Effects of Affirm Loans on Your Credit Score

Maybe you’ve been looking into making a big purchase, but don’t have enough money saved up and don’t want to put it on your credit card. If this situation sounds familiar to you, there is an alternative option. 

An Affirm loan is a quick and easy way to finance large purchases at point-of sale. Offered at over 2,000 companies including Walmart, Wayfair, Casper, and Expedia, Affirm is known for requiring a soft credit check with no hidden fees. 

In the sections below, we will discuss the Affirm loan in greater detail as well as how it will affect your credit. 

What is an Affirm loan?

An Affirm loan is a point-of-sale payment plan that consists of monthly installments for consumers who are new to credit and want to make a large purchase. The company’s “point-of-sale” financing appeals to many new buyers with since there is no minimum credit score required and no prior credit history requirements. 

Affirm uses what is called a soft credit check, a soft credit inquiry that doesn’t affect your credit score, to process their borrowers’ applications for approval. 

Lenders at Affirm will also take a look at the extent of your credit and payment history. The company might even ask for a deposit or want to peer over your bank transactions to get a general idea of your spending habits before offering you a loan.

If you’ve already used a lot of credit and aren’t the sharpest at making payments, there’s a good chance you won’t get approved. 

Pros and cons of Affirm personal loans

If you’re trying to decide if an Affirm loan is the right choice for you, weigh the pros and cons. Here is a quick breakdown:

Pros:

  • You may be able to get 0% APR.
  • No hidden fees such as late fees or prepayment fees. 
  • You can sign up for fixed payments.

Cons:

  • If you return the item, you won’t be able to get a refund on the interest. 
  • You may need to make a down payment.
  • Depending on what your credit looks like, interest rates on an Affirm loan might actually be higher than credit card rates. 

A few other things you should know about Affirm loans:

  • Not a traditional credit review: There’s a good chance that Affirm will still approve you even if you are working on building your credit. This is because Affirm Financing takes into consideration several other factors aside from your credit score when evaluating your application. However, if you are trying to use an Affirm loan to build your credit, keep in mind that Affirm doesn’t report all of their loans, and when they do, they only report to one of the credit bureaus (Experian).
  • Loan terms vary: Usually, Affirm loans can last for three, six, or 12 month periods. The company doesn’t put a cap on how many loans you can have out at one time, but they will check your credit every time that you apply. This means that even if you got approved for an Affirm loan once, there is no guarantee that you will get approved a second or third time. 
  • Loan amounts vary: Affirm offers loans as high as $17, 500, however if the item costs less than $50, you’ll need to have it fully paid off within 30 days of making the purchase. 
  • It’s now available at some physical stores: Affirm originally started out as a monthly payment option for online purchases, but now it’s branched out to some physical retailers as well. 
  • You won’t find Affirm loans in every state: Affirm loans are not available in Iowa or West Virginia. 

How Affirm loans impact your credit score

So, how does an Affirm loan impact your credit score? The simple answer is that it doesn’t. There is no effect on your credit score when you pre-qualify or apply for an Affirm loan. It is important to keep in mind, however, that Affirm will most likely report your loan to Experian, the credit bureau. If you take out multiple Affirm loans, they will each show up individually on your credit report. That being said, the loan could have an effect on your credit score if you’re not making your payments on time.  

How to Apply for an Affirm loan

Once you have decided that an Affirm loan is the best option for you, there are a few different ways you can apply: at the retail store, in the Affirm app, or online. To get started, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Phone number.
  • Full name.
  • Email address.
  • Birthday.
  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number. 

Once you start the application process, Affirm will send a confirmation number to your mobile device to confirm that it’s you. You will need to add this code to your application. At this point, you may also be asked for additional information or documents such as a photo ID or proof of income. 

Usually, customers who are approved get notified within seconds of the amount, the interest rate, and the loan terms (whether or not the loan is for three months, six, or 12). If you agree to the loan details and are ready to accept, click “Confirm Loan.”

After making your purchase, Affirm will send you monthly alerts to remind you about your payments. Keep in mind, the initial monthly installment will be due 30 days after the date of your processed order.

Before applying, check to see if you’re eligible for the loan through Affirm’s prequalification process.