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Affirm Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Personal loan rating: 4.8/5
  • Accessibility: 4.8/5
  • Rates and terms: 4.8/5
  • Repayment experience: 4.8/5
Personal loan overview
  • APR range: 0.00% – 30.00%
  • Loan terms: 6 weeks to 12 months
  • Loan amount: $0 – $17,500

Read our full rating methodology here

Our verdict: With Affirm, you could pay no interest on your purchase or you may be stuck with interest rates as high as 30.00%. An Affirm loan might be best for consumers looking for an alternative to credit cards and traditional loans.

Affirm is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) company that offers loan options you can use at checkout with many online retailers, including Amazon and Target. However, while you might get zero-interest financing with certain retailers, the APRs are typically higher with Affirm than with other lenders.

  • May qualify for a 0% interest rate: Interest rates range from 0.00%, with 0% interest offered depending on the type of plan and retailer you use.
  • No fees: Aside from potential interest costs, Affirm doesn’t charge any fees.
  • Short repayment terms: In general, terms range from six weeks to 12 months, but exceptions may be made for particularly large or small purchases.
  • Receive a virtual card to make your purchase: An Affirm virtual card — a one-time use card loaded with your approved loan amount — can be used at most merchants.
  • Offers debit cards: Aside from its payment plans, Affirm also offers consumers Debit+ cards that work like traditional debit cards and can be used to cover their Affirm purchase plans.
  • Best for borrowers with a thin credit history: If you don’t have a robust credit history, it can be challenging to qualify for a credit card or personal loan through a traditional lender. Through Affirm, however, consumers may have an easier time qualifying for a loan.

Affirm pros and cons

No loan product is perfect, but each lender’s benefits and downsides may play into whether a particular lender is a good fit for you. Here’s what you should know about the pros and cons of getting a loan through Affirm.

ProsCons

  Receive access to loan funds at checkout

  No fees of any type

  Offers no-interest loans

  Short repayment terms

  May have to pay interest on monthly installment

  Potentially high interest rates (up to 30.00%)

Instead of having to wait several days to receive your loan funds, Affirm customers can receive money at checkout when they make a purchase. Borrowers won’t have to worry about paying any fees (even late fees) and may even be eligible for zero-interest loans depending on the retailer and type of plan.

On the other hand, Affirm offers much shorter repayment terms than traditional loans, which typically offer up to 60 months to repay a loan. Affirm customers may also end up having to pay interest as high as 30.00%, higher than with some other lenders. With credit unions, for example, interest rates are capped at 18%.

Affirm requirements

While Affirm does base its eligibility requirements on factors such as your credit score, credit utilization ratio, payment history and verifiable income, this lender isn’t clear on the specifics of these criteria.

Here’s what we do know about Affirm’s eligibility terms and what you’ll need to qualify for a loan.

ResidencyMust be a U.S. resident (includes U.S. territories)
AgeMust be at least 18 years old (19 years old if you live in Alabama or are a ward of the state in Nebraska)
Required documentsMust have a Social Security number
Contact informationMust have a phone number that accepts SMS messages and is registered in the U.S.

If you meet the basic requirements listed above, you may need to disclose how you plan to use your personal loan. While Affirm does allow borrowers to use its funding for a variety of purposes, there are certain expenses you cannot put the money toward.

Affirm loans cannot be used for:

  Purchasing weapons and weapons accessories

  Money transfer services (such as Venmo or PayPal)

  Currency purchases (including cryptocurrency)

  Cash advances

  Loan and credit card payments

  Illegal activity

If Affirm’s loan options won’t work for your borrowing needs, be sure to shop around for a lender that can best suit your financial goals and offer you the best-fitting rates, terms and amounts.

How to get a loan with Affirm

Getting a loan through Affirm is a simple, straightforward process and can allow you to access funds instantaneously to make your purchase. To apply for an Affirm loan, you can go to Affirm’s app, its website or a partner retailer’s site.

Prequalify for a loan

Affirm allows consumers to prequalify for a loan without impacting their credit score. To check what kinds of rates and amounts Affirm may offer you, you’ll need to provide your phone number and basic personal information, such as your birthday and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

While Affirm considers aspects other than your credit score when deciding whether to approve you for a loan, improving your credit score can make it easier to be approved or to qualify for better interest rates.

Pick your rates and terms

Once you’re approved for a loan through Affirm, you’ll see the amount you’re approved for, as well as your offered interest rates and loan terms. From there, you can choose the specifics of your loan.

Make monthly payments

After you’ve finalized your purchase, it’s time to start making monthly payments. Affirm can send you reminders about your upcoming payment due date.

While you may have to offer up an initial down payment for your purchase, your first Affirm payment won’t be due until 30 days after you buy your product or service.

How Affirm compares to other loan companies

Even if you believe Affirm aligns with what you’re looking for in a personal loan, it never hurts to shop around and compare other lenders. It may be smart to consider BNPL alternatives. Here’s how Affirm stacks up against similar personal loan lenders.

LenderAffirmKlarnaAvant
Minimum credit scoreNot disclosedNone600
APRs0.00% - 30.00%0.00% - 19.99%9.95% - 35.99%
Loan amountUp to $17,500Dependent on credit$2,000 - $35,000
Repayment term6 weeks to 12 months6 weeks to 18 months24 to 60 months
Origination feeNoneNoneUp to 4.75%
Funding timelineReceive funds within minutes of applyingReceive funds within minutes of applyingReceive funds as soon as the next business day
Bottom lineWhile Affirm can have high interest rates, this lender may be a good opportunity for those with thin credit histories to build their credit and possibly qualify for 0% interest loans.Similar to Affirm, Klarna is a BNPL company that serves as an alternative to traditional personal loans and credit cards.While Avant offers much larger loan amounts than Affirm or Klarna, it does not offer any 0% interest financing opportunities like Affirm does.

How we rated Affirm

To come up with our star rating for personal loan companies, LendingTree considered 22 data points across three categories:

  • Accessibility: We paid attention to whether lenders offered loans to nontraditional borrowers, as well as those without excellent credit scores. We also checked if lenders offered soft credit pulls and whether they were transparent about eligibility criteria other than credit scores.
  • Rates and terms: We wanted to know if lender rates, terms, amounts and fees were not only transparent but also competitive.
  • Repayment experience: We based this category on lenders’ reputations, customer support availability and unique benefits.

The data points reflect every step of the process to shop and apply for, borrow and repay personal loans. A five-star lender, for instance, has flexible eligibility requirements, offers you the chance to prequalify without commitment and supports you in zeroing your balance.

The 22 data points, culled from the lenders themselves, determine the overall rating. We score lenders consistently, sometimes awarding partial points, so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons when shopping around.

LendingTree isn’t paid for conducting these reviews, and lenders don’t have control over their content. With our reviews and ratings, we aim to give our users the objective and exhaustive information they need to make the best possible decisions.

Frequently asked questions

Yes — consumers can pay off their Affirm loans early without paying any prepayment penalties or fees. In fact, paying off your loan early can even save you money by avoiding interest.

Getting a loan with Affirm is a straightforward process. Since this lender allows you to prequalify for a loan, you can check what rates, amounts and terms you can qualify for. Affirm considers factors such as your credit score, payment history with Affirm and income when determining whether to approve you for a loan.

Affirm allows consumers to prequalify for loans. This is also known as a soft credit inquiry, which will not impact your credit score. However, if you don’t repay your loan or you make late payments, Affirm may report this activity to Experian, one of the credit bureaus, which could impact your credit score.

 

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