One in ten plans to finance their Christmas using buy now pay later

Nearly one in 10 people in Britain are considering using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) for some of their Christmas shopping, Citizens Advice has found.

Of the 43% who are taking out borrowing to cover Christmas this year, one in five said they would look to BNPL to pay for at least some of their purchases.

Yet despite the rapid growth of the Buy Now Pay Later industry, it remains unregulated. This means that people have less protection compared to more traditional forms of regulated borrowing, such as credit cards and overdrafts.

Citizens Advice is calling for the industry to be urgently regulated to ensure consumers are properly protected. He posted six must-have information for anyone considering using any of the programs this Christmas.

Kate Hobson, Consumer Expert at Citizens Advice, said: “Money can often be tight as Christmas approaches, but it’s always very important not to spend more than you can afford.

“If you’re considering using Buy Now Pay Later, make sure you understand what you’re signing up for, how you’ll issue the refunds, and what will happen if you can’t pay on time.

“As always, if you’re having trouble with any type of bill, get free, independent advice as soon as possible. Our advisors can help you understand your options and develop a plan.

She described six things to know for anyone considering using BNPL:

  1. Understand what you are signing up for.Find out how and when you will have to pay, and if you might be charged late fees or interest.
    It should also be noted that your credit score could be affected if BNPL reports late payments, or if you are referred to a debt collector for missed payments, and then fail to pay the debt collector. .

  2. Have a plan for how you will pay it back. While it can be tempting to split payments, make sure you have a plan to repay the money, especially if your circumstances or income should change. And if you use BNPL repeatedly or use multiple BNPL options, make sure you know how much you owe in total.

  3. If you’re having trouble paying, get help ASAP. If you are worried, see Advice to citizens Help with debt, or contact your nearest Citizen Council as soon as possible.
    You should also ask BNPL if this can help you, for example by reducing your monthly payment or removing late fees. But that could mean that you will be charged interest etc., so always make sure you understand what you are agreeing to.

  4. If you need to cancel or return items, contact both the retailer and the BNPL firm. This is because your consumer rights belong to the retailer, but you have a separate agreement with BNPL to pay for what you buy.
    Generally the merchant will reimburse the BNPL firm which will reimburse you, or adjust the amount you owe if you have only returned part of an order.

  5. If there is a problem, you can complain to the BNPL cabinet and the retailer. Again, your consumer rights are with the retailer, but your payment agreement is with BNPL. BNPL firms have different rules for resolving disputes, so check what happens to your payment plan during this time.
    You can also try the chargeback system offered by the card providers to help you get refunds (although there is no guarantee that this will work) and you will need to keep paying BNPL to make sure you are not in breach of contract.

  6. If you pay with a credit card, beware of additional fees and less protection. Credit card purchases over £ 100 usually have Section 75 protection, meaning the credit card provider may need to help if something goes wrong.
    But this protection does not apply to BNPL purchases because you did not pay the merchant directly. You may be able to use the chargeback system instead.
    It should also be noted that some credit card companies may charge interest or fees for paying your BNPL bill with your credit card. It is therefore worth checking before opting for this payment method.


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