Using it does not help in building a good credit history, as meeting scheduled payments are not regarded as positive credit behaviour.
Since consumer protection laws do not bind them, they do not need to comply with responsible lending obligations.
The companies do not examine income or your existing debts before determining if you can make repayments.
Does buy now, pay later affect home loan approval?
Yes, it can affect your chances of home loan approval.
It could affect your credit score.
It could be a signal to banks that you’re not great at managing your finances.
If your spending on BNPL is left unchecked, you could spiral into debt, get black marks on your credit file, and ruin your credit score.
If you’re too reliant on buy now pay later to make purchases, then it can be an indication that you’re having financial hardship or that you’re poor at money management.
Will I need to close my BNPL account to apply for a home loan?
No, you do not.
It is a misconception that you need to close your account before applying for a home loan.
BNPL does not automatically lead to a negative effect on your application if you have kept up with repayments.
As long as the amount of debt does not affect your ability to make home loan repayments, you should be fine.
How do banks assess buy now, pay later transactions?
In a lending environment where banks and lenders are looking through your financials with a fine-toothed comb, you need to be aware of how these services are assessed.
Different banks and lenders have their credit policy on how BNPL transactions are assessed.
Most banks will include these services as living expenses when calculating borrowing power.
If a credit check reveals a buy now, pay later enquiry, it is listed as a liability. Afterpay is not listed as a separate liability, as there is no credit check; however, ZipPay requires a credit check and has a separate credit limit and should be listed as a liability.
If the term on buy now, pay later is less than six months, it is treated as living expenses. If it’s more than six months, it is treated as a personal loan. If there is a credit limit but no maximum term, it will be treated as a credit card.
Even though it is an interest-free purchase facility, some will consider it like credit-card debt, especially if there are ongoing payments.
If your buy now, pay later repayment is higher than $250 every fortnight, it can be a credit risk.
Some banks might even require BNPL facilities to be paid in full before formal approval.
How does buy now, pay later affect borrowing power?
Banks are scrutinising your living expenses and financial obligations to assess your borrowing power.
BNPL payments are automatically deducted from your bank account, credit/debit card and will leave a footprint on your bank statement. This is visible to lenders when you apply for a home loan.
The lender will look at your expenses and income to work out how much you can borrow.
The following can reduce your borrowing power when you’re using BNPL services:
If multiple transactions are made using these services, you must pay the instalments within a short time. It can signal banks that you were short on cash in the short term as you repay these debts.
If banks spot a pattern that you’re reliant on using them, it signals them that you’ve stretched your expenses.
The most significant risk lies in using these services when you’re already in bad credit, as it might seem you’re frivolous with your spending and have made no efforts to improve your credit score.
If you’re making payments for BNPL purchases with another credit facility, it could be a sign you’re under financial hardship and have undisclosed financial commitments or expenses.
Not all purchases made with BNPL services are of concern to banks. If you’ve fully paid off the balance of the account, it does not present any risk to your mortgage approval.
If you’re using these services, you will need to disclose them as the bank or mortgage broker will find out about it when they take a deeper look at your bank statements. Be upfront about it, especially if you’ve been diligent with your payments.
How can I improve my chances of home loan approval?
To reiterate, using a buy now, pay later account does not mean you’re home loan application will be declined.
If appropriately used, it can be a budgeting tool to keep your expenses in order.
Here are some tips on how you use buy now, pay later responsibly and improve your chances of home loan approval:
Do not use multiple accounts, as it can be difficult to track how much you’ve spent on each platform and budget repayments.
Plan to make sure you have the funds to make payments on time. Set a realistic budget and stick to it.
Do not link your account to a credit card. A credit card can lead to further debt and incur interest. If you use a debit card, you’re using your own money to pay instalments.
Set reminders to check there are sufficient funds available when instalments are due. The instalments are automatically deducted from your nominated account. If you have sufficient funds, you avoid late fees.
Read the fine print. Some companies perform a credit check, and some even report defaults to credit agencies.
Try not to use these services if you have pressing debts and commitments to pay. You do not want to add more debt when you’re applying for a home loan.
Try to reduce commitments and make early repayments if you can afford them.
Do not use BNPL to purchase items and services you can’t afford.
Tell your bank that you’re using buy now, pay later when applying for a home loan. You will be asked about it to ensure you have a good grasp of your finances and the banks like to avoid surprises when they do a credit check.
The bottom line, at times when it’s harder to qualify for a home loan, it’s best to be vigilant about your expenses.
At Home Loan Experts, we can provide you with a free credit report to check if your buy now, pay later purchases could affect your chances of mortgage approval.
Our mortgage brokers will help weed out unnecessary debts and expenses to improve your chances of getting a home loan approved.
Call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online for a free no-obligation assessment.
“ ...From the beginning the service, care and attention to my needs was outstanding.
And that continued with every contact, in fact I'd say it got better, which is counter
to what happens almost everywhere else....”
“ ...He was able to quickly and with minimal fuss, find us a loan at a good rate when others told us it would be too hard. Very impressed with their service and would highly recommend the home loan experts in the future”
“ ...offered fast service and made the whole refinance process simple. And I love simple!
Thank you for getting me a great deal with a home loan that really suited my needs....”
“ ...absolutely outstanding!!!! I would give more than 5 stars if I could. My partner and I cannot speak highly enough of him. Our situation is quite a difficult one and this is our first time buying a home, but nothing was too difficult....”
“ ...provided an excellent service that included very quick turnaround in getting our applications processed and providing guidance and valuable advice in trying to secure a home loan for us.....”
“ ...made the application and settlement process incredibly easy and stress-free. They provided very clear information and responded to any queries quickly. They were very transparent about all aspects of the process.”
Facts about us
lenders on our panel
lent Australia-wide and counting
of our borrowers get approved with a major bank
of our borrowers get a discount below the bank standard variable rate
Want to discuss your home loan needs? We’re here to help.