Does Klarna Affect Credit Score

Does Klarna Affect Credit Score | December 2023

UK consumers frequently ask, “Does Klarna affect credit score?” A well-known BNPL provider named Klarna has transformed how we shop. However, many worry about how it might affect their credit report.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Understanding Klarna’s Business Model

‘Buy now, pay later’ is a service provided by the Swedish company Klarna. Klarna offers a financing option to buy and pay for it in 3 interest-free instalments as an alternative to a traditional credit card.

The promise of convenience and flexibility is the foundation of the Klarna business model. They work with different retailers to provide their payment service at the register. 

The customer service team at Klarna can answer any questions or concerns regarding their payment plan anytime.

Due to its simplicity, Klarna appeals to a lot of customers. One can complete their purchase and set up recurring payments with a few clicks. The shortening of the typically drawn-out credit card process is a welcome change.

Klarna offers convenience, but it’s essential to remember that it’s still a form of credit. Therefore, how you handle your Klarna payments may impact your credit report.

How Klarna Works

A few payment options are available when you select Klarna at the checkout. You can pay the entire amount immediately with a debit or credit card or delay payment. You have two options: pay in full immediately or three interest-free instalments.

It is what it says on the ‘pay in 30 days’ option. After your purchase, Klarna sends you a bill that must be paid in full within 30 days. There isn’t any interest, and you can try it out before you buy.

The ‘3 interest-free instalments’ option divides your purchase into three equal payments. Every 30 days, these payments are automatically deducted from your debit or credit card. Unless you miss a payment, there are no fees or interest charges.

Although the Klarna process is simple, it’s essential to remember that it involves credit. You borrow money, whether a lump sum payment is due in 30 days or three interest-free payments. This indicates that Klarna will do a credit check.

You can find a link to this video on YouTube here.

Klarna and the Credit Check Process

When you use Klarna, the business will run your credit. This is done to assess your creditworthiness or how likely you are to pay back the loan in the first place. The kind of credit check Klarna conducts depends on your selected payment method.

‘Soft’ credit checks are run by Klarna for the ‘pay in 30 days’ and ‘3 interest-free instalments’ options. This type of check will not impact your credit score. Other lenders need to review this surface-level check.

However, a hard credit check is conducted if you use Klarna’s financing service. The results of this more thorough check are reported to your credit bureau. 

This is something that other lenders can see, and if you have too many hard checks in a short period, it could hurt your credit score.

Understanding that a soft credit check will still be noted on your credit file even though it won’t impact your credit score is critical. Other lenders won’t be able to see this; it is only for your information.

Does Klarna Affect Your Credit Score?

The simple response to the question “Does Klarna affect credit score?” is that it depends. Your credit score won’t be harmed if you select the “pay in 30 days” or “3 interest-free instalments” options and make all your payments on time. 

For these options, Klarna only runs a soft credit check that does not impact your credit score.

The financing option offered by Klarna, however, might have an impact on your credit rating. Klarna runs a hard credit check for this option, which may lower your credit score if you have too many in a short period. 

Also, missed payments will be reported to credit reference agencies, harming your credit score.

Therefore, managing your payments responsibly is essential, even though Klarna can be a convenient way to spread out the cost of purchases. If you do, your credit report may be protected, making it easier for you to get credit in the future.

Does Klarna Affect Credit Score

Potential Risks of Using Klarna

While Klarna can offer a practical means of managing purchases, there are possible risks. The temptation to overspend is one of the main risks. 

Some people spend more money than they can afford to repay because Klarna makes it simple to buy now and pay later. This could result in late fees and missed payments, lowering your credit score.

If you don’t make your Klarna payments on time, there’s also the risk that credit reference agencies will be informed of this information. Your credit report may be harmed, making it more difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.

Additionally, it’s essential to remember that while Klarna runs a soft credit check for its “pay in 30 days” and “3 interest-free instalments” options, these checks are still visible on your credit report. 

Lenders may be suspicious of excessive credit applications, even if they only involve soft checks.

"Klarna offers a financing option to buy and pay for it in 3 interest-free instalments as an alternative to a traditional credit card."

Klarna’s Impact on Long-term Credit

Even though using Klarna sensibly won’t lower your credit score, it’s crucial to remember that it still counts as credit. Mismanagement can have a long-term impact on your credit history.

Credit reference agencies will receive this information if you fail to make payments or pay them on time. A negative entry could stay on your credit report for up to six years. This could impact your future ability to obtain credit because lenders view you as a higher risk.

Additionally, although Klarna’s “pay in 30 days” and “3 interest-free instalments” options only require a soft credit check, submitting too many credit applications may raise red flags. 

Although lenders aren’t aware of these checks, having too many can be a warning sign because it shows a dependence on credit.

Therefore, it’s essential to use Klarna responsibly, even though it can be a convenient way to spread out the cost of purchases. Misuse can negatively impact your credit history over the long term.

Understanding Klarna's Business Model

Tips for Using Klarna Responsibly

You can do a few things to use Klarna responsibly and protect your credit score if you decide to use it. In the first place, only spend money you can afford to repay. Although using Klarna’s “buy now, pay later” option can be alluring, remember that you’ll still be required to refund the money.

Always keep an eye on when you have payments due. Before your payments are due, Klarna will send you a reminder, but it’s also a good idea to have your reminders. Doing this can prevent missed payments, which can harm your credit score.

Contact Klarna’s customer service when you need assistance making a payment. They can offer options and assist you in keeping your credit score intact.

Lastly, keep in mind that Klarna is a type of credit. It should be used wisely and sensibly, just like a credit card or any other kind of credit.

Expert Opinions on Klarna and Credit Scores

Numerous experts have offered their opinions on Klarna and credit scores. Most people concur that, when used responsibly, Klarna can be a beneficial tool that doesn’t lower your credit score. They also stress the importance of being aware of any associated risks.

The UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has issued alerts regarding BNPL services like Klarna. They emphasise that although these services can be helpful, risks are involved. Please pay back on time to avoid fees and blemishes on your credit report.

Other experts share this sentiment. The “pay in 30 days” and “3 interest-free instalments” options from Klarna won’t directly affect your credit score, but missed payments will, they emphasise. 

Therefore, managing your Klarna payments responsibly is essential to protect your credit history from possible harm.

Using Klarna responsibly is essential even though it can be a practical way to spread out the cost of purchases. If you don’t, your credit report may be negatively affected, and your credit history may suffer long-term consequences.

How Klarna Works

Understanding Klarna Financing

Popular BNPL offerings include Klarna financing. It offers a practical substitute for conventional payment options like debit cards. Customers can purchase goods now and pay for them over three interest-free instalments. 

In this process, customer support from Klarna is crucial. They manage payment confirmation and give clients the pertinent payment details. This guarantees a straightforward transaction and a positive shopping experience.

However, using Klarna financing does carry some obligations. Missed payments may incur late fees and, in more severe circumstances, could lower your credit score. 

The Role of Credit Bureaus and Agencies

Credit bureaus, called credit reference agencies, are essential to Klarna’s business. When you select Klarna Pay or another payment option from the company, your payment information might be shared with a credit bureau. 

This is a standard method of determining your creditworthiness. A history of late payments, poor credit, or credit card debt may impact your ability to use Klarna services. 

It’s essential to keep in mind that your payment activity is being monitored while using Klarna. Good credit can be maintained responsibly, but missed payments can damage your credit report.

The Influence of Klarna on Buying Behaviour

Klarna has had a significant impact on UK consumers’ shopping habits. 

Customers can now make purchases without worrying about making an immediate payment thanks to the convenience of “buy now, pay later” programmes and the availability of three interest-free instalments.

However, this ease of use can also encourage impulsive purchases. Sometimes, the allure of quick payments causes us to disregard our financial constraints, which results in credit card debt or late fees. 

As a responsible lender, Klarna Bank AB promotes informed choice-making among its customers. They emphasise that although Klarna purchases are practical, they should be handled responsibly to prevent monetary difficulties.

Tips to Keep Your Klarna Experience Positive

Keeping track of your payment schedule is critical for a positive experience with Klarna. Keep in mind that using Klarna only delays payment, not avoids it. 

Always respect your financial constraints. Buy only what you can afford. Please get in touch with Klarna’s customer service right away if you require assistance with your payments. 

To avoid late fees and damaging entries on your credit report, they can assist you in rearranging your payment schedule.

The purchase management tool Klarna is fantastic. However, it should be used responsibly, as with all financial instruments.

UK Care Guide is really proud to have been featured on some of the UK’s leading websites.

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

Meet The Team