Buying a swimming pool is a big expense. With more people spending time at home versus vacations or public pools, you may have thought about buying a pool but balked at the crazy price.
If you don’t want to rack up credit card debt, you can use the buy a swimming pool now pay later plan. Every company works a little differently and the plan isn’t right for everyone. Here’s everything you must know about buying a swimming pool now and paying for it later.
What is Buy Now Pay Later?
Buy now pay later replaced the layaway system most of us have known. Rather than putting the item to the side until you pay it off, though, you get to take the pool now and pay for it over a term.
Most buy now pay later plans to require equal installment payments over 6 weeks or more depending on the cost.
You can use the swimming pool buy now pay later plan at retailers like Target, Walmart, and pool stores like The Pool Factory. Every store does it differently, but in general, you make installment payments over a specified term to pay for the pool.
How Does BNPL Work?
To use BNPL on a pool, you must tell the cashier you want to apply for the plan in-store, or if you shop online, choose Affirm or whichever BNPL plan the store offers as your option and follow the prompts.
There’s generally no credit check to use the plan, but if they do check, they don’t use it as the deciding factor. You’ll provide your personally identifying information, and your bank account information because if you’re approved, they will withdraw the payments on the specified date from your checking account.
After you complete the application, most companies do a soft credit pull which doesn’t hurt your credit score but tells the company if you pay your bills on time. With the information you provided, the BNPL company will either approve or deny your application.
If you’re approved, you may get approved from either of the following plans:
- Pay in 4 – This plan divides the cost over 4 equal installments. Usually, you pay 25% upfront, and then 25% every 2 weeks until it is paid off. The plan is interest-free if you make your payments on time.
- Longer terms – Swimming pools can get expensive, so you may need longer than 6 weeks to pay it off. Many BNPL companies offer 12 month or even 24-month terms. But they aren’t interest-free like the Pay in 4 plans.
Pros and Cons of Buy Now Pay Later
- If you pay the swimming pool off in 4 payments, you won’t pay any interest or fees. You’ll get more time to pay the pool off without worrying about increasing its price.
- It doesn’t hurt your credit score to apply. BNPL companies may pull your credit, but it’s a soft credit inquiry that doesn’t hurt your credit score.
- It’s easy to qualify. Unlike installment loans from the bank, you don’t need to meet specific requirements. If you haven’t defaulted on a BNPL before, you have a high chance of qualifying.
- You may buy a more expensive pool than you intended. When you only have to pay 25% of the cost upfront, you may spend more on the pool than you budgeted making it hard to afford to pay off.
- The interest rates can be high if you take a longer installment plan or if you miss a payment on the Pay in 4 plan.
How to Find the Right Plan for Buy Now Pay Later Swimming Pool
Buying a swimming pool now and paying later sounds like the perfect solution for anyone, right?
It can be, but only if you find the right plan. Here’s what to watch.
Don’t assume the swimming pool buy now pay later plan you accepted is interest-free. Read the fine print. Pay in 4 plans usually don’t charge interest, but any longer terms will. Plus, if you take on payments you can’t afford, you’ll pay interest and penalties for late payments.
Most merchants cover the fees for buy now pay later plans. It’s a part of their marketing plan because it increases sales. Any plans that charge the consumer are usually a scam. Read the fine print and ask about fees before accepting a plan.
Understand your Payment Options
Most BNPL plans require you to authorize automatic withdrawals from your checking account or a credit card. They’ll charge the payment automatically and it either gets taken from your bank account or adds to your credit card balance.
If you don’t pay the credit card balance off in full, you defeat the purpose of the BNPL plan because you’ll accrue interest and fees if you don’t make your payment on time and in full.
Is a Buy Now Pay Later Swimming Pool Right for You?
Before you use a swimming pool buy now pay later plan, think about this:
- Did you plan a swimming pool purchase already?
- Is the price within your budget?
- Can you make the required payments on time?
- Is there interest?
- What are the fees?
If you can’t pay for the pool in full but know you can pay it off in a couple of months, a swimming pool buy now pay later plan can be a great option. You spread out your payments but don’t have to put off the purchase of the pool.
If you aren’t sure if you can afford it, though, wait until you have money saved up for at least a portion of it. Don’t put yourself in over your head just because you can spread the payments out. Think of your budget and make sure the plan fits within it and makes financial sense so you can enjoy your new pool!
Looking for more BNPL options? Read more about buying TV’s with BNPL