Is it smart to finance your new smartphone purchase? With sticker shock now at least $649 for a new iPhone, it may be time to consider a payment plan for that pricey purchase. Consider these three critical questions for cell phone financing:
1. Is it Cheaper to Buy Outright?
If you plan on keeping your phone for two years, you may be better off buying a phone outright. Currently, an iPhone 6s on Apple’s installment plan will cost you $34 per month instead of the $650 to own the phone outright. Carefully check your carrier costs and the amount you’ll be paying extra – the difference could save you tons of cash.
2. Are You Eligible for a Subsidy?
Even with carriers scuttling their two-year contracts, existing customers may still be eligible, meaning that you could still get a substantial discount on a new handset. As soon as you jump off the two-year train, however, you won’t ever be able to get back on again.
3. Have You Checked all Possible Carrier Options?
There’s more variety than ever among the major phone U.S. phone carriers. With Verizon, you can pay monthly, but you can’t upgrade until you’ve paid off 100% of the original phone over 24 months. Sprint, on the other hand, lets you pay $22 a month with access to the latest phone as soon as it comes out. If you’re looking for optimal savings, you can look at Gazelle’s Certified store, selling iPhones, iPads and other devices.
To get the most bang for your buck, consider purchasing outright and pre-owned before shelling out even more money each month to your wireless carrier.