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How PayPal Pay in 3 Works for Buy Now Pay Later

PayPal Pay in 3 lets you enjoy purchases at well-known retailers and up to two months to spread the costs with no hard credit check required.

Considering the number of merchants that accept it for checkout financing, it is one of the popular buy now pay later apps in the UK enabling flexible instalments.

With good purchasing credit, interest-free payment plans, and only requiring a soft credit without any real impact on your bureau report, it is worth utilising when you want to spread the order payments.

PayPal Pay in 3


Max. Amount


Credit Check




Tip: PayPal Pay in 3 can be used to handle a cart with a minimum value of £30 which can extend to a maximum worth of £2,000. It is interest-free and you can spread the costs over two months with the first payment expected on the order date.


PayPal is one of the top providers of pay in 3 instalments checkout financing and just like how Klarna works, you can utilize it to split the cost of your orders for a maximum of two months.

It uses a soft credit inquiry hence, a good option to utilize without any real impact on your credit score as this is usually done for informational use and will not be visible to other lenders.


Read more about PayPal Pay in 3

If there is a list you maintain regarding financing methods to use when you are shopping, this is one of the options that has to be there.

This is not only for its large network of shops that accept it but also the convenience as it has a flow similar to using a normal PayPal account to check out.

While many of the split payment providers have restrictions in terms of what you can finance, using PayPal Pay in 3 comes with a little of those as you can use it to buy many things including grocery shopping, clothing, electronics, furniture, and more.

Once you submit an application, the platform will offer you purchasing power based on the result of its soft inquiry and other considerations that you can use for payments.

The number of active orders or plans you can have when using PayPal Pay in 3 is dependent on your total spending limit assigned by the platform.

In addition to this option being an interest-free payment plan, there is also PayPal Pay in 3 holiday which is a feature that will allow you to defer payment for up to 30 days in a scenario where you have financial difficulty and are unable to make your regular instalment.

Though the holiday is a good option to use in order to avoid overdue payments, note that it will only be possible to utilize it if you are not using Breathing Space (for PayPal Credit users) or a similar hardship program.

The reason this holiday feature should be on your consideration when in a difficult financial condition is that while applying for PayPal Pay in 3 will not impact your credit score, the platform reports payment activities to the credit bureaus hence, late payments can affect how you access financing.

Where to Use PayPal Pay in 3 for Checkout Financing


Below are some of the top online shops that accept PayPal Pay in 3 for buy now pay later:




Wowcher is a platform offering daily deals on a wide range of products and services, including travel, beauty, electronics, and dining experiences. Users can access discounted offers and vouchers for various merchants and enjoy savings on their purchases.



Temu presents a shopping experience with unbeatable prices across fashion, homeware, electronics, and beyond. With free UK shipping and a generous 90-day return policy, it offers budget-conscious shoppers an array of options and convenience.



ManoMano is an online marketplace specializing in DIY, home improvement, and gardening products. Offering a vast range of items, from tools to furniture, it provides customers with convenience and choice for their home projects.



Adidas is a renowned sportswear brand offering athletic apparel, footwear, and accessories. Known for its innovation and iconic designs, Adidas caters to athletes and casual wearers alike, providing quality products for various sports and lifestyles.



Wayfair is an online retailer offering a vast selection of furniture, decor, and home goods. With a diverse range of styles and price points, it provides customers with options to furnish and decorate their homes to their preferences and budgets.

Features Available On PayPay Pay in 3

The PayPal Pay in 3 payment plan option has amazing features when it comes to financing.

Some of these include:


Spread Payments Up to 2 Months

PayPal Pay in 3 will allow you to spread the cost of your orders for a maximum length of two months.

This will start from the order date hence, you will need to pay the first instalment when you are applying to use the option for financing at any of the online shops that accept it for payment plans.

The total cost of your cart is considered and not the individual items; this will be divided into three equal payments with the first expected before your order can be completed.

Your instalment is on a monthly basis and not weekly like how Clearpay works with each expected every 30 days tallying with the date of your first payment.


Soft Credit Check

Like many of the buy now pay later apps, PayPal Pay in 3 uses a soft inquiry which will not impact your credit score.

This inquiry will not affect your eligibility to access credit or loans from other providers since it is usually done for informational purposes without being visible to other lenders.

It is different from a hard check which is usually utilized when you are applying for a high-ticket financing or credit card and similar financial products that could leave a short-term impact on your bureau profile.


Interest-free Financing

PayPal Pay in 3 is an interest-free financing option hence, you do not have to worry about paying high as your total instalment will be equal to the price of the product you used it to purchase.

While it is a loan, you are not required to pay any interest when using it and with its spending limit targeting small to medium-ticket purchases, you should be able to use it at most retailers for everyday essentials without the need to opt for alternate options that could charge you interest.


No Late Payment Fee

PayPal Pay in 3 does not charge fees for late payments and you have the freedom to repay your instalment if you miss the due date as a result of an error in processing or a financial difficulty.

While this could be a good option giving you a window to complete your missed instalment, note that too long overdue payments may have an impact on your credit score as PayPal Pay in 3 payment activities are reported to the major credit bureaus.


PayPal Pay in 3 Holiday

PayPal Pay in 3 Holiday offers you a unique feature that provides some breathing room by postponing your next repayment for a month.

This can be a helpful solution if you are facing financial difficulties and need temporary relief from making your next payment on your Pay in 3 plan.

To be eligible, ensure you have no overdue or missed payments on any of your current Pay in 3 plans, and that you are not enrolled in another hardship program like Breathing Space.

It is important to note that enrolling in a payment holiday might impact your eligibility for a new Pay in 3 in the short term.

However, by consistently making payments on time and keeping your account up-to-date after the payment holiday, you can support your eligibility for future loans in the longer term.

This program is designed to offer support and flexibility during challenging times, allowing you to manage your finances more effectively and alleviate some of the stress associated with repayments.


Little Restriction on Usage

There are a few restrictions when you compare the features offered by PayPal Pay in 3 to those of other buy now pay later options.

While some will restrict you from financing certain products, you can use your purchasing power assigned by PayPal to enjoy payment plans on a variety of item categories including groceries, sofas, appliances, electronics, tools, hair extensions, and more.

This will enable you to defer payments for your essentials and channel your available funds to handle other needed expenses.


Can be Combined with PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit is the other financing product you can utilize aside from Pay in 3 with both provided by the same institution.

While they work similarly in terms of allowing you to enjoy flexible payments for your purchases, their overall attributes differ.

PayPal Credit is a revolving line of credit which can be used for high ticket purchases that exceed the maximum offered by Pay in 3 and it involves a hard inquiry similar to how a credit card works.

However, both do not affect each other in terms of access and you can utilize any of your choice or both simultaneously when shopping at most retailers that accept PayPal.

On your PayPal account, they are segregated and you can manage them separately by selecting the appropriate menu item when logged in.


Multiple Active Plans

When using PayPal Pay in 3, you can have multiple orders running on your account as the platform does not have restrictions in terms of the number of plans that can be active on your account.

However, the maximum in terms of the total amount of your active plans cannot exceed the assigned purchasing power or spending limit on your account.

If you attempt to add a new order that will make the amount of your active plans go above your spending limit, it will be declined.


Part of PayPal

This option is built into PayPal hence, you can access it with no need to create a new account as the existing one will work perfectly.

The flow is also very similar to using your account for payment as it is the same as you using a regular PayPal account for checkout.

You simply need to select Pay in 3 when you log into your account to utilize the payment plan option. However, some merchants make the experience easier by providing separate buttons to utilize either the Pay in 3 or PayPal Credit service.


An Extensive Merchant Network

PayPal Pay in 3 offers users a versatile and convenient way to finance their purchases, thanks to its extensive merchant network.

This network comprises a wide array of online retailers across various industries, ranging from fashion and electronics to home goods and beyond.

Through its integrations with numerous merchants, PayPal Pay in 3 provides users with the flexibility to utilize financing options for their purchases at a multitude of online stores.

With its large merchant network, you have the opportunity to shop at your favourite online retailers and enjoy the convenience of financing your purchases directly through PayPal.


Good Spending Limit

PayPal Pay in 3 offers a spending limit of up to £2,000 that can be used for purchasing or handling a cart value starting from a minimum of £30.

However, note that the maximum you can access depends on what is assigned as your purchasing power by PayPal.

The platform gives a purchasing power between £950 to £2,000 on average to most users and you should be able to utilize what is assigned to you for handling most essential shopping needs.


May Improve Your Credit Score

PayPal Pay in 3 can improve your credit score if you do not default instalments as the platform reports payment activities to the major credit bureaus.

Just as it could help you build your credit profile, it can also affect it because reporting missed payments can have a negative impact on your bureau report since it will be visible to every other lender.

If you face a scenario where you may not be able to handle payments or want to extend your next instalment, you can utilize the holiday feature which can shift your next payment until later 30 days after your current due date.

Frequently Asked Questions on Using PayPal Pay in 3


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the use of PayPal Pay in 3 for checkout financing:

What is PayPal Pay in 3?

Pay in 3 is a payment option offered by PayPal that allows users to split their purchase into three equal payments, spread out over time.

With this option, you can make a purchase and pay for it in three instalments, with the first payment due at the time of purchase and the remaining two payments spread out over the following two months.

Does PayPal Pay in 3 check credit?

Yes, applying for the PayPal Pay in 3 option will check your credit profile but this is through a soft inquiry which will not impact your bureau profile.

This is an informational requirement process which is needed to determine the purchasing power to be assigned that you can use for making payments.

It is similar to checking your credit score yourself and this will not be visible to other lenders hence, it will not prevent you from getting loans from other providers.

How many times can I use PayPal Pay in 3?

There is no limit to how many times you can use PayPal Pay in 3 for financing as long as your assigned purchasing power can handle the payments.

You can have as many active plans as your assigned spending limit permits and once you have exhausted it or the order you want to pay for is above your maximum purchasing power, it will be declined.

Does PayPal Pay in 3 affect your credit?

Yes, the PayPal Pay in 3 payment plan option can have an impact on your credit score as the platform reports payment activities to the credit bureaus.

You can boost your credit profile by making sure your payments are made on time and the other hand, it will have a negative impact if you do not repay your due instalments.

How many payments is PayPal Pay in 3?

PayPal Pay in 3 allows you to split your purchases into three equal payments.

The first payment is due at the time of purchase, followed by two additional payments spaced out over the following two months.

This payment method provides users with the flexibility to spread the cost of their purchase over multiple instalments, making it easier to manage their expenses.

What is PayPal Pay in 3 limit?

The maximum spending limit when applying to use the PayPal Pay in 3 option is £2,000.

However, the limit that will be assigned to you will be based on factors determined from its soft inquiry and other considerations.

You may be given or may not have up to its maximum limit but on average, users get from £950 up to £2,000 and you should be able to enjoy it for buy now pay later purchases at most of the retail destinations that accept.

Does PayPal Pay in 3 have a virtual card?

No, the option does not have a buy now pay later virtual card as available when using Klarna and Clearpay.

This may be available in the future in the UK as the PayPal Pay in 4 option in the US has a virtual card since both are from the same band.

Can I pay off PayPal Pay in 3 early?

Yes, you can pay off your active loans early with no penalty.

This will not only improve your trust level on the PayPal platform but also can impact your credit score in a positive way as payment activities are reported to the major bureaus.

Is PayPal Pay in 3 interest-free?

Yes, the option does not charge any interest when used for financing.

Instead of accruing interest charges, the total purchase amount is simply split into three equal payments, which are then paid over a specified period.

This feature makes PayPal Pay in 3 a convenient and cost-effective option for users who prefer to spread out the cost of their purchases without incurring additional fees.

Why is PayPal Pay in 3 not showing?

You may be unable to see the Pay in 3 option if the merchant you are purchasing from is not supported.

Another reason could be that you may have missed payments in the past and PayPal has placed you in a default bucket until a certain period before you will allowed to access the financing option.

Also, note that after some time, PayPal will re-run a soft inquiry to understand the current state of your credit profile and if based on the result the platform notices a change that could affect your positive utilization of the Pay in 3, it will not be available to you.

Why PayPal Pay in 3 declined me?

There are several reasons why you might be declined from using the Pay in 3 option

Firstly, it could be due to the fact that the merchant you are purchasing from is not supported by this payment method.

Secondly, you will need to ensure that the product you want to purchase is not more than your assigned purchasing power. If you have any active Pay in 3 plan, make sure any new order added will amount to a total equal to or not more than your spending limit.

Additionally, if you have missed payments in the past, PayPal may have placed you in a default status until a certain period has passed, preventing you from accessing the financing option.

It is important to note that PayPal periodically conducts soft inquiries to assess the current state of your credit profile. If, based on the results of this inquiry, any changes are detected that could potentially impact your ability to utilize Pay in 3 responsibly, the option may not be available to you.

This process ensures responsible lending practices and helps maintain the integrity of the Pay in 3 financing service.


With the ability to split the cost of items into three equal instalments, you can enjoy greater flexibility and control over your finances

Whether shopping for necessities or indulging in luxuries, PayPal Pay in 3 provides a seamless and convenient payment experience, helping users achieve their financial goals while enjoying the things they love through flexible instalments.

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You are the first in our research hence, we rally around doing rigorous checks, testing and analysis to help you decide on products and services. However, Meedsy is not a lender, broker, bank, financial institution, or FCA-regulated hence, providers' final views are superior to ours and seek professional advice when in doubt.
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