When you think of buy now pay later, many often think about companies like Fingerhut, which has been offering deferred payment options for decades now. However, today, it has become much easier for shoppers to take advantage of buy now pay later options because the market for such services has greatly expanded. Today, places like eBay, Jet Blue, Amazon, Sears and Walmart all offer the option to get your merchandise now and pay for it over time.
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History of Buy Now Pay Later and Why it is Different From Credit Cards
Buying products on credit is definitely not a new concept. Businesses, for centuries, have give credit directly to their customers. Bars do it in the form of a "tab." Before World War II, business owners would extend credit to their regular customers that required no credit check. The customer would "buy" products (often necessities like food or material to make clothing), on credit and pay for what they purchased out of need over time.
Local merchants would keep their own system and records to identify who paid back their purchases. It wasn't until people began to really travel from state to state that the national credit reporting really began and so then did a national credit or financing program where one had to now qualify before credit was extended to them. The buy now pay later option that some merchants still use, goes back to the way things used to be before the modern credit and credit reporting system.
What Is the Buy Now Pay Later Option?
Many merchants give you the option of buying merchandise and paying for it over time. Although it may be similar to using regular charge accounts or using layaway option, the buy now pay later option is a little different than both. How is it different?With a regular credit card, you probably had qualify with fair or good credit before you were approved. Often, people with bad credit will not qualify for a regular credit card. This includes department store credit cards as well. Although having a credit card or a department store card comes in handy when you don't have cash to buy the things you want and need, the hassle of having to qualify for sometimes very strict credit requirements takes the fun out of shopping.
When using the layaway option, you are able to pay in installments, however, you don't get the merchandise until you make ALL the payments.
Using the buy now pay later option gives you the best of both worlds. You can often qualify to get credit with low credit requirements or sometimes no credit check, AND, you get your product right away. You are able to enjoy your purchase while you pay over time.
Buy Now Pay Later Catalogs
Here is a partial list of buy now pay later catalogs and those online merchants who have their own online easy credit programs.
Buy Now Pay Later Online Options
Buy Now Pay Later With No Credit Check
Pros and Cons of Using the Buy Now Pay Later Option