Sezzle Basics — Everything You Need To Know About How Does Sezzle Work

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If you do a lot of (or any) online shopping, you’ve probably noticed a recent increase in the number of services offered at checkout that let you “buy now, pay later” (BNPL). The BNPL movement has certainly caught on like wildfire with online shoppers around the world, and for good reason. 


Sezzle is one of the many companies out there that let you pay for your purchase incrementally. In this article we explain all of the things you need to know about how does Sezzle work and other BNPL services. 


What Are BNPL Services?

Buy now, pay later services work exactly as the name implies — they let you order your item(s) right now, even if you may not have all the money you need or you simply don’t want to shell out all that money at once. 


In essence, these services are sort of like the cousins of credit cards. They offer users installment loans for the items that customers wish to purchase. In action, these services will divide your grand total into equal installments (usually four installments). The first of these installments is due at check out, and the rest will be charged to your debit or credit card over the next month or so after purchase. This way, you will be able to receive your item right away— even if you haven’t paid for it completely. 


Where these services differ from credit cards is the frequency of the payment schedules. With credit cards, you’re typically required to pay off the minimum amount owed (or more, if you feel so inclined) once per month. BNPL services, however, often require payment every two weeks until the total has been paid off in full. 


Similar to credit cards, some of the BNPL services out there have associated late fees and interest, although not all of them do. 

How Does Sezzle Work


How Does Sezzle Work?

As previously mentioned, there are a lot of BNPL services out there these days. Sezzle is one of the most popular ones around, which makes it a good one to try out if you’re new to the idea of BNPL and are feeling a little wary. 


While different services have different requirements, Sezzle requires customers to pay for their purchase in four installments, paying 25% each time. After the initial payment at the time of purchase, each subsequent payment occurs two weeks after the previous one until the total amount has been paid. 


One of the great things about Sezzle is that it’s one of the interest-free BNPL payment services. This makes it an attractive option for shoppers who don’t qualify for a credit card or simply don’t want to use one. 


Is Sezzle Good For Merchants?

At some point during this article, you may have asked yourself “but how is that good for businesses if they aren’t getting paid up front?” The answer is that they actually are getting paid in full at the time of purchase, even if their customers aren’t the ones supplying the money. 


Sezzle (and other BNPL services) is actually more attractive for merchants than offering no BNPL service for a few reasons. Statistics show that services like Sezzle inspire shoppers to spend more, and Sezzle also takes on financial liability if a customer doesn’t pay the full amount. This means that even if the customer flakes on a few payments, the merchant will still get the entire amount of money from Sezzle. 


If you need to see the numbers for yourself, here are some stats on how BNPL services change consumer behavior. According to a study from March 2021,


  • 52% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase when interest free payment plans were offered
  • 91% of shoppers who use BNPL services predict that they’ll continue to use them in the future
  • 73% spend more money when BNPL services are available
  • 64% of shoppers spent more than they initially planned to when they saw they could use Sezzle


As you can see, these numbers are pretty telling. Although merchants wishing to use Sezzle on their websites are required to pay a merchant fee, this is likely worth the small price for the increased revenue the service is likely to bring. 

Is Sezzle Good For Customers?

There are a lot of reasons why shoppers have been turning to BNPL services lately, including the fact that you can use Sezzle to build credit. By signing up for the upgraded version of Sezzle— called Sezzle Up— you agree to letting Sezzle report your payment history on your behalf. This means that if you consistently make your payments you’ll be able to build up your credit score over time. 


This is great news for people out there who either don’t have a credit card and/or can’t get one. As you likely already know, unfortunately having strong credit is a prerequisite for many major purchases or lease agreements, which is one reason you should already be working to build your credit. 


How Do You Use Sezzle?

If you’re interested in using Sezzle to pay for your purchases, the first step is making sure you’re shopping with a vendor that uses Sezzle’s services. Once you confirm this, you can begin the easy checkout process. 


At the checkout screen, you will select Sezzle as your payment method. This will bring you to a new page where you need to fill out a few personal details before Sezzle will let you use their services. During this process, Sezzle will also perform a quick soft credit check to make sure you are a good candidate for their services and won’t be a financial liability. 


Once you’ve been approved (which usually only takes a few seconds), you will be required to pay the first of the four payment installments. Over the next six weeks, you will be charged 25% of the total cost three more times, so that by the end of the six weeks you will have paid for the total in full. In order to make these payments you can either connect your bank account directly to Sezzle or you can enter your debit or credit card number. 


Can Anyone Use Sezzle?

Sadly no, not everyone can use Sezzle. To protect themselves from financial liability, the company currently has a few requirements that their customers must meet in order to use their services. These include:


  • Customers must be 18 years of age or older
  • Customers must have a valid US or Canadian phone number that is able to receive text messages
  • Customers must have a valid email address
  • Customers may not pay using prepaid payment forms


Does Sezzle Have A Purchase Minimum or Maximum?

Sezzle does not have a purchase minimum, but each vendor is entitled to set their own minimums on their site. This can vary from merchant to merchant, so don’t assume that just because one merchant let you use Sezzle for a $10 payment that other merchants will, too. 


As for the maximum you can use Sezzle to cover, this number does exist. According to the Sezzle websites, customers can use Sezzle to cover totals up to $2,500. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that just because the upper limit is $2,500 does not mean that you’ll be able to make a purchase of that size using Sezzle right away. Typically, new Sezzle users have a much lower limit. They can increase this limit over time by using Sezzle and successfully making their payments each time. 


Related FAQs

In order to further help you understand the ins and outs of Sezzle, we went ahead and answered some of the most frequently googled questions about Sezzle


What is the catch with Sezzle?

Remarkably, Sezzle doesn’t have a catch. The installment payment service is interest free and let’s you pay for your purchases over time. As long as you make your payments on time (which occurs automatically— just make sure you have the funds available), you should be good to go. If you don’t have the funds available when Sezzle tries to charge you, however, you will be fined, so make sure you only use Sezzle if you know you’re going to have sufficient funds. Barring a financial emergency, however, this should be easy to achieve, in large part thanks to the helpful texts that Sezzle sends a few days before each payment will be processed.


What is Sezzle, and how does it work?

Sezzle is one of the most popular buy-now-pay-later services around. This service lets you receive your purchases right away while paying for them over six weeks in four equal installments. This makes it attractive to customers because it lets them purchase things they may not be able or willing to pay for all at once. It can even build your credit if you upgrade to Sezzle Up, which is the premium version of Sezzle. It’s also great for merchants because it has been statistically proven to inspire more spending per customer. Merchants are also financially protected because Sezzle pays the full amount owed up front, regardless of whether the customer flakes on one of their payments. 


Does Sezzle hurt your credit?

Sezzle can both help and hurt your credit, depending on your fulfillment of the payment schedule you agree to at checkout. If you make your payments on time and in full, your credit score will improve over time— especially the more you use Sezzle when shopping. On the flip side, if you don’t make your payments on time your credit score will suffer. The more you flake on payments the greater the impact on your credit score. In order for Sezzle to affect your credit score for worse or better, however, you need to upgrade to their premium service, Sezzle Up. Without this upgrade, your fulfillment of payments will have no impact on your credit score. So, if you’re looking to build your credit and you think you can make your payments on time, you may want to consider opting for Sezzle Up. 


How does Sezzle stack up against competing finance services?

Most of the BNPL services out there are quite similar to Sezzle. Companies like Afterpay, Quadpay, and Klarna all offer payment plans in four installments over six weeks, with the initial payment due at checkout. Affirm is another BNPL service that is slightly different than these. It has a credit line of up to $17,500, and also allows you to pay off your loan over 12 months rather than 6 weeks. 


Does everyone get approved for Sezzle?

No, not everyone gets approved. Sezzle isn’t very forthcoming about what qualifies or disqualifies potential customers from using their services, but they do say that they check to make sure you can pay the initial 25%, at the very least. Newer customers will also have lower limits, but these will go up the more often you use Sezzle. 


Is it hard to get approved for Sezzle?

The system doesn’t approve every order that customers attempt to make with Sezzle, but the chances are high that you’ll be approved if you meet all of their requirements, have an OK credit score, and have at least enough money on hand to pay for 25% of your order total. 


In Conclusion

Sezzle is one of the leading BNPL services that online shoppers can take advantage of to make larger purchases. There are a lot of reasons why both shoppers and merchants should consider using Sezzle, including the fact that you can build up your credit with Sezzle and the service allows you to buy the things you want even if they’re out of your price range. Recent years have seen an increase in the number and frequency of BNPL services offered through online marketplaces, and we suspect this trend to only move upward in future.

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