GoBear is now part of Finder

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

What you need to know about in-store finance

In-store finance can give you a way to buy now and pay later. Here we look at how different options work and the potential fees involved.

In-store finance is traditionally offered directly through a store or company, particularly for big-ticket items such as furniture, electronics and jewellery. This type of finance usually gives you an interest-free period so that you can get what you want straight away and then pay it off over time or at a later date.

As well as offers you see in a particular store, there are some credit cards that provide you with specific in-store finance options. Many stores also offer interest-free payment options through Rely, Hoolah or other similar services.

Use this guide to help you decide if an in-store finance offer is worth it for you.

How does in-store finance work?

Imagine your laptop has just broken and you don’t have enough money to buy a new one. In this scenario, you shop around and find the laptop you want for S$1,200 at a departmental store that has an interest-free payment plan available. You decide to weigh up two options: get a 30-month interest-free plan directly through the store, or purchase the laptop on a credit card that offers 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months.

  • In-store finance plan. In this scenario, the departmental store’s interest-free financing offer gives you 30 months interest-free. During the first 20 months, you would have to pay a minimum of 3% of the outstanding balance per month. The minimum payment then changes to S$20 per month for the remaining 10 months. After that, interest begins to accrue at 25.99% p.a.
  • If you only made the minimum payment, it would take 5 years and 2 months to pay off the laptop. This is a total of 62 months, meaning you’d be charged interest for more than half the time you were paying off the laptop.
  • 0% purchase rate credit card. Say you get a card that offers 0% interest for the first 12 months and has a minimum payment of $30 per month. After the introductory period, interest would accrue at 20.74% p.a.
  • If you continued to make only the minimum payment, it would take 4 years and 3 months to pay off the laptop. This is a total of 51 months, which means you’d be charged interest for over 75% of the time you were paying off the laptop.

Who is in-store finance designed for?

In-store finance is offered to people who may not have enough cash to pay for something outright, or who want the flexibility to pay off purchases over time. For example, if you needed a new fridge but couldn’t afford the one that you wanted, you could consider one of these interest-free payment plans as a solution.

These types of plans typically give you a set period of time when you can pay off your purchase without any interest charges, as long as you meet the repayment requirements. This could mean making minimum monthly payments towards the purchase or providing the full amount at the end of a fixed period of time.

If you don’t meet the offer’s requirements, you’ll usually face additional fees and/or interest charges until the balance is cleared. As in-store finance offers vary a lot, it is important that you carefully read through the offer details before you apply.

Types of in-store finance options

Depending on your purchase, you’ll usually be able to get either of the following flexible payment options:

  • Instalment plans. With these offers, you can get the item you want straight away and are then required to pay it off in instalments. Some of these plans divide the payments into equal instalments (eg S$200 per month) while others have a minimum payment amount you must meet. You may also have the option of paying more if you want to settle the balance sooner.
  • Buy now, pay later. Also known as a deferred payment option, this type of plan requires payment in full at the end of the interest-free period. While these plans don’t usually require a deposit, you may have to pay a credit establishment fee or an annual fee once the plan is set up.

Regardless of the type of offer, you will usually need to meet a minimum spend requirement before you’re eligible for an in-store finance offer. A deposit or processing fee may also apply if you are approved.

In-store finance and your credit history

It’s important to note that many of these plans are set up as credit accounts, meaning you will need to fill in an application that is subject to lending criteria and approval.

Your credit history and credit score can have an impact on your application, so if you’re not sure what details are currently listed, you can check your credit score by purchasing a copy of your credit report from Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) at any time. Another key point to remember: after you submit an application, the details will be added to your credit history and could also affect your credit score.

Credit cards that offer in-store finance options

There is a small selection of credit cards that regularly give you access to in-store finance offers. The plans available vary depending on the card and participating retailers, but they typically offer you longer interest-free periods than you would get for regular purchases made on the card.

If you own one of such credit cards and want to take advantage of an in-store finance offer, let the store’s staff know before you pay for your purchases. They can then explain the requirements and set up the payment plan. Alternatively, you could call your credit card company and ask about the requirements before you go shopping.

Interest-free payment plans that are linked to a credit card

Some retailers offer interest-free payment plans that come with a credit card or give you the option of getting a credit card when you apply for finance.

There are also many stores that offer interest-free finance through the various banks, allowing you to apply for the card and finance offer on-the-spot before you make your purchase. Often these cards have high standard interest rates that apply when the promotional period ends, so it’s important to check the rates, fees and other offer details before you apply.

Compare credit cards and providers that offer in-store and interest-free finance plans

Name Product Interest Rate Reward Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
Citi Lazada Card
0%
Earn 10x rewards on eligible Lazada purchases and 5x rewards on qualifying dining, entertainment and commute purchases
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
New Citibank customers can get up to S$250 Lazada & RedMart vouchers upon minimum spend of S$250. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
UOB One Credit Card
26.9%
Receive up to S$300 cash credit when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive up to S$300 cash credit (for first 100 successful UOB personal credit card applications) when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
UOB Delight Credit Card
26.9%
N/A
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$85.60 thereafter
S$30,000
DBS Altitude Card
26.8%
Earn up to 4 miles per S$1 spend, with no expiry
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback or up to 38,000 miles when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
Get fee waiver for the first year and up to S$192.60 thereafter, with 10,000 bonus miles.
Citi Cash Back+ Card
26.9%
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell and 1.6% cash back on eligible retail purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive 4.5% cash back on up to S$5,000 spend (up to S$225 cash back) in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Nov 2021.
DBS Live Fresh Student Card
26.8%
Get 5% cashback from your favourite brands and your favourite music, movies and TV streaming services.
S$0 annual fee for the first 5 years and S$192.60 thereafter
N/A
Get 5% cashback from your favourite brands and your favourite music, movies and TV streaming services.
UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard
26.9%
Earn 1.4 miles per S$1 spent locally and 2.4 miles per S$1 spent overseas, including online shopping.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive up to S$300 cash credit (for first 100 successful UOB personal credit card applications) when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. T&C apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
DBS Live Fresh Card
26.8%
Up to 5% cashback on online and contactless spend (including SimplyGo rides)
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback with promo code ‘200CASH' when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge a minimum of S$800 within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
UOB EVOL Card
26.9%
Enjoy a wide variety of discounts and cashback rebates on dining, entertainment, online shopping and travel.
S$192.60 annual fee
S$30,000
Receive up to S$300 cash credit when you apply for a new UOB EVOL Credit Card and spend a minimum of S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. First 100 successful applicants. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
26.9%
Earn 3 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 when you spend with Singapore Airlines, Scoot and KrisShop and 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 on all other spend.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive up to 3,000 miles and up to S$300 cash credit when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. T&C apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
UOB Lady's Card
26.9%
Earn 10X UNI$ (or 20 miles) per S$5 spent on a chosen spending category with no min. spend required, and 1X UNI$ (or 2 miles) on other purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive up to S$300 cash credit (for first 100 successful UOB personal credit card applications) when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. T&C apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card
26.9%
6 air miles for every S$1 spent through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive up to S$300 cash credit (for first 100 successful UOB customers applications) when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. T&C apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
POSB Everyday Card
26.8%
Enjoy up to 8% cash rebates on daily essentials such as groceries and online food delivery
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback with promo code ‘200CASH' when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge a minimum of S$800 within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
DBS Woman's Card
26.8%
Up to 5X DBS Points (or 10 miles) per S$5 spent on online and overseas purchases
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$160.50 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass using promo code '200CASH' and spend a minimum of of S$800 within the first 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
26.9%
Earn 1.4 miles for every S$1 spent locally and 2.4 miles for every S$1 spent overseas.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Enjoy up to 20,000 bonus miles if you charge S$50,000 to your card in a year. Apply today and enjoy free transfers to Changi Airport.
OCBC Cashflo Credit Card
26.88%
N/A
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$160.50 thereafter
S$30,000
Get up to S$100 in cash rebates every month.
UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card
26.9%
Get 2 air miles per S$1 spent overseas and 1.4 air miles per S$1 spent locally
S$642 annual fee
S$150,000
Receive up to 25,000 miles (UNI$12,500) when you’ve paid the annual fee. T&Cs apply.
Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
26.9%
Shopping, travel and lifestyle offers at over 3,000 outlets in Asia
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 6 months of Disney+ subscription when you successfully activate your card. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Nov 2021. Receive up to S$120 cashback when you apply and make one eligible transaction.
Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card
26.9%
Up to 10X rewards points for every S$1 spent in foreign currency on
overseas retail, dining and travel
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 6 months of Disney+ subscription when you successfully activate your card. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Nov 2021. Receive up to S$120 cashback when you apply and make one eligible transaction.
Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card
26.9%
Up to 24.2% petrol savings at Caltex stations.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Enjoy up to 3% cashback on all online spend in foreign currency and all vPost spend. Plus, up to 25% off on postal services and lots more.
American Express True Cashback Card
26.9%
Enjoy cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend or cap. Plus receive up to S$100 CapitaVouchers when a minimum spend of S$500 is made in the first month.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$171.20 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply today and get a 3% Cashback bonus when you spend S$5,000 in the first six months.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
25.9%
Earn 1 Reward point for every $1 on all spend.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with up to S$200 cashback, S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend. Receive an additional S$30 cashback when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive S$60 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
25.9%
For every S$1 spent, earn 1.1 KrisFlyer miles on all eligible purchases, 2 KrisFlyer miles in foreign currency spent overseas during June and December.and 3.1 KrisFlyer miles on eligible Grab Singapore transactions.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$176.55 thereafter
S$30,000
Get up to 13,300 KrisFlyer miles with a minimum spend of S$3,000 in your first 3 months and an additional S$200 statement credits if you are new to American Express. T&Cs apply.
Standard Chartered NUS Alumni Platinum Credit Card
26.9%
Earn 1 reward point for every S$1 charged to your card.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 6 months of Disney+ subscription when you successfully activate your card. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Nov 2021. Receive up to S$120 cashback when you apply and make one eligible transaction.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
25.9%
Earn up to 10X Reward points or 4 miles per S$1 spent on qualifying purchases.
S$0 annual fee
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with up to S$200 cashback, S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend. Receive an additional S$30 cashback when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive S$60 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
Standard Chartered Business Platinum Credit Card
26.9%
Earn 1 Rewards point for every S$1 charged to your card
S$0 annual fee for the first 3 years and S$160.50 thereafter
S$30,000
American Express Platinum Credit Card
25.9%
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
S$321 annual fee
S$80,000
Get a complimentary 1-night stay at The Fullerton Hotel, Premier Courtyard room (worth up to S$600) with a minimum spend of S$5,000 in your first 3 months of card membership, and an additional 25,000 Membership Rewards points upon annual fee payment. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Credit Card
26.9%
5 Rewards Points per $1 spent.
S$695.50 annual fee
S$80,000
Apply today via MyInfo and receive S$20 cashback. Ends 31 July 2020.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
25.9%
Earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on local purchases, with no cap.
S$337.05 annual fee
S$50,000
Get a complimentary stay at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, Luxury Room (worth up to S$460++) when you spend S$5,000 within the first three months and an additional 10,000 KrisFlyer miles if you are new to American Express. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 Card
26.9%
N/A
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$32.10 thereafter
S$18,000
HSBC Advance Credit Card
25.9%
Receive up to S$200 cashback when minimum spend requirements are met.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with up to S$200 cashback. S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend. Receive an additional S$30 cashback when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive S$60 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
Standard Chartered Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card
26.9%
Earn 2.5 points for every $1 spent on your credit card
S$321 annual fee
S$30,000
Get 6 months of Disney+ subscription when you successfully activate your card. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Nov 2021.
Standard Chartered Prudential Visa Signature Card
26.9%
Earn up to 5X rewards points for every S$1 spent for eligible dining transactions, with no minimum spend required. T&Cs apply.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 6 months of Disney+ subscription when you successfully activate your card. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Nov 2021. Receive up to S$120 cashback when you apply and make one eligible transaction.
Citi Cash Back Card
26.9%
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell, 6% cashback on dining and 8% cashback on groceries.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
Citibank SMRT Card
26.9%
Up to 5% savings on groceries, online shopping, taxis (including private hire rides), and EZ-Link Auto Top-up/SimplyGo. Plus, 0.3% savings on all other spend
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. End 30 Nov 2021.
Citi Rewards Credit Card
26.9%
10X Rewards on eligible online and retail purchases, capped at 10,000 points per statement month.
1X Rewards for other retail purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 30,000 Citi Thank You points when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
Citi PremierMiles Card
26.9%
Earn 1.2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent locally, 2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent overseas and 4 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent on food delivery & home entertainment.
S$192.60 annual fee
S$30,000
Get 45,000 miles when you spend S$9,000 in the first 3 months. Annual fee applies.
Citi Prestige Card
26.9%
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
S$535 annual fee
S$120,000
Get a welcome gift of 62,500 Citi ThankYou Points (25,000 Miles) or Gadget Welcome Gift. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
American Express CapitaCard
26.9%
Earn up to 3% rebate (6X STAR$) when you shop at participating merchants in CapitaLand Malls in town.​ An additional 5% rebate (10X STAR$) at participating STAR$ X’tra Partners in CapitaLand Malls.​
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$171.20 thereafter
S$30,000
New card members can receive 150,000 STAR$ upon S1,500 minimum spend within the first 3 months of card approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Sep 2021.
Standard Chartered Prudential Platinum Credit Card
26.9%
Earn 5 Rewards points on eligible dining transactions and 1 Rewards point on all other eligible transactions for every S$1 charged to your card
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 6 months of Disney+ subscription when you successfully activate your card. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 Nov 2021. Receive up to S$120 cashback when you apply and make one eligible transaction.
Maybank Business Platinum Mastercard
20%
Get your business logo printed on your card. Plus, enjoy a global concierge service
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$180 thereafter
N/A
Earn TREATS Points for every dollar spent and redeem them for vouchers, cash credits and air miles.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card
26.9%
Up to 3 miles for every $1 charged to your card with S$2,000 minimum spend
S$588.50 annual fee
S$150,000
Earn 35,000 bonus miles in the form of 87,500 points when you apply for the Visa Infinite Credit Card.
Maybank eVibes Card - The Student Card
25.9%
Earn 1% cash rebate on all spend. Also enjoy up to 7% off accommodation bookings globally with Agoda. T&Cs apply.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$20 thereafter
N/A
Get S$50 cash credit upon spending S$150 within the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply.
Maybank Platinum Visa Card
15%
Enjoy up to 3.33% cash rebates on local and foreign currency spend. Minimum spend requirements and cashback caps apply.
S$0 annual fee for the first 3 years and S$80 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Maybank Family & Friends Credit Card
25.9%
Earn up to 8% cash rebates in grocery stores, supermarkets, online grocery shopping and other categories when minimum spend requirements are met.
S$0 annual fee for the first 3 years and S$180 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Maybank Manchester United Platinum Visa Card
25.9%
Earn 1X TREATS Points for every dollar spent.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$80 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Maybank DUO Platinum Mastercard
25.9%
5% cashback for petrol, plus earn rewards points and exchange them for car servicing vouchers, vehicle merchandise and more.
S$0 annual fee for the first 3 years and S$120 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card
25.9%
Chance to win a trip for 2 to watch FC Barcelona every season
S$120 annual fee
S$30,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Maybank Visa Infinite Credit Card
25.9%
Complimentary two-way airport limousine transfers. S$3,000 minimum spend per month
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$600 thereafter
S$150,000
Get complimentary enrolment to Maybank's Rewards Infinite Programme and gain access to VIP perks as you earn up to 5X reward points that never expire.
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card
25.9%
Complimentary access to selected VIP airport lounges. Plus, travel cover of up to S$1,000,000. Ts&Cs apply
S$0 annual fee for the first 3 years and S$180 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Maybank World Mastercard
25.9%
A range of dining, shopping and travel deals - including up to S$1,000,000 of travel insurance
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$240 thereafter
S$80,000
Get S$100 cash credit when you apply, charge to your card and withdraw from your CreditAble account with a minimum of S$250 for each of the first two months upon approval. T&Cs apply. Ends 20 Sep 2021.
Standard Chartered Platinum Visa Credit Card
0%
Earn 1 Rewards point for every S$1 charged to your card
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Earn 1 Rewards point for every S$1 charged to your card.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

What other options do I have to shop interest-free?

Credit cards that offer 0% interest instalment payment plans

You could consider a card that offers instalment plans with a reduced or 0% p.a. interest rate. For example, the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card offers interest-free instalment plans for up to 36 months, while OCBC Cashflo Card offers cardholders 0% instalment payment plans with rewards earn on eligible new purchases over S$1,000.

Interest-free platforms and providers

Platforms such as Rely and Hoolah have changed the way many people shop by offering a “modern lay-by”. For example, Hoolah allows retailers to offer their customers to buy now and pay later in 4 equal instalments that are paid fortnightly with zero interest.

What to ask before getting in-store finance

man and woman discussing in front of laptop

If you’re thinking about applying for an interest-free payment plan, make sure you ask the following questions:

  • What upfront costs are involved? Check for minimum spend requirements, processing fees, annual account costs and any charges that may apply if you want to settle the balance before the end of the agreement.
  • What charges apply at the end of the interest-free period? Most in-store finance options charge high interest rates if you’re still paying off your purchase when the interest-free period ends. Others may apply ongoing account fees at the end of your term instead. Either way, these costs can quickly add up.
  • What type of account is being opened? Some in-store finance options are linked to a credit card, others offer an ongoing credit facility and some are closed as soon as your balance is settled. Make sure you think about the type of account you want and avoid getting any account that would be hard for you to manage.
  • Will the account be listed on my credit history? Any account details or enquiries that are added to your credit file have the potential to impact on your credit rating (and your ability to get other loans or products). Not all in-store and interest-free finance options are automatically listed, but it is worth checking when you’re comparing options so you can be aware of the potential impact.
  • Do I need to make this purchase right now? If you urgently need something, an interest-free finance plan could give you the breathing space to pay it off over time. But if you want something that’s not urgent, you may want to consider other options, such as saving up for it or splitting the payment between a couple of your existing accounts. Another option is to get a lay-by plan, where you pay for an item in instalments but don’t get it until you make the final payment.

Bottom line

Whether you’re shopping for furniture, booking a holiday or need a new laptop, in-store finance gives you another way to make your purchase and pay it off over time. But watch out for rates and fees that can apply at the start and end of these offers, and make sure you look at other options so that you can make a decision that’s affordable for you.

Picture: Shutterstock

Back to top

More guides on Finder

Ask Finder

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site