What is Affirm Financing? How Does It Work, And Is It Legit?

What is Affirm?

If you enjoy the ‘buy now, pay later (BNPL)’ strategy of purchasing then you might have heard of the name ‘Affirm’. Affirm was founded almost a decade back in 2012 by Max Levchin, who is also the co-founder of PayPal.

Currently headquartered in San Francisco, USA, it is a popular financial lending company that provides a short-term financing opportunity to distribute a fairly large payment into small payments over a period of a few months or a year.

This way you don’t have to delay your favorite phone or laptop purchase because of not having sufficient savings. Affirm will pay the due amount in full for you; you’ll receive your item and then you can pay them back at your ease at minimum interest rates.

Detailed understanding

To better understand the Affirm financing mechanism, imagine yourself in a scenario where you are having your big day next week and the bridal dress is yet to be chosen.

Two days before the event, you have finally found your dream dress on Anomalie but considering the upcoming expenditures of the event, you are not willing to spend all of your current account balance on the wedding dress only.

Now before giving up, consider Affirm as your financing partner that has you covered. You just have to select Affirm financing from the payment options section and after some quick credit checks, you’ll be immediately notified about your credit approval and loan acceptance.

Once Affirm pays for your dress, you can return the amount in affordable payments. This saves you from running out of cash in hand and sacrificing your favorite products due to a lack of immediate finances. Continue reading to learn about affirm requirements, procedures, and legitimacy.

The Procedure of Affirm financing

Affirm partners with several online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Peloton, Nike, Adidas, Neiman Marcus, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Zen-Cart, and over 29,000 sellers like Anomalie to provide BNPL (Buy Now Pay later) services for both in-store and online shopping. Following are the steps to affirm financing.

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STEP 1: Go Shopping

You will choose any product and proceed to checkout. There affirm financing will be presented to you as a payment option.

Affirm also launched its phone app in 2017 that can be downloaded from the Play Store or the Apple store. A virtual card can be obtained from the Affirm app or Affirms website which works like a credit card to make purchases from most retailers whether you shop in-store or online.

STEP 2: Choose Your Payment Terms

After getting approved for a loan by Affirm, you have to pick up a payment plan that suits you. Generally, there are three-term lengths available for making a repayment. These term lengths include 3, 6, and 12 months.

Further, a longer repayment period is available for large loans. For instance, large loans can be repaid in 48 months.

So, once the repayment plan has been selected and reviewed then click ‘confirm to finalize loan’ and proceed to payments. 

STEP 3: Make Your Payment

Payments can be made through cheques, credit cards, debit cards, and bank account transfers, according to the loan agreement terms. Any of the payment methods can be selected that make you feel convenient. 

Requirements and Features of Affirm Financing

1) Buyer identity

Affirm requires certain information to verify your identity like full name, date of birth, home address, mobile number, email address, etc. This information is needed to locate an applicant.  

2) Credit score and credit limit

Affirm does not specify a minimum credit score requirement, but the higher the score, the better it usually is for loan approvals. Affirm runs a soft credit check to verify your credit score and credit limit but that is not the only determinant of approval.

Affirm also considers your credit history, payment history, duration of Affirm membership, your ability to pay, economic conditions, and available interest rates offered by merchants to decide buyer’s eligibility. All these elements are checked within seconds for point-of-sale loans, making Affirm quite efficient.

3) Interest rate

Affirm interest rates range from 0% to 30% which remains fixed as agreed upon in the loan terms and does not accumulate.

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4) Additional fees

This is the most desirable and distinguishable feature of Affirm that it does not charge any hidden additional fees for pre-payment, late payment, or missing payment.

5) Down payment

You might have to pay some amount as a down payment at the time of purchase if you don’t meet the criteria for a full loan amount.

Is Affirm financing legit?

There is no doubt about the legitimacy of Affirm as scams can never gain such popularity as Affirm. Affirm offers efficient features that bridge gaps in the market. For example, it provides instantaneous credit checks and loan approvals in comparison to personal loans that might take up to 24 hours or a week in this procedure. Also, Affirm does not charge any additional fees for late or early payments giving it a competitive edge.

Similarly, allowing you to secure more than one loan at a time is something the customers could’ve only wished for before Affirm. Affirm can be considered a safe space to invest in as it does not obtain your credit card information from you.

Also, it clearly shows you the upfront balance to be paid and does not deviate from it. Moreover, it has fixed interest rates and no hidden fees.  

However, Affirm has a 1.61 stars rating from 114 reviews with complaints about customer service, credit card, and bank account transfers. Looking at the privileges offered by Affirm, one might find this rating absurd, but these benefits might not prove beneficial to all customers.

There are some drawbacks of Affirm like it does not offer a loan duration extension, fraud protection, or insurance benefits like credit cards, and payments are not reported (small duration) to the credit bureaus. Affirm financing is a speedy process, unlike the usual formal financing procedures which might tempt customers to buy what they actually don’t need.

It is a source of pumping unnecessary demand which is an advantage for sellers but not for buyers. Buy now pay later can build up to unmanageable debt if purchases are made without considering account balance.

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Therefore, as luring as it might look, you should never get trapped into buying something through financing until you have definite means to pay the debt off by the end of the duration, as one size does not fit all so Affirm might not be suitable for everyone.

The choice should be made bearing in mind ones’ financial constraints, credit scores, needs, and available alternatives so that Affirm does not become more of a liability than a convenience.  

Conclusion:

Affirm is a financing company that provides purchase financing. You can purchase now and pay later by opting for this mode of payment.

The requirements for applying for financing through Affirm include providing personal information, details for the credit profile, selecting a mode of repayment, and finally making payment in line with the plan.

Further, affirm financing is legit and helps you improve financial management. However, the user rating of the company is not good, and we’ve noticed so many complaints about the smoothness of the process.

In addition to this, it’s important to note that such financing might actually be a trap and lead to adverse financial repercussions.

Frequently asked questions

Does affirm also operate in Canada?

Yes, affirm operates in Canada as well. And you can make payment by using their services in Canada as well.

Does affirm report a late payment to the credit bureau?

There is no doubt that if you pay later, affirm will report the late payment to the Experian. So, there is a need to plan a repayment strategy before raising finance via them.

Can we use affirm while purchasing online?

Yes, you can use affirm while purchasing online. Further, there are different methods that help you in online purchases via affirm. These include affirm website, affirm app, affirm virtual card, partner retailers, etc.

Can we use affirm service to pay utility bills?

The terms of affirm do not allow debt settlement. Instead, it’s designed to help in the purchase; hence, you will not be able to pay utility bills by using affirm.