I have been following the discussion on Affirm and the ethics of BNPL generally. While I have the resources to pay for what I need, I have used Klarna twice to either buy first and pay 30 days later in one sum, or pay in a few, zero interest installments. I didn’t seek out Klarna; the choice was presented to me at checkout. The first time I used it was mostly out of curiosity, just to see how it worked, when I bought shoes from a European company.
I just looked at Trustpilot to see reviews for Affirm (I don’t believe this has been brought up yet here). While the overall rating is high (4.3), there’s been a recent onslaught of rotten (1 and 2 star) reviews. These two (both 3 stars) stood out and speak to some of the discussion here:
I have used Affirm many many times and I have decided it’s time write a review because I have long track record and can be reasonably objective. I have always gotten my refunds, not had any technical issues and have a reasonably high credit limit based on what I can tell, but I find myself shifting to klarna for a couple of significant reasons. One, their return process is lacking. If I make a return there is no way to pause payments or reduce payments until the merchant processes. Not so unusual except klarna does allow this. Second and most important affirm charges the same high rate no matter how long or how many loans you have had. Therefore I only use them for the free - no interest 3 payment option. I always paid them off early because of the interest but have found the interest never lowers. They are convenient and again I’ve never had issues but like I mentioned they appear to have a one size fits all interest model and therefore will lose me as a customer.
I use Affirm with some regularity. I have decided to write a review because I have established a fairly long and stable relationship with Affirm and while the amount of my line of credit increases, the interest rate never does. it is high. That is the reason for the 3 stars. I have always gotten my refunds when I pay off early. I have never had any technical problems with Affirm and they are reliable in those aspects from my own experience; however, when taking out a considerable amount and the interest is at 26% basically, it is not a show of good faith and fair dealings. Affirm happily attests to my credit worthiness in their willingness to loan me whatever I want, but chooses to fleece me with a higher interest rate because of the inequality of the relationship. In other words, no matter how long or how stellar your track record with Affirm gets, you will never result in fair consideration. You will get a sub-prime deal because that is how they view their demographic pool of customers. It is regrettable.
Here’s a link: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/affirm.com
I have no position in Affirm.