6 Ways to Buy Now and Pay Later in the U.S.

There will be times when you need to have money on hand, in order to buy something now and pay later. The reasons will differ on why you need funds, whether it is a limited time offer or purchase, or an emergency that you cannot afford right away. Here are some options for those in the U.S.A. to explore when it comes to flexible financial solutions.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are commonly used for shoppers and consumers who want to buy their goods now and pay for them later. There are certain limitations tied with spending amounts, and if you are not responsible with your finances, your spending habits will negatively impact your credit score. Poor credit score will be troublesome when it comes to borrowing large amounts of money for big purchases like homes and automobiles. Not everyone is eligible to have a credit card as well, forcing people into looking at alternative methods of payment.

Finance and Afterpay Plans

One relatively new form of being able to buy now and pay later is financing your payments. Similar to credit cards and loans, you will be able to make your purchases and have to pay off the money owed at a later time. Unlike loans and credit cards, there are no interest or upfront fees to worry about, Afterpay retailers in the USA partner with financing companies to allow customers to create payment plans, dividing up their owed amounts and being able to pay at a later time. There is little risk to the business, as they are not taking on the debt themselves, but paying a small number of their profits to see immediate sales. These plans cut out the costs associated with credit cards for businesses, as well as the interest from payments to customers.


If you find yourself in a situation where you need to borrow money from a friend or relative, an IOU(I owe you) is a simple contract that you can make between two parties that acknowledges you are borrowing money. Although these scenarios tend to be more informal and based more on trust, you can still create contracts in regards to these types of informal loans in order to have them legally binding. There is risk in dealing with such informal methods of borrowing. The stipulations of the agreement will depend on the parties involved.

Promissory Note

Similar to an IOU, promissory notes are informal agreements to lend and borrow funds between two parties. The difference between a promissory note is that you can have more details and stipulations within these contracts. These will often involve the use of collateral in the event that the borrower cannot pay back the amount lent. The types of situations where this type of borrowing occurs in informal matters as well, but if the lender feels they need ways to ensure they will get their money in form of collateral as previously noted, or payment plans and interest. Any sort of business handles can also apply, but as money totals increase, other options must be explored.

Loan Agreements

A much more formal way of lending and borrowing money is through loan agreements. There are many variations and forms of loans to consider, with varying totals, payments, interest rates all being incorporated into the details. These loan agreements are stricter and will typically have more severe penalties than informal methods of borrowing. These loans will deal with larger sums of money, often for a house or car. Loan agreements are a way for people to make larger purchases immediately and pay the total over a longer stretch of time under a more structured contract.

Loan Agreements

Pawn Loans

Another way that you can afford to pay for items now and worry about the costs at a later time is through collateral payments or pawn loans. If you need to pay for something or buy something immediately, but do not have the cash flow on hand to do so, but have other assets, you can use those items as collateral from a pawn shop to get money for flexible payments. There are fewer restrictions when it comes to approvals that come with pawn loans, but you do still need to pay off the interest, and if you cannot come up with your payment on time, you lose your collateral.

Not everyone is able to afford the ability to pay for things upfront. This applies to all sorts of expenses, from larger purchases to small emergencies. No matter your financial situation, there are options for you to explore, and it is important to know what they are in order for you to best decide what works for your situation.