While it might seem on the outset that shopping for prom dresses with Bill Me Later is a good deal, you should explore this option more fully before jumping into it. While there are a few obvious advantages to delayed payment, there are also several disadvantages. Bill Me Later is the equivalent of applying for credit, so all of the same considerations apply. You need to make sure that buying an expensive prom dress is really worth it.
What Is Bill Me Later?
Bill Me Later is a Paypal company. When you buy something online using Paypal, you're using money that you already have. Buyers use Paypal to store money that they've transferred from their bank or that someone has sent them. Some people use Bill Me Later if they don't have the money in Paypal but still want to purchase something.
Just as Paypal is considered a safe and easy way to pay online, Bill Me Later is designed to have the same level of security. It's an easy and safe way to use credit. The word "safe" here, though, means it's safe as far as giving out your information online. It doesn't mean it absolves you from any responsibility or personal financial risk.
To use Bill Me Later, you only need to supply two things: your birth date and your social security number. Bill Me Later uses your birth date to make sure you're of legal age to be applying for credit, which in most cases is 18.
Advantages of Shopping for Prom Dresses with Bill Me Later
There are some very obvious advantages to using Bill Me Later to shop for a prom dress, as well as a few additional benefits you might not have realized:
- Ease of use - Using Bill Me Later is definitely an easy way to get credit. There is no application process. You don't have to wait to be approved, and you don't have to fill out a bunch of paperwork. You simply choose that option at the online checkout, supply your birth date and social security number, and you're done.
- Ability to pay later - This is the obvious benefit that is built right into the name of the service, "Bill Me Later." There are promotions that run such as "No Payments for 6 Months," in which you can delay paying for several months. Other times, you must make your first payment within a month.
- No annual fee - While some credit cards charge an annual fee, Bill Me Later does not.
- Huge directory of stores - There are more than a thousand online stores that use Bill Me Later. While you obviously wouldn't want to buy your prom dress at Dick's Sporting Goods or Luggage.com, Deb Shops and Ralph Lauren are definite possibilities.
Disadvantages of Using Bill Me Later for Prom
While the selling point of this credit line is built right into the name, the disadvantages to using it aren't nearly as obvious. Since it's so easy to use this service, you need to be fully aware of what you're getting into when you're shopping for prom dresses with Bill Me Later:
- Age of consent - While this isn't a big factor for most people considering using Bill Me Later, it is for high school students. The age of consent for applying for credit is 18 years of age. If you're not old enough, it sends you back to square one unless you get a parent to do the line of credit for you.
- Pay later - While this was an advantage, it's also a disadvantage. Since this purchase is for a prom dress, the prom will be over by the time you could start paying. It would be hard to make payments on a dress that's hanging in your closet that you probably won't wear again.
- Can't try it on first - You won't be able try on your dress until it ships to you. Not only is there the possibility it won't fit, there's also a strong possibility the style you chose won't look as good as you thought it would. You can return things, but it can be a lengthy process to get something else in exchange.
If you're 18 years old, in the eyes of the law you're of legal age of consent for buying with credit. Whether you're in high school or not, using Bill Me Later will put you in a legally binding agreement. You need to consider all the options to be sure this is the right choice for you. The other options you have when you're staring at that perfect prom dress are store credit, cash, or borrowing from good old mom and dad.