Ratings Methodology for Buy Now, Pay Later Plans

NerdWallet currently rates and reviews “buy now, pay later” payment plans.

Data collection and review process

We survey six of the most widely available buy now, pay later companies. These companies offer buy now, pay later payment plans through retailers across the U.S. as well as in their apps.

How we rate buy now, pay later plans

We assess five categories and 23 subcategories. We weight four of the categories in this way:
  • Affordability, including interest rates and fees (35%).
  • Flexibility, including autopay options; the ability to reschedule payments; and hardship programs (30%).
  • Transparency in how to use the product; installment amounts, due dates and fees; and clearly stated refund policies (20%).
  • Consumer experience, including payment reminders, convenient customer support and highly rated mobile apps (15%).
The fifth category is unweighted and discretionary. A plan’s rating may be lowered if it has faced governmental regulatory action in the past five years or been accused of predatory practices by a reputable source. A lender that offers a unique, consumer-friendly feature (outside of the scored categories above) that few others offer may earn a higher score.

Data accuracy

Buy now, pay later reviews are thoroughly reassessed annually. Writers and editors also make updates to data, such as new features and star ratings, throughout the year as necessary. We establish and maintain contact with providers’ primary point people to ensure current information.

The review team

The review team is made up of reporters, writers and editors who cover buy now, pay later, plus other credit products like personal loans and paycheck advance apps. Each team member adheres to NerdWallet’s strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
Our writers’ bylines have appeared in The New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets in addition to NerdWallet. External media frequently tap our buy now, pay later experts for input on industry trends and developments that impact consumers.
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