You may have noticed “Buy Now, Pay Later” – BNPL for short – options showing up when shopping online. Letting shoppers split their purchases up into four or more payments, these types of installment loans are rising in popularity – but are they right for you?

A dedicated line of credit, like a Flex Loan from CFCU, may provide you more flexibility, be better for your credit score and save you money on interest and fees. We will break down the pros and cons of BNPL financing and CFCU Flex Loans below.


  • A convenient way to pay online or in stores.
  • Pay for your purchase in four or more installments.
  • If the BNPL provider reports to credit bureaus, making on-time payments can help you build credit.
  • BNPL plans can be useful for those who have trouble budgeting or managing revolving credit.


  • Interest rates for BNPL plans can be as high as 30% APR*.
  • Low credit limits.
  • BNPL lenders may perform a hard credit inquiry for each purchase.
  • BNPL financing can negatively affect your credit score if you don’t make payments on time.
  • BNPL loans offer less payment flexibility than credit cards or lines of credit.
  • Only available at supported stores or websites.

Flex Loan Pros

  • Low, variable interest rate – currently 12.15% APR*.
  • Credit limits up to $10,000.
  • Transfer funds instantly from your Flex Loan to your CFCU checking account via Online Banking or the CFCU Mobile App.
  • Available funds can be accessed at any time, used for cash advances, or linked to your CFCU checking account for overdraft protection.
  • Flexible repayment options allow for smaller monthly payments and more time for repayment.
  • No prepayment penalties if you want to pay off your balance faster.
  • Build your credit history with on-time payments and a long-standing credit line from your trusted financial institution.

Flex Loan Cons

  • Flexibility may lead to higher spending since there is no set payoff date.
  • Available credit is accessible at any time, making it easier to dip into the account for unnecessary purchases.
  • No interest-free repayment plans.
  • Like BNPL loans, Flex Loans can negatively affect your credit score if you don’t make payments on time.

While the right financing option can depend on your money habits and ability to repay, the added flexibility and low interest rate of a CFCU Flex Loan make it a powerful alternative to point-of-sale lending such as BNPL. Best of all, you can apply for a CFCU Flex Loan in minutes online or in-branch!


* APR = Annual Percentage Rate