Credit cards are both awesome and terrible at the same time. They can be crazy helpful for big purchases that you need to make, but between hidden fees, outdated mobile apps, and plenty more, credit cards can often be a pain to use. If you're looking for a reliable alternative to traditional credit cards, the Affirm app could be just the thing you need.

What's new with Affirm?

Check back here for the latest updates in Affirm news.

March 19, 2018 - Affirm now allows you to secure credit in-store and then use it during checkout

Love Affirm but wish you could use it in brick-and-mortar stores to pay for your purchases? I've got good news: according to a announcement released by the company this morning, you can now secure financing options in seconds for purchases you're about to make in meatspace.

Now, when you're in a participating store about to make a large purchase, you can apply for financing right there by filling out a easy five-field application within your Affirm app. In seconds, you'll receive a real-time credit decision. Once you're approved, you simply enter the amount you'd like to spend, then choose the monthly payment plan that's easiest for you (the usual plans offer financing over 3, 6, 12, 18 or 24 months). Affirm will pay the merchant in full at the time of settlement, taking on all the fraud risk for the purchase — that means you can buy that new digital camera or Betty Draper-style fainting couch you've always wanted without having to shell out all the cash right away.

In addition, the startup also announced that Affirm users can now add their Affirm virtual card to their Apple Wallet. That way, they can immediately use it to make a purchase anywhere Apple Pay is accepted, giving it all the functionality of a "real" credit card.

Rob Pfeifer, Chief Retail Officer at Affirm, cited consumers' medley of shopping preferences as basis for the new features in a statement:

People's shopping habits are evolving very quickly, beyond simply moving online-to-offline or offline-to-online when engaging with merchants. Consumers are on their phones, online, and in-store throughout a shopping experience. Affirm provides a solution for this omnichannel experience in the form of transparent and honest finance.

What is Affirm?

Launched by PayPal in 2012 for handing out loans for online purchases, Affirm is a service that offers people a unique alternative for credit in the modern world.

How does it work?

When you hop into the Affirm app, getting started with a line of credit is broken up into three easy steps. Simply type in the name of the site you'd like to shop at, the amount that your purchase will cost, and if you're approved, you'll get a few different options to choose from for how you'd like to pay off whatever item you're buying.

Affirm lets you pay off your purchase over the course of three, six, or twelve months, and once you select the plan that works for you, you'll be assigned a virtual, one-time credit card that's used for that purchase and that purchase only.

Interest rates with Affirm range between ten and thirty-percent, with the exact number depending on how much you need to pay for. Affirm needs to approve you for each individual purchase that's made with the app, and Affirm says that you'll be able to get credit loans for up to $10,000. Couple this with Affirm's partnership with over 1,000 different retailers/outlets and a sleek design for the mobile app, and you've got a really compelling alternative to credit cards that we've known for so many years.

What devices can I use to access Affirm? How much does it cost?

If you want to give the Affirm app a shot, you can download it now from the App Store for iPhone and iPad by clicking on the link below. Best part: it's completely free. You can also access Affirm on any computer via its desktop site here.

Affirm - Free - Download now

Questions?

Still have some burning Affirm questions you desperately need answered? Share your queries with us in the comments below and we'll do our best to help you out!

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