FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- Credit not that great? No problem. Can’t qualify for a credit card? That’s okay too.
There are a handful of tech companies offering something called “point-of-sale loans.”
Basically, fronting the money for a specific purchase like that big screen TV you can’t quite afford right now. Those are the key words “you can’t afford”, this trend has some consumer advocates worried.
But that hasn’t stopped millions of people from pulling the trigger and signing up for these instant loans.
The loans are all separate for each purchase.
They’re going after folks who are struggling with not so sterling credit scores.
The sell for companies like “Affirm”, offering these loans is not only instant, but there’s no compound interest, your monthly payments are known up front.
"So the product could be a very helpful product, but right now, the way it's being marketed, its enabling bad behavior," said Lauren Leimbach, consumer advocate for Community Financial Resources.
“We limit the transaction to the thing you want to buy at the store at the price you want to buy it and it creates financial security for our customers especially the ones that really need it,” expressed Max Levchin, Affirm CEO.
You can go online and checkout just how much you’d pay. KCTV5 did some math for you using one of the company’s sites and let’s say you borrow $1,000 for a purchase.
Interest can be as high as 30%. And if you pay it off in one year, it’ll cost you almost $170 more in interest.
That interest rate varies between 10% and 30%.
If you do buy, make sure you’re really sure, because trying to return one of those items purchased with that loaned money is not easy.
Also, make sure you really can afford it over time. Nationwide personal loan balances are double what they were a few years ago, growing four times as fast as the average credit card debt.