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Buy Now, Pay Later: A new option for online shopping

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:59 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Millions of Americans will be shopping online this holiday season and some people may find a new payment option when they check out.

It’s called Buy Now, Pay Later. It allows you to pay off whatever you owe over a few months; some companies also collect interest on payments. Financial experts urge people to do their research before choosing to use this option.

“What happens when you meet a payment, how do they want to get the payments, how soon do you need to send the payments in.”

These are all important questions that Certified Financial Planner Gary Silverman said you should know the answers to.

Silverman added these programs do come with benefits, such a giving people who don’t have credit a chance to delay payments on what they buy. But that same freedom can come back to hurt you if you can’t make the payments.

“There are all sorts of reasons that someone may want to do this program but almost all of those reasons are red flags for why they probably shouldn’t be buying the product to begin with,” Silverman said.

The Better Business Bureau urged people to read the fine print and fully understand what you are agreeing to and when you’ll need to pay up.

“Make sure you know the payment deadlines and due dates because that’s when the fees will increase for you if you make that late payment and there is going to be late payment fees and interest fees,” Monica Horton, with the Better Business Bureau, said.

In the end, being an informed buyer is the best way to shop safely.

“Whether it be a credit card, a layaway plan or one of the buy now, pay later plans, just buyer beware,” Silverman said.

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