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Split any online purchase into 4 installments with Klarna

Pay off purchases over time with a variety of payment plans

Summary

Klarna lets users pay for any online purchase in four installments – here’s how it works.

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If you are a fan of online shopping, you might have heard of one of the many alternative payment solutions popping up recently. New services are allowing shoppers to finance their online purchases for low or no interest, making it easier to pay off large purchases over time.

One of the largest services currently available is Klarna. Klarna has gained popularity for allowing consumers a variety of payment options with their favorite retailers. Now, shoppers can use the app to pay off their purchases in four installments for no interest, delay payment on purchases for 30 days or apply for six to 36-month financing plans with competitive interest rates. Offerings vary by merchant, but no matter which of these payment plans is available, they all provide a new level of flexibility to online shopping.

See related: Best credit cards for large purchases

What is Klarna?

Klarna is a multifaceted payment solution, offering a variety of unique payment plans designed with online shoppers in mind. Through partner retailers, Klarna users can qualify for interest-free installment plans or flexible financing options – depending on the merchant.

Alternatively, the Klarna app allows users to make a purchase with any online retailer and take advantage of an interest-free installment plan – allowing users to test products without worrying about the cost up front.

How Klarna works

Klarna offers a few different kinds of payment solutions, each with their own functionality. The service partners with thousands of online retailers, each of whom offers one or more of three Klarna solutions. The Klarna app works a little differently, allowing customers to shop with any online retailer they can think of and pay with an installment plan. Read on to learn more about each kind of payment plan.

Pay in four installments

The first of Klarna’s payment solutions is also the most versatile, since you can use it with nearly any online retailer. With this payment plan, users pay for their purchases in four equal installments spread over six weeks. The first payment is due when your order ships, with the other three payments automatically scheduled at two-week intervals thereafter.

There are a couple of different ways to take advantage of this solution. Klarna partners with dozens of online retailers, who might offer an installment plan in their checkout platform.

Using Klaran installment plan at checkout

You can also shop through the Klarna app at any online store you can think of. If you want to take advantage of an installment plan, Klarna gives you a “ghost card” with a virtual card number to input at checkout. You’ll be charged four equal installments on the card you have linked to the app.

Alternatively, you can download a Chrome extension that will allow you to use the four-installments option at any online retailer.

Klarna ghost card

No matter which way you take advantage of a Klarna installment plan, you won’t be charged any interest on your payments. Additionally, there is only a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score.

On the downside, you’ll be charged late fees of up to $7 if your any of your payments do not process on time. Additionally, you’ll be tied to automatically set payment dates based on when you purchase the item, and you cannot alter your payment schedule. Even if you have the money to pay early, you cannot pay off installments ahead of their due date.

Apply for financing

Klarna financing plans are another solution offered by partner retailers. The structure of these plans more closely resembles a traditional loan but can vary merchant to merchant.

Klarna financing

In some cases, you can be preapproved for Klarna financing plans, which won’t trigger a hard pull to your credit. However, most Klarna financing requires an application complete with a credit check, which will result in a hard pull of your credit report. That means you’ll need to carefully consider how a financing plan will affect your score before choosing this option.

Klarna financing terms come in three types, depending on what the retailer prefers to offer – detailed below.

  • Flexible month-to-month: With this option, the retailer will offer you a standard interest rate and minimum payment, like with a credit card. You then are responsible for designing your own repayment plan (though we recommend paying off your balance quickly to avoid accruing significant interest).
  • Planned payments: With this plan, you’ll receive a fixed repayment schedule and interest rate, with typically competitive APRs. You are then responsible for making the predetermined payment each month.
  • No interest if paid in full: Deferred repayment terms allow you to pay off your purchase over time with no interest. As this is a deferred interest financing option, however, you’ll be charged interest for the entire repayment period if you don’t pay in full in the allotted time. This plan will also require a minimum payment.

Both planned payments and no-interest-if-paid-in-full plans range from six to 36 months. Carefully read the terms and conditions provided by the merchant before beginning a Klarna financing plan, so you can identify which kind of repayment structure it is offering and plan out your monthly payments.

Pay 30 days after purchase

This Klarna payment solution is particularly unique, as it allows users to try out their purchase before they’ve paid. Among partner retailers, the ability to pay 30 days after you order your item seems to be offered less frequently than other Klarna solutions – but it can be incredibly valuable if a merchant you like supports the option.

Klarna pay after 30 days

When you choose to pay later with Klarna, you won’t be charged upfront for your purchase. Instead, you’ll have 30 days from when the item ships to make your payment or return the item. You’ll receive email reminders from Klarna of your due date to ensure you don’t miss it. Plus, you aren’t charged a fee or interest for using this feature.

Just like with installment plans, the pay-later Klarna solution charges a late fee of up to $7 if you don’t pay by your due date.

Other ways to shop with Klarna

Klarna is also available to use in-store in more than 60,000 physical stores at brands like Sephora, H&M, Macy’s and more.

Pros and cons of paying with Klarna

Klarna offers variable payment plans that can be incredibly valuable for shoppers looking to pay off large purchases over time, but like any payment solution, it comes with pros and cons.

Pros

  • Installment plans and pay-later purchases allow you to pay over time without accruing interest or affecting your credit score.
  • You can pay for any major purchase over time by shopping through the Klarna app. Other payment services work with a limited list of retailers.
  • Unlike some other installment plan services, Klarna accepts American Express and Discover cards.

Cons

  • Financing plans can trigger a hard pull on your credit and might have a higher interest rate.
  • You can’t customize your payment due dates on an installment plan.
  • You can’t pay early for an installment if funds free up.
  • Pay-later payment options are limited.
  • You can’t pay with a prepaid card.

Tips for maximizing Klarna

To get the most out of the Klarna service, keep the following tips in mind.

Shop through the Klarna app

Since the Klarna app offers a virtual card to make any online payments with an installment plan, you can split up any large purchase you can think of by shopping through the platform.

Use a rewards card as your primary payment method

Klarna accepts all major credit cards to make your payments, so use a rewards card that earns cash back or miles to maximize the benefits from your purchase.

Join Vibe

Another way to maximize rewards is to join Klarna’s free loyalty rewards program Vibe. You can earn Vibe rewards when using Klarna for purchases and double stack with other rewards programs you have. For example, if you use Klarna to buy an item at Sephora, you’ll earn both Vibes and Sephora points.

Always make your payments on time

If you make a late payment, you’ll be charged a fee of up to $7. But on top of that, you’ll be less likely to be approved for future installment plans or financing.

Avoid taking on several installment plans at once

When you split up large payments into smaller installments, it can be easy to forget how much you are actually spending. Keep careful track of the Klarna installment plans, financing options and pay later purchases you have open and avoid taking on more than you can pay off.

Other installment plan services

Affirm

  • Pay over three, six or 12 months (up to 39 months at select stores).
  • APR range: 0% to 30%, based on credit check.
  • Down payment may be required for some users.
  • No late fees or loan limits, but your loan might be limited based on credit history.

Afterpay

  • Pay in four equal installments, spread over six weeks.
  • Zero interest and no fees when you pay on time.
  • 25% of the balance is due at the time of purchase.

QuadPay

  • Pay in four equal installments, spread over six weeks.
  • Zero interest and no fees when you pay on time.
  • 25% of the balance is due at the time of purchase.

Verdict: Should you use Klarna?

Klarna is one of the most flexible alternative payment solutions on the market, offering a variety of different payment plans and allowing customers to shop with any online retailer and pay in installments. If you have a large purchase coming up that you’d like to pay over time with no interest, consider downloading the Klarna app to split any payment over six weeks.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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