Since the start of the pandemic, the option to “buy now, pay later’” has skyrocketed in popularity, especially among young and low-income consumers who may not have ready access to traditional credit. If you shop online for clothes or furniture, sneakers or concert tickets, you’ve seen the option at checkout to break the cost into smaller installments over time. Companies like Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna, and Paypal all offer the service, with Apple due to enter the market later this year.
But with economic instability rising, so are delinquencies. Here is what you should know:
HOW DOES BUY NOW, PAY LATER WORK?
Photo: Bloomberg 照片：彭博社
Branded as “interest-free loans,” buy now, pay later services require you to download an app, link a bank account or debit or credit card, and sign up to pay in weekly or monthly installments. Scheduled payments are then automatically deducted from your account or charged to your card. The services generally don’t charge you more than you would have paid up front, meaning there’s technically no interest, so long as you make the payments on time.
But if you pay late, you may be subject to a flat fee or a fee calculated as a percentage of the total you owe. If you miss multiple payments, you may be shut out from using the service in the future, and the delinquency could hurt your credit score.
ARE MY PURCHASES PROTECTED?
Photo: Bloomberg 照片：彭博社
In the US, buy now, pay later services are not currently covered by the Truth in Lending Act, which regulates credit cards and other types of loans (those paid back in more than four installments).
That means you could find it more difficult to settle disputes with merchants, return items, or get your money back in cases of fraud. Companies can offer protections, but they don’t have to.
WHY DO RETAILERS OFFER BUY NOW, PAY LATER?
Photo: Bloomberg 照片：彭博社
Retailers accept the backend fees of buy now, pay later services because the products increase cart sizes. When shoppers are given the option to pay off purchases in installments, they’re more likely to buy more goods in one go.
WHO SHOULD USE BUY NOW, PAY LATER?
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
If you have the ability to make all payments on time, buy now, pay later loans are a relatively healthy, interest-free form of consumer credit.
But if you’re looking to build your credit score, and you’re able to make payments on time, a credit card is a better choice. The same goes if you want strong legal protections from fraud, and clear, centralized reporting of loans.
If you’re uncertain whether you’ll be able to make payments on time, consider whether the fees charged by buy now, pay later companies will add up to higher charges than the penalties and interest a credit card company or other lender would charge.
報復性旅遊（revenge travel）要開始啦！繼許多國家於今年開放國外旅客入境，台灣也預計在十月中開放邊境，因為疫情悶了近三年，民眾終於可以出國遊玩！旅遊是TOEIC測驗常考情境，今天就讓我們來學學旅遊情境中不可少的訂票、訂房相關英文吧！ book a flight ticket 預訂機票 If you are booking an international plane ticket, you should book as far in advance as possible, especially if your destination is smaller or only has one nearby airport. （如果你正在預訂一張國際機票，你應該盡量提早預訂，尤其是當你的目的地是個小地方，或是附近只有一座機場。） booking an international plane ticket代表「訂購一張國際機票」。預訂機票的動詞要用book，當名詞是「書本」的意思，但當動詞時解釋為「預訂」。 Will booked a seat on the evening flight to Los Angeles. （威爾預訂了飛往洛杉磯的夜班客機的座位。） The hotel/restaurant/theater is fully booked. （旅館／餐廳／劇院已預訂滿了。） 除了用booked，要表達「沒有空位」時，英文也可以用all the rooms／tables／tickets have been taken，代表「所有的房間／餐廳座位／票券都已經被訂走了。」 I’ve booked us two tickets to see “Carmen.” （我已經為我們訂了兩張《卡門》的票。） 根據上面的句型，動詞book 後方加上「us我們」、「two tickets兩張票」二個受詞，就是使用雙賓動詞的概念，在語法中，賓語指的是受詞，若動詞後方可以接二個受詞，則代表雙賓動詞。相同的概念還有give、buy等動詞。如此一來，這句話換句話說是I’ve booked two tickets for us to see “Carmen.” book as far in advance as possible解釋為「盡量提早預訂」。in advance是「事先、提早」的介系詞片語，因此book in advance就是「提早預訂」的意思。而as far as possible與in advance搭配，表達提早的時間盡量越早越好。 If you’re going to come, please let me know in advance. （如果你要來，請提前通知我。） destination 目的地 destination是「目的地」的意思。說到旅遊，一定會提到這個單字，來自於destine「注定…」，因此延伸出「注定要到達的地點」，也就是「目的地」。而要表達「抵達目的地」，要用動詞arrive，因為屬於不及物動詞，因此要加上介系詞at來連接受詞。 We arrived
What’s in an earthquake emergency kit? (2/2) 地震避難包裡有什麼？（二） A: Apart from the seven essential items, is there anything else I should include in an emergency earthquake kit? B: Yes. Less essential items include batteries, a radio, warm clothing, copies of identification documents, a light raincoat or poncho, disposable hand warmers and facial tissues. A: Is there anything else? B: You could also include a towel, masks and stationery. You could even prepare a set of spare keys, a Swiss army knife and some cash. A: I’m going to prepare an emergency kit right away. B: Remember to check it once every six months and replace any items
Japan and China on Thursday last week marked the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and China’s growing military and economic assertiveness in the region. Here are the key issues in the often strained relations between these powerhouse neighbors: TERRITORIAL DISPUTES A huge source of contention is an uninhabited group of Tokyo-controlled, Beijing-claimed East China Sea islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu
Here is a store’s notice about its special sale. 以下是一家商店的特賣通知。 Kitchen Mate To all our friends, For larger space and better service, we are moving to a new place on Oak Street, just two blocks away from here. Before we close the store on Green Road, we are having a goodbye sale on Tuesday 10:00-17:00, Oct. 18. All our kitchen tools are up to 70% off! We hope to see you on the last day of old Kitchen Mate. And let’s meet at our new home next month! 必備單字 1. space n. 空間（國中基本1200字） 2. tool n. 工具（國中基本1200字） 實用字詞 1. service 服務 3. goodbye sale 結束營業拍賣會 4. up