Buy Now, Pay Later for Beginners
Sometimes we need to make purchases at times when money is tight. A
crucial household appliance breaks, the demands of a holiday or
birthday gift season, work materials for a new job or project, or just
to take advantage of a sale price, there are many times where a
purchase makes good sense and you had not been planning for it. In
these situations a Buy Now/Pay Later plan is a useful tool for
increasing your buying power. Sometimes you may even have the cash on
hand to buy an item outright but making payments on a single purchase
will free up assets to use for accessory items or to address an
unrelated need. Reducing the cost of any item at the site of purchase
can provide a great consumer benefit by increasing the flexibility of
your shopping power.
Buy now, pay later is an expansion of the "Layaway" programs offered by many retailers in the past. While some stores still offer layaway plans there are distinct advantages to Buy Now/Pay Later offers. The most obvious and greatest advantage is that you take the purchase home from day one. Unlike layaway, you can immediately enjoy your purchase without having paid in full. In many cases you do not even need to submit a down payment on an item.
In the past, Buy Now/Pay Later programs were associated with a
small percentage of commercial and retail businesses. Largely
popularized by furniture and auto retailers, today the trend has
extended to cover in-store and online purchases of just about any item
you can imagine. It is rare to find minimum purchase restrictions and
most will give you plenty of time to remit payment in full.
While exact terms of interest due, pay-in-full requirements, and term lengths and conditions vary depending on individual programs, most Buy Now/Pay Later offers function essentially the same way.
Customers decide which purchases to make. They opt for the Buy Now/Pay Later method of purchase. If required, but not usually, a down payment is supplied by the customer. A predetermined period is set during which payments are accepted by the retailer. After customer payments have reached the initial retail price of the item it is considered paid in full and no further action by the consumer is required.
Every retailer, outlet, and business has their own variations on the
Buy Now/Pay Later method. Some base the need and/or amount of a down
payment on the customer's credit rating. There may be interest
penalties assessed on any item not fully paid for after an extended
time period. Most will send a monthly bill for the appropriate amount
needed to be remitted to pay for the item before interest penalties
occur. Additionally, nearly any business using this payment method will
accept the full amount owed and terminate the contract at any time.
For smart and savvy consumers, Buy Now/Pay Later programs offer unique opportunities to stretch dollars and increase purchase power. For example, a person looking to improve their kitchen is going to need to make several purchases by way of cabinets, cooking appliances, countertops, etc. A popular example of a buy now, pay later program is BillMeLater. Retailers that offer these types of materials often have special offers on high quality (and sometimes more expensive) materials and appliances that a customer may love and trust but just does not currently have the capital needed to purchase. Buy Now/Pay Later offers work great in these situations. A consumer can buy and use the items they REALLY want without having to pay up front for the brands and styles they trust and enjoy.