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Buy now pay later services

Know the costs before you sign up

Page reading time: 3 minutes

Buy now pay later means you pay by instalments over time, instead of paying the full amount upfront. Find out how buy now pay later works and what you need to know before you sign up.

How buy now pay later works

When you use a buy now pay later service, you can buy a product and delay payment. You usually pay off your purchase over a few weeks. For bigger purchases, it may be longer.

You don't pay interest on the purchase. Instead you're charged fees.

Lots of shops offer different buy now pay later options. Buy now pay later providers include:

Some buy now pay later arrangements are also offered through credit card networks such as Mastercard and Visa.

Before you sign up to buy now pay later

What to look out for

Before you sign up, keep in mind:

Compare the fees charged

Buy now pay later services are often advertised as 'interest free' or '0% interest'. But they may charge:

You may also have to pay bank fees:

Tips for managing buy now pay later

To make the most of buy now pay later services:

What to do if you get into trouble

Most buy now pay later providers have complaints and hardship services. Contact your provider if you have a complaint or if you're having trouble making repayments.

Financial counselling

Financial counsellors help you manage debts and get your finances back on track. This is a free and confidential service.

Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm. Or live chat, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 8:00pm.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can call Mob Strong Debt Helpline on 1800 808 488. Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Debt management

Call Way Forward on 1300 045 502. Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 7:00pm. If you're in financial hardship, they can arrange a debt repayment plan on your behalf. This is a free service.

Teenage girl sitting on a stool using a tablet.

Georgia pays more for buy now pay later

In the lead-up to Christmas, Georgia decides to take advantage of online sales. She finds a new pair of designer sneakers for $150. As money is a bit tight, Georgia signs up to a buy now pay later service to split her payments.

She then finds a hair straightener for $300 at another store. She uses a different buy now pay later service to buy the straightener.

A fortnight later, Georgia discovers that her bank account is overdrawn. Before she bought the items, she hadn't checked whether she would have enough in her account to make both repayments.

Both buy now pay later providers charge Georgia missed payment fees. Her bank also charges her an overdrawn fee. Georgia is now waiting to see if the record of late payment will appear on her credit report.