Learning From Your Mistakes With Buy Now Pay Later In 2023
Another year has started, and many consumers are taking an honest look at their debt situations. 2023 is shaping up to be the year in which we give up the bad habits we picked up during the pandemic. Those who vow to improve their mental health in 2023 are giving up doom scrolling, or perhaps going cold turkey on the social media platform that took up so much of their time during the pandemic and turned them from social butterflies into petty, cantankerous rage monsters. If your goal is to improve your physical health, 2023 could be the year to abstain from homemade pavlovas, no matter how economical they are to make at home, and no matter how much yours have earned you the acclaim of your peers, helping you stay socially connected during the pandemic. As for financial New Year’s resolutions, personal finance experts have been saying for decades that the first step is to give up Starbucks, but a new money-sucking habit blew through town during the pandemic, preying on our financial uncertainty, and it doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon, namely buy now pay later (BNPL) purchasing plans. The first step toward making this the year when you stop incurring BNPL debt, contact a Miami debt lawyer.
The Hidden Risks of Buy Now Pay Later
At first, BNPL installment plans seem like just what we need right now. A household income in the six figures is not enough to stop most families from living paycheck to paycheck, so BNPL plans, which offer affordable installment payments with low interest, or even no interest at all, for a set period. The problems that arise with BNPL when you miss a payment are well known. These are the risks inherent in any loan with no screening prior to approval; if you can’t pay, you end up with late fees, and eventually your account goes to collections, whether it is an interest-free BNPL plan or a payday loan with a triple-digit interest rate. Even worse, BNPL plans keep requiring you to pay installments even if the product you ordered never arrived. If you use a debit card to buy a fondue pot on Amazon, but it never shows up, you can simply get a refund, but if you use BNPL, you are stuck paying for a non-existent fondue pot.
If Not Buy Now Pay Later, Then What?
Regarding the non-existent fondue pot problem, any payment option is preferable to BNPL, even a high-interest credit card. Most BNPL debt is connected to perfectly usable consumer items, though. The solution could simply be to make a new budget and avoid nonessential purchases. (Who needs a fondue pot when you can mix cheese and other ingredients from your fridge in a bowl from your kitchen cabinet, melt the ingredients in the microwave, and stir?) If your debt problems are so severe that you are using BNPL for groceries because it is your only option, your lawyer can help you explore solutions such as bankruptcy filing, debt settlement, or debt consolidation.
Work With a Debt Lawyer to Conquer Your BNPL Debt in 2023
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you find a way to afford necessities without resorting to BNPL and other risky payment options. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Miami, Florida to discuss your case.