Affirm vs Klarna: Major Differences & Comparison

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klarna vs affirm
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BNPL providers like Affirm and Klarna have been rapidly growing in terms of new features. And while this is a net positive change for most users, this makes it a lot more difficult to choose the right provider for your needs.

The long and the short of it is that if you’re primarily looking for short-term installment loans, Klarna has the best options.

But Affirm is the better choice for those who hate late fees and love high-yield savings accounts.

What are Affirm and Klarna?

Affirm and Klarna are BNPL providers that make it easier for you to buy things from brick-and-mortar or online stores using short-term credit. When you pay with Affirm or Klarna in person or through online shopping, you can get what you bought now and then repay the BNPL provider in installments, often interest-free, over the next several weeks or months.

From 30,000 feet up, Affirm and Klarna have similar offerings; however, they differ when it comes to the nitty gritty.

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Major Differences Between Affirm and Klarna

Affirm’s biggest advantage over Klarna is that it doesn’t charge any late fees. While Klarna charges up to $7 in late fees for its BNPL plans and up to $35 for its long-term financing plans.

Klarna has more payment options than Affirm, and getting approved for a loan from Klarna is easier. In fact, Affirm often declines loan applications for first-time customers. Affirm is stricter when evaluating creditworthiness since it takes a bigger risk by not charging late fees.

Affirm Klarna
Founding Founded in San Francisco, California, in 2012. Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2005.
Countries of Operation U.S., U.S. territories, Canada U.S., Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Accepted By 245,000+ merchants 450,000+ merchants
Payment Options
  • Pay in 4
  • Pay Monthly
  • Pay in 4
  • Pay Now
  • Pay in 30 Days
  • Pay Over Time
Rescheduled Payments No Yes
Late Fees No Late Fees Up to $35
Credit Checks
  • Soft Credit Check for ‘Pay in 4’ and ‘Pay in 30 Days’
  • Hard Credit Check for ‘Pay Over Time’
Credit Building Reports your first monthly installment loan to Experian

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How to Sign Up for Affirm

You can sign up for Affirm using the Affirm app, at, or at an Affirm-partner store.

  • Go to the Affirm website, download the app, or choose to pay with Affirm at checkout
  • When prompted, enter your full legal name, mobile number, email address, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number
  • Complete sign-up

How to Sign Up for Klarna

You can sign up for Klarna using the Klarna app, at, or selecting Klarna as your payment method at a participating store.

  • Go to the Klarna website, download the app, or click that you’d like to pay with Klarna when making a purchase
  • Provide the necessary personal information
  • Complete sign-up

How to Use Buy Now Pay Later Responsibly

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services allow consumers to make purchases online or in-store by breaking up larger ticket items into a small number of fixed installment payments. BNPL is attractive to consumers because purchases are typically interest-free and don’t involve many of the fees that come with bank accounts and credit cards.

The popularity of BNPL has grown exponentially in recent years — and for good reason. These payment options provide more opportunities for people of underserved and underbanked populations. However, there are also a number of potential risks involved.

Advantages of Buy Now Pay Later

  • You get easier access to goods and services
  • Customers pay low-to-no fees and interest charges on their payment plan
  • You can maintain and build your credit score

Disadvantages of Buy Now Pay Later

  • It is easy to overspend
  • There are potential fees or interest charges and credit score damage
  • Buy Now Pay Later can be difficult to manage

Frequently Asked Questions

Affirm vs. Klarna: Which is better?

It is not a matter of which Buy Now Pay Later service is better. Rather, it is important to consider whether BNPL is the right choice for you at all.

The service that you use as a customer depends on which merchant or company you are purchasing from and in what country you are located. All brick-and-mortar and online retailers don’t partner with all BNPL companies.

Before deciding to make a purchase with BNPL, it’s important to consider: how much you really want or need the product or service, your budget, cash flow, and other debt obligations, including credit card debt.

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What happens if I never repay Affirm or Klarna?

If you fail to make your scheduled repayments through Affirm, Klarna, or any other BNPL providers, you can run into credit and financial issues.

Klarna charges you late fees on missed payments. Your account may also get disabled, meaning that you would not be able to make future purchases with the BNPL service. Klarna also reports late and missing payments to the credit bureaus, so if you fail to make a payment, it can negatively impact your credit history and credit score.

Affirm, on the other hand, does not charge late fees. The BNPL provider also reports missing payments to the credit bureaus, which can damage your credit.

Are Affirm and Klarna legit?

Affirm and Klarna are both legitimate and secure services. Both keep customer data safe and sound and act much the same as credit cards, personal loans, and payday loans except with shorter-term repayment plans.

Last Updated on May 05, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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