Buy now, pay later programs are tempting. I can buy a big ticket item like a dishwasher interest-free for about a year. At the time, it seems like a good idea. I'm in need of a new dishwasher but I don't want to take $500 out of my bank account to buy one. Although I'm pretty sure I'll have more money next year, there are a few reasons why "buy now, pay later" deals are not for me.
The Future Is Unforeseen
I have no idea if I'm going to have a major car or plumbing problem next year. As a homeowner, pet owner and a parent, unexpected expenses arise all the time. Last year, due to his reflux disease, my baby had to go to the emergency room on several occasions. My cat had an operation. I also had several appliances that needed to be repaired. I would hate to have "my time be up" on a buy now, pay later purchase when one of these emergencies arose.
Can't Afford it Now, Can't Afford it Later
Anytime I put a large sum on a credit card, it is always hard to pay it off later. If I can't afford a new appliance now, it's likely I will not be able to afford it later. When I need to buy an big ticket item, I make sure I have enough money to buy the product in full. If, for some reason, I can't pay for the appliance in full, I will put it on my credit card with a very low interest rate and pay it off over the course of a few months. I would never buy a luxury item like a television unless I had a lot of extra money in the bank. A new T.V. is not something I am willing to go into debt for.
Sometimes, credit cards lure you in with tempting offers like zero interest for six months. However, it's important to look at the fine print to see what happens after the six months are up. According to nbcnews.com, "with a retailer's deferred interest program, if you don't pay off the balance in full by the end of the term, the regular interest rate applies to the entire purchase." This is why I stick with my low-interest credit card. I would rather have a low APR and earn rewards on a purchase than defer a payment for 6 months.
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