On Tuesday, Apple announced it's beginning to invite select Apple Pay users in the US to take part in testing Apple Pay Later, its "buy now, pay later" service using Apple Pay for checkout. The feature was first announced last June during Apple's annual developer conference.
You need iOS 16.4 or newer installed to be eligible for an invite, but there's no way to request access to Apple Pay Later. It's completely random.
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If you are selected, you'll see an alert in the Wallet app letting you know you can apply and get pre-approved for your first transaction. You can request to take out a loan between $50 and $1,000. During the signup process, you'll be asked to confirm your personal information, and Apple will do a soft credit check to verify your information and check that you're in good financial standing.
Once you're approved, you can use the loan amount to make a purchase online or in an app with Apple Pay as a checkout option. In the future, Apple will allow users to apply for Pay Later loans during the Apple Pay checkout process.
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The total loan amount will be split into four payments over six weeks. The first payment will be due at checkout, with the remaining three payments charged to your debit card every two weeks. You can't use a credit card for payment -- it's part of Apple's philosophy to help its users make healthy financial decisions.
There are no fees or interest charges for using Pay Later. Even if you miss a payment, Apple will not charge you anything extra. However, you may not be able to use Pay Later again in the future.
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Right now, your Pay Later loans won't be reported to any credit bureaus. But when Apple makes Pay Later available to everyone this fall, the company will also begin reporting your loans to the credit bureaus, and any late or non-payments could have an impact on your credit score.
Pay Later users aren't limited to a single loan. You can apply for additional loans, each one requiring a soft credit check, manage all of your payments, and even view your payment schedule on a calendar directly in the Wallet app on your iPhone.