Watching Your Wallet: Buy now, pay later

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Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:33 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many of us used ‘buy now, pay later’ to buy Christmas gifts, but now, we’re starting to see those bills show up in our mailboxes.

But what if you can’t pay them right now? Here’s some advice.

Now that your loved ones are enjoying the Christmas gifts you got for them, it’s time to pay for them if you used ‘buy now, pay later.’ But what if you’re struggling financially right now and can’t make the payment? You have a couple of options.

Typically, buy now, pay later programs allow you to buy an item, take it with you, and pay it off later with four split payments. That sounds great unless you can’t make one of those payments. Then, late fees and other charges can wreck your finances.

If you’re seeing the first installment due now, and you don’t have the money, you can do a couple of things. First, check to see if you can change the payment due date.

Some of these payment programs, like those offered by ‘Klarna’ and ‘After Pay,’ allow you to push that payment due date back. ‘Klarna’ allows one extension of 14 days. ‘After Pay’ allows you to change the due date as many as six times a year.

If that’s not good enough, one ‘buy now, pay later’ company, Affirm, encourages you to call its help center to work out a financial assistance plan. After all, they want their money, and would rather not see you file bankruptcy.

Ultimately, look at ways to trim your budget. If you need money for these payments, it has to come from somewhere else in your budget until everything is paid off.

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