Personal Loans

MacBook Financing: Ways to Pay for a New Computer

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If getting an Apple MacBook Pro laptop is on your to-do list, you may be considering various financing avenues. Whether you choose to pay $1,299 for the basic 13-inch model or $2,799 for the high-end 16-inch version, you may need more funds than what’s currently in your savings account.

Read below for a detailed breakdown of MacBook financing options, including offers from Apple as well as other types of credit products such as personal loans and student loans.

Cost for a new MacBook*
Model Cost
13-inch, 1.4 GHz Processor, 256 GB storage $1,299
13-inch, 1.4GHz Processor, 512GB Storage $1,499
13-inch, 2.0GHz Processor, 512GB Storage $1,799
13-inch, 2.0GHz Processor, 1TB Storage $1,999
16-inch, 2.6GHz Processor, 512GB Storage $2,399
16-inch, 2.3GHz Processor, 1TB Storage $2,799
*Costs current as of Oct 29, 2020

Apple financing options

Apple Credit Card

Getting an Apple-branded credit card may be one way to finance your MacBook Pro. It’s a no-fee card issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA that earns you cash back on everyday purchases.

Apple Credit Card features
APR
  • 10.99% to 21.99% variable
Fees
  • None
Special financing
  • No bonus
Other requirements
  • To use this card you must have an iPhone or iPad with iOS 12.4 or later or iPadOS

Apple trade-in

While trading in the Apple products you already own toward your new computer may not cover the full cost of your purchase, it can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. For instance, your old MacBook Pro could be worth up to $1,760 in credit.

Check your inventory for iPads, iPhones, Mac computers or Apple Watches you don’t use anymore and bring them in for credit that will be applied toward your next purchase. Some Android devices may also be eligible for the trade-in offer. All items brought in will be recycled for free regardless of eligibility.

Other ways to finance a MacBook

Affirm

Affirm offers point-of-sale financing — if you do a lot of online shopping, but don’t always have cash on hand, this lender can be a good alternative to a credit card. Affirm loans have fixed rates and terms, with payments in monthly installments generally made over 3, 6, or 12 months.

Affirm loan
APR
  • 10.00%–30.00%
  • 6% APR for active military
Borrowing limit
  • Dependent on borrower’s creditworthiness
Repayment term
  • 6 to 36, depending on the size of the loan
  • 3-, 6- and 12-month terms are the most common
Fees
  • None

Applying is easy: Either choose this loan as a payment option when you’re ready to check out with a partnering retailer, or apply on their website or mobile app. Once you’re approved for the loan, your purchase will be on its way. You can also choose to have your loan deposited onto a virtual Visa card intended for a one-time purchase.

Note that this option is not available to residents of Iowa or West Virginia.

Zero-interest credit card

If you have good credit, but need more time to pay off the balance from a major purchase, consider applying for a credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer. Credit card companies offer these to incentivize new customers.

To qualify, you should have a good to excellent credit score, demonstrate a solid source of income and be a new cardholder. If you can pay off your laptop within the introductory period, you won’t have to pay any interest on your financing. It’s comparable to the Apple card, which allows you to pay off your purchase interest-free for 12 months, but without the added perk of getting 3% cash back on Apple purchases.

Be aware that these offers don’t last forever and can come with a catch. If you don’t pay off the balance in full within the introductory period — which can last anywhere between six to 20 months — you’ll have to pay interest on that remaining balance. The regular APR will be determined based on your overall credit score and communicated to you when you apply for the card.

Personal loan

A personal loan can be another viable option if you have good credit. It’s an installment loan, which means you borrow a set amount of money up front and pay it back over a fixed period of time. Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t need any collateral to back them. You may find them more difficult to qualify for than a secured loan, which is backed by an asset like your car or home. (The collateral on a secured loan lowers the lender’s risk — and if you fail to pay the debt, the collateral can be seized.)

Personal loans can be used to pay for almost anything. They can offer APRs that may be lower than those of a regular credit card (varying between 6% and 36% or higher), depending on your creditworthiness and the lender. However, to get your best offers, you’ll need to have a:

  • Long credit history of on-time payment
  • Solid source of income and low existing debt

If you’re a student or have poor credit, you may have trouble qualifying for a personal loan at interest rates you can afford, or that can compete with other financing options covered here.

Most lenders have a minimum borrowing limit of $1,000 or more and can extend loans of up to $35,000 or higher. Applications are usually made online, and decisions can be made quite quickly. Depending on the lender, you could get funds as quickly as the same day your application is approved, deposited electronically into your bank account.

Student loan

Student loans can be used to pay for more than just schoolbooks and tuition. Funds can also be applied toward supplies you’ll need for your studies, such as a laptop. If you’re a college student, you can use those funds for a new MacBook, but keep in mind the overall cost of paying for an item using money that will accrue interest over time.

Depending on whether you’re an undergraduate, a graduate student or a professional student, you could be paying interest rates between 2.75% to 5.3% on federal student loans. However, you could also explore private student loans as an alternative funding option, though these do not come with the robust borrower protections that federal student loans do, and interest rates could be similar to those on personal loans.

If you’re currently in college or a post-secondary institution, you may also be eligible for a student discount on your purchase if you buy directly from Apple. This includes $100 off any 13-inch MacBook Pro or $200 off a 16-inch version.

Do you need a new Apple computer?

Apple computers can be expensive, especially compared to PC counterparts with the same specifications which can often be purchased for much less. You can often find great deals on a PC if you’re willing to shop around for one with a slightly older processor and less random-access memory (RAM), or if you wait for holiday sales.

Still, there are some who prefer Apple computers for their ability to handle graphics and the software they run. If you’re one of these buyers, or you simply must have a MacBook Pro laptop, consider buying a second-hand model. You may be able to save up to 15% by looking into a certified refurbished model. Besides saving money, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that refurbished models come with a standard one-year limited warranty.

 

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