in two installments, due two weeks apart.

  • Pay monthly, with terms of 3-48 months.

  • Late fee: Up to $15.

  • Convenience fee: Up to $1.50.

  • Payment rescheduling fee: Up to $7.50.



NerdWallet rating

  • 0%.

  • Pay in four installments, due every two weeks.

  • Installment fee: Up to $7.50.

  • Late fee: $5, $7 or $10.

  • Payment rescheduling fee: $2.

» COMPARE: The best buy now, pay later apps

How to get Afterpay

Download the Afterpay app

You can get started with Afterpay by downloading its mobile app, creating an account and shopping at Afterpay’s partner stores.

Shop with Afterpay online and in stores

Some retailers have Afterpay integrated into their online checkout. That means when you’re ready to pay, you can apply and opt in to Afterpay on the retailer’s website, even if you’ve never used the service before.

If you want to shop in person with Afterpay, you’ll need Afterpay’s virtual card, which you can download from the app after creating an account. Save this card to your mobile wallet and use it to check out at the register.

Alternatives to Afterpay

If you have good or excellent credit (690 credit score or higher), you may consider a 0% APR credit card. These cards offer introductory periods of up to 21 months and charge no interest during that period. You may also receive a sign-up bonus or access to a rewards program.

If you’re looking to fund a large, essential purchase, you could apply for a personal loan. Personal loans have fixed interest rates and longer repayment terms, and there are options for borrowers with fair or bad credit (689 credit score or lower).

You can pre-qualify with NerdWallet below to see your loan options. Pre-qualifying doesn’t affect your credit score.

Afterpay Buy Now, Pay Later: 2024 Review - NerdWallet (2024)


Afterpay Buy Now, Pay Later: 2024 Review - NerdWallet? ›

Full Review

What is the easiest buy now, pay later guaranteed approval? ›

What is the easiest BNPL guaranteed approval? The app Affirm provides one of the easiest guaranteed approvals. It also offers 0% interest loans, charges no fees, and requires no minimum credit rating.

What credit score is needed for Afterpay? ›

Although AfterPay does not consider itself a POS provider, AfterPay performs no credit check at all, making it a solid option for people who have poor or bad credit and have a hard time securing a loan otherwise (it also won't improve your credit score). It doesn't report loans to the credit bureaus.

Is it hard to get approved with Afterpay? ›

Afterpay takes a number of factors into account when making a decision to approve a new customer, a soft credit check is one of those factors. We will also do a credit check if you use the Pay Monthly option while checking out.

What is the downside of Afterpay? ›

Cons Explained

Charges late fees: If you do not make your payment on time, you will be charged a late fee of $10. If you don't make payments within seven days of the due date you will have to pay an additional $7 charge.

Which Best Buy Now Pay Later site has no credit check? ›

The winner of the best BNPL app for those with bad credit is Perpay because it does not check credit history and uses your verified income to set your spending limits. After completing your Perpay profile, customers can access their spending limit and start shopping within 60 seconds of joining.

What is bad about buy now, pay later? ›

Fees and Interest

If you miss a BNPL payment, you may be charged late fees or interest on your unpaid balance. Depending on the amount charged by the BNPL lender and how these fees are structured, they can add up quickly.

Can you get denied for Afterpay? ›

Afterpay does not approve 100% of all orders, however, we do make a fresh assessment every time you attempt to place an order with us. What can I do? You may need to give it some time and reattempt to place your order at a later date.

What's better, Affirm or Afterpay? ›

Although Affirm does not charge late fees, if you make a partial payment or have a late payment, it could affect your credit score or your ability to get approved for another loan. Afterpay does not charge interest or fees as long as you make all of your scheduled pay-in-four loan payments.

Is Klarna or Afterpay better? ›

Our choice for the best buy now, pay later app between Klarna and Afterpay is Klarna. It offers more financing options, includes more than twice as many retailers in its marketplace, and can create virtual card numbers to be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

Is everyone approved for Afterpay? ›

Their approval process is dependent on the following criteria: If there are sufficient funds on the card (at least 25% of the order value is available to spent), the length of time a user has been using Afterpay, the amount needed to repay to Afterpay, and the value of the order you are trying to place.

Does Afterpay accept everyone? ›

Afterpay does not approve all purchases, even if they're within your shopper's credit limit. Some common reasons for a decline include: Afterpay has limits set on you that are separate from the shopper.

Why does Afterpay give you $600? ›

Spend limits start at around $600. We're all about responsible spending; our smart spend limits increase with your on-time payments.

Why do banks not like Afterpay? ›

It can make you look like you can't control your money

That often means they'll ask to see your bank statements to see exactly what you're spending on. If you're constantly having to meet Afterpay bills and are in the habit of making late payments, the banks may take the view that you're not good at managing money.

Is Afterpay a trap? ›

Mob Strong Debt Help financial counsellor Bettina Cooper described Afterpay's move as another scheme which would "capture our youth and most vulnerable in a debt trap". "This expansion of Afterpay will only hasten the growing mountain of debt for the asset-poor," she said.

Why is Afterpay money closing down? ›

Afterpay will kill off its Money app next month, citing the acquisition by Block and the potential launch of Block's Cash App in the Australian market.

Why does Uplift keep denying me? ›

Just know that each time you apply to use Uplift, we look at a number of factors including your credit information, purchase details, current loan activity, and more. Approval in the past does not guarantee future approvals.

Is it hard to get approved for uplift? ›

Our take on Uplift travel loans

Unlike many lenders, Uplift only does a soft credit check when you apply for financing, skipping the long application process. Just fill out a short form at checkout and receive an instant decision and payment plan on your purchase.

Is Afterpay guaranteed approval? ›

We'll send you a payment confirmation email with a breakdown of your payments. This email will provide you with a breakdown of the payment so you can identify which installments were paid. Please Note: Afterpay does not approve 100% of orders. We are committed to ensuring we support responsible spending.

What is the number one buy now pay later app? ›

Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Of 2024
CompanyForbes Advisor RatingInterest rates
Klarna4.50% to 29.99%
Affirm4.00% or 10% to 36%
PayPal Pay in 43.5None
1 more row
May 31, 2024

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