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- I bought a couch from online retailer Inside Weather in October 2019 using an installment loan from Affirm. The couch was just over $1,200.
- Getting the loan was simple with a very good credit score, and I was offered three installment options — six, 12, and 18 months. I paid $206 per month for six months using auto-pay.
- I liked that the loan allowed me to leave my cash to grow in a high-yield savings account, but I didn’t love Affirm’s frequent marketing emails.
- See Business Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »
I moved into a new apartment last October, and when my couch was carried off the moving truck, I nearly covered my eyes in shame. Yes, yes, I’m being dramatic, but that couch had seen better days — after years of dinner parties, movie nights, sob fests, out-of-town visitors, and rambunctious kids and pets, it was time for something new. Farewell to my beloved.
My husband and I decided we’d buy a couch from Inside Weather, one of those new couch-in-a-box online retailers, and after checking out fabric samples and selecting personalized elements (like cushions and feet) we settled on a teal three-seater that could withstand the scratching and roaming of our little dog.
The total cost of the couch was $1,238.32 after taxes and with a 10% off coupon (original price was $1,248 before tax). This was a pretty big expense, especially considering my previous couch had cost around $300 with delivery.
We had money in our savings that could have covered the couch, but at the time, it was earning 1.82% interest in a high-yield savings account. So when we were checking out and Inside Weather offered the option to take out a 0% interest installment loan through Affirm, we went for it.
Applying for an Affirm installment loan
I have a “very good” credit score, so I was able to qualify for a 0% interest loan, though that’s not an option for every consumer. I had a few different payoff options — six, 12, or 18 months. I chose a six-month loan with a payment of $206 per month. Below is a screenshot of the options I was offered before the 10% coupon was applied.
Applying for the loan was simple — I did it as part of the Inside Weather checkout process, and it added just a few minutes to the typical checkout time.
I selected “Affirm” as my method of payment (rather than entering my credit card info or using PayPal) and once I’d “checked out” with Inside Weather, I was directed to the Affirm website where I entered some personal information and got near-instant results. I didn’t see a hard inquiry on my credit report after I applied for the loan. The loan did appear as an unsecured loan on my credit report after I started making payments, and now appears as a “closed account.”
What it was like to pay off the loan
I set up auto-pay for my Affirm loan so I wouldn’t have to think about actively making a payment every month. A few days before my auto-pay date every month, Affirm sent me a text message and an email reminding me the payment would soon be withdrawn from my account. I appreciated that — it helped me ensure there was enough cash in my account to cover the payment.
Overall, I had a fine experience with Affirm — taking out the loan was simple, I paid no interest, and my savings were able to earn interest while I cash-flowed the loan on my couch.
The only thing I found frustrating about Affirm was its frequent marketing emails. Within days of buying my couch, I received an email from Affirm subjected lined, “Your next big purchase doesn’t have to wait.” I wasn’t looking to spend more money on big purchases — especially since I’d just endured the cost of moving in Los Angeles (ouch!) — and regular followups from the company encouraging me to spend were frankly annoying. I didn’t succumb to the marketing, but I also didn’t love it.
I might consider using an installment loan again in a similar situation, though high-yield savings account rates are now fairly low so there’s not as much to gain by leaving your money there instead of paying off the loan immediately. The other option would be to save for the cost of a big purchase in advance (allowing that money to grow in savings) and using it to make that purchase, since it’s always nice to free up cash flow month to month.
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