Financing Options for an Emergency Smartphone Purchase
In this day and age, a smartphone is almost a necessity. Apps are going from a convenience to something we need in our everyday lives, and more and more employers will expect you to have your own smartphone. The fact is that the old-school flip phone just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Those smartphones can also come with big price tags, even if you’re able to get one with a two-year contract. With a contract, a smartphone could cost a couple hundred dollars. Without it, you may be looking at an $800 bill. If you need a smartphone right away and you don’t have the money or the credit to cover it, you may need to obtain another form of financing. One such option is a personal loan.
There are several different types of personal loans available. Here’s what will and won’t work for an emergency smartphone purchase:
Payday loans are one of the fastest ways that you can get quick cash. A payday loan is an unsecured loan, which means that you don’t need to put up any type of collateral to get the loan. All you do is write the lender a check for the amount you’re borrowing plus any fees and interest the lender charges. The lender then issues you the loan, and waits until you get your next paycheck to cash the check you wrote them. For this reason, the standard repayment period for a payday loan is two weeks, but you may be able to arrange a different option if you don’t get paid every two weeks.
If you’re unable to pay the lender back on the due date, you can usually pay just your fees and interest while carrying the loan principal over to a new repayment period. This can get costly, though, as that new repayment period will have additional fees and interest.
A title loan is also fast and convenient, and with this type of loan, you are putting up collateral in the form of your car. You get to keep your car during the repayment period, and the lender hangs on to your car title until you pay the loan back in full. If you’re unable to pay the loan back on the due date, you can roll it over similar to how you would with a payday loan, carrying the loan principal to a new repayment period with new fees. If you default on the loan, the lender is legally able to repossess your car.
Other Financing Options
A title loan or a payday loan are two of the only loan options that work for an emergency smartphone purchase for a few reasons. Most other lenders, especially banks and credit unions, only issue personal loans for larger amounts than the cost of a smartphone and with longer terms, typically 1 year or longer. The application process for those loans takes longer and will require more of your financial records, along with a credit check. Other lenders will also often require you to specify your intentions for the loan, and they may not see a smartphone purchase as a worthy expense.
You may be able to finance the phone through the retailer, paying a set amount every month, especially if you sign up for a phone contract through the service provider. If so, this will likely be a superior option over short-term loans, as you won’t be paying interest and fees. Ask the phone retailer first to see if you can do this before you take out a short-term loan.
Finding the Right Financing Option for You
Ideally, you should either pay for your smartphone with cash, a credit card or by financing it through the retailer. A short-term loan will work in times of need, as long as you make sure to pay it off by the due date to avoid additional charges.