Sezzle Buy Now, Pay Later: 2023 Review
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Pros & Cons
- Offers zero-interest loans.
- Includes free payment rescheduling.
- Borrowers can opt in to credit reporting.
- Doesn’t send borrowers to collections.
- Charges account reactivation fee.
- Charges card payment fee.
- Accepts credit card for repayment.
Full Review of Sezzle
Sezzle is a "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) company that offers payment plans for online and in-store purchases. 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 doesn't charge interest for using its shorter plans, but it may charge fees. It partners directly with thousands of retailers, including Target.
Sezzle at a glance
Available online and in stores.
Conducts soft credit check
Minimum credit score
No late fee.
Option to reschedule a payment
Pauses account when payment is missed
How does Sezzle work?
Sezzle offers a pay-in-four payment plan to shoppers. 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 $200 and you opt in to Sezzle, you’ll pay $50 at checkout, followed by three installments of $50 spread out over six weeks. After the first payment, installments are billed to the debit or credit card you used to make the initial payment or are withdrawn from your bank account if you opt in to that option.
Sezzle doesn't charge interest for its pay-in-four plan, but it may charge a card payment fee, an account reactivation fee or a rescheduling fee (more on these fees later).
Other Sezzle payment options
In addition to its pay-in-four plan, Sezzle also offers an interest-free option to pay in two installments — meaning you split the purchase in half, with the first half due at checkout and the second half due two weeks later.
Finally, Sezzle offers monthly financing with terms ranging from three months to four years. These longer payment plans may charge interest — with annual percentage rates from 5.99% to 34.99% — though 0% APR offers may be available.
Is Sezzle a good idea?
Whether you should use Sezzle depends on your specific financial situation. Weigh the pros and cons below to decide if it’s the right fit for you.
Where Sezzle stands out
Zero-interest loans: Sezzle’s pay-in-four and pay-in-two let you split up a purchase for no additional cost, which is hard to find among traditional credit products, especially those that don’t have a minimum credit score requirement.
Free payment rescheduling: Sezzle lets you reschedule one payment per order for free, delaying payment up to two weeks. Not all BNPL lenders offer this flexibility, which can help you avoid missing a payment and getting your account deactivated. Sezzle even lets you reschedule up to three times per order, but the second and third reschedules each come with a $5 fee.
Credit reporting: Sezzle shoppers can opt in to Sezzle Up, which gives Sezzle permission to report your payment history to Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus. This perk, exceedingly rare among BNPL lenders, can help you build credit by showing a history of on-time payments to your Sezzle account. However, late payments can hurt credit.
To qualify for Sezzle Up, you must pay off one purchase on time or early, link a bank account and verify certain information like your Social Security number.
Won’t send borrowers to collections: Unlike other BNPL providers, Sezzle says it won’t send past-due borrowers to a collections agency. Having collection activity on your credit report generally hurts your score, though it’s less clear how BNPL debt affects credit.
Where Sezzle falls short
Account reactivation fee: Though Sezzle says it doesn’t charge a late fee, it charges an account reactivation fee, which functions about the same. 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 deactivates your account from making new purchases. Restarting your account requires a $10 fee.
Card payment fee: Sezzle may charge a card payment fee up to $5 for using a debit or credit card after the first installment. You can avoid this fee by connecting your bank account to pay off your remaining installments. Still, most BNPL lenders don’t charge card payment fees.
Accepts credit cards for repayment: Sezzle lets you use a credit card when you check out with its pay-in-four. Though this is very common among BNPL providers, it essentially means you can pay off credit with credit, potentially exposing you to even greater debt or fees.
What to know about 'buy now, pay later'
You can now use “buy now, pay later” to check out at most retailers. The type of payment plan — and whether it charges interest or fees — depends on the BNPL provider, so it’s important to pay close attention to the loan terms you’re offered at checkout.
For some users, BNPL is a smart way to break up a purchase, especially if you get a zero-interest offer and are positive you can afford the installments. Getting approved may also be easier compared with credit cards or loans because there’s no minimum credit score requirement.
But BNPL is still a form of debt, and there are risks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a study in September 2022 raising concerns about inconsistent consumer protections, the ease of debt accumulation and overspending, and data harvesting and monetization. Another CFPB study from March 2023 identified BNPL users as more likely to show signs of financial distress.
NerdWallet recommends using BNPL only for necessary expenses. Though BNPL can be a convenient and low-cost payment option, you’re still taking on debt, and it’s rarely a good idea to go into debt for a nonessential purchase.
How to get approved for Sezzle
To be eligible for Sezzle, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a U.S. or Canadian phone number that receives texts, be able to verify your email address and provide a payment method like a debit or credit card.
According to the company, approval decisions are instantaneous, and you’ll receive an initial spending limit based on what Sezzle thinks you can safely pay back. If you make all payments on time, your credit limit should increase.
Does Sezzle check credit?
Sezzle will conduct a soft credit pull when you apply for a payment plan. This doesn't affect your credit score, and there is no minimum credit score requirement to use Sezzle.
How does Sezzle compare?
Sezzle’s pay-in-four is similar to the pay-in-four plans offered by BNPL providers like Klarna and Afterpay, which have no interest but may charge some fees, especially if you miss a payment. Both Klarna and Afterpay also have monthly financing options, which may include 0% offers.
Apple Pay Later
» COMPARE: The best buy now, pay later apps
How to get Sezzle
Download the Sezzle app
The easiest way to shop with Sezzle is to download the Sezzle app. You can create an account, see what credit limit you’re approved for and shop at partner stores directly from the app.
Shop with Sezzle online and in stores
Once you have a Sezzle account, you’ll also have access to Sezzle Virtual Card which is accepted at Sezzle’s partner stores. You can use this card like a credit card to check out online at websites like target.com. You can also save the card to your mobile wallet and use it to complete your purchase in the store.
Alternatives to Sezzle
If you have good or excellent credit (690 credit score or higher), you may consider a 0% APR credit card. These cards offer introductory periods of up to 21 months and charge no interest during that period. You may also receive a sign-up bonus or access to a rewards program.
If you’re looking to fund a large, essential purchase, you could apply for a personal loan. Personal loans have fixed interest rates and longer repayment terms, and there are options for borrowers with fair or bad credit (689 credit score or lower).
You can pre-qualify with NerdWallet below to see your loan options. Pre-qualifying doesn’t affect your credit score.
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) loan products from the top financial technology providers. We collect over 40 data points from each lender, verify the information with company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar BNPL product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to BNPL providers that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, zero interest and minimal fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service and built-in borrower protections. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies to classic BNPL loans, which divide payment into four equal installments, typically due over six weeks. Some providers offer other loan products with longer terms, which is factored into the rating process. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for buy now, pay later and our editorial guidelines.