Should you put your holiday shopping on a payment plan?


Are Taylor Swift concert tickets, an annual pass to Disney World, an Amazon Kindle or a new outfit from Anthropologie on your loved ones’ Christmas lists?

You may be able to avoid shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars right now and put your holiday shopping on payment plans – potentially with no fees and no interest charges.

“Using a payment plan for holiday spending has some obvious advantages,” says Melinda Opperman, executive vice president at, a nonprofit consumer credit counseling service. “You can spread the cost out over time, making it easier to make purchases without getting overextended financially.”

Some of these payment plan options charge no interest and no fees, so they can be a good choice “as long as your budget is healthy enough to take on the debt,” says Jeff Arevalo, a financial wellness expert at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a nonprofit consumer credit counseling service.

Other payment plans can carry steep interest charges or levy hefty late fees. Because the options vary widely, it’s important “you read the fine print before signing up,” Arevalo says.

The payment plans, offered by companies such as Affirm and Afterpay, can be appealing to shoppers whose “credit is not quite up to par,” Arevalo says.

These “are a good option for someone who does not have a credit card or has a secured card,” says Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert.

As a result, these payment plans have proven to be particularly popular with millennials and other younger shoppers…Read more>>