The Ins and Outs of Apple Business Financing
Keeping the technology in your workspace up to date can be pricey, especially if you like to upgrade your equipment every few years.
For businesses owners who prefer Apple products, the company offers financing programs to help with the expense of keeping your technology current. Apple business financing allows you to lease a range of products, including phones, tablets and computers.
If you’ve been tempted to outfit your office with Apple technology, Apple’s financing may help you do so. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about the company’s financing program before you sign any lease agreements.
What is Apple business financing?
Apple allows business owners to lease iPhones, iPads and Macs. Financing plans require you to make monthly payments for the entirety of the lease, and equipment becomes eligible for upgrades every two years.
Apple provides financing through CIT (formerly Direct Capital), a division of CIT Bank. You can submit your application to CIT and sign documents online. CIT pays Apple to fund the lease, and Apple then processes your order. You can also apply for business financing at your nearby Apple store.
Lease plans typically include AppleCare+ coverage and support. AppleCare+ give you access to Apple’s hardware service, business support, iPad and iPhone replacement and onsite service for Macs. You can also add Apple accessories to your plan to cover the cost of cases or power cords.
Business owners must place a minimum order of $2,500 to be eligible for financing. Apple’s Variable Month Leasing program, which offers a lease-purchase option and longer terms, requires a minimum order of $5,000.
To qualify, you must have been in business for at least six months. If you’ve been operating for fewer than four years, Apple may require you to sign a personal guarantee. A personal guarantee ensures that you would be personally liable to pay back outstanding debt if your business defaults.
Need business funding? Learn more about small business loans here.
What Apple offers
Apple provides several leasing options for business owners to meet a variety of financing needs.
For well-qualified lessees, monthly payments start at the following amounts for the available products:
- iPhone: From $32.43/month
- iPad: From $35.17/ month
- Mac: From $48.88/month
- All three devices: From $116.48/month
Lease vs. buy. Apple’s new iPhone XR starts at $749 and the XS models start at $999. A new iPad starts at $329 and the price of a new iMac desktop computer starts at $1,299. A new 13-inch MacBook Pro also starts at $1,299 (these prices are current as of Dec. 18, 2018). If Jane, a business owner with excellent credit, wants five new 13-inch MacBook Pros with protective leather sleeves for herself and four employees, here’s an example of what it might cost to buy versus Apple’s Business Financing Program.
|Purchasing||Apple Business Financing|
|Cost||One-time cost of $1,299 each||$48.88/month for two years|
|Apple Care+||$269 each||Included|
|Leather sleeve accessory||$179 each||$62.65 (35% of total price)|
|Total for five 13-inch MacBook Pros||$8,735||$6,178.85|
The cost of financing is less in this example, but Jane will presumably renew her lease at the end of the 24-month term and continue to make payments. If she needs, or prefers to have, new equipment every two years, leasing might be a good idea. Otherwise, she could pay a higher one-time cost and (hopefully) keep the computers longer.
Apple also provides purchase options for business owners who want to keep their equipment when the lease ends. The type of lease you choose would determine what happens to your equipment when the lease runs out.
Fair Market Value Lease: Allows you to buy the leased items at the current fair market value.
10% Purchase Option: Lets you pay 10% of the original cost for full ownership at the end of the lease.
$1 Purchase Option: Available for business owners who want to make all lease payments over two or three years, then make a final $1 payment for full ownership.
Business owners can apply their lease to these financing programs:
Business Financing Program
Apple’s Business Financing Program is intended for fast-growing businesses. The program offers a 24-month leasing term and includes AppleCare+ support. You would be eligible to upgrade your technology at the end of the two-year lease. You can also finance up to 35% of the cost of accessories.
Variable-Month Leasing Program
For business owners who would like multiple choices, Apple’s Variable-Month Leasing Program provides 12-, 24- and 36-month terms. AppleCare coverage is sold separately, but business owners can finance 35% of the cost of accessories, just like they could under the Business Financing Program. At the end of the lease, business owners can choose to upgrade their products and sign another lease or purchase the products to own.
Net-Term Purchasing Program
The Net-Term Purchasing Program provides business owners with full ownership of their products and 30 days to pay the total balance. The minimum order total is $10,000 and AppleCare is sold separately. Like the other financing options, the Net-Term Purchasing Program lets you finance up to 35% of your accessories costs.
Lease programs at a glance
|Business Financing Program||Variable-Month Leasing Program||Net-Term Purchasing program|
|Terms||24 months||12, 24, 36 months||30 days|
|AppleCare+||Included||Sold separately||Sold separately|
|Own or upgrade||Upgrade upon end of lease||Upgrade or purchase upon end of lease||Own immediately|
|Accessories||Up to 35% of total price||Up to 35% of total price||Up to 35% of total price|
Fees: Apple does not charge additional fees for leasing products. But if you return equipment at the end of your lease in poor condition, you may be hit with charges. Check the terms of your lease agreement to find out what you may owe.
Who is the best fit?
Businesses that are somewhat established are best suited for Apple financing, as the company does not approve applicants who have been in business for less than six months. That rules out any startups looking for financing.
For businesses that want to keep equipment up to date but remain on budget, Apple financing matches payment schedules with technology upgrades. Maintaining upgrades can reduce compatibility problems within your workplace.
Leasing equipment may also help businesses that have trouble with cash flow. You would have access to new Apple products with the ability to pay for them over time, often paying less than you might on a full cash purchase. Predictable monthly payments would also help you plan your overall technology costs.
The bottom line
For fans of Apple products, it may be tempting to buy the latest product as soon as it’s released. Unfortunately, the cost may be out of budget, especially for business owners who would like their entire operation to run on Apple technology.
Apple attempts to solve this problem with its business financing programs. By leasing items, you can ensure your workplace technology stays up to date while you cover the cost in installments.
When the lease ends, you can return the equipment or purchase it for a reduced price. With Apple’s variety of leasing options, you may be able to find a financing solution that meets your business’ tech needs.