There are finance options available for Apple products to help people afford them. Regular consumer options via a Barclaycard Visa and educational financing via a Capital One personal loan. But potential consumers might be left wondering, is it worth financing a piece of Apple hardware?
Apple’s products carry a price premium over other manufacturers. While a potential buyer might believe the quality of the equipment is there, that initial sticker shock makes it hard for some to pony up hundreds of extra dollars to get in.
Here’s how you can afford to buy an Apple computer:
- Use Apple 0% Consumer Financing
- Use Apple Education Financing
- Use Layaway
We lay out which is most cost effective below.
Apple Holds Resale Value
Apple laptops and phones are highly lusted after pieces of equipment. And while for many, the phones are a lifestyle options, many users are loyal to Apple’s laptops and desktops because they depend on them for getting work done. Whether it’s video editing or photography, creatives have been depending on Apple products for decades. Now many others who have found their phones to be excellent want to buy the laptops and desktops as well.
Some people question the value of Apple hardware. For some it’s almost akin to a religious war. But one thing is certain, no matter someone thinks about whether Apple hardware it holds its resale value. Used Apple products hold twice their value as non-Apple products.
This means that taking the time to finance Apple equipment might make sense to consumers. If they hold their value well and last, financing Apple products to get a better computer that will hold its resale value makes sense.
So how to finance an Apple computer?
General Consumers Financing an Apple Computer
Apple has teamed up with Barclaycard Visa to offer financing to any consumer that qualifies for the credit card. Applying for the Visa card will mean the applicant’s credit score gets a hard credit inquiry, which could knock their score down a few points. But the card offers a number of benefits to frequent Apple shoppers and benefits to financing through the credit card.
The first benefit is that, depending on how much you spend at the Apple Store, you get a no-interest promo period to pay off the card:
Promo no interest period:
Purchase Amount needed to qualify:
|6 months||under $498|
|12 months||$499 - $998|
|18 months||$999 and over|
For example, that means anyone wanting to buy a $999 MacBook Air would have 18 months interest fee. That’s $55.50 a month paid to the credit over a year and a half without paying any interest.
It certainly takes the sting out of the higher initial Apple prices. And with 3X points for Apple purchases, frequent Apple buyers might need to pay close attention to this card anyway.
Educational Financing Through Capital One
For students, Apple has a finance plan through Capital One. It’s not a credit card you apply for, but a loan. The loan payments are spread out over 24 months for less than $1,099, or 48 months at $1,099 and up. So for a $1,099 laptop, the monthly payment would be $30-33 a month.
Unlike the interest-free credit card promotional period in the general consumer financing option, the Capital One loan has interest rates of 11.99% to 19.99% APR. That’s certainly not interest-free. In fact, the loan is appearing cheaper by taking longer to pay off. Sure a $1,099 loan is costing $30-33 a month, but over the life of the loan that means a total of $1240.38 spent due to the 11.99% interest (if you qualify for that lower rate). At 19.99% interest, the total cost of the loan is $1,342.30. That’s a very expensive 22% extra on top of the cost of the laptop due to financing.
The educational loan is, surprisingly, not a great deal. Students would be better off getting an Apple educational discount, which can be as much as 10%, and then applying for the regular consumer financing option through Barclaycard to then pay off the computer over an 18 month span.
Cost Comparison of Apple Financing with Barclaycard Visa vs Capital One Education Loan
The extra cost of using the educational financing becomes quickly clear if you create a table looking at 24 month financing costs on Apple hardware:
Capital One (at 11.9%) 24 months
Capital One (at 19.99%) 24 months
Extra cost of laptop with educational financing:
|Mac Mini ($499)||$499||$563||$609||12.8% - 22%|
|MacBook Air ($999)||$999||$1,127||$1,220||12.8% - 22%|
|MacBook ($1299)||$1,299||$1,466||$1,586||12.8% - 22%|
|MacBook Pro 13" ($1299)||$1,499||$1,691||$1,830||12.8% - 22%|
|Retina iMac ($1499)||$1,499||$1,691||$1,830||12.8% - 22%|
|MacBook Pro 15" ($2399)||$2,399||$2,707||$2,930||12.8% - 22%|
|Mac Pro ($2999)||$2,999||$3,384||$3,662||12.8% - 22%|
What About Financing an Apple Computer with Bad Credit?
No credit? Bad credit? It’s probably best to shy away from dinging a credit score down by applying for a credit card just to finance a laptop. If someone absolutely can’t bear with non-Apple equipment but can’t afford that upfront cost, then they should probably consider one of the oldest ways people have in the past afforded expensive items they couldn’t pay up front for: use a layaway plan.
Walmart, Sears and some other department stores offer layaway plans. These work by letting a customer put an expensive item aside and then make payments on it as they’re able until the item is paid off. There are some smaller fees, and some of them are limited to only the Christmas season. By asking around, it may be a way to break up the payments on an Apple device to make them affordable without getting into any kind debt.
But in general, if money is that tight, consumers might be better of looking at a Chromebook. At prices of $160 and up they might not hold their resale value or be as fully features as an Apple laptop, but they’re certainly going to fit the budget.
Apple Financing: Consumer Finance – Apple.com
Apple Financing: Education Finance Plan – Apple.com
Apple Tax: Why Do Macs Hold Their Resale Value? – Makeusof.com
What Stores Offer Layaway – Makecentsof.com