Jewelry Financing: Choosing Your Best Option
Whether you’re financing a Rolex or shopping or an engagement ring, it’s no secret that jewelry can be expensive. In an ideal situation, you’d pay for a new piece of jewelry in cash and avoid debt.
But if you’re not awash in cash, jewelry financing may be a viable option. Learn about your options by clicking below:
4 ways to get jewelry financing
1. Jewelry store financing
The first stop for most consumers is the jewelry store because you typically want to see and hold the jewelry you’re about to buy. While you’re there, you can learn more about the store’s financing options. Typically, in-store financing is done through a credit card. If approved, you can then make the purchase on this card.
Each store has different terms. Tiffany & Co, for example, offers financing with a 7.99% promotional APR for 24 months if you qualify. After the promotional period ends, you’ll pay an APR of between 8% to 21%, depending on your state of residence. The interest rate will apply to any remaining balance. Additionally, if you fail to make the monthly minimum payments on time for two consecutive billing cycles, the promotional interest rate will end early.
Zales also offers special financing for six to 36 months with zero down payments if you qualify for its store credit card. There are minimum purchase and minimum monthly payment requirements, and for 12-month and 18-month plans, there is a fee of $9.95 per transaction. The APR will increase dramatically, to a variable purchase interest rate of 29.99%, once the special financing period ends.
The store also offers $50 off on your birthday and 10% off any repair service if you use the store card. As with any credit offer, make sure to read the fine print. Promotional offers may be highly restricted. Zales’ birthday offer, for example, only becomes valid the following year if you opened the account in your birthday month or during the two months prior.
2. Personal loan
Personal loans can be a great way to get jewelry financing for a number of reasons. You can use the loan for a variety of purposes, and you won’t be limited to the store that accepts your credit card. Because personal loans are a form of unsecured debt, you don’t need to put up collateral that can be repossessed if you default on the loan.
Interest rates are generally fixed, meaning you won’t incur any unexpected changes in your payment amount from month to month. However, interest kicks in right away, and you generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for the best interest rates.
APRs for personal loans can vary dramatically, from an average APR of 7.27% for borrowers with credit scores over 720 to 85.92% for subprime borrowers. If you have bad credit, you still may be able to qualify for a personal loan but you may incur higher interest rates, which will increase the cost of borrowing.
3. Credit cards
You also can use a credit card for jewelry financing. This may be an enticing option if you have good enough credit to qualify for 0% APR card because you can then spread the payments out over the promotional period and save lots of money on interest.
An added benefit to using 0% APR credit cards is you’ll be building positive credit history, provided you make payments on time because your payment history is typically reported to credit reporting agencies. You’ll want to make sure to pay off your balance in full before the promotional period ends, though, or you will end up paying interest.
Many credit cards also offer some form of purchase protection for damaged, stolen or flawed merchandise. But before thinking your $10,000 diamond ring is fully covered, think again. Some credit cards limit their maximum payout per claim to $1,000 or less. Check your credit card disclosure forms to see what the limits are for your accounts before filing a claim.
4. Loans from family and friends
You may have a close relative or friend you can reach out to for a short-term, interest-free loan, depending on how much money you need to borrow and how much they can afford to lend you.
In order to avoid bad feelings, make sure to hammer out a repayment agreement, keep up to date with payments and maybe offer some sort of collateral if you start having difficulty making payments. Doing so will add a sense of formality to the loan and provide a peace of mind for both parties.
Caring for your jewelry long-term
You’ve likely plunked down a chunk of change for your jewelry, and you’ll want to protect it against loss or damage.
Some retailers offer lifetime diamond and gem warranties that cover cleaning and repair as well as expenses related to theft. These warranties are typically very restricted, however, so you’ll have to follow the rules, such as adhering to regular cleanings and inspections, to ensure you don’t void your coverage.
If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you should check your policy before you get jewelry financing to see if you can get coverage if you experience a loss due to theft or other events. Your policy may cover losses due to a specific set of reasons and up to certain limits.
Additionally, it’s probably also a good idea to take photos of your jewelry and get a few reputable appraisals just in case you ever have to file a claim. Hopefully nothing ever happens, but given the monetary and sentimental value of your jewelry purchase, you want to make sure you can enjoy its beauty for a lifetime.