Sezzle Up is a buy-now, pay-later service. It lets you finance purchases at certain stores in installments, then reports your payments to the credit bureaus. There’s no credit check to apply, and as long as you pay on time, there are no fees or interest.
If you’re looking to start building credit, the service is worth considering as an alternative or a supplement to traditional methods. Our Sezzle Up review will help you figure out whether it’s worth using in your circumstances.
Sezzle Up lets you pay off certain purchases with interest-free installments that count toward your payment history. It can help you finance small purchases affordably and build your credit without undergoing a credit check. Sezzle Up is comparable to other buy-now, pay-later services, but it reports to more credit bureaus than its competitors.
No credit check
Reports to three credit bureaus
Hard to contact customer service
Higher late fee than competitors
Low credit limit
What is Sezzle Up?
Credit cards have long been the only viable way to finance your day-to-day purchases and build credit. Generally, neither installment loans nor lines of credit are suitable for covering ordinary spending.
There are drawbacks to using credit cards, including:
- Hard credit checks that may deny you access and hurt your credit score
- Short interest-free periods and high interest rates if you carry a balance past them
Buy-now, pay-later services like Sezzle avoid both of these issues and are a viable alternative to credit cards. You can apply without a credit check, and you can finance your purchases for six weeks without any interest charges. In comparison, most credit cards have a grace period of around 25 days.
Sezzle Up is Sezzle’s optional credit-building feature. If you opt in, it’ll report your payment history on any financed purchases to all three major credit bureaus. That should improve your credit score as long as you pay on time.
How Does Sezzle Up Work?
Sezzle Up lets you finance purchases for six weeks with no interest. It generally requires a 25% down payment to complete your purchase, then charges you 25% more every two weeks, though you can pay sooner without penalty.
When you sign up for the service, you’ll add a payment method like a bank account or credit card. At each due date, Sezzle charges that funding source automatically.
⚠️ If Sezzle charges your payment method and the transaction fails, you’ll have 48 hours to fix the issue before it charges you up to $15 and puts a lock on your account, preventing any further orders. Paying the $15 fee will reactivate your account.
You can reschedule a payment for free once per order, but there’s a fee of up to $7.50 for additional instances. It’ll cap you at three reschedules per order, and each one lets you push your due date by two weeks.
Unfortunately, you can only use Sezzle to finance purchases at their partner stores. While there are over 40,000 vendors available across several retail niches, you probably won’t find your local grocery store on there.
In addition, you can only use Sezzle to pay for your online shopping if you sign up for the Sezzle Virtual Card through the Sezzle app. That would let you pay in-store as well, but still only at the vendors that partner with Sezzle.
Sezzle Up reports your payments to all three major credit bureaus.
How to Get Sezzle Up
Sezzle Up is an add-on to the financing service that Sezzle provides. To use it, you have to sign up for Sezzle and opt into the credit reporting feature.
To sign up for Sezzle, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older,
- Be a resident of the United States or its territories,
- Have a US phone number that can receive texts and a working email address,
- Have a non-prepaid payment method available, which can be a bank account, debit card, or credit card
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can sign up online in just a few minutes.
Sezzle Up Credit Limit
When you sign up for Sezzle Up, it’ll assign you a spending limit, much like a credit card. You’ll only be able to spend up to that amount until you pay off your balances. Sezzle says they’ll increase your credit limit after you pay off your first order on time.
Unfortunately, Sezzle isn’t forthcoming with its typical credit limits, but some of the vendors they work with claim that the maximum limit is $2,500.
⚠️ Sezzle Up will affect your credit utilization ratio, so you will want to keep your balance below 30% of your credit limit.
When Does Sezzle Up Report to Credit Bureaus?
Sezzle Up reports to the credit bureaus at the end of each month. At that point, it’ll share any payments that are more than 30 days late, which will hurt your score.
As a result, you might be able to avoid damage to your credit if you miss a payment, then rectify the issue quickly. For example, if you miss a payment due June 15, Sezzle Up won’t report you for being late until the end of July.
⚠️ This doesn’t help you avoid the $10 late fee. You only have two days after a failed payment before they charge you for it.
How Does Sezzle Show Up on Your Credit Report?
Sezzle Up shows up on your credit account as a revolving line of credit, like a credit card. When they report to the credit bureaus, they’ll share all of the following details for you:
- Name, SSN, date of birth, and address
- Total credit limit as of the month-end cut off
- The date you opened the account, which is the day you enrolled in Sezzle Up, not Sezzle
- The remaining balances on any purchases you haven’t paid off
- Any amounts that are 30 or more days past due
💡 This means Sezzle Up impacts your credit in more ways than just establishing your payment history. It also affects your average credit account age, total amounts owed, and credit utilization ratio.
How to Cancel Sezzle Up
There’s no cost to maintain a Sezzle Up membership, but if you want to continue to use the service without having them report your activity to the credit bureaus, you may wish to cancel.
To cancel your account, pay off your orders and go to your Sezzle dashboard. Under the “Account” tab, click on “Personal Information.” Scroll down and select “Close Account.”
Canceling your Sezzle Up account is irreversible, but you can create a new one and start over whenever you want.
Sezzle Up Pricing
It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for Sezzle Up. There are no enrollment or subscription fees, which makes it easy to sign up and maintain your account.
As long as you make your installment payments on time and in full, you’ll never have to pay anything for Sezzle Up. However, if Sezzle charges your payment method for one of your installments, and it doesn’t go through, you may have to pay a $10 penalty. Your bank may also impose an insufficient funds fee, which may be substantial.
💡 To avoid the $10 fee and additional bank fees, pay the failed installment within 48 hours or reschedule your payment in advance.
Sezzle Up Customer Reviews
Sezzle Up generally receives positive reviews. It has a 4.6 rating out of 5 stars on its Facebook page (out of 2,280 reviews) and a 4.4 rating out of 5 stars on its Trustpilot page (with 9,804 reviews), though many reviews may not be authentic.
Most of the positive reviews are about Sezzle’s interest-free financing, but there are several for the credit building aspect of the service.
In addition, the Better Business Bureau gives Sezzle an A rating for its responsiveness to customer issues through the site. However, customers themselves only give it 1.21 out of 5 stars there.
BBB ratings are based on responsiveness to complaints, and Sezzle Up consistently responds to all complaints placed on the BBB page.
The rating is based on 113 reviews. There are also 601 complaints, 379 of them resolved.
It’s worth noting that the BBB page is typically where customers come to complain, as businesses tend to respond to BBB complaints. For that reason it tends to attract negative responses.
Facebook and Trustpilot have much larger numbers of the reviews and indicate general satisfaction, though it is impossible to verify the authenticity of the reviews. BBB reveals a significant number of complaints, though these may represent only a small percentage of users.
Across the various Sezzle Up review pages, most of the complaints are about the company’s customer service, despite their BBB rating. Specifically, it’s almost impossible to get a live representative on the phone for help with complicated matters.
The primary takeaway from these reviews seems to be that Sezzle Up performs its basic functions well, but if you run into an issue or have unusual circumstances, it will be tough to resolve them.
For example, trying to get a refund often proves problematic, so make sure you’re sure about the purchases you make through Sezzle Up.
Sezzle Up Alternatives
Sezzle Up is far from the only buy-now, pay-later service on the market. Its main competitors are very similar in form and function, though they may have other terms and partner with a different list of vendors or credit bureaus. For example:
- Affirm lets you create single-use virtual cards that work with any store. It also offers longer repayment terms and higher credit limits than Sezzle Up, but you may have to pay interest on your purchases. Affirm reports to Experian.
- Zip and Afterpay are virtually identical to Sezzle Up in that they let you pay off your balances in four interest-free installments, but they don’t report to the credit bureaus.
If you’re open to alternatives other than buy-now, pay-later services, then credit cards are your best best. They require a credit check and expose you to potential interest charges, but many offer cashback and signup rewards that Sezzle Up doesn’t.
👉 If you have bad credit, consider a secured credit card. They’re usually easier to qualify for than other credit accounts, as long as you have a few hundred dollars to put up as collateral.
In December 2019 California’s Department of Business Oversight ruled that Sezzle’s service amounted to loans. Since Sezzle Up had no license to operate as a lender in the state this was illegal, and Sezzle was blocked from doing business in the state.
Sezzle subsequently paid a fine and is now able to operate in California under a consent order. The regulatory action did not involve allegations of fraud or other abuse and was driven by the question of whether a buy-now-pay-later services constitutes “lending”.
On May 6, 2022 a class-action suit was filed against Sezzle in California, alleging that Sezzle customers are exposed to repeated late payment fees and bank-imposed insufficient funds (NSF) fees when their bank balances are not sufficient to meet payment commitments. The suit alleges that Sezzle does not give sufficient warning of these fees.
It is not clear whether this suit will prosper, as the late fees are described on the Sezzle website and NSF fees imposed by banks are not under Sezzle’s control.
Is Sezzle Up Worth It?
Sezzle Up is free to use, so there’s little downside to making it a part of your credit building plan. You don’t have to undergo a hard inquiry to sign up for it, and avoiding interest charges and late fees is a simple thing, as long as you’re disciplined.
That said, there is the same caveat that comes with credit cards: Be careful not to let it trick you into overspending. It’s best to use short-term financing tools to build credit, not for buying things you can’t afford.
⚠️ If you use Sezzle Up to finance your shopping because you don’t have the money to pay upfront, you risk missing installments, incurring extra charges, and damaging your credit.
Just like a credit card, use Sezzle Up to buy things you could have paid for in cash if you wanted, then pay them off in installments to build your credit score.