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Affirm vs PayPal: Which Is Better For You? [2024]

Affirm vs PayPal: Which Is Better For You? [2024]

Affirm vs PayPal – In this article, we’ll be discussing two popular buy now, pay later services – Affirm and PayPal and help you choose between them.

With both the services, you can apply for a loan and pay over time. You’ll have to make your first payment and pay the remaining balance later.  

You’ll need to download the Affirm app to use its services. While you can access Pay in 4 if you have a PayPal account. Keep on reading to find out more about Affirm and PayPal.

Affirm vs PayPal: What Are They?

Affirm: Affirm is a publicly-traded financial technology that operates as a financial lender of installment loans for consumers to use at the point of sale to finance a purchase.

You can shop stress-free at your favorite stores and pay later with the flexible buy now pay later option. And there will be no late fees, hidden costs, or penalties of any kind.

It is partnered with over 29,000 merchants and lets you purchase from online or in-store retailers like Walmart, Nike, Amazon, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and more.

affirm vs paypal

Pay in 4: PayPal’s Pay in 4 is a new installment credit option that offers consumers the ability to pay for purchases over four separate payments.

It is similar to Affirm’s buy now pay later service. All you need to do is to look for the ‘Pay in 4’ option during the checkout process. Because it might not appear if you have a negative balance.

And since it is included with the existing PayPal pricing service, it doesn’t charge any additional fee. Moreover, all the pay in 4 payments is interest-free.

Affirm vs PayPal: How They Stack Up!

Here is everything that you want to know about Affirm and PayPal Pay in 4;



  • Find your favorite store, shop, and fill your cart.
  • Shop stress-free at your favorite stores and pay overtime with flexible buy now pay later payments.
  • No late fees, penalties, or hidden costs of any kind.
  • Complete your purchase online or at a physical store with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • A simple credit check with no effect on credit score.
  • Some customers qualify for 0% APR.
  • Offers get deals on apparel, electronics, appliances, auto, and more.

Pay in 4:

  • Operates as a payment processor for online retailers, auction sites, and many other commercial users.
  • Exclusive transaction dispute resolution mechanism protects both the seller and the buyer.
  • PayPal Pay in 4 is available for purchases between $30 and $1,500.
  • Does not charge any fee for its service, including no late fees.
  • Your repayments are automatically deducted from your linked bank account.
  • It has a quick and simple sign-up process.
paypal vs affirm

Requirements For Eligibility


  • You have to be at least 18 years old.
  • You have to be 19 years old if you live in Alabama or if you’re a ward of the state in Nebraska.
  • Have a valid U.S. or APO/FPO/DPO home address
  • Valid U.S. mobile or VoIP number that receives SMS texts
  • Give your full name, email address, date of birth
  • Provide the last 4 digits of your social security number to authenticate your identity

Pay in 4:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Live within an eligible state within the United States
  • Have a valid PayPal account connected to your credit or debit card
  • Agree to have a soft credit check completed
  • Complete a transaction valued between $30 and $1,500

How Do They Work?

Affirm: To get started with Affirm, all you need to do is to download the app and provide your details to create an account.

Then, start shopping at your favorite stores online or in-store and pay later with Affirm. You can view Affirm at checkout, or you can simply request a virtual card in the Affirm app.

Once, you’re ready for your purchase, you can choose the payment option that suits you and your budget. Most payment plans come under three categories – 3, 6, and 12-month plans.

There are short-term loans and long-term loans of one to three months and 48 months respectively, which could be available based on the size of your purchase.

Usually, your first payment is due one month after your purchase is processed, and the remaining payments are due each successive month on the same day.

Sometimes, you may have to make an initial payment at check if you don’t qualify for the full loan amount.

Pay in 4: In order to use PayPal Pay in 4, you’ll have to create a PayPal account and if you already have an account, you have to ensure that it is in good standing.

When you are ready to make your purchase, you can choose the ‘Pay in 4’ option as a payment method during your check-out process.

Once they approve you, it’ll divide the complete price of your purchase into four equal installments that are due every two weeks.

The first payment is paid at the time of your buying and the three subsequent payments are paid in bi-weekly installments.

For instance, if your total is $200, you’ll pay $50 at checkout. And then you’ll have three following payments of $50 that are due every two weeks till you’ve paid completely for your purchase.

These payments are automatically deducted from your linked credit card, debit card, or bank account. That means you cannot use your PayPal balance to make payments.

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Approval Process

Affirm: It will run a soft credit check to verify your identity and review your credit. But this will not impact your credit score.

You’ll be prequalified to make purchases up to your spending limit depending on your personal information and credit report.

Besides, each time you want to make a purchase, it’ll approve each transaction individually. And you will also have to link your bank account or credit or debit card.

Pay in 4: PayPal’s Pay in 4 approval process is based on your application, your account history, and the information that is given by the credit bureaus.

It might even perform a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. Also, if you are not approved, you’ll get an email explaining why.


Affirm: While most of the repayment plans come under three categories – 3, 6, and 12-month plans, some transactions may have even more time period to pay off the purchase.

If you want to pay off your loan early, you can pay without any prepayment penalty. Sometimes, you might have to make an initial payment at checkout if you don’t qualify for the complete loan amount.

And it will automatically withdraw the payments from your bank account or debit card. There will be no limit to how many loans you can access with an Affirm account at a time.

Pay in 4: The first payment should be made during the time of purchase and these repayments are deducted automatically from your PayPal account based on the payment method you’ve selected.

Interest and Fees

Affirm: Generally, Affirm’s interest rates are based on the retailers you are shopping with, and in some cases, your personal credit history.

There are several retailers on Affirm’s website with financing as low as 0%. Whereas other purchases may charge interest rates may be ranging from 10% to 30%, based on your credit history and on the retailer.

Besides, Affirm doesn’t charge any fees on its loans or to create an account, and also there are no hidden fees.

Likewise, it doesn’t charge any late fees, but it is possible that your late payments may impact your credit score and credit history.

Pay in 4: Unlike Affirm, Pay in 4 doesn’t charge any interest and there is no late fee as well.

That means as long as you see the option for Pay in 4 at the checkout, you can even have multiple Pay in 4 plans at the same time.

Yet, the only fees PayPal charges are currency conversion fees on international purchases.

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Does Using Them Hurt Your Credit Score?

Affirm: Even though Affirm also performs a soft credit check, it doesn’t affect your credit score or show up on your credit report.

And loan approval entirely depends on your credit score, payment history, and how long you’ve had an Affirm account.

It might affect your credit score and information this to Experian if you fail to make payments, which could hurt your credit score.

Pay in 4: Similar to Affirm, PayPal Pay in 4 also runs a soft credit check, which doesn’t hurt your credit scores, and it offers instant approval.

Customer Service

Affirm: If you need any help with Affirm, you can email their customer support at [email protected] or [email protected] or call them at (855) 427-3729. Visit Affirm's help centre for more information.

Pay in 4: If you require any help with PayPal, there are several ways to contact PayPal’s customer service. Online chat is available through PayPal Pay in 4 website, or you can fill up the community forum or even connect with them through call.

 AffirmPayPal Pay in 4
Maximum Limit$17,500$30 to $1,500
Interest0% – 30%None
Credit CheckSoft credit checkSoft credit check
Minimum Credit ScoreNoneNone
Late Fees$5None
Term Length & Installmentsthree or six or twelve months3 installments, every two weeks
Reschedule AvailabilityNoNo  

Which is better: Affirm or Pay in 4?

Since Affirm and PayPal’s Pay in 4 are amazing buy now, pay later services, it can be quite difficult to choose a platform. However, we can help you with it! Check out the below information;



  • Some retailers offer rates as low as 0% on your purchases.
  • It doesn’t charge any hidden fees or late fees.
  • Its soft credit check doesn’t hurt your credit scores.
  • Offers financing for larger purchases, up to $17,500.


  • Some retailers have standard rates ranging from 10% to 30%.
  • Prequalification does not guarantee transactions are approved.

PayPal Pay in 4


  • No interest or any late fees
  • Its soft credit check doesn’t hurt your credit scores.
  • Offers reports, analytics, and other useful tools that are easy to find


  • Pay in 4 option doesn’t appear if you have a negative balance.
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Final Words: Hopefully, the above article on Affirm vs PayPal has helped you to choose the perfect by now, pay later service that seamlessly fits your requirements.


Which is better Affirm or PayPal?

Both Affirm and PayPal are amazing BNPL services that offer loans. Yet, Affirm charges interest for some purchases, whereas, Pay in 4 is completely interest-free.

Does PayPal pay in 4 affect credit score?

No. Although it performs a soft credit check, it doesn’t hurt your credit score.

Does PayPal offer to pay in four?

PayPal’s pay in 4 lets you divide your purchase amount into four equal payments and pay over time. However, you can only access this option if it is available in your PayPal account.

Does Affirm help with credit?

Yes. Affirm may report your on-time and late payments activities to credit bureaus, so it can help you build your credit history.

How much can I spend with Affirm?

You can access up to $17,500 with Affirm and a down payment might be needed.

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