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Buy now, pay later programs may be risky for Tennessee residents

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2022 | Consumer bankruptcy |

“Buy now, pay later” plans have become increasingly popular in Tennessee in recent years. They allow consumers to purchase items without having to worry about paying for them right away. This can be a great convenience, but there is a dark side to these plans that many people don’t know about.

It could lead to unstainable debt

The ease and convenience of BNPL plans can lead to compulsive spending, especially among people already struggling with money management. It can be very easy to get sucked into a cycle of buying more and more stuff that you can’t really afford, leading to a mountain of debt that is very difficult to get out of unless you file for bankruptcy.

If you, unfortunately, fall behind on payments, you may end up paying a lot more than you originally agreed to. Many BNPL companies charge high interest rates and fees for late payments as well as for returned items.

It could ruin your credit score

Your payment history is one of the biggest factors that go into your credit score. If you miss payments or default on a BNPL loan, it will damage your credit score. This can make it harder to get approval for future loans, or if you are lucky to find an entity willing to loan you, they may charge higher interest rates because of your bad credit.

Data privacy issues

To get a BNPL plan, you usually have to sign up for an account with the company. This means giving them access to your personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, email address and financial information. While most companies say they take data privacy seriously, there have been several high-profile cases of data breaches in recent years. If your personal information falls into the wrong hands, someone could use it for identity theft or fraud.

BNPL plans can be beneficial if used responsibly. Consider researching and understanding all the terms and conditions before signing up for one. Also, pay attention to due dates and make sure you can afford the minimum monthly payments. If not, it may be helpful to explore other better payment options for your case.