Owning a laptop can almost feel like a necessity these days. From checking email, typing a paper, or even participating in a virtual meeting, laptops make these tasks a little easier and almost impossible to complete without them. However, we also know that laptops can be expensive. Depending on your needs, the price can range from under $500 to over $1,500. So, if you are not prepared, you might consider financing a laptop to help alleviate some of the financial burdens.
How to finance a laptop
Financing a laptop is a simple process that typically goes through the purchaser. Companies like Best Buy, Apple, and Dell allow you to finance directly through them, making your purchase an all-in-one transaction. Dell, for example, offers a revolving line of credit to make purchases. Financing almost always includes a credit check, so you might see a temporary drop in your credit score.
Where to finance a laptop
When it comes to financing, you have a lot of options of where you can go to purchase your computer. You can finance your laptop through most major electronic retailers. Well-known companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Hewlett-Packard (HP) offer financing options. You can apply for financing options directly through them. Some retailers require a minimum purchase amount to finance. For example, Dell offers 6 to 12 months financing options for purchases over $599 and $899. Remember that most financing options are set, meaning you only have 6 months to pay it off. This is helpful to remember when considering if you can afford the monthly payment. There are a few lesser-known options for financing; if you decide to go this route, ensure it is a legitimate website and company.
What to know before you finance a laptop
You might feel rushed to purchase your laptop whether you need it in an emergency or you realize how easy it is to finance. Though the process is quite simple, there are pros and cons to consider before financing your new laptop.
- Get your laptop quickly because you can usually get an instant approval
- Financing can be relatively inexpensive and have little to no fees
- Additional perks and upgrades might be offered when you finance
- Having access to more products or an upgraded laptop since you are not spending the large amount upfront
- Spending more than you can afford
- Having a higher APR depending on the retailer or your credit
- Unrealistic promotion terms (i.e., same as cash for a short amount of time)
- Financing is a hard inquiry
Alternatives to financing a laptop
Financing might seem like the only option, mainly because it is so easy to go directly through the retailer. Still, you have alternative options when purchasing a computer without financing.
You can use your existing credit card or open a new one to purchase a laptop. Suppose you use a new credit card because the purchase is typically large. In that case, you might qualify for promotional financing or points depending on the credit card. Buying a computer on credit could mean 24 months same as cash, for example. Your large purchase could even help you gain additional points or a monthly credit, depending on the card. If you are using an existing card, you might still have points options, but you will likely have to pay interest on the purchase. If you can pay it off by the end of the billing cycle, you might avoid accruing interest. If not, consider how much extra you could pay for your laptop before charging it.
Wait and save up
You can consider waiting if you don’t need the laptop right away. Give yourself time to save up to avoid financing your computer. Put money aside in a way that works best for you, whether it’s weekly or monthly, to help you achieve your goal. Planning in advance and saving could work in your favor because you can align your purchase with any good sales like Back to school or Black Friday.
Consider buying a used laptop
Used laptops, also known as refurbished ones, can be a great way to save money. Refurbished laptops will likely be older versions of the current technology, but they will still work pretty effectively. When considering a refurbished laptop, you might consider purchasing them from a reputable source. Companies like Apple and Best Buy sell certified refurbished laptops. They inspect and repair their products, so they are almost like new. Sometimes they receive unused laptops, so you could be getting a new one at a refurbished price. Best Buy also has a 90-day warranty on their used laptops.
Scholarships or grants
Suppose you are a student that receives scholarships or grants. In that case, you can use that money for educational expenses, including a laptop. The funds may come in the form of a refund check if you have money left over once your scholarships and grants are disbursed. However, keep in mind the money is taxed. Some grants and scholarships can be used specifically for a laptop too.
To finance or not?
If you have to finance a laptop, you have great options. You just want to be sure that you are making an informed decision when buying a laptop on credit. Remember that it is an expense and something that usually has to be paid off within a set time. Waiting and saving might be the best route if you can go without paying for your laptop in installments. Save your money and make your purchase when you have met your goal.
Does financing a laptop build credit?
Your financing payments are reported to the credit bureaus so financing a laptop can help build your credit.
Can you pay for a laptop in installments?
Most retailers offer laptop financing options as monthly installments that you pay for a predetermined amount of months.
Does Best Buy finance laptops?
Yes, Best Buy does offer laptop financing options.