Are you about to miss an Afterpay payment, or you’re worried you won’t be able to pay it back entirely?

The truth is, there’s a lot that can happen even if you are just late to make a payment – but are the actions taken by Afterpay really that drastic? Can you go to jail for not making your Afterpay payment, and what’s the worst that can happen if you simply don’t pay the money back?

In this article, I’ll cover everything that you need to know!

Will You Go To Jail If You Don’t Pay Afterpay?


No, you will not go to jail if you don’t pay back the money you owe to Afterpay. This is true even if you maliciously refuse to pay back the money that was used to fund your purchase.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that it’s fine to ignore payment either.

From losing your Afterpay account to having debt collectors come after you, there are some things that can have a permanent impact on your financial future.

So, let’s look over each thing that can happen in detail, as well as how frequently each one of them occurs.

What Happens When You Don’t Pay Afterpay Back

As just mentioned, the results of missing an Afterpay payment (or refusing to pay them back entirely) can range from light, to very severe.

While not all of these are guaranteed to occur, they are certainly something you should look out for!

1. The Ability To Spend Will Be Removed

The first thing that will happen if you miss a payment, is that your ability to spend more with Afterpay will be removed.

This is true even if you had a higher limit than what you currently spent.

Once Afterpay recognizes that you aren’t making payments anymore, they will freeze your account to prevent you from spending more money with them.

After all, this makes sense. They are right to assume that if you are unable to pay back your first loan, than it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pay back any new ones as well.

So, you will immediately lose the ability to make new purchases using Afterpay.

2. You Will Be Charged Late Fees

Next, you will be charged a late fee on any payments that are late – and these fees will continue to add up over time.

Currently, Afterpay’s late fee policy is very straightforward. In the U.S, you will pay up to a maximum of $8 or 25% of the product’s purchase price, whichever is lower.

So, if you used Afterpay to purchase a cheap product (less than $32), you will not have to pay the full $8.

Note however that late fee policies may differ depending on your country.

You can view Afterpay’s late fee policies for the U.S. in their installment agreement here. 

3. Your Future Limit may Be Lowered

Next, the future credit limit you are granted for Afterpay may be lowered. Unfortunately, this is the case even if you end up paying back Afterpay in full.

The reason for this is simple – Afterpay is a service that doesn’t check your credit history, so it only has a limited amount of data to work with when determining your risk.

Even if all you do is miss a payment slightly, they consider you to be a more risky person to lend money to. Just like late payments affect your credit score when using credit cards, the same principle applies with Afterpay. Miss a payment, and they may lower your credit limit with them.

So, it’s important to be on top of things and always pay on time if you intend to fund purchases using Afterpay in the future.

4. Your Afterpay Account May Be Closed

From here on, I’d like to point out that the following actions are rare, and only typically occur if you fail to pay back Afterpay at all.

If you are simply late and you still intend to pay them back, it’s unlikely anything else will happen.

If you appear to be avoiding payments entirely and you haven’t contacted Afterpay to make arrangements however, it’s likely that your Afterpay account will be permanently closed.

You will lose the ability to ever use Afterpay in the future, as you are simply too high of a risk to lend money to.

Depending on the amount of money owed, this can be where everything stops. However, if you owe a significant amount of money still, it’s possible that your financial life will be affected in a more serious way.

5. It Can Affect Your Credit

Many people don’t know this, but Afterpay can affect your credit.

While they do not run credit checks prior to lending money to you, it can affect your credit score if you fail to pay them back.

It’s been reported online that Afterpay can report negative account activity to credit agencies, depending on your country. However, Afterpay’s website claims they never report to credit agencies.

Regardless, Afterpay may send the debt to a collection agency, which can report the default and end up affecting your credit score.

6. You May Be Sent To Collection Agencies

This is the last one to worry about.

If you fail to pay back your Afterpay purchase, it’s possible that it will be sent to collections instead.

Yes, just because you don’t pay does not mean that you’re off the hook!

Nobody likes dealing with debt collectors, and having something sent to collections isn’t great for your financial future either!

So, read on to learn what you can do if you can’t pay right now, even if you’d like to.

Afterpay May Work With You!

Thankfully, a company of Afterpay’s size has dealt with every scenario that you can think of.

They understand that people’s financial situation can change quickly, and even those with the best of intentions can end up missing a payment through no fault of their own.

Whether you need to move a payment date or set up a new payment plan, it’s frequently possible to do so.

To learn more, view Afterpay’s help page by clicking here.


As you can see, a lot can happen if you never pay Afterpay back!

While you certainly won’t go to jail for missing your payments, it’s best to just find the money to pay them back on time.

Not only can you lose your Afterpay account’s good standing, but it can even affect your credit score when the debt is sent to collections. This is a big deal, and something that should really be avoided.

I hope that you’ve found this article to be helpful. If you have any other questions about Afterpay, please ask them using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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