Affirm Personal Loans Review: No Hidden Fees, Potentially High APR

Here's what to expect when you use a personal loan with Affirm.

Affirm grants no-frills personal loans, made by New Jersey-based Cross River Bank, that customers can immediately use upon checkout. Affirm loans work a bit like a credit card, without the card. Read on to see if financing your purchases through Affirm is the right choice for you.

Affirm Personal Loan Review

Signing up for Affirm is easy: You can create an Affirm account either on its website or by selecting an Affirm online loan as your payment method when dealing with an Affirm online merchant partner.

To sign up, you must meet the following criteria:

  • More than 18 years old
  • Can provide a valid U.S. residence or APO/FPO/DPO address
  • Can provide a valid U.S. mobile phone number and agree to receive text messages
  • Can provide your full name, email address, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number

Find Out: How Do Banks Decide My Personal Loan Eligibility?

Payment options for Affirm loans vary by the amount of the purchase. Using $100 or more allows you to pay the loan back over three, six or 12 months. Cheaper purchases, from $50 to $99.99, allow you a three- to six-month payback timeline. Select merchants might also provide a 30-day plan for purchases under $50. Affirm personal loan rates range from 10% APR to as high as 30% APR, though some merchants offer 0% APR. People who worry about hidden fees need not worry when they borrow from Affirm; it does not charge late fees, service fees, prepayment fees or any other sneaky fees, according to its website.

Affirm might sound like a credit card because it gives you the option to buy now and pay later, but Affirm is not a revolving line of credit. Each Affirm loan stands alone, and although you can take out multiple loans, each individual loan is treated as a closed-end transaction, meaning the loan must be repaid within the agreed upon time period. Affirm rejects loan applications if the applicant has a history of failed payments or immoderate borrowing.

Save for Your Future

Affirm will run a soft inquiry on your credit score before allotting you funds. There are no late fees, but failure to pay your Affirm bills will result in the company reporting the infraction to Experian and affect your ability to borrow from Affirm in the future. You can sign up for Affirm’s autopay system or mail a check to pay your bills.

Buy With Affirm

Businesses owners might want to check out Affirm’s buying program, which lets loan holders use the funds on a partnered store. Businesses that integrate with Affirm see an average order value lift of around 75 percent, according to Affirm’s website. Affirm also claims that using its services generates 10 percent more revenue per visitor, with an increased conversion lift of 20 percent.

Understand: How to Get a Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation

Pros and Cons of Borrowing From Affirm

Before signing up for any financial service, you want to make sure it’s the right one for your needs.

Affirm Personal Loan Pros

Some benefits of using a personal loan from Affirm include:

  • Variable APR
  • No late payments
  • Business benefits when you use Buy With Affirm

Affirm Personal Loan Cons

Here are some drawbacks to Affirm personal loans that you should consider:

  • Failure to repay bills jeopardizes your credit score
  • Highest APR is 30 percent, which is higher than most credit cards

Is an Affirm Personal Loan Right for Me?

People who need money on the go or who do not have a credit card might find Affirm’s expediency useful. Variable APR can be as low as 10 percent, but the 30 percent figure can be daunting. On the other hand, there are no extraneous late fees or penalty fees, so the sum total will not add up, though failure to pay will hurt your credit score. On that note, you can use multiple loans to bypass what would otherwise be a credit card’s max limit. Multiple loans mean more payments, and given Affirm’s generally short terms, this might make it harder to pay over time. Affirm also seems to boost businesses who align with it, for those looking to expand their network and customer base.

Save for Your Future

Up Next: How to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates

Rates are accurate as of Aug. 2, 2018.

More on Loans

This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Affirm or Cross River Bank.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account. 

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About the Author

Sean Dennison

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

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