Perpay is a buy-now, pay-later marketplace that reports your payments to the credit bureaus, which can help you improve your credit score. It lets you split your qualified purchases into interest-free installments, which you make over several months via automatic direct deposit deductions that you arrange through your bank.
There’s a downside, of course: the products you buy in the Perpay marketplace are substantially more expensive than they would be at other retailers.
If you want to build credit without a credit card, buy-now, pay-later services can be an attractive resource. This Perpay review will explain how their services work and help you decide whether Perpay is right for you.
Perpay is a buy-now, pay-later service that helps you build credit. It splits your purchases into interest-free installments, then reports your line of credit and payments to the major credit bureaus. The price difference between Perpay and other retailers is the most significant downside.
No credit check
Reports to the three major credit bureaus
Branded Credit Card
High item prices
Inconsistent customer support
Requires Link to Your Bank Account
What is Perpay?
Traditionally, credit cards have been the only way for consumers to finance their ordinary spending. Installment loans are too unwieldy and lines of credit are too expensive to use for day-to-day transactions.
However, credit cards aren’t without their issues. Credit checks and security deposits can make them inaccessible to some consumers. Also, their interest rates are high enough to cripple your finances if you carry a balance past their brief grace periods. Credit card debt can pile up fast and cause serious problems.
Buy-now, pay-later services like Perpay are a direct response to these problems. Perpay lets you pay off your purchases over multiple months without incurring any interest or fees, and there’s no credit check or security deposit to sign up.
Perpay’s mission is “to make everyday purchases more accessible and help you build credit along the way.” Their services seem to do a reasonable job of both since they also report your payments to all three major credit bureaus.
How Does Perpay Work?
Here’s everything you need to know about how Perpay’s services work, including how to sign up for them, how you need to handle purchases, and how much you can expect to see your credit score increase.
How to Sign Up for Perpay
Though there’s no credit check to sign up, Perpay has some eligibility restrictions. In addition to being a United States resident 18 years of age or older, you must meet the following requirements to become a Perpay member:
- Actively maintain full-time employment (disability income accepted)
- Have three months of continuous employment history with your current employer
- Get paid via direct deposit
- Have an active mobile phone
- Have no active bankruptcies
- Be in good standing with all financial obligations
Assuming you meet these requirements, you can complete the registration process through their website. You’ll need to share your contact details, provide your income information, and verify your identity.
How To Use Perpay
Unfortunately, there’s no way to use Perpay’s credit line to make purchases through other online or brick-and-mortar stores. You have to shop through their online marketplace to take advantage of the service, and you’re limited to the brands they partner with, though there are many.
The other primary restriction is that you can only make purchases up to your spending limit. They’ll assign it using the net income estimate you provide when you first sign up for Perpay. Typically, it’ll be somewhere between $500 and $2,000.
Perpay may also factor your activities with them into your spending limit. Placing orders through the service may help raise your purchasing power.
When you order through the Perpay shop, your request will need approval. Many orders are approved instantly, but some may require up to two days. Upon approval, they’ll email you a link to set up your direct deposit deductions and repayment term, which can be up to 12 months.
Perpay will then update your minimum required payment, which goes toward all your outstanding order balances. You don’t need to make a separate payment for each order. Unfortunately, Perpay only lets you make the minimum payments via direct deposit, though you can submit extra ones via credit cards or bank transfers.
Your payments are deducted directly from your paycheck when it is deposited into your account. This means that you will never miss a payment. You will have to monitor your spending to be sure that the deductions leave you enough cash to meet your other obligations. Using Perpay can’t harm your credit – you can’t make a late payment – but if your spending leaves you unable to make other payments your credit could still suffer.
If you can’t split your paycheck deposit between multiple accounts, Perpay will do it for you. The direct deposits will align with your pay cycle and can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
⚠️ You must make one full payment at or above the minimum via direct deposit before Perpay prepares your items for shipment.
The Perpay Credit Card
Perpay has introduced a branded credit card that you can use anywhere that MasterCard is accepted.
There’s no hard inquiry when you apply, so your credit score won’t be affected. You will be qualified based on your employment, income, and your Perpay payment history.
The Perpay credit card offers 3% cash back on payments made for purchases at the Perpay store. The reward can only be claimed as a credit for further Perpay purchases.
Credit lines start at $500, and your monthly payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account, just like your Perpay purchase payments. ATM withdrawals, cash advances, and balance transfers are not available.
The ability to use your card anywhere that accepts MasterCard is potentially useful, as you are not tied to higher-priced items. You will still need to be careful to keep your balance low, ideally less than 30% of your credit limit.
How Does Perpay Handle Returns?
Unfortunately, there are significant restrictions on the products that Perpay will let you return after buying from their store. Non-returnable items include:
- Those from select brands like Gucci, Samsung, Lego, and many more
- Beauty or personal care products
- Jewelry that has been used or worn
- Furniture, mattresses, or freight items leaving the manufacturer’s warehouse
- Used electronic or musical items outside the original packaging (unless damaged or defective)
- Mouth-blown instruments, mouthpieces, harmonicas, and drumsticks
- Tires that you’ve mounted onto your vehicle
- Pet food and specific treats
You generally have 30 days after the delivery date to request a refund for all other products. There’s an exception for damage claims, which you must submit within 48 hours of delivery.
Unless your item is damaged, you’re responsible for the original shipping cost, a $10 return shipping fee, and a 5% restocking fee on all returns.
How Does Perpay Make Money?
Perpay doesn’t charge any membership or late fees, and your installments aren’t subject to interest. That may make you suspicious about how Perpay profits from your business, but the answer is straightforward.
They purchase the products in their store wholesale, mark up the prices, and resell them to you. As a result, it’s possible some of their products are more expensive than they would be in other stores.
The Perpay store is not accessible to non-members, so we were not able to compare the prices of common items in the Perpay store to those of other retailers.
If you sign up for Perpay, compare their prices to other retail options before buying items. Only you can determine whether the costs are worth whatever credit-building benefit you’ll receive.
📗 Learn More: A better credit score is a way to save money, which makes paying for one feel frustrating and counterproductive. Consider using our techniques for free credit building instead: 9 Best Ways to Build Credit for Free.
How Much Will Perpay Build Your Credit?
Perpay doesn’t report your credit line or payment activities to the credit bureaus by default. If you want to see a benefit to your credit score, you need to activate Perpay+ from your dashboard or at checkout on your first order.
Then, Perpay will start reporting to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion once you complete four months of on-time payments. The total payment amount must also exceed $200.
You could see your credit score improve significantly. Perpay claims their users see an average increase of 39 points on VantageScore. The impact on the more widely used FICO scores may be different.
Of course, that’s just an average, and there’s no way to know for sure what your results will be. It can vary significantly depending on your current credit score, previous credit history, and how you use Perpay. The impact on your credit score will be greater if you have a relatively thin credit file.
Perpay Customer Reviews
Perpay has a well-established online presence and many customer reviews across multiple platforms. That makes it relatively easy to gain insight into the average customer experience.
Interestingly, customer reviews for Perpay seem to be balanced, with no significant inclination one way or the other. Here are Perpay’s ratings on each platform where they have a profile:
- Sitejabber: 2.5 out of 5 stars (165 reviews)
- Better Business Bureau: 3.2 out of 5 stars (112 reviews)
- Trustpilot: 3.1 out of 5 stars (267 reviews)
- Google Play: 3.7 out of 5 stars (4.5K reviews)
- App Store: 4.6 out of 5 stars (5.2K reviews)
Many customers seem to encounter no issues using Perpay and praise the service’s convenience. They also mention the high quality of the items offered, the easy access to credit-building opportunities, and the helpful customer support teams.
However, just as many reviewers feel the opposite. They report having difficulty completing orders, requesting cancellations, shipping items, and getting customer service representatives on the phone.
We would point out that PerPay cannot “garnish wages” (only a court can do that. The customer appears to be complaining that money was deducted from his paycheck after it was deposited to his account for a canceled order. This is not “garnishment”, but it’s still a problem.
One consistent point in both positive and negative reviews is some customers think that the items in Perpay’s stores are overpriced. Some users found this forgivable given the benefits, but others think the prices are unacceptable.
The only way to know whether this issue applies to your potential purchase is to compare before buying. A quick search should let you know, for example, what an identical or equivalent item costs on Amazon.
We do note that many of the complaints and negative comments on Trustpilot have responses from the company and appear to have been rectified.
There are complaints about unresponsive customer service, difficulties resolving complaints, and order issues. It’s hard to know whether these are serious problems or whether customers misunderstood services or instructions or had unrealistic expectations.
Reviews do sometimes skew negative because angry are disappointed customers are often more likely to post a review than satisfied ones.
Perpay’s purpose is to facilitate financial transactions while helping you build credit. Fortunately, there are many other tools with those same goals, which means you have plenty of alternative options if you decide Perpay isn’t worth using.
Here are a few options to consider:
- Sezzle Up: Another free buy-now, pay-later service, Sezzle Up receives better customer reviews than Perpay. They seem to charge lower prices and have better customer support. They also offer a virtual card that lets you use their services outside the Sezzle store.
- Chime Credit Builder: Chime offers a credit card with no credit check, interest, or fees. Each month, you transfer as much or as little cash as you want into the account, which becomes your credit limit for the period. Chime then uses it to automatically pay off your balance at the end of the month.
If you qualify for a no-fee secured credit card and you have the discipline to use it wisely, this may be a better option, simply because you can shop from different vendors and compare prices.
Whether or not you decide to use Perpay, you’ll still benefit from using other credit-building tools. Your credit mix alone is worth 10% of your FICO score, so try to acquire a diverse set of revolving and installment debts.
Is Perpay Worth It?
The key to answering this question is an assessment of the price differences between the Perpay store and conventional retailers. Since the Perpay store is only accessible to members, we can’t do that, so we’re unable to provide a really satisfactory answer.
The price difference between Perpay and other retailers is effectively the fee you pay for the credit-building gains and the convenience of installment payments. How large that fee is will depend on what you buy, how much you spend, and how large the markup is.
You won’t know whether the cost is worth it until you assess your spending. We’d advise comparing the cost of each purchase to the cost in other stores, so you know exactly what you are paying to use the service. There’s no other way to assess whether you’re getting value for your money.
Ultimately, too many other tools are available to people with bad credit that can help you cover your daily expenses and build credit without paying for it.