Consumers shop for computers based on price, processor speed, memory and other hardware factors. However, very few consumers examine computers from a financing perspective. How you are going to pay for your new computer and what your interest rate is going to be, are two very important factors that computer shoppers should consider when buying a computer.

After careful online research, CreditGUARD of America picked Amazon, Apple, and Walmart to compare their computer financing options. Our credit counseling company examined these computer companies primarily for annual percentage rates and other terms.

Amazon.com Financing

According to Amazon’s terms and conditions, you’ll pay a hefty APR of nearly 29% for the privilege of buy now pay later when it comes to your next laptop or desktop computer. Regardless of introductory offers like 0% APR or low down payments, you’re getting yourself into a potentially expensive arrangement if you miss a payment or can’t pay back the entire purchase amount before the end of any introductory offer period. In their words, the “standard variable purchase APR is 28.24%” Keep that in mind before you decide you need that new computer right now.

Apple.com Financing

Much like Amazon, Apple loves to dangle a carrot. In this case, it’s the same old story: 0% APR during a special introductory period. Here’s the rub: The purchase APR will be 16.24%, 22.24%, or 28.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness. So, it’s easy to get a brand-new Apple computer at a cost of more than $1000 for new equipment. But it’s not so easy to make the payments once you get the shiny new laptop! Keep in mind, you don’t need a super expensive machine to surf the web or check email. While luxury brands like these make sense for heavy creative use with Adobe software, they’re not a non-negotiable for most people. At the end of the day, it’s about getting your needs met, not making sure your computer has a neat logo on its back.

Walmart Credit Card Financing

If you’re looking for a deal on that new computer, you might consider shopping at a discount big-box retailer like Walmart. And just like every other big box retailer, they have plenty of opportunities to rack up some new debt with a shiny new credit card. The question is — do you need it and, can you really afford it? Walmart offers a couple of different options with standard interest rates ranging up to 25%.

The Low Cost Alternatives to Computer Financing

There are no shortage of computer companies or retailers who’re willing to grant easy access to credit cards when it comes to consumers who’re shopping for a new computer. In all these cases, there are good options, fair options and poor options. What is between the lines of every single offer is the big caveat — that after a certain period, “restrictions apply.”

If you’re currently struggling to make your minimum debt payments, you’re probably not in a place where taking out a credit card or loan to buy a computer is in your best interest. There are other ways to get the access you need when it comes to computers — from your local library to apartment complex business centers to community centers and religious organizations to even yard sales — you can find a way to get a machine that works to accomplish your needs without having to take out a big chunk of debt for the privilege of ownership.

And if you are struggling to keep up with your credit card payments, CreditGUARD is here with certified credit counselors ready to offer credit counseling and debt management services. Call us today to learn more!

Please note: these financing terms stated above are subject to change, and the findings are based on a July 2019 case study that examined several computer companies and their online financing options. Please contact companies directly to find out current financing options.

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The Ultimate Debt Survival Guide. Need some practical advice for dealing with debt? You’ve come to the right place. This free downloadable guide can teach you the basics of managing debt (and more).

Is Debt Settlement a Good Idea? Debt settlement and debt consolidation are not the same. Learn more about the process (and consequences) of settling your debts before going down that path.