Sezzle Review: Guide to Buy Now Pay Later (2022)

By Brooke Vaughan

Sezzle

What Is Sezzle?

Sezzle is a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service provider. With Sezzle, you can make purchases using a standard pay-in-four payment plan, which allows you to break up your total into four equal installments to be paid every other week. You can use the service when shopping online, in-store, or in the Sezzle mobile app.

Sezzle is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since its founding in 2016, Sezzle has expanded to more than 7.8 million users and 78,000 merchant partners.

Similar companies include Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna.

How Does Sezzle Work?

Sezzle offers a pay-in-four payment option. This allows you to split a purchase into four equal installments over six weeks, with the first payment due at checkout.

When you sign up for Sezzle, the service will tell you instantly whether you are eligible for the short-term loan. Whether you are shopping in-store, online, or in-app, you can checkout with Sezzle, make your first payment, and take your purchase home. Then, Sezzle will automatically bill you every two weeks until your purchase is paid off.

Here’s how Sezzle’s payment plan works. If you make a $100 purchase, you will owe $25 at checkout. The remaining $75 will be divided into three equal installments of $25 each to be paid every two weeks. Your original payment method will automatically be charged unless you disable autopay. You can use a bank account, debit card, credit card, or prepaid benefit card for payments. However, Sezzle charges convenience fees if you opt to pay by card rather than connecting a bank account.

Sezzle’s BNPL loans do not come with interest. As long as you make your payments in full and on time, Sezzle doesn’t charge any fees. However, if you miss a payment, Sezzle may charge you a late fee if you do not resolve the payment within 2–15 days (depending on where you live).

If you are not able to make a payment on time, Sezzle allows one free payment reschedule per purchase. However, if you need to reschedule a second or third time on one purchase, Sezzle can charge you a fee. The company will let you know before you get hit with the fee, though, so you can decide whether or not you’d like to go forward with rescheduling the payment.

Pros and Cons of Using Sezzle

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using Sezzle. 

Pros of Using Sezzle

  • Reschedule a payment for free once per purchase
  • Option to boost your credit score with on-time payments
  • Soft credit check approval process won’t damage your credit score

Cons of Using Sezzle

  • Fees for late payments, rescheduling, reactivation, and convenience of paying by card
  • Potential credit score damage for missed payments
  • Buy Now Pay Later can make it easier for you to give into temptation when shopping

Should You Use Sezzle?

There are many different reasons why you may want to use Sezzle as a Buy Now Pay Later solution. However, the decision should not be made lightly.

Using Sezzle requires you to know on a personal level how you manage your money, whether you are in the right financial position to take on credit, and whether you are able to avoid the temptation that comes with Buy Now Pay Later.

You might want to use Sezzle if

You want or need to purchase a big-ticket item
Baby gear, camping equipment, patio furniture, or a luggage set. Expenses pop up, and if you do not have the money in your checking or savings account, sometimes there is no choice but to put it on credit. Sezzle gives you an extra financing option without the interest. Just make sure that you’ll be able to pay off your installments when they roll around or you could end up with credit score damage.

You do not qualify for a credit card or have a credit card with a low limit
Sezzle affords you the opportunity to make purchases with credit even if you do not have the money in your account right this moment.

However, it is important to only make purchases with Buy Now Pay Later if you are certain that you will be able to pay off the installments when Sezzle charges your account. Missing a Buy Now Pay Later payment can result in a late fee and damage to your credit score.

You are trying to build credit
Sezzle is one of few Buy Now Pay Later solutions that actually help you build your credit score. By opting into Sezzle Up, you give the service permission to report your on-time payments to the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Most other BNPL services will only report late or missing payments, not on-time payments, so BNPL usage can only hurt you in the credit department and not help you.

You should only opt into Sezzle Up, though, if you are certain that you can make your BNPL payments on time. If you miss one, Sezzle can report your missing payment to the credit bureaus, which can damage your credit score.

You might not want to use Sezzle if

You want to avoid fees at all costs
Shopping with Sezzle comes with its fair share of fees, particularly if you are not able to pay every installment in full and on time. Sezzle charges several different types of fees, including late fees, rescheduling fees, reactivation fees, and convenience fees for paying by debit or credit card.

If you have an inconsistent pay schedule, have a hard time budgeting, tend to overdraft your account often, or pay for most virtual transactions by credit rather than bank account, Sezzle might not be the best choice for you.

You have a tendency to overspend or can’t avoid the temptation
This requires a long, hard look in the mirror. The fact of the matter is that it’s easier than ever to want things that you see online — and then to turn those wants into purchases. Buy Now Pay Later makes that even easier.

Where Can You Use Sezzle?

You can pay with Sezzle at some 78,000 merchant partners. The company partners with brands focusing on apparel, health and wellness, home, electronics, and sports and outdoors.

Popular brands that accept Sezzle include:

  • Nike
  • Apple
  • Adidas
  • Coach
  • Disney
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Target
  • Keen
  • Cotopaxi
  • Quince

Does Sezzle Hurt Your Credit Score?

Many creditors perform a hard inquiry on your credit report to determine your creditworthiness before issuing you a loan or credit card.

Sezzle is considered a short-term financing option, so the company does not perform a hard inquiry on your credit. The company does, however, run a soft credit check to determine if you are eligible to receive financing, but the check does not hurt your credit score.

With the standard BNPL plan, Sezzle does not report on-time payments to the credit bureaus. The company does, however, report late or missed payments. So BNPL purchases can hurt you but not necessarily help you.

You can upgrade your account to Sezzle Up, which authorizes the service to report your payments to the credit bureaus. If you make your payments in full and on time, this can boost your credit score over time. If you miss a payment or make it late, though, this can hurt your score.

Alternatives to Sezzle

Sezzle works much like other Buy Now Pay Later services including Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna. The BNPL solution that you use often depends on which one is offered by the merchant.

However, if you do not want to use Sezzle, there are other options.

0% interest credit card
For smaller, less expensive purchases, a 0% interest credit card can be a better option than Buy Now Pay Later. This is considering that you qualify for the credit card. You should also note that the credit card company will likely do a hard inquiry on your credit report before approving you for the card. This can cause a temporary decrease in your credit score.

When you apply for a credit card, even if it is 0% interest, you should be sure that you can make on-time payments in order to avoid credit score damage.

A credit card can be optimal if you want to take advantage of an introductory offer, earn rewards for your purchase, or boost your credit score, which you cannot do with Buy Now Pay Later.

Personal loan
For larger, more expensive purchases, it may make sense to take out a personal loan rather than using Buy Now Pay Later. Taking out a personal loan isn’t the right choice or is accessible to everyone. However, it can enable you to make a large purchase and pay it back over a longer period of time.

Similar to a credit card, a lender will run a hard inquiry on your credit to determine whether you are eligible for the loan. This credit check can temporarily decrease your credit score. But also similar to a credit card, a personal loan can help you boost your credit score in the long term as long as you make on-time payments. Buy Now Pay Later doesn’t always afford you that opportunity. However, you can opt into Sezzle Up to see a positive impact on your credit score if you make on-time payments. 

When taking out a personal loan, it’s important to find the lowest possible interest rate. You should also make sure that you have a payment plan in place to avoid late fees and credit score damage.

Cushion helps you waste less money, save more, and live a financially healthier life. We monitor your bank and credit card accounts 24/7, find and alert you about pesky fees, let you know which fees are negotiable, which banks are cooperative, and can even automatically negotiate on your behalf.* To date, Cushion has secured customers more than $11 million in bank and credit card fee refunds—and we’re just getting started.

*Cushion only negotiates fees with high refund odds. We cannot guarantee any negotiations, a regular frequency of negotiations, or fee refunds—your bank makes the final call.

Losing track of your Buy Now Pay Later purchases?

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