Intro: What Is Affirm? Is Affirm Safe to Use?
But what is Affirm? Is Affirm safe to use? What do the Affirm reviews say?
Before you use any new payment option like an Affirm account, you need to know what you’re getting into.
To keep you informed, we’ve researched the company and gathered together Affirm loan reviews to help you decide if you should use an Affirm loan to make your next purchase.
What Is Affirm?
Affirm is a way to quickly and easily finance purchases without a credit card. Affirm is available at checkout at over 700 online merchants and also offers a virtual card that you can use almost anywhere online and in many physical stores.
They do not currently offer Affirm home loans or other loan types, but they hope to add more loan products in the future.
On their website and in several Affirm loan reviews, they describe their services as “easy financing without a catch.” Their goal is to make it simpler for people to finance purchases without a credit card and to streamline the financing process by being completely transparent about what you’ll pay and explaining everything in plain language.
Affirm.com reviews the loan applications, provides the useful interface and customer service, and services the loans, but the actual loans are backed by Cross River Bank.
A Startup Trying to Shake Things Up
Affirm was founded in 2012 by PayPal cofounder and serial entrepreneur Max Levchin. In April 2016, the company raised $100 million dollars in equity financing to help Affirm grow their list of merchants and expand their loan offerings.
Image Source: Affirm
But what is Affirm trying to do? Affirm seeks to bring transparency and modern technology to the financial industry, which hasn’t seen major upgrades since the 1970s.
Affirm currently only offers point-of-sale financing, but their end goal is to “build the next generation consumer bank,” according to Levchin, eventually offering Affirm home loans, car loans and small business loans for startups.
Affirm has positioned itself to specifically target millennials and offer them a way to finance purchases that fit within their lifestyles and priorities.
Millennials are very different from other generations in their use of credit, and Affirm reviews note that there is a big gap in how the financial industry services this generation.
Affirm Loans Review: A Financial Firm for Millennials
Coming of age during the Great Recession, millennials have a very negative view of credit cards and generally prefer using debit to credit.
Based on Affirm reviews of various demographic surveys, about 63% of millennials do not currently have a credit card, and 31% of U.S. adults age 18-34 have never even applied for one.
Largely because of this lack of credit history, millennials have the lowest average credit scores of any generation, which makes it more difficult for them to qualify for credit, including car loans, mortgages, and small business loans for startups.
No credit can definitely be an obstacle, even when it comes to consumer purchases such as mattresses and furniture. Not everyone has a large supply of cash ready to spend, and many people find it difficult to save long enough to make bigger purchases with cash.
To fill this gap, Affirm reviews and approves millennials with limited credit history and offers them a way to finance purchases even with a low credit score or limited credit history.
But is Affirm safe and is making an Affirm account a good idea? Below, we dig further into Affirm loan reviews to find out.
What Is Affirm’s Loan Process?
Getting an Affirm loan is simple. Affirm appears as a payment option on a growing number of online merchants. You can sign up for an account ahead of time at affirm.com/account, or you can create an account at checkout.
To apply for an Affirm loans review of your creditworthiness, you’ll need to enter the following:
- Age (you must be 18+)
- U.S. address
- U.S. phone number or VOIP that can receive text messages
- Email address
- Last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
If Affirm cannot evaluate your creditworthiness based on the above, they may ask you for your bank login information. If you see this pop up, you may ask yourself, “Is Affirm safe?”
They use this to confirm your ability to make payments, and do not store any of this data. They may also require a down payment if they can’t approve you for the full amount that you’re asking for.
Affirm.com reviews all your information and instantly decides to approve or deny you for a loan. If you are approved, you can choose loan terms of 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, and they will offer you an APR between 10% and 30% based on your credit.
When Affirm Reviews My Loan, What Are They Looking for?
Most lenders simply look at your credit report and FICO score when they make loan decisions, but Affirm.com reviews other aspects of your life and does things differently.
Millennials, who are Affirm’s target customers, may have a lower credit score or no credit history, which would make it difficult for them to qualify for a loan in the traditional way.
While the exact method they use isn’t public, when Affirm reviews your loan application, they look at things as diverse as social network profiles, how often you use your cell phone, how often you send text messages, and other factors related to your online life.
According to Levchin, “there’s lots of data there about someone, and a lot of it is completely relevant.” Affirm believes that credit history alone is not a good indicator of a borrower’s creditworthiness, so the Affirm loan reviews incorporate all information about a person and their habits — not just their FICO score.
What Is Affirm’s Credit Limit, and Are There Hidden Fees?
Affirm does not offer revolving credit limits. Affirm reviews each loan application separately, even if you’re a returning customer.
If this isn’t your first Affirm loan, you can be denied if you made late payments or failed to repay a previous loan on time, or if you display a history of excessive borrowing.
As noted in many Affirm.com reviews, Affirm is completely upfront about the fees that they charge. There are no late fees or early repayment penalties. The APR is the only fee that you pay, and they tell you at the beginning of the process exactly how much you’ll pay for your loan.
What Is Affirm’s Payment Process?
Making payments on your Affirm.com loan is just as simple as getting it in the first place.
After Affirm reviews and approves your loan, your first payment is due one calendar month after the date of your purchase. Your payment is due on the same date each month.
You can sign up for autopay or pay your bills online with a debit card or bank transfer at affirm.com/pay. You can also mail them a check every month if you prefer.
To make the process even easier, Affirm sends you a text message each month to remind you of your upcoming payment, and you can manage your account from their iPhone and Android apps.
What Is Affirm’s Impact on My Credit Score?
You can apply for an Affirm loan without affecting your credit score.
When you apply for a loan, Affirm reviews your credit history by doing a “soft” credit check, which does not show up as an inquiry on your credit report and does not have a negative impact on your credit score.
As far as the loan itself, this can have a positive effect on your credit score or a negative one. As of this writing, Affirm reports repayment data to Experian, with plans to report to other credit bureaus in the future.
If you make your payments on time, taking out an Affirm loan can help you build your credit history and get some good marks on your credit report. Making late payments will harm your credit history, so as with any loan, you need to make sure you pay on time.
What Is Affirm Virtual Card?
Image Source: Affirm Reviews
Affirm reviews your application, and if it’s approved, they issue you a virtual card that you can use almost anywhere online and in many physical stores. This virtual card is the Affirm MasterCard, and can be used just like a traditional credit card.
To use your Affirm Virtual Card (Affirm MasterCard) in a physical store:
- Tell the salesperson you are paying with a prepaid MasterCard
- Show them the Virtual Card on your phone
- Have them type in the card number like any other credit card
For some people, the idea of having a card number on their phone makes them ask, “Is Affirm safe to use? What if my phone gets stolen?”
Well, your Affirm Virtual Card is only good for 12 hours after it is issued. If the card is not used, the Affirm loan is cancelled, and you won’t owe anything. If you don’t use everything on the Affirm MasterCard, you will be issued a refund for the unused amount.
Where Is Affirm Available?
Affirm is available at checkout at a large and growing list of 700+ online merchants, and Affirm is adding more merchants all the time. Some of their featured merchants include:
- The RealReal
- Joybird Furniture
- Boosted Boards
- Super Jeweler
- Roger CPA Review
- Hackbright Academy
- Pixel Academy
You can also use an Affirm virtual card almost anywhere online and at many brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Is Affirm Safe and Secure?
Affirm puts a lot of time and energy into making sure your Affirm account is safe and secure. Because of their many safeguards, they may even be safer than using a credit card. Affirm has the following security features:
- They employ the latest and best encryption available to protect your information.
- Their system connects directly to the merchant’s, so there are no card numbers being transmitted for hackers to steal.
- Affirm reviews their system security constantly to make sure it’s top notch.
- Any time you buy something using an Affirm loan, they’ll send you a text message to confirm the purchase.
Conclusion: Are the Affirm Reviews Positive? And Is It Right for Me?
There are many Affirm.com reviews out there, and most of them give Affirm high marks for their simple process, easy-to-use interface, transparency, and general usability.
They also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, so you can be sure that they’re trustworthy.
If you have no credit history or just hate the idea of a revolving credit card, then an Affirm loan may be right for you if you’re facing a large purchase without the cash to cover it.
Affirm loans reviews applications instantly, even if you don’t have much credit. They offer fixed payment terms, so there’s no way that you’ll build up debt that’s spiraling out of control.
If you make your payments on time, an Affirm loan can help you build positive credit history.
This Affirm loans review should give you a good idea of how Affirm works and whether it’s right for you.
As with any form of financing, you need to be careful how you use it. Financing might make sense for a major purchase like furniture, but don’t get into the habit of borrowing money for every purchase you make online.
Eventually, Affirm hopes to offer direct-to-consumer loan products such as Affirm home loans, car loans, and small business loans for startups.
With their simple process, easy interface, and focus on the specific needs of millennials, Affirm could certainly revolutionize the lending industry in the future.
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