What You Need To Know About Sezzle

Learn how this buy-now-pay-later service makes purchases manageable

A woman makes a purchase with Sezzle.
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The buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) movement has caught on significantly among online shoppers. According to data from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, monthly active users of various BNPL services grew by 186% year over year in September 2020. 

Sezzle was founded in 2016 and has become one of several players in the BNPL industry. The service's primary business is online. But in September 2020, it launched the Sezzle Virtual Card, which customers can add to their Apple Pay or Google Pay apps and use for in-store purchases.

If you're intrigued by the idea of BNPL services, here's what you should know about Sezzle.

How Does Sezzle Work?

Sezzle works similarly to PayPal Pay in 4 and Affirm. When you're ready to check out, choose Sezzle as your payment method. You'll need to enter some personal details, and the service will run a soft credit check.

Sezzle partners with more than 29,000 online retailers.

Once you're approved, you'll make the first of four interest-free installment payments immediately. Then, you'll make three more equal installments every two weeks for the next six weeks. You can choose to connect a bank account, debit card, or credit card to make your installment payments.

Is There a Minimum Purchase Size When Using Sezzle? 

Sezzle doesn't set a minimum purchase amount for customers, but the retailers that use the service can set their own minimums. 

Is There a Maximum Purchase Size When Using Sezzle?

Sezzle does set limits on how much customers can buy using the service. Your limit depends on how long you've been using Sezzle, your order history, your credit situation, and other factors. 

Do Products Bought With Sezzle Ship After First Payment?

Like other BNPL services, Sezzle is an improvement on layaway programs from the past. Instead of making payments and then getting the item, Sezzle allows you to make the purchase now and receive the item after your first payment. 

This is because Sezzle pays the merchant in full for your purchase, which means you owe the remaining balance to Sezzle and not the retail store.

Can I Use Sezzle To Pay Bills?

Sezzle only works with participating online retailers, and Apple Pay and Google Pay for in-store and online purchases.

Is There a Credit Limit?

Whether you're using the standard Sezzle payment service, Sezzle Up, or the Sezzle Virtual Card, you will have a credit limit based on the total amount of a purchase. First-time customers are generally limited to $50 to $200. 

With Sezzle Up and the Sezzle Virtual Card, you'll be able to see your limit, so you'll know how much you can purchase. 

How Can I Increase My Credit Limit?

It’s possible to increase your limit with Sezzle if you use the service repeatedly and make your payments on time. You'll also get a one-time limit increase when you sign up for Sezzle Up, too. 

Does Sezzle Affect Your Credit Score?

Depending on how you use Sezzle, it may or may not impact your credit score. Here's what you need to know about the process.

Does Sezzle Check Credit?

When you apply for credit using Sezzle, the service runs a soft credit check, which doesn't impact your credit score. This inquiry gives the service enough information to determine your creditworthiness without running a full credit check.

Does Sezzle Report Your Activity to Credit Bureaus?

For Sezzle's standard service, there is no credit reporting involved. But if you want to use the program to build your credit history, you can sign up for Sezzle Up’s revolving line of credit.

Through Sezzle Up, Sezzle reports your payments and balance to the three national credit bureaus monthly. As long as you make your payments on time, the reporting should improve your credit score. But if you miss a payment for 30 days, Sezzle will report it and your credit score can suffer as a result.

To qualify for Sezzle Up, you have to use Sezzle’s BNPL service at least once.

What Credit Score Do You Need To Use Sezzle?

Sezzle runs a soft credit check when you apply, and if your credit history is in poor shape, it could cause the service to decline your purchase. Unfortunately, Sezzle doesn't disclose a minimum credit score, but the good news is that because it doesn't run a hard inquiry, you can apply without fear of the process hurting your credit.

If your credit is in good shape and you're still denied, here are some other potential reasons:

  • Your purchase amount exceeds your limit. 
  • You entered incorrect personal or payment information when you signed up.
  • Your Sezzle account has missed payments or an unpaid order.

Does Sezzle Charge Interest?

Sezzle doesn't charge interest, making it appealing compared to personal loans and credit cards.

Does Sezzle Charge Fees?

As long as you make your payments on time and in full, Sezzle won't charge you any fees. You won’t pay a fee if you pay off your balance early, either.

However, there are fees if you fail to make a payment or have to reschedule a payment more than once. The company always adds your fees into your regularly scheduled payment, so if you see a separate fee from your bank or credit card company, it isn't from Sezzle. 

Is Sezzle Safe?

In terms of data security, Sezzle is safe to use. The company follows Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards to keep your personal information and transactions secure. 

However, in regards to your budget, Sezzle can present some of the same dangers as credit cards. Having the option to buy items now and pay for them later can cause you to spend more than you can afford to pay back.

Of course, overspending with Sezzle is less damaging than with credit cards because there's no interest involved. But it can still strain your budget and impact your overall financial well-being.

The more you use BNPL services, the harder it can be to keep track of all of your loans and payments.

Who Accepts Sezzle?

There are more than 29,000 online stores that offer Sezzle. Additionally, if you apply for a Sezzle Virtual Card, you can use the service just about anywhere you can use Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Some examples of participating retailers include:

  • GameStop
  • Goodie Co
  • Lou Lou & Company
  • Jamie Kay
  • SoftMoc

How To Use Sezzle Online

When you're shopping with one of Sezzle's participating online retailers, simply select Sezzle as your payment method, then either sign up or log in to your Sezzle account. 

The company will run a soft credit check and let you know instantly if you're approved. You'll make your first payment, which is 25% of the total purchase amount, at the point of purchase, then your next three payments will be charged to your payment method automatically over the next six weeks.

How To Use Sezzle In Stores

You can shop with Sezzle in brick-and-mortar stores if you have the Sezzle Virtual Card. To do it, you'll add the card to your Apple Pay or Google Pay account and use it like you would any other payment method in those digital wallets. Then you'll make your installment payments as usual. 

How Do Returns Work When Using Sezzle?

If you have to return an item you purchased, the merchant will refund the money to Sezzle because it paid for the initial transaction. Then Sezzle applies the refund amount to what you owe, starting with the final installment and working backward. If you have multiple installment plans, Sezzle may apply your refund to older installment plans first. 

Based on the value of the refund and your outstanding balance, Sezzle will cancel or reduce your future payments and also possibly refund previous installments to your payment method with the service.

That said, if the merchant issues a refund in the form of store credit, cash, or any other way, it won't impact your Sezzle balance, and you'll need to keep making payments as originally agreed. 

How Do I Pay Sezzle?

Sezzle collects installment payments from debit cards, credit cards, and bank accounts. The service also accepts prepaid debit cards, but only if you're using one to pay off an installment payment.

Remember, Sezzle takes out payments every two weeks after your initial payment, so you'll want to make sure you have enough available credit on your credit card or money in your bank account to cover each payment.

What Happens If I Don’t Pay Sezzle?

If you fail to make a payment, Sezzle will reschedule it for 48 hours later and add a late fee to the payment. If you make the payment before the 48-hour window ends, you won’t pay a late fee. If the second payment attempt fails, Sezzle may block you from making new purchases and you'll still be responsible for paying what you owe. 

The company may also report late payments to the credit bureaus and attempt to collect the debt in other ways.