A brand-new MacBook for work, a pair of new Pumas for the running trail, or a replacement Android smartphone — sometimes big purchases can be a brutal financial hit. That was until Sezzle came along to give a bit of sizzle to shopping.
A buy now, pay later service, Sezzle helps make large purchases more accessible. Whether you are shopping online or in person, Sezzle can help you split one large payment into four smaller, more manageable payments.
To learn more about the financial service, let’s dive into this Sezzle review.
What Is Sezzle?
Sezzle is one of many buy now, pay later services. If you find yourself face to face with a purchase that is too large for your wallet, you can choose to buy the product now and pay for it later.
For half a decade, Sezzle has provided buyers with a more accessible shopping experience; since then, there have been nearly 8 million sign-ups for the platform. There is no lack of merchants either, with over 40,000 available to shoppers.
How does the Sezzle purchase process work? Let’s take a closer look at the approval and shopping processes, along with the payment schedule.
How Does Sezzle Work?
To begin using Sezzle for your purchases, visit Sezzle’s website or download the app for either iOS or Android devices. We strongly recommend downloading the mobile app for the best shopping experience.
Downloading the Sezzle App
Once the Sezzle app has been downloaded, you can launch it for the first time to begin the sign-up process. Sezzle will ask you for personal details to create an account; we found the overall process straightforward.
During the sign-up process, Sezzle will perform a soft credit check, which will have no effect on your credit score or credit report.
Once your Sezzle account has been created, you can immediately begin shopping. But first, you may want to know how much money you have been preapproved to spend. We feel as though Sezzle hides this a bit more than other services.
You will need to activate your Sezzle virtual card to see your preapproved spending amount (credit limit), which requires providing a standard credit card for payments. At the bottom of the app screen, tap on the Virtual Card tab to begin this process.
You will need to provide a physical card, such as a debit card, to activate your Sezzle virtual card. Your physical card will be the card used to pay off any accrued purchase; it can be changed to a different card later if desired.
Once your Sezzle virtual card is active, you can head to the Shop tab at the bottom of the screen. Select any store, then tap on Pay with Sezzle at the bottom of the screen to view your preapproval amount; it will be listed under the graphic of your card.
Shopping With Sezzle
Unlike some buy now, pay later services that work with any retailer, Sezzle is limited to its approved merchant network. Luckily, there are over 40,000 options available, but you may miss some of your favorites, such as Amazon and Best Buy.
Visit the Shop tab to begin your shopping adventure. We recommend using the search bar at the top of the screen to find any potential stores or brands you may be interested in exploring.
Once you tap on the retailer you wish to shop at, Sezzle will bring you to a mobile version of the store’s website. Begin shopping on the website as you normally would, adding items to your shopping cart.
Once you reach the checkout page, tap the Pay with Sezzle button at the bottom of the screen. Use the provided virtual card number, security code and expiration date to continue with your purchase using a Sezzle loan.
Sezzle will split your total transaction into four equal payments. The first payment is due at the time of purchase, while the others will be due over the coming weeks in installments.
Managing Your Sezzle Purchases
Once you make your purchase, any Sezzle loan you have appears in the Orders tab at the bottom of the app. Upcoming payments for the current month (as well as payment history) can be viewed by tapping the Payments tab.
With the first installment occurring on the day of purchase, the remaining installments will occur every two weeks for six weeks. This process splits your single purchase into four total payments over six weeks without any interest.
One factor that we like about Sezzle is the ability to reschedule your payments without any additional fee. It’s important to note that you can reschedule for free only once; a fee is added to your next upcoming installment if you reschedule a second or third time.
Sezzle may charge a small convenience fee if you pay off installment balances using a credit or debit card. To avoid these fees, connect a bank account to your Sezzle account.
Sezzle also charges a fee if your payment method is declined. You will be charged a late fee, and it will be noted in your payment history, so be sure to make your payments on time and ensure your bank account has sufficient funds.
Overall, we find Sezzle’s fees to be reasonable. Make on-time payments with a bank account, and your buy now, pay later purchases will have no additional costs.
Alternatives to Sezzle
During our Sezzle review process, we found the company to be a worthy buy now, pay later offering for shoppers. But there are a few downsides associated with its use, such as the inability to shop with any merchant.
If you need a few other large purchase financing options, we’ve got you covered.
Other Buy Now, Pay Later Services
Here’s a comparison chart to see how some of the most popular options compete:
Buy Now, Pay Later Services Compared
First of 4 payments immediately, then every 2 wks
Affirm Pay in 4 (every 2 wks) or monthly financing
Pay in 4, Pay in 30 Days & monthly financing
First of 4 payments immediately, then every 2 wks
0% on Affirm Pay in 4; 0%-36% on monthly
0% for Pay in 4 and Pay in 30 Days; 0%-29% monthly
No late fees
Up to $7 on Pay in 4
$10, followed by $7 if payment isn’t made
Credit score effect
Soft credit check for Pay in 4
Soft credit check; may report history to Experian
Soft credit check for Pay in 4 and Pay in 30
No credit check
Where it’s accepted
Select online & in-store retailers
Everywhere online & in-store w/ wireless pay
Everywhere online & select in-store retailers
Select online & in-store retailers
Personal Loans and Zero-Interest Credit Cards
If a buy now, pay later service doesn’t seem like the right option for you, more traditional choices are available to help fund your purchases. At the forefront is the idea of a personal loan, which enables you to borrow money and grow your credit simultaneously.
For those seeking a personal loan, check out our guide on the best personal loans, where we break down the competitors with the best interest rates and fees.
If you are entirely new to the loan process, you may also wish to dive into our step-by-step personal loan guide for more assistance.
Another solid option is financing your purchase with a zero-interest credit card. Check out our Credit Cards 101 course over at The Penny Hoarder Academy. Just be sure to keep your payment history positive, as these options will report to the three major credit bureaus.
The Pros and Cons of Sezzle
No-interest loans are available for shoppers looking to make large purchases.
Sezzle allows you to pay back loans over six weeks in four biweekly payments.
Sezzle has no fees if you pay installments on time with an attached bank account.
Sezzle does not report on-time payments to credit bureaus, so you won’t be able to build creditworthiness with the service.
The buy now, pay later service is limited to supported partner merchants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Through our review process, we discovered that Sezzle has been an established competitor in the buy now, pay later service market, operating since 2017.
We believe that Sezzle is a trustworthy competitor in the space; it currently trades on the stock exchange and has nearly 8 million users.
Sezzle offers features similar to those of Afterpay. Similarities include a biweekly, six-week payment schedule, 0% interest rate and no effect with credit bureaus.
Both services charge fees if your scheduled payment fails. We recommend selecting the service that has your favorite merchants.
Sezzle does not specify a minimum credit score for its service; however, it does perform a soft credit check with the credit bureaus when you first create your account.
As a result, we assume a credit score is taken into account for your Sezzle credit limit.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.