Affirm Overview and Application Process
What is Affirm?
Affirm is a financing alternative to credit cards and other credit-payment products. Affirm offers instant financing for online purchases to be paid in fixed monthly installments.
Why buy with Affirm?
Buy and receive your purchase right away, and pay for it over several months. This payment option allows you to split the price of your purchase into fixed payment amounts that fit your monthly budget.
If Affirm approves your loan, you'll see your loan terms before you make your purchase. See exactly how much you owe each month, the number of payments you must make, and the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the course of the loan. There are no hidden fees.
The application process is secure and real-time. Affirm asks you for a few pieces of information. After you provide this information, Affirm notifies you of the loan amount that you’re approved for, the interest rate, and the number of months that you have to pay off your loan -- all within seconds.
You don’t need a credit card to make a purchase. Affirm lends to the merchant directly on your behalf.
You may be eligible for Affirm financing even if you don’t have an extensive credit history. Affirm bases its loan decision not only on your credit score, but also on several other data points about you.
Affirm reminds you by email and SMS before your upcoming payment is due. Enable Autopay to schedule automatic monthly payments on your loan.
What is required to have an Affirm account?
To sign up for Affirm, you must:
- Be 18 years or older (19 years or older in Alabama or if you’re a ward of the state in Nebraska).
- Not be a resident of Iowa (IA) or West Virginia (WV).
- Provide a valid U.S. or APO/FPO/DPO home address.
- Provide a valid U.S. mobile or VoIP number and agree to receive SMS text messages. The phone account must be registered in your name.
- Provide your full name, email address, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your social security number to help us verify your identity.
How does Affirm work?
Affirm loan-application process steps:
- At checkout, choose Pay with Affirm.
- Affirm prompts you to enter a few pieces of information: Name, email, mobile phone number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number. This information must be consistent and your own.
- To ensure that you’re the person making the purchase, Affirm sends a text message to your cell phone with a unique authorization code.
- Enter the authorization code into the application form. Within a few seconds, Affirm notifies you of the loan amount you’re approved for, the interest rate, and the number of months you have to pay off your loan. You have the option to pay off your loan over three, six, or twelve months. Affirm states the amount of your fixed, monthly payments and the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the course of the loan.
- To accept Affirm’s financing offer, click Confirm Loan and you’re done.
After your purchase, you’ll receive monthly email and SMS reminders about your upcoming payments. You can also set up autopay to avoid missing a payment. Your first monthly payment is due 30 days from the date that we (the merchant) processes your order.
How does Affirm approve borrowers for loans?
- Affirm asks for a few pieces of personal information: Name, email address, mobile phone number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.
- Affirm verifies your identity with this information and makes an instant loan decision.
- Affirm bases its loan decision not only on your credit score, but also on several other data points. This means that you may be able to obtain financing from Affirm even if don’t have an extensive credit history.
Does Affirm do a credit check, and how does it impact my credit score?
Affirm does a “soft” credit check, which verifies the customer's identity but does not affect a customer’s credit score. Affirm's underwriting model does not use a hard credit check. There is no effect on a consumer's credit score when they apply for an Affirm loan.
Why was I denied financing by Affirm?
The merchant has no information regarding a customer's financing denial. Affirm strives to offer all credit-worthy applicants financing with Affirm, but isn’t able to offer credit in every case. Affirm will send you an email with more details about its decision. Unfortunately Affirm’s decision is final.
Why was I asked to verify my identity?
If Affirm has difficulty confirming your identity, you may need to provide more information. Affirm uses modern technology to confirm your identity, including verifying your address or full SSN, or requesting a photo of your ID. Affirm takes these steps in some cases to counter fraud and provide the most accurate credit decision they can.
Why was I prompted to enter my income?
Affirm may sometimes need more information about your finances and your ability to repay in order to make a credit decision. Your income gives Affirm additional insight into your ability to repay.
Why was I prompted for my checking account?
Affirm may sometimes need more information about your finances and your ability to repay in order to make a credit decision. If you are prompted to link your checking account and would like to proceed, please provide the login information for your online bank account. Affirm does not store your online login credentials—they are transmitted securely to your bank.
If Affirm asks you to link your checking account, Affirm won’t be able to offer you credit if:
1) Your bank is not listed
2) You choose not to link your checking account
3) You don’t use online banking
4) The username and / or password you provide is incorrect
5) You're unable to successfully connect your checking account
Why is my bank not listed?
Although Affirm is continually adding support for additional banks, they aren’t able to connect to every bank at the present time. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you’re unable to connect your bank, you’ll need to complete your purchase with another payment method.
Why was I prompted for a down payment?
Affirm isn’t always able to offer credit for the full amount you request. In these cases, Affirm asks you to make a down payment with a debit card for the remainder of your purchase. The down payment amount can’t be changed and must be made upon confirming your loan and before the loan offer expires.
Will I see how much interest I am paying prior to accepting my loan?
Yes! Affirm works hard to be completely transparent. You’ll see the amount of interest you’ll owe on the terms page and again on the loan confirmation page. If you pay off your loan early, you’ll receive a rebate for any interest that hasn’t yet accrued.
Why can't customers outside the U.S. use Affirm?
Affirm is available only to shoppers residing in the United States. Affirm hopes to expand its services to customers outside the U.S. in the future.
Interest Rates and Fees
What are Affirm’s fees?
The annual percentage rate (APR) on an Affirm loan ranges from 0% to 30%. Affirm discloses any required fees upfront before you make a purchase, so you know exactly what you will pay for your financing. Affirm does not charge any hidden fees, including annual fees.
Why is my Affirm interest rate so high?
When Affirm determines your annual percentage rate (APR), it evaluates a number of factors, including your credit score and other data about you. If you finance future purchases with Affirm, you may be eligible for a lower APR depending on your financial situation at the time of purchase.
This APR calculator will give you an idea of how much interest you actually pay: https://www.affirm.com/apr-calculator/
When you consider Affirm financing, carefully evaluate the loan terms that Affirm offers you and determine whether the monthly payments fit your budget.
How is interest on an Affirm loan calculated?
Affirm calculates the annual percentage rate (APR) of a loan using simple interest, which equals the rate multiplied by the loan amount and by the number of months the loan is outstanding.
This model differs from compound interest, in which the interest expense is calculated on the loan amount and the accumulated interest on the loan from previous periods. Think about compound interest as “interest on interest,” which can increase the loan amount. Credit cards, for example, use compound interest to calculate the interest expense on outstanding credit card debt.
Making Payments and Refunds
How do I make my payments?
Before each payment is due, Affirm sends you an email or SMS reminder with the installment amount that is coming due and the due date. You have the option to sign up for autopay, so you don’t risk missing a payment.
Follow these steps to make a payment:
- Go to www.affirm.com/account.
- Enter your mobile phone number. Affirm sends a personalized security PIN to your phone.
- Enter this security PIN into the form on the next page and click Sign in.
- After you sign in, a list of your loans appears, with payments that are coming due. Click the loan payment you would like to make.
- Make a payment using a debit card or ACH bank transfer.
If I return an item, how do refunds work?
A refund posts to your Affirm account if we process your refund request. If you have already made loan payments or a down payment, Affirm issues a refund credit to the bank account or debit card that you used to make the payments.
How long does it take to get my money back in the event of a return?
A refund credit appears in your account within three to ten business days, depending on your bank’s processing time.
Can I amend my order after my purchase has been processed? Can I be approved for a higher loan amount if my purchase amount increases?
You cannot edit your order after you have confirmed your loan. If you want to add items to your purchase, apply for another loan with Affirm or use a different payment method.
Dispute Resolution Process
For each transaction, Affirm processes the order payment and the merchant processes the order fulfillment. If a customer experiences an issue with their order and contacts Affirm, Affirm will direct the customer to the merchant for a resolution. If the customer is unable to resolve the issue with the merchant, Affirm will help facilitate the resolution.
The general resolution process:
- Customers can open a dispute within 60 calendar days of capture, during which time, they are not responsible for making payments.
- Both customers and merchants have 15 calendar days to provide evidence to substantiate their claims.
- After providing all evidence, Affirm will notify the customer of a decision within 15 calendar days
Affirm Customer Dispute Resolution Procedures
The following Customer Dispute Resolution Procedures govern Affirm’s management of disputes between Customers and Merchants relating to specific transactions processed through the Services. Capitalized terms, unless otherwise defined herein, shall have the same meaning as in the Merchant Agreement (the “Agreement”) between Affirm and Merchant.
Except as otherwise expressly set forth in the Agreement, Merchant agrees that any disputes arising from or otherwise related to a Customer’s use of the Services or Customer transactions with Merchant will be treated in accordance with the procedures set forth below. Affirm may modify these Customer Dispute Resolution Procedures, from time to time, in its sole and absolute discretion, upon at least thirty (30) days’ prior written notice to Merchant.
Please direct all disputes to email@example.com
1. Customer Disputes.
Merchant shall direct any Customer written or verbal inquiry, complaint or dispute about Affirm’s Services related to the origination, terms or servicing of any credit provided to a Customer by Affirm (each, an “Affirm Dispute”) directly to Affirm for resolution. Additionally, Affirm may receive written or verbal inquiries or complaints from Customers about a product or service purchased from Merchant using Affirm’s Services. In such case, Affirm shall, in the first instance, direct any such verbal inquiries or complaints about a product or service purchased from Merchant directly to Merchant for resolution. If Customer is unable to resolve their inquiry or complaint with the Merchant directly within a reasonable time, then Affirm may, but is under no obligation to, initiate a formal dispute (each, a “Merchant Dispute”). In such case, Affirm shall investigate Affirm Disputes and Merchant Disputes as set forth below. The initiation of an Affirm Dispute or a Merchant Dispute in no way alters the parties’ rights and responsibilities under this Agreement or the rights and responsibilities between Affirm and Customers, unless otherwise stipulated.
2. Merchant Disputes. Types of Merchant Disputes include, but are not limited to:
Product not received. Customer claims that they have not received a product they purchased on Merchant’s website.
Product unacceptable. Customer claims that a product they received is incorrect, damaged, or otherwise fails to conform to the product description on the Merchant’s website.
Cancelation or return not processed. Customer claims that they were charged for a product or service they canceled or returned in a manner consistent with Merchant’s stated refund and return policy in effect at the time of Customer’s purchase.
Incorrect charge. Customer claims that they were charged an incorrect amount.
Duplicate charge. Customer claims they were charged multiple times for an item or an order.
3. Affirm’s Investigation of Disputes.
Affirm will use commercially reasonable efforts to resolve Affirm Disputes that Affirm has elected to investigate directly with Customer.
Customers shall have sixty (60) days from Merchant’s capture of a transaction to request that a Merchant Dispute with respect to such transaction be initiated by Affirm, subject to the conditions set forth herein. After initiating a Merchant Dispute, Affirm will: (a) promptly inform Merchant of such Merchant Dispute by forwarding the dispute to Merchant along with any supporting evidence provided by Customer, and (b) withhold the disputed amount until such Merchant Dispute is resolved. Both Merchant and Customer shall have fifteen (15) days from the initiation of a Merchant Dispute to respond and/or provide supporting evidence, after which time Affirm shall have fifteen (15) days to review the Merchant Dispute and communicate its resolution to Merchant and Customer. Affirm will consider all evidence provided by Customer and Merchant within the time frame set forth above in its investigation of Merchant Disputes. The table below illustrates common examples of evidence that a Merchant may present in order to support its claim(s).
Affirm will resolve all Merchant Disputes in favor of the party that best substantiates its claim(s). If Affirm resolves a Merchant Dispute in favor of Merchant, Merchant will not be liable for any amount of principal or interest related to the disputed transaction, and any funds withheld related to the disputed transaction shall be released. If Affirm resolves a Merchant Dispute in favor of Customer, Affirm shall refund the disputed amount to Customer. In such an event, Merchant shall reimburse Affirm for the amount refunded to Customer. If Merchant wishes to contest Affirm’s resolution of a Merchant Dispute, Merchant may submit a written rebuttal along with any supporting evidence to Affirm promptly following resolution.