One in ten parents have used a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) scheme to buy school uniforms, a new report by Money.co.uk has revealed today (2 Sept).  

The Shop Now, Stress Later Study by money.co.uk also found Marks and Spencer to be amongst the top brands promoting the BNPL schemes.

The study reveals: 

  • 1 in 10 (11%) admit using BNPL services to buy school uniforms
  • Marks & Spencer, Samsung, and Nasty Gal are amongst the top brands promoting BNPL schemes
  • A fifth of UK shoppers admit to spending more than what they can afford
  • And one in five (20%) of the shoppers we surveyed admitted BNPL is a way to buy now, and worry about it later
  • The average debt to BNPL platforms is £176.05 which takes taking eight months to pay off 

Salman Haqqi, a personal finance expert at money.co.uk said: “While Buy Now Pay Later schemes, like Zilch, Klarna and Clearpay, are quick and easy to join and seemingly harmless, they are in fact an entry point to debt for many.

“Their quick and easy sign-up process, minimal credit check, and youthful marketing appeal could be causing shoppers to sign up and spend more than they can afford without understanding the full risk. 

“When taking on any sort of debt, it is important that you understand the risks in full otherwise you could end up in a cycle of debt that you can’t get out of. Our recent study shows that those who use Buy Now Pay Later services tend to overspend or purchase more than they otherwise would, as they have the option of breaking the payment into smaller chunks. 

“Customers should note all of the terms and conditions and understand completely what they are signing up for to ensure that they are using the service correctly. For shoppers who are confident they can handle the repayments then it might not be a problem, but this is not always the case and there will be those who may not be able to pay off what they spend, and this puts them at risk”. 

Methodology: Survey of 2,016 UK respondents aged 18-55 about their buy now pay later service usage during August 2020 on behalf of money.co.uk.

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