You might run into problems funding your new gadget needs. The more sophisticated the device, the higher the price. Here are five financing ideas to consider before increasing your credit card debt.
Sell your old device
If you plan to buy a new device, you might as well take advantage of the disposal of the old one. Use these earnings for your new purchase. Take the time to research viable deals and get the best deal.
Check out generic buy and sell sites (eg Craigslist), social media groups (eg Facebook Marketplace), tech-focused online retailers, and official company websites. Many people are looking to save by buying used, so if your device is in good condition, you can get a significant amount of money.
Likewise, companies and branded stores often offer incentives to customers who want to upgrade. You can return your old device and receive cash, credit or loyalty program points towards the purchase of a new model of the same brand.
Trading in official stores can go a long way, but if you want something of a completely different brand or type, you might prefer cash on hand to add to your bankroll. Compare the different offers and see which will pay you the most.
Look for cheaper alternatives
“Cheap” does not necessarily mean “poor quality”. This is especially true for technology, which is quickly upgraded and has new models hitting shelves at a steady pace.
A good example is home technology, like smart doorbells. Look for refurbished used devices. These have been thoroughly checked, worked and polished to like new condition. You might miss the latest bells and whistles, but you’ll get a reliable device that’s already been vetted by knowledgeable users and at discounted rates.
Refurbished technology can be found at independent online retailers or at select licensed technology stores. Either way, you want assurance that the device has been inspected for functionality and safety. In stores, look for a “factory certified” or “manufacturer certified” label. Online, rely on customer reviews of the seller and its products. If you’re tech-savvy yourself, you can ask detailed questions about their refurbishment process to make sure they’ve handled it well.
Consider a personal loan
A technology purchase can be financed with a loan, just like a vehicle, a house or an education. In fact, a personal loan can be used for just about any purpose. Removing one for the purchase of a device is not even that rare. Some common examples include work computers, home entertainment centers, and smart home devices.
The best loan for a technology purchase would be from a willing private lender. You want flexibility in your fees, rates, and repayment schedule. Most lenders today offer online applications. This is great for rush purchases, when you need quick approval. Apply for a personal loan online if you need a new device for work, medical or security reasons.
Buy an old model
Unlike work or security devices, personal technology can afford to be a little behind. If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone, give previous models a chance. Most big brands release a new phone every year, and they tend to have all the same features with a slightly different look.
Take the time to compare the specs of the latest models and their immediate predecessors. Even if it’s all Greek to you, a quick Google search will tell you what it’s all about. Choose a device from last year and get the same features for much less money. Set aside reserve funds for future upgrades.
Review promotional purchases and store financing
If you use credit cards, keep an eye out for promotions. Sometimes you can make a purchase without interest, but only within a limited time. Use these opportunities for big expenses, e.g. big screen TVs, gaming computers, major equipment, etc.
Keep an eye on the refund terms. Pay off the balance in full before the promotion expires to avoid incurring interest or late fees.
Also check with tech stores if they offer financing for major purchases. Some offer low or zero interest rates. The counterweight is strict repayment terms and heavier late penalties.
To recap, there are a number of ways you can finance big tech purchases. You can sell your old device, upgrade to cheaper and/or older models, take out a flexible personal loan, or take advantage of in-store financing and credit card promotions for low or no interest.