Regret and Woe at the Checkout Counter

More than half of Buy now, Pay later users experience buyer’s remorse

Andy Spears
2 min readApr 16, 2024
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

You feel great.

You left the store with all you needed. And wanted.

And only paid 25%.

No worries — you’ll pay the balance over the next six weeks with no interest IF you complete all payments on time.

Buy Now, Pay Later makes shopping — and cash flow — a breeze.

Except it’s not that easy.

Bankrate reports:

Over a third of U.S. adults (39 percent) have used at least one of these services at checkout, according to a new Bankrate survey.

And also that more than half of users report challenges after using the product:

Most BNPL users (56 percent) say they’ve experienced at least one problem, like overspending, missing payments, and regretting purchases, while using the service.

While it may not be surprising that consumers who use “pay in 4” services to stretch their funds have some problems managing BNPL, it IS alarming that among the fastest-growing uses of BNPL is in groceries.



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .