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- You don’t have access to credit cards
- You need to make a purchase, but don’t have enough money saved
While going into debt is never ideal, there are times when you have to make a purchase before you have the money saved. If you don’t have a credit card or don’t have the credit to qualify for a low-interest personal loan, there’s another alternative: Affirm personal loans.
With Affirm, you can take out a personal loan to cover purchases at major retailers like Walmart and Rooms To Go. But Affirm isn’t for everyone. While Affirm reviews often focus on its convenience, you should be aware of its interest rates and other drawbacks — like a potentially negative impact on your credit — before making a purchase.
Here’s what you should know before taking out a loan with Affirm:
- Affirm interest rates and loan details
- Affirm personal loans review
- How Affirm compares to other lenders
- How to take out a personal loan with Affirm
- How Affirm can improve
Affirm interest rates and loan details
Affirm offers small personal loans, which means you can typically borrow between $50 and $17,500 and have three to 36 months to repay the loan.
Once you apply for an Affirm loan online, you’ll receive a decision right away. If approved, your order will be processed immediately and the loan will be funded.
|Fixed rates||0% to 30% APR|
|Loan amounts||$50 to $17,500|
|Loan terms||3, 6, or 12 months*
(up to 36 months may be available with select merchants)
|Min. credit score||Check with lender|
|Time to fund||Immediate|
|Residency||Must be a resident of the U.S. or its territories
(not available to residents of Iowa or West Virginia)
|Loan use||Retail purchases only|
|*Very small loans might be limited to 1-3 month terms, without the option to pay over time. Very large loans might have the option for 48-month terms.|
Affirm personal loans review
Unlike with most personal loans, you can’t apply for a loan directly through Affirm. Instead, you’ll apply once you’re ready to make a purchase through select retailers.
Affirm partners with over 1,000 merchants, including beauty, fashion, travel, and furniture companies. You can see the complete listing on Affirm’s Where to Shop page.
How to qualify
To get a personal loan through Affirm, you must:
- Be a U.S. resident: Be aware that Affirm loans aren’t available to residents of Iowa or West Virginia.
- Have decent credit and verifiable income: If you don’t have good credit, you might not be approved for the full amount you requested. If this happens, Affirm will ask you to make a down payment. It will process the payment after you confirm the loan.
Keep in mind that Affirm lets you see if you’ll prequalify for a loan before applying. This way, you’ll get a good sense of how much you can borrow. You can look for the option through the checkout section at partner retailers.
Learn More: How to Get a Personal Loan With Fair Credit
Repayment terms are typically three to 12 months in length, but some merchants offer loan terms as long as 36 months. Your first payment will be due about one month after your purchase is completed.
There are no prepayment penalties, so you can pay off your loan early to keep your interest charges low.
How Affirm compares to other lenders
Affirm is convenient, but there are other personal loan options that might be a better fit — especially if you’re looking for lenders that offer debt consolidation loans, credit card consolidation loans, or home improvement loans.
Here’s how Affirm stacks up against other personal loan lenders that cater to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit:
|Fixed rates||0% to 30% APR||8.13% - 35.99% APR4||6.95% - 35.99% APR|
|Loan terms||3, 6, or 12 months |
(terms up to 36 months may be available with select merchants)
|3 to 5 years4||3 to 5 years|
|Loan amount||$50 to $17,500||$1,000 to $50,0005||$2,000 to $40,000|
|Time to get funds||Immediate||As soon as 1 - 3 business days6||On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer|
|Min. credit score||Check with lender||600 (in most states)||640|
|Origination fee||None||0% to 2%||2.4% to 5%|
|Loan uses||Retail purchases only||Personal expenses or purchases||
|Best for||Borrowers who don't:||
How to take out a personal loan with Affirm
To take out a personal loan with Affirm, you’ll need to shop through a partner merchant. Once you’ve chosen the items you want to order, select Affirm as your payment method during checkout. Affirm will prompt you to enter a few pieces of information about yourself (like your name, date of birth, and address) to make its decision.
If you’re approved, you can select which payment schedule and term make the most sense for you, then confirm your loan.
Before you decide where to get a personal loan, be sure to shop around and consider your rates from as many personal loan lenders as possible. This way, you can find the right loan for your needs. While Affirm isn’t one of our partners, you can use Credible to compare rates from other vetted lenders in two minutes.
How Affirm can improve
An Affirm personal loan could be a good option if you don’t have access to a credit card or can’t qualify for a low-interest personal loan. But there are a few areas where Affirm could improve:
- Have more consistent interest rates between merchants: With Affirm, the interest rate and loan term you’re approved for can vary depending on which partner merchant you’re shopping at — there isn’t one set rate or term for your credit profile. If you’re making multiple purchases, you’ll have to apply for a different Affirm loan each time, and you might get a different interest rate with each one.
- Lower interest rates: The APR on Affirm personal loans can be as high as 30%. In some cases, you might be better off using a credit card if you can pay off the balance quickly or if you qualify for a card with an introductory 0% APR offer.
- Offer longer repayment terms: Most Affirm merchants have short repayment terms — typically 12 months or less. If you need more time to repay your loan, you might be better off taking out a traditional personal loan.
- Offer loans that cover multiple purchases: Each purchase you make with Affirm counts as a separate loan and hard credit inquiry. Multiple credit inquiries might harm your credit, which means using Affirm could negatively impact your credit score. This might make it more difficult to qualify for other forms of credit (like credit cards or personal loans) later on.
Learn More: Loans for Bad Credit
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.
4The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 15% and 36 monthly payments of $33 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
5This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website.
6If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), loan funds will be sent to your designated bank account on the next business day, provided that such funds are not being used to directly pay off credit cards. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.