Affirm offers instant financing for retail purchases. The company has thousands of partners, both in person and online, that allow you to buy now and pay later. You may apply at the point of sale with only a soft credit inquiry, but your annual percentage rate (APR) could be higher than you expect. Our review covers everything you need to know about Affirm and how to decide if it’s right for you.

Investopedia is committed to providing our readers with unbiased product recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products, but this doesn’t affect how we rate, review, and rank them.

Pros
  • Prequalify with soft credit inquiry

  • Quick financing

  • No fees

  • May improve credit score

Cons
  • Maximum APR of 30%

  • Not available everywhere

  • No refunds for interest paid on returns

  • Possible down payment

Pros Explained

  • Prequalify with soft credit inquiry – You may prequalify in the app or through a partner retailer without hurting your credit score. 
  • Quick financing You may get instant approval.
  • No fees There are no service fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties.
  • May help improve credit score Affirm may report to Experian, and your history of on-time payments may improve your credit score.  Just remember that late payments may also be reported.

Cons Explained

  • Maximum APR of 30% Depending on your creditworthiness, your APR may be higher than the average APR for a credit card, which was 14.52% as of May 2020.
  • Not available everywhere Affirm isn’t available for all retail purchases.
  • No refunds for interest paid on returns If you return one of your purchases, Affirm doesn’t offer a refund on the interest you have already paid on the money you borrowed to buy it.  
  • Possible down payment You may not qualify for the full amount of your purchase, and Affirm may require a down payment. 

Types of Personal Loans Offered by Affirm

Affirm offers two personal loan options. You may use Affirm to borrow money for purchases through partner stores. If your purchase is less than $250, you may have access to AffirmGo, which offers three monthly payments with a 0% APR.

Loan Amounts

The loan amounts vary by retailer. Depending on the store, you may borrow anywhere from $0 to $17,500. While millions of stores accept Affirm’s virtual card, there are some restrictions. You can’t use the money for cash advances, loans, or credit card payments. 

APR  

Affirm offers fixed-rate APRs between 10% to 30%, depending on your creditworthiness. The company doesn’t offer a variable-rate APR. 

Loan Terms

Affirm usually offers personal loan terms for three, six, or 12 months. However, some retailers may have terms as short as one to three months or, for bigger purchases, as long as 48 months.

Credit Score Requirements

There are no minimum credit scores to qualify for an Affirm personal loan. To make a decision, the company considers a number of factors. These may include the current economic conditions, your credit score, and your past history with Affirm.

Fees

You avoid some of the most common personal loan fees. Affirm doesn’t charge an origination fee, prepayment penalty, or late payment fee.    

Time to Receive Funds

You may apply for a personal loan through Affirm partners and get instant approval. 

Affirm Personal Loan Features 

  • Loan transparency Affirm provides complete personal loan details up front with no hidden fees later.
  • Thousands of retail partners Affirm has partnered with more than 2,000 retail companies for instant financing in the store or online.
  • Virtual card option After your loan approval, you may transfer the money to an Affirm virtual card for one-time use online or in person. 
  • Mobile app You may manage payments on the go through Affirm’s mobile app. 

Apply for an Affirm Personal Loan 

Before applying for an Affirm personal loan, you may prequalify through a retail partner or through Affirm’s mobile app. You can complete either option with a soft credit inquiry, which won’t hurt your credit score. Prequalification doesn’t guarantee approval, but you can see how much you may be able to borrow.

There are three ways to apply for an Affirm personal loan: through a partner store, via Affirm’s mobile app, or online at Affirm.com. All three options offer a fast application process, instant approval, and funding.  

Partner Store

  1. Shop online or in person and select Affirm at the checkout.
  2. Enter your mobile phone number.
  3. Create an Affirm account (first time only).
  4. Enter the verification code you received via text.
  5. Get instant approval or denial. 

Affirm Mobile App 

  1. Download Affirm’s mobile app.
  2. Enter your mobile phone number.
  3. Create an Affirm account (first time only).
  4. Enter the verification code you received via text.
  5. Pick a retailer and loan amount.
  6. Get instant approval or denial.

Affirm.com

  1. Create an Affirm account or sign in.
  2. Enter the verification code you received via text.
  3. Pick a retailer and loan amount.
  4. Get instant approval or denial. 

Can I Refinance a Personal Loan With Affirm?

No. Affirm doesn’t offer the ability to refinance an existing loan for a better rate.

Verdict

Affirm may be a convenient option for bigger purchases. It could be worth considering if you have less-than-perfect credit or a limited credit history, depending on the APR for which you qualify. There are fixed payments and no hidden fees, which can be attractive, but with a maximum APR of 30%, Affirm may be one of the more expensive ways to finance a purchase.

If your credit score is good to excellent, it could be cheaper to apply for a 0% or low-interest credit card. Either way, you should make sure you can afford the payments. Otherwise, you may risk late payments—or worse, defaulting on what you borrowed. While it can be difficult, the safest option may be paying for large purchases in cash.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.