New Phone, New Bills: Your Smartphone Financing Options

A smartphone can’t last forever — here’s what to do when you need to replace your cell phone on short notice.

Whether your phone has an untimely drop in water, or it no longer loads messages in its old age, you need a new phone. 

Need is the operative word here. Plenty of people rely on their phones to work, stay safe, or receive important medical phone calls. 

Despite its now permanent place in your life, a smartphone can be challenging to replace. At a time when most people struggle to cover an unexpected $400, a new flagship costs as much as $1,000 upfront.

What can you do when you can’t afford to replace this essential device? Check out these options below.  

Go Certified Pre-Owned

Like a new car or new furniture, a new phone is always more expensive when you are its first owner. You stand to save a lot of money if you are willing to buy used. 

Not all used phones are made equal, however. Be wary of second-hand devices sold on third-party websites. Instead, shop from retailers and cell providers that offer certified pre-owned smartphones. Certified pre-owned is a label given to devices that have gone through rigorous testing to ensure they still operate at factory settings.  

Go Dumb

Playing Word with Friends and Candy Crush might feel essential, but these apps are frills. You really only need a phone to do the basics: 

  • Make and receive calls.
  • Make and receive texts.  

A simple flip phone can perform these “dumb” tasks at a fraction of the cost of your typical smartphone. For those struggling to cut back on their scrolling, The New York Times says your dumbphone can help reclaim your time.  

Get Financing

You can also get a financing plan. These plans work a lot like your average installment loan, as you will have to make monthly payments towards the cost of your phone. 

  • If you get this through a retailer like Best Buy, you might have to pay interest on your plan, just like an installment loan, too. 
  • By going through your cell phone company, you might avoid any additional costs — you just pay back the amount used to buy your phone. 

Pro Tip: if you are thinking about financing through a service provider, shop around. Your current provider may not provide the best plans out there.

If you stick with your provider, understand that your financing might affect your plan. Most providers will require you to update your plan if you have a grandfathered plan. Even if you don’t want more minutes or data, you will have to pay more per month with an updated plan long after you pay off financing. 

Get a Personal Loan

Some people get personal loans to handle cell phone emergencies, especially if they can’t qualify for financing or financing threatens to increase their monthly bills. Only you can decide if an online small personal loan is a good solution for your phone emergency. 

However, online direct lenders make it easy and convenient to make this decision. You can switch between websites and compare rates and terms with a few clicks of your mouse. Some of these websites provide state-of-the-art accessibility tools to help you understand your options.

Bottom Line:

A personal loan, financing, or a dumb device might make sense if you need to replace a broken phone without any warning. In the meantime, think about what you need to do to build an emergency fund. Socking away cash in this account can help you the next time your phone goes for an untimely dip.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *