Sezzle Buy Now, Pay Later: 2022 Review

Sezzle offers interest-free payment plans to shoppers at thousands of retailers, but keep an eye on costly reactivation or rescheduling fees.
Mar 2, 2022

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Our Take

The bottom line:

As long as you make all payments on time, Sezzle can be an affordable way to finance a purchase with zero interest.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No-interest financing.
  • No hard credit check.
  • Option to have payments reported to bureaus.

Cons

  • Charges account reactivation fee if you miss a payment.
  • Not available at all retailers.

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Full Review of Sezzle

What is Sezzle?

Editor's Note: In February 2022, Zip (formerly QuadPay) announced its acquisition of Sezzle. According to both companies, products and accounts will continue operating separately until the end of the third quarter in 2022. 

Sezzle is a “buy now, pay later” company that offers payment plans at thousands of retailers, including Target.

These plans let you split up your purchase at checkout, so you pay the total balance over a series of installments, instead of all at once. Sezzle does not charge interest for using its plan.

Sezzle is similar to other BNPL providers like Afterpay and PayPal. Though it can be an affordable way to finance a purchase if you make all payments on time, BNPL is still a form of debt, and NerdWallet recommends paying for non-essential expenses with cash whenever possible.

How does Sezzle work?

Sezzle offers one BNPL option to shoppers: a pay-in-four payment plan.

With this plan, your balance will be divided into four equal payments, with the first payment due at checkout, and the remaining three due every two weeks until the loan is paid in full.

For example, if you have a cart totaling $280 and you opt into Sezzle, you’ll pay $70 at checkout, followed by three installments of $70 spread out over six weeks. After the first payment, installments are automatically billed to the debit or credit card you used to make the initial payment or to a bank account.

If Sezzle is unable to acquire payment within two days after the due date (if you don’t have enough funds in your bank account, for example), it reschedules your due dates and deactivates your account from making new purchases. Restarting your account requires a $10 reactivation fee.

How to qualify: Sezzle is available online and in stores, and approval decisions are instantaneous. According to the company, it may conduct a soft credit check, which will not affect your credit score. It will also consider any prior history with Sezzle when determining your spending limit.

Should you use Sezzle?

Sezzle may be a good option if you:

Can’t qualify for other types of affordable credit: BNPL may be a smart way for borrowers with no credit history or bad credit to make a necessary purchase. Since these plans charge zero interest, they’re more affordable and less risky than payday loans or other high-cost loans.

Want to use BNPL to build your credit score: Sezzle shoppers can upgrade to Sezzle Up, which gives Sezzle permission to report your payment history to the major credit bureaus, including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Sezzle will show up as a revolving line of credit.

In order to qualify for Sezzle Up, you must link your bank account, pay off one purchase on time (or early) and verify certain information like your Social Security number. By showing a history of on-time payments, you can build your credit score. However, late payments can hurt it.

Want to support a socially conscious BNPL company: Sezzle is a certified B Corporation, which is unique among BNPL lenders. To be designated as a B Corp, companies must undergo a rigorous assessment and show a commitment to social and environmental issues.

Sezzle is not a good idea if you:

Regularly overdraw on your debit or credit card: Sezzle can prevent you from overextending yourself by pausing your account as soon as you miss a payment. But if you want to keep shopping, you’ll need to pay a $10 reactivation fee. This fee may be assessed once per order.

Note that if Sezzle is able to take its payment but your debit card balance or bank account is overdrawn because of it, your card provider or bank may charge its own fee.

Have an unpredictable pay schedule: Sezzle will let you delay a payment up to two weeks with no charge once per order. This may be more than enough flexibility for some shoppers, but if your income is unpredictable and you need to reschedule a payment more than once per order, you’ll be charged a $5 fee. Rescheduling is limited to three times per order.

Struggle to follow a budget: Like all BNPL providers, Sezzle may tempt some shoppers to overspend at checkout, since spreading out payments can make it seem like you’re spending less than you really are. If you struggle to budget, it’s best to stick to the cash you have on hand to make any non-essential purchases.

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