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Dianne Williams Wildt, MBA

Certified Retirement Counselor®

Since 1983 in the financial services and investment industry

 

Retirement Pathways, Inc.

4500 Bowling Blvd., Suite 100

Louisville, KY 40207

 

Phone:  502-797-1258

 

Email: dianne@retirementpathways.com

Website: www.retirementpathways.com

July/August 2022

Buying on Time

Buying on Time

Paying for items over time is nothing new. That’s essentially how credit cards work. But if you shop online, you may have noticed a new trend: an option to pay for the items in your cart in equal interest-free installments. Should you take advantage of the offer?


A Lot Depends on You
Spreading out interest-free payments over a month or so for items you intended to buy anyway may be relatively harmless. However, not having to pay the full cost of your purchase all at once might tempt you to buy additional items on impulse. Before you realize it, the amount of your payments may be far more than you intended or can comfortably afford.


What If You Miss a Payment?
Generally, installment payments are automatically deducted from your checking account every other week, and you’re emailed a reminder in advance. But if you miss a payment because funds in your account are low or for some other reason, you’ll be charged a late fee, and possibly interest, on your purchases. If you can’t make the minimum payments, these fees can quickly spiral out of control.


They’re Counting on You
Retailers can select installment plan services from a variety of vendors. Companies offer the installment option hoping that the smaller installment payments will encourage shoppers to buy more—and more expensive—items than they would have purchased if they had to pay the entire cost at checkout.


A Better Way
Instead of paying for items over time and putting your budget at risk, start saving for the things you want. Then pay cash up front.


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