Check If You Qualify

I can’t afford my buy-now pay-later payment

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 16th May 2024 - 3 minutes to read

Buy-now pay-later is a type of credit that offers a deferred period during which you don’t have to make any payments. This could be for a month or longer – sometimes the first payment on an item is deferred for as long as 12 months.

These types of credit agreement are commonly associated with retail fashion stores, but other sectors also use them, so what happens if you find that you can’t afford your buy-now pay-late payment?

What happens if I miss a buy-now pay-later payment?

Buy-now pay-later schemes are effectively short-term lending, so if you miss a payment it could have a detrimental effect on your credit record if the lender reports a default to the credit reference agencies.

The terms of these agreements aren’t always clear, however, and in some cases the borrower needs to set up a direct debit payment with their bank as part of the deal. If this isn’t set up, there’s a real risk that one or more payments could be missed, leading to charges and interest being added to the loan.

Interest rates are typically high if you miss a payment on a buy-now pay-later scheme and repayments can increase quickly with interest and charges attached, making the agreement increasingly unaffordable over time.

Scotland Debt Calculator

Get a rough indication of what your repayments might be under each of our different debt solutions.

Your Total Debt

£0 - £5,000

£5,000 - £10,000

£10,000 - £20,000


Your Employment Status

I am employed

I am self-employed

I am unemployed

I am a student

I am retired

Your Total Monthly Income

£0 - £1,000

£1,000 - £2,000

£2,000 - £3,000


What can you pay monthly towards your debt?

£0 - £100

£100 - £200

£200 - £300


Entering a debt spiral

It’s important to seek debt advice in this situation, especially if you owe other debts in addition to the buy-now pay-later loan. Once you’re in a spiral of debt where the repayments are increasing each month due to added interest and fees, it’s very difficult to escape it.

There are formal and informal debt procedures available in Scotland, however, that can free you from serious debt and provide a fresh financial start. Which one is most appropriate depends on various factors, including the number of debts and how much you owe in total.

If your buy-now pay-later payment is the only debt you owe, you may be able to negotiate with the lender for more time to pay, for reduced payments, or perhaps a lower interest rate for a while so the debt doesn’t spiral.

But what other debt solutions might be available if you owe more than one debt, and could you be eligible?

What is a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)?

The Debt Arrangement Scheme is a government backed debt solution that allows you more time to repay your unsecured debts (typically over £5,000). You receive advice from an approved money advisor, and if you’re eligible, a debt payment plan is formulated based on your residual income.

Eligibility relies on you receiving a regular income, so you can repay your debts at an affordable rate over time. Additional interest and charges on your debts is frozen and written off at the end of the term, so essentially, you’re only paying the original debt a mount.

How can a Scottish Trust Deed help me?

Scottish Trust Deeds differ from DAS in that you have to declare full insolvency - in other words, you only pay a pre-agreed proportion of the debt. If you enter into a Scottish Trust Deed you receive protection from creditors who may be considering legal action against you, and this protection continues for the full term as long as you keep up the Trust Deed repayments.

A Trust Deed typically lasts for four years, and offers you an alternative to sequestration (bankruptcy in Scotland) if you can’t afford your buy-now pay-later payments and have serious overall debt.

What is the process of sequestration?

Entering sequestration means your assets are sold by a Trustee to repay your creditors as far as possible. Depending whether you earn a regular income, you may also have to make monthly contributions.

For more information on this and other debt remedies when you can’t afford your buy-now pay-later payments, please call our expert team at Scotland Debt Solutions. We operate a network of offices around Scotland, and offer free same-day consultations.

facebook colour icon twitter colour icon linkedin colour icon messenger colour icon whatsapp colour icon email colour icon
Sharon McDougall Square

Sharon McDougall


Other Articles

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed? Can I Borrow Money

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed?

Borrowing money when you’re already deeply in debt requires careful consideration, and consultation with your trustee, as there are various factors associated with further borrowing in this situatio...

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed Guide to get a mortgage

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed

If you’re about to be discharged from a Trust Deed, you may be wondering to what extent your ability to obtain a mortgage has been affected.

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland? Court Order

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland?

If you’ve lost your job, state benefits and tax credits can provide vital financial support to see you through this tough time and help you avoid taking on too much debt while you look for more work...


Why Choose Us

Usp Discussion

Speak Direct With

A Qualified Adviser


We Don't Operate

Call Centres

Usp Location

5 Offices in Scotland

National Coverage

Usp House

Ask us About

Home Visits

Usp Award

Fully Regulated Advisors

From a Reputable Firm

Usp Hand Heart

Helping Scots Get

Out of Debt Since 1989

We'll give you a call

Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.

Here at Scotland Debt Solutions we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See our Privacy Policy.


Useful Tools

Personalised Debt Report
Usp Planner

Personalised Debt Report

Our personalised debt report will help you better understand your financial position and see where your money is going.

Debt Report
Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Arrange a call with an expert advisor at a time to suit you or contact our team via WhatsApp for immediate help and advice.

Arrange Callback
Find a Local Office
Usp Signpost

Find a Local Office

We have five offices located across Scotland. Find your nearest one here.

Find an Office


We can help you with...



Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy and may be suitable for you if you do not have the money to pay back your debts

Find out More
Trust Deeds in Scotland

Trust Deeds in Scotland

A Trust Deed involves making a monthly contribution to your debts for up to four years. After this time any remaining debt included in the Trust Deed will not need to be paid.

Find out More
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) lets you pay off your debt through a series of manageable instalments over a reasonable length of time.

Find out More
Business Debts
Icon Briefcase

Business Debts

Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director, we can help you work through your current financial problems including money owed to HMRC

Business Debts

Our Insolvency Practitioners are regulated by ICAS or the IPA and our firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Fees and Information: There are fees associated with our services. These will be fully explained before entering into any of the personal debt solutions referred to on this website. Full details of our fees and how these are charged are fully explained to you prior to you committing to any particular service.

ICAS Insolvency Practitioners