Money Wellness
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calendar icon04 Sep 2023

More than one in seven buy-now-pay-later users have been charged a late fee

New research has shown more than one in seven people (14%) who use buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) to do online shopping have missed a payment and been charged a late fee.

The reasons for missing a payment included:

  • prioritising other debts (34%)
  • not realising a payment was due (32%)
  • not knowing about late fees (22%)
  • borrowing too much (21%)

Paying for essentials

The survey by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) found one in five (19%) of BNPL customers had used it to cover the cost of essentials, including:

  • groceries (11%)
  • toiletries and cleaning products (8%)
  • household bills (5%)
  • fuel (4%)

Other findings

The survey also found:

  • 38% spent more than planned because BNPL was available
  • 32% of users struggle to manage their spending
  • 13% had dipped into savings to make a repayment
  • 10% had used a credit card to make a repayment

The benefits

On the other hand:

  • 82% said BNPL was easy to understand
  • 76% said it was easy to manage and pay off

Make sure it’s right for you

Jackie Spencer from MaPS said:

“Buy Now Pay Later… often provides a real lifeline to those needing short-term borrowing for essentials. However, like all credit products, it’s an important decision and everyone should take time to decide whether it’s right for their circumstances.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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