Clark Howard has warning about popular pay-later programs

Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says it can be tempting to take advantage of a new trend where stores let you pay for items after you buy them, but you need to know there is a risk involved.

Clark says Walmart is the latest retailer to ditch its traditional lay away program for the new buy-now-pay-later option.

“They will probably offer you to split up your payments to four payments, no interest,” Clark says.

He says people are thinking they can just get the item at the store and pay for it later without costing them an extra penny. But there’s your credit score to think about.

“Already, one in three people who’ve had access to these payment plans have gone delinquent,” Clark says. “Three quarters of them have already damaged their credit.”

Clark says holiday shoppers will be easily enticed by the new option, but they shouldn’t do it unless they’re sure they can make all the payments.

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