BNPLs could leave shoppers paying more than they signed up for

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Klarna is the most popular buy now, pay later (BNPL) service in the US, with 34.8 million users ages 14 and older, per our estimates. Afterpay takes the No. 2 spot with 20.0 million, and Affirm comes in third with 14.0 million. While these companies require users to be 18 years or older, our forecast accounts for users who may not observe that requirement.

Beyond the chart: This year, about 37% of digital buyers in the US will use BNPL, many of whom will double dip and take out loans from multiple providers at a time. More than one-third of adult users polled by Credit Karma had missed at least one payment as of September 2021.

This figure is likely higher among those younger than 25, who will make up around 28% of the user base in 2022. Because BNPL providers often don’t check credit or report loans to credit agencies, their users face greater risks of overborrowing and could find themselves paying in more than the four installments.