Beware the hidden risks In Buy Now, Pay Later plans

Source: Kerri Anne Renzulli, Newsweek

As online shopping has soared during the pandemic, the popularity of these new payment programs, known as buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans, has skyrocketed. 

The appeal is understandable: In addition to the typically free financing, the application process is easy, with barely any credit check involved, and approval is nearly instantaneous. But there are risks too, and they're often not understood by consumers. They include late fees that can pile up, possible damage to credit scores, a lack of the traditional oversight that governs other types of loans, and some shoppers being lured into spending more than they can afford.

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