Unearth Your Fortune

By Kenny Sokan
September 26, 2023


Pandemic-induced credit card reliance spikes debt; discover Zip, the BNPL app for interest-free loans.

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The pandemic forced millions of Americans to depend on credit cards. 

In fact, credit card debt has increased by 15% since 2021. This is the largest jump in 20 years.

This kind of high-interest debt can leave consumers in debt for years.

So if you’re like many Americans looking for interest-free loans, check out Zip. 

Keep reading for an in-depth guide to this highly-rated buy now, pay later (BNPL) app. I’ll also answer frequently asked questions and cover common Zip reviews.

What is Zip?

Previously known as Quadpay, Zip is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service that lets you split purchases into four equal payments. 

Keep in mind, each purchase must be a minimum of $35. You’ll make the first payment during checkout and the other three over the following six weeks.

View of Zip’s user dashboard in the BNPL app
Source: Zip

You can use Zip at retailers like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, or any store in the U.S. that accepts Visa. 

Like most buy now, pay later services, you won’t have to pay interest. However, Zip charges a $1 convenience fee per transaction. If payments are late, you can expect late fees as high as $10, depending on where you live in the US.

What is Zip?

Ready to give Zip a shot? Follow this four-step process on how to use Zip responsibly:

  1. Download the mobile app
  2. Shop at your favorite stores
  3. Manage your purchases 
  4. Repay the remaining balance

Step 1: Download The Mobile App

The first step is going to the Google Play Store or App Store and downloading the Zip app. Alternatively, you can apply for an account by visiting the Zip website. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Live in the U.S.
  • Have a valid U.S. credit or debit card

Upon signing up, Zip will ask for personal information like your full name and phone number. If Zip has trouble verifying your identity, they may also ask you to provide your Social Security Number (SSN).

Once Zip approves your account, you’ll be approved to spend between $350 to $1,500 immediately. 

On your dashboard, you’ll find a “Spending Power Figure.” This isn’t an open line of credit since each transaction is approved separately. This is an estimation of how much you’ll be approved to spend and can change depending on your buying habits and history.

As you make bigger purchases with Zip, you can request to increase your limit to $5,000, and you’ll get three months interest-free to pay it off. 

Step 2: Shop At Your Favorite Stores

Zip works with any store in the U.S. that accepts Visa. Popular examples include:

  • Best Buy
  • Airbnb
  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Whole Foods

Use Zip BNPL at checkout anywhere in the U.S. that Visa is accepted
Source: Zip

You can shop at your favorite stores by logging into your Zip mobile app, heading to the merchant’s website, selecting the Zip payment method at checkout, and adding your credit or debit card.

If you prefer shopping on your desktop, install Zip’s free Chrome browser extension. It has all the functions of the mobile app. So feel free to use it to manage your payments, apply for higher credit limits, or shop where you want.

Also, you can use Zip when shopping in-store. Upload Zip to your Google Pay Wallet or Apple Pay Wallet, and tap your phone to buy using a virtual Zip card.

Step 3: Manage Your Purchases

On the Zip mobile app, you can track previous purchases and personal loan history while receiving reminders for future installments. 

The dashboard is also where you’ll find your virtual Zip card, which you can use to buy items offline or in-store.

Use the virtual Zip card to make in-store and offline purchases wherever Visa is accepted
Source: Zip

Several Zip reviews mention how this service lets you pay bills if your utility company accepts Visa. Simply head to their website and enter your Zip card details. This makes Zip a good buy now, pay later app if you’re struggling to pay bills in full and on time. 

But remember, Zip charges a $1 installment fee for every payment. These fees can quickly add up if you’re purchasing products or services regularly. 

So, I suggest using Zip and other buy now, pay later apps for making large one-off purchases. This keeps the installment frequency low and ensures you aren’t paying unnecessary fees.

Step 4: Repay The Remaining Balance

Zip comes with autopay, so you don’t have to manually make payments. Just check that the necessary amount is in your bank account prior to the day of withdrawal.

If a payment is declined, Zip charges a late fee of $5, $7, or $10, depending on the state you live in. And since there’s no option to turn autopay off, this can quickly snowball if you miss multiple payments.

So if you have the cash, I suggest paying your personal loan off as soon as possible. It eliminates the risk of late fees and leaves you with more money to save and invest at the end of every month.

Is Zip Legit?

Zip is a legit and highly recommended app within the buy now, pay later community. It has over 400,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.9 stars in the App Store.

Not to mention the 4.5-star ratings it has in the Google Play Store and 4.6 stars on Trustpilot. 

This service has helped countless Americans shop hassle free.

Is Zip Safe?

Zip is a safe buy now, pay later service. It’s regulated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), so you can be sure there are no fishy business practices.

However, if you have a shopping addiction or you can’t stop making impulse purchases, I’d recommend avoiding Zip and other BNPL services. They make your checkout total look small, encouraging you to buy more than you need. 

Zip Reviews

Below are some positive Zip reviews. 

These Zip reviews show how Zip helped users buy gifts and pay for emergencies
Source: App Store

This Zip customer uses Zip to buy everything from electronics to clothes and car parts
Source: Trustpilot

You’ll notice that many Zip reviews talk about how easy the app is to use. You won’t have to jump through hoops during the sign up or purchase process.

Many Zip reviews like that there’s no learning curve when signing up for the mobile app.
Source: Trustpilot

The customer support team is also quick to respond to any bad Zip reviews. They’ll attach a custom email address you can message, and an agent will work with you to solve the problem. 

I found that many customers initially complained about an issue but edited their Zip reviews after working with the support team.

Commonly Asked Questions About Zip

Can I Trust Zip?

Zip is a trustworthy buy now, pay later (BNPL) service. It scores 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store, 4.9 stars in the App Store, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. These high rankings support that it is a safe and widely used app in the buy now, pay later community.

Does Zip Affect Your Credit Score?

Zip conducts a soft credit when approving your account, so it doesn’t affect your credit score. You also can’t use it to build good credit as Zip doesn’t regularly report payments to the credit bureau. But if you miss multiple payments, Zip reserves the right to report your account.

Is Zip As Good As Afterpay?

It depends. Afterpay is more flexible than Zip because it offers six and 12-month personal loans. This is perfect if you’re buying expensive items like televisions or furniture. Afterpay also doesn’t have convenience fees, so you save money. Although, Zip’s fees may motivate you to pay off purchases faster. 

Does Zip Charge a Fee?

Yes, Zip charges a few different fees. If you miss a payment, you’ll have to pay a $5, $7, or $10 late fee, depending on your location. Each installment also costs $1, so after four payments, you’ll pay $4. Some people find this helpful as motivation to pay off their loan amount quicker. 

Does Zip Charge Interest?

Zip doesn’t charge interest, even if you make late payments. However, Zip charges late fees that can go up to $10. These fees can make borrowing expensive, so I suggest paying your loan on time or even before the due date to avoid penalties.

Is Zip A Good Way To Build Credit?

Zip doesn’t report your monthly payments to the credit bureau, so you can’t use it to build a credit score. But Zip does reserve the right to report accounts, which can leave a mark on your credit report if you miss payments.

Is Using Zip A Good Idea?

Using Zip is a good idea if you’re making large purchases for things like furniture or household appliances. But if you’re compulsively shopping on the app, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the frequent payments. Plus, late fees can add up, leaving you with mountains of debt.

What Credit Score Do You Need For Zip?

Zip doesn’t require a minimum credit score. You can still qualify for Zip loans if you have a bad credit score. But keep in mind that Zip doesn’t report monthly payments to the credit bureau, so it is not a good tool to help you build credit.

What Are Zip Alternatives?

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