You might face problems funding your new gadget needs. The more sophisticated the device, the bigger the price tag. Here are five financing ideas to consider before adding to your credit card debt.
Sell your old device
If you’re going to buy a new device you might as well profit from getting rid of the old one. Put that revenue towards your new purchase. Take some time to research viable markets and get the best deal.
Look at generic buy-and-sell sites (e.g. Craigslist), social media groups (e.g. Facebook Marketplace), tech-centric online retailers, and official company websites. Plenty of people are looking to save by buying used, so if your device is in good condition you can get a significant amount of cash for it.
Likewise, companies and brand stores often offer incentives to customers who want to upgrade. You can turn in your old device and receive money, credit, or loyalty program points for buying a new model of the same brand.
Trading in at official stores can go a long way, but if you want something of a completely different brand or type you might prefer cash in hand to add to your funds. Compare the various offers and see what will get you the most value.
Look for cheaper alternatives
“Cheap” doesn’t necessarily mean “low quality”. This is especially true for tech that gets rapidly upgraded and has new models hitting the shelves at a steady pace.
A good example is household tech, like smart doorbells. Look into refurbished second-hand devices. These have been thoroughly vetted, worked, and polished into a good-as-new condition. You might miss out on the latest bells and whistles, but you’ll get a reliable device that’s already been checked by savvy users, and at discount rates.
Refurbished tech can be found with independent online retailers or in some licensed tech shops. In both cases, 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 customers’ reviews of the seller and their products. If you’re tech-savvy yourself, you can ask detailed questions about their refurbishment process to make sure they handled it right.
Consider a personal loan
A tech purchase can be financed by a loan just like a vehicle, house, or education. In fact, a personal loan can be used for just about any purpose. Taking one out for a device purchase isn’t even that uncommon. Some common examples include work computers, home entertainment centers, and smart home devices.
The best loan for a tech purchase would be one from an accommodating private lender. You want to have flexibility in your fees, rates, and repayment schedule. Most lenders nowadays offer online applications. This is great for urgent purchases when you need quick approval. Apply for a personal loan online if you need a new device for work, medical, or safety reasons.
Purchase a previous model
As opposed to work or safety devices, personal tech can afford to be a tad behind. If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone, give the previous models a chance. Most big brands release a new phone annually, and they tend to have all the same features with a slightly different look.
Take some 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’s what. Choose a device from last year and get the same functionality for a lot less money. Set the spare funds aside for future upgrades.
Look into promotional purchases and store financing
If you use credit cards, keep an eye out for promotions. Sometimes you can make a purchase with zero interest, but only within a limited time. Use those opportunities for large expenses, e.g. big-screen TVs, gaming computers, major equipment, etc.
Keep an eye on the repayment conditions. Pay off the balance completely before the promotion expires to avoid incurring interest or late fees.
Also, inquire with tech stores if they offer to finance large purchases. Some offer low or null interest rates. The counterweight is strict repayment conditions and heavier late fees.
To recap, you can finance big tech purchases in a few different ways. You could sell your old device, opt for cheaper and/or older models, take out a flexible personal loan, or take advantage of store financing and credit card promotions for low to zero interest.