Affirm was founded in 2012 with the goal of helping consumers afford big purchases at select retail stores. While you can apply for a personal loan with Affirm through their mobile app, you may also see this option advertised by retailers who want to offer on-the-spot financing for services or products they offer.
Should you borrow money with Affirm? Maybe and maybe not, but you should find out all the details before you decide.
Affirm Personal Loans: Key Takeaways
- Borrow up to up to $17,500.
- Repay your loan over 3, 6, or 12 months. Some stores may let you finance purchases for up to 36 months.
- Get “pre-qualified” for a loan without impacting your credit score.
- Participating stores offer 0% APR on select purchases for a limited time. Otherwise, APRs range between 10% and 30%.
- No hidden fees.
- No minimum credit score or income amount listed.
Affirm Personal Loans Review: Easy Loans for Big Purchases
When you have a big upcoming expense but you’re short on cash to cover it, a personal loan can make sense. This type of loan comes with a fixed interest rate, fixed payment, and fixed repayment term. In other words, unliked charging a purchase to a credit card, a personal loan leaves you with a monthly payment that never changes and a fixed payoff date to keep track of, so you know exactly when you’ll be debt-free.
Where some personal lenders focus on personal loans for debt consolidation or home improvement loans, Affirm takes a different approach. Their loan offers are mostly geared toward consumers preparing to make a big purchase, which is evidenced by the fact you can apply for a loan at retailers nationwide.
Aside from the convenience factor, we like the fact that Affirm lets you borrow up to $17,500 if you qualify — and the fact that many retailers let you finance your purchases with 0% APR for a limited time.
We also like the fact that Affirm loans don’t charge any fees. After all, the top lenders in the personal loan space tend not to charge origination fees or any hidden fees.
Affirm personal loans are also easy to apply for. You can fill out an application with a participating retailer at the time of purchase and get an instant decision, but you can also apply for their loans with their mobile app or website.
Affirm Personal Loans: What to Watch Out For
The biggest problem with Affirm loans is that they may get you to make big purchases you wouldn’t make otherwise. All it takes is one glance at their list of participating retailers to see what we mean. For example, you can get an Affirm loan with retailers like Cole Haan or with Expedia.com. They’re basically tempting you to finance a new purse or a vacation to the Bahamas with these offers, instead of saving up for the splurge.
Besides that, Affirm doesn’t let you borrow very much. Their loans top out of $17,500, which isn’t even close to the $35,000 or more many top lenders let you borrow.
Finally, you can apply for a personal loan from Affirm yourself through their website or app, but you won’t get a check in the mail. Instead, you’ll get a one-time use credit card you can utilize for your planned purchase. For that reason, Affirm loans don’t make sense if you plan to use your loan proceeds to consolidate debt.
Who Affirm Personal Loans are Good For:
- Consumers who need to borrow up to $17,500 for a big purchase and pay it off over a short amount of time.
- People who want to borrow money with no fees.
- Anyone who plans to finance a purchase at a store that offers 0% APR loans with Affirm.
How We Rate Affirm
At The Simple Dollar, we aim to provide a general overview of a lender’s products and services through a standard rating process. After a thorough research and discovery period, here’s how Affirm stacks up:
|Affirm Loans at a Glance|
|Overall Rating||Affordability (interest rates, fees, and terms)|
|Availability (credit requirements, geographic reach)|
|Ease of Use|
How to Apply for a Loan through Affirm
How you’ll apply for a loan through Affirm depends on whether you’re using it in a store or not. Here are the two ways to sign up:
- Select Affirm loans at the checkout when you shop at participating stores. You’ll need to provide information such as your name, address, Social Security number, income, and employment status to see if you can qualify. Remember that you can also get pre-qualified without a hard inquiry on your credit report.
- Apply for a loan through the Affirm app or website. You’ll provide the same information if you apply outside a store. Keep in mind, however, that you won’t receive a check in the mail if you’re approved through their website or mobile app. Instead, you’ll receive a credit card loaded with your loan funds.
The Bottom Line
A personal loan from Affirm can make sense in some situations, but you shouldn’t let the temptation of easy credit encourage you to overspend. There’s a reason stores like Cole Haan, Wayfair, and Orbitz.com make it easy to finance your purchases. They want you to spend more money, and they don’t care if you have to make monthly payments for years.
In addition to considering if you should be borrowing money, we also suggest shopping around with other lenders before you borrow from Affirm. Where Affirm does work with stores that let you borrow at 0% APR for a limited time, their regular interest rates start at 10% APR. If you need to borrow money for the long haul and you have good credit, it’s possible to score a personal loan with a fixed rate as low as 4.99%. And remember, you can use the loan proceeds to shop in the same stores that work with Affirm.
The bottom line: Make sure you know what you’re getting into any time you borrow money. While Affirm could help you borrow quickly and even at 0% APR, that doesn’t mean they’re the right choice.
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