Affirm offers personal loans for online purchases through retailers that are willing to offer payment plans. Payment terms, rates, and other details vary according to the retailer, and purchasers can select their payment schedule. Affirm charges no fees, and there’s either simple, fixed interest or no interest on transactions. You can see an estimate of how much you can spend based on your financial information, but there are no loan limits. If you’re approved, Affirm grants instant financing for purchases you make online.
We collected more than 25 data points across more than 50 lenders, but Affirm was not one of the best companies we found. To see other options that may be better, visit our list of the best personal loans.
- Product Specifications
- Pros and Cons
- Company Overview
- APR Range 0% to 30%
- Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not available
- Loan Amounts $50 to $17,500
- Loan Terms Variable; usually 3, 6, or 12 months
Upfront payment plan
No late fees
Might help improve your credit
Interest rates can be high
Only available with specific retailers
No refund on interest paid
No rewards program
Not every loan will improve your credit
Affirm doesn’t charge any late, prepayment, origination, or other fees.
Affirm offers purchase financing, which lets you apply for a loan as you check out on a retailer’s website. It doesn’t charge any fees, and charges a set amount of interest so you’ll know from the beginning how much the purchase and loan will cost you. It’s framed as an alternative to using a credit card, where interest on a purchase continues to compound until you pay off the full amount.
Pros of Affirm Loans
- Instant financing: Find out if you’re approved instantly during the checkout process and receive immediate financing for your purchase. Many other personal lenders require you to apply for a lump sum, and few offer this kind of purchase financing at the point of sale.
- Upfront payment plan: Affirm shows you the payment plan options, including your total cost, before you decide to accept. You can choose your desired plan and see all of the information, selecting what works for you.
- No late fees: Affirm doesn’t charge any late fees.
- Might improve your credit: Some retailer plans report to the credit bureaus, so your payment history could show up on your report. If you make on-time payments, positive payment activity will potentially be reported and could help improve your credit score.
Cons of Affirm Loans
- Interest rates could be high: Interest rates vary by retailer and payment plan. As a result, interest rates could be high—potentially even higher than credit card rates. You might be able to find other personal loans with lower APRs.
- Only available with specific retailers: Even though thousands of retailers accept Affirm for payments, there are many more that don’t. In contrast, with a regular personal loan, you get the money directly, so you can use it anywhere without worrying about whether the retailer accepts a particular payment plan.
- No refund on interest paid: If you return an item you bought using Affirm, you’ll get a refund for the purchase price, but you won’t receive a refund on the interest you’ve already paid.
- No rewards program: Unlike when paying with some credit cards, you won’t be able to earn rewards points or cash back when paying with Affirm.
- Not every loan will improve your credit: While some payments are reported to credit bureaus, not every plan is reported. As a result, you might not see an improvement in your credit score, even if you pay on time. Most other personal loans are reported to the credit bureaus.
Affirm Personal Loan Rates & Terms
Because different retailers offer different plan options, the rates and terms vary widely. However, in general, you can expect interest rates to range from 0% APR financing up to 30%.
Interest doesn’t compound, so you’ll only pay a flat interest rate on each purchase.
Most loans are available for three, six, or 12 months. However, in some circumstances, like for smaller purchases, you might be able to get a loan for as little as one month. For larger purchases, a retailer might allow you to pay over the course of 48 months. Many personal loans have longer repayment periods, so Affirm offers the potential for short-term financing without the high interest rates of payday loans.
Before you choose a plan, you’ll be able to review several options, and you can decide which terms best fit your needs.
How Much Can You Borrow With Affirm?
There is no loan limit with Affirm. In general, you simply look at the available payment plans, apply for the one you like, and then see if you’re approved for your purchase. It’s possible to have multiple Affirm payment plans at once for different purchases.
However, you should realize that Affirm can deny you financing based on the amount you’ve already borrowed, as well as other factors. So, even though there is no formal limit to the number of loans you can have and the amount you can borrow, you might eventually be denied financing.
Avoid trying to juggle too many payment plans. You could lose track of where you are with each one, and you could also end up paying a lot more in interest than you expect.
Affirm Personal Loan Fees
Affirm charges no additional fees. The total amount you’ll pay for your loan is listed upfront, so you don’t have to worry about any hidden costs. There are no prepayment fees, so you can pay off your plan early and save on the interest. And there are no late fees or administrative fees.
How to Get a Personal Loan from Affirm
Affirm manages financing a little differently than some other lenders. You can apply for a loan plan through a merchant’s website or through the Affirm app. Your credit information will be used to determine the terms of possible payment plans. Once you pick the plan you like and are approved for financing, you can use the app to manage your payments.
Each time you get a payment plan, you’re getting a new approval, so if you miss payments or have too many other plans, you might eventually be denied financing.
While it may not feel as serious as applying for a lump-sum personal loan elsewhere, Affirm does run a credit check to determine your eligibility for payment plans every time you select it as a payment method before checking out with a partnered merchant. While the soft pull may not affect your credit score, your loan and payments may still have an impact.
Affirm personal loans offer a way to pay for online purchases with real-time financing. If you’re shopping at a retailer that accepts Affirm financing, it’s possible to set up short-term payment plans with a variety of terms and interest rates. Plus, there are no fees associated with Affirm, so if you pay late one month, it won’t cost you extra money (although it could affect your credit score). If you want a more manageable way to pay off purchases while potentially building your credit, Affirm could be a good choice.
On the other hand, using Affirm to pay for too many purchases could potentially get messy, since you’d have to keep track of several different payment plans. Those could also add up every month to more than you originally wanted to spend. Plus, with rates as high as 30% APR, you could end up paying more in interest than you would by charging a purchase to your credit card. If you have good credit and can pay off your purchases faster, a rewards credit card with a lower monthly APR may work better because it also allows you to earn points or cash back that may offset some of the interest costs.
We look at 40 data points from dozens of financial institutions to evaluate lenders for our personal loan reviews. Because a loan’s APR can dramatically impact the total cost you pay, we weight that feature the heaviest. But since a great APR usually requires at least a good credit score, we also give points to lenders who may have a higher potential APR but offer loans to people with less-than-perfect credit scores.
Along those lines, we favor lenders who allow you to see if you prequalify before applying for a loan, so you won’t harm your credit score just by applying. Origination, prepayment, and late fees all get counted in our assessment. And lastly, we deduct points from the ratings of lenders with restricted access—for instance, those who require you to first have another type of account with them or to join a nonprofit organization.
Affirm. "How Do I Use Affirm To Make a Purchase?" Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.
Affirm. "Does Affirm Charge Interest and Fees?" Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.
Affirm. "How It Works." Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.
Affirm. "Where to Shop." Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.
Affirm. "APR Calculator." Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.
Affirm. "How Long Do I Get to Pay Off a Loan?" Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.
Affirm. "Is There a Limit to How Many Purchases I Can Have at One Time?" Accessed Oct. 19, 2020.