MacBook Pro Financing: 5 Genius Ways to Pay
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When it comes to finding ways to finance items like an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, you may be wondering if it’s smart to use MacBook Pro financing or if you should consider an alternative option, like a credit card or personal loan. After all, these machines are pricey. A 13-inch model starts at $1,299, and you’ll pay at least $2,399 for a new 15-inch model.
We’ll walk you through your options for financing your new computer — as well as what to consider before making the purchase.
- Consider this before financing your Apple computer
- 5 ways to finance your new computer
- The bottom line
Consider this before financing your Apple computer
Once you decide to pull the trigger on buying a MacBook Pro laptop, you need to figure out how to pay for it. In general, it’s probably not a good idea to take on debt to finance a new computer, especially if you’re only using it for things like gaming or checking email because there are cheaper alternatives to a MacBook Pro. If you’re able to pay in cash for your computer, that’s definitely the best option.
But for some, what type of laptop you buy and what that machine offers in terms of software, speed and durability is important. For example, a laptop computer is a vital business tool for working professionals in certain fields and likely a necessary requirement for taking classes at many universities and colleges.
Before making your purchase, you’ll want to think carefully about whether it makes financial sense, and if a MacBook Pro is truly the best option for your computing needs.
Do you need a new Apple computer?
Apple computers are expensive, especially when you consider that a PC with the same specs can 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 are one of these buyers, or you simply must have a MacBook Pro laptop, 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.
5 ways to finance your new computer
1. A personal loan may offer competitive rates
A personal loan can be a good option to finance your MacBook Pro, but you’ll need very good to excellent credit to qualify for your best rates. Average interest rates on personal loans vary widely, from 7.25% for borrowers with a 720 or higher FICO score to 136.50% for those with a FICO score of less than 560. Aside from interest, another thing to look out for with a personal loan is whether there are charges like origination fees or early payoff fees, which can add unnecessary expenses to your laptop purchase.
One advantage to financing your MacBook Pro with a personal loan is that monthly payments are typically fixed, which makes budgeting easier. By making on-time payments each month, you can improve your credit score.
If your credit score isn’t in good shape and you still want to try taking out a personal loan for a MacBook Pro, there are bad credit personal loans. However, you will likely see interest rates much higher than a typical credit card and the average amount you can borrow will likely be significantly less than if you had stellar credit.
2. Credit cards with a 0% intro interest rate are an affordable option
Some buyers may prefer to finance their MacBook Pro with a rewards credit card. And why not if you’re getting points, miles or cash back?
If you have good to excellent credit, one option may be a 0% interest credit card, which can allow you to avoid paying any interest if you pay off the balance within a specified promotional period. If you still have a balance at the end of the promotional period, which typically range from 12 to 21 months, you’ll likely start incurring hefty interest charges or be charged deferred interest. One caveat to be aware of is that the 0% APR promotion could be canceled by the card issuer if you fail to make a minimum payment or meet other agreements, which would mean a steep default interest rate could kick in.
If you can’t qualify for a 0% interest credit card or want another option, you could consider the Barclaycard Financing Visa® and take advantage of its special financing offer on Apple purchases to buy your MacBook Pro. Promotional offers run from six months for purchases less than $499 to 18 months on purchases of $999 and above.
Once the promotional period ends, you’ll begin owing interest. APRs are currently between 13.99%, 19.99% or 26.99% Variable. You’ll owe interest on any purchases that do not qualify for the special financing offer.
3. Your student loan could pick up the tab
Student loans don’t just cover books, tuition and room and board. They also can be used to pay for equipment and supplies, such as computers.
As with any other source of financing, it’s important to know the total cost of borrowing and the differences between federal and private student loans. Interest rates for federal student loans are the same for all borrowers, whereas rates for private student loans are dependent on the borrower’s credit and financial history. Additionally, you’ll want to factor in origination fees, which always apply to federal loans, but not always to private loans. The origination fee on Direct Stafford Loans, for example, is 1.069% of the total loan amount.
Another option may be a 529 plan. These savings plans offer parents of future college students a good way to start saving early while enjoying tax advantages and other incentives. They can be used to pay for qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary.
“One of the nice things about 529 plans is parents can use the funds for their student’s technology needs without paying taxes on qualified distributions, including the supporting tech gear and AppleCare,” Cheng said.
Apple also offers special student pricing on MacBook Pro laptops, which includes 20% off AppleCare+, an extended limited warranty providing tech support and covering repairs for three years.
4. Paying with the Apple Card offers unique perks
Shoppers also could pay for their MacBook Pro using the Apple Card, a credit card created by Apple and issued by Green Dot Bank. If approved, the APR will be anywhere between 12.74%-23.74% Variable.
One pro to using the Apple Card is that if a borrower misses a payment, Apple says it won’t charge a late fee or apply a default high-interest penalty rate. Another advantage is that shoppers can purchase a laptop right from their iPhone using the company’s Apple Pay app.
Borrowers could also earn 2% Daily Cash each time you use the Apple Card with Apple Pay. You'll also earn 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store and the iTunes Store; for Apple services; and for using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats. Cardholders will also earn 1% Daily Cash at stores and on websites and apps that don't take Apple Pay.
5. An Apple trade-in credit could translate to money off
Apple aficionados have been known to wait in line for long hours to be first when new products are launched. The question is what to do with your old device?
Apple has a program that allows you to trade in your old device for credit on new purchases or for an Apple store gift card. If you have an older model MacBook Pro, you could get up to $1,400 in trade-in value, depending on the condition, year and configuration of your laptop. Apple requires you to be at least 18 years old and present government-issued ID if you trade in your laptop at one of its stores.
The bottom line
There are lots of ways to scrape up the money for a laptop. If you’re dead set on a MacBook Pro, make sure to know the ins and outs of how to finance your laptop in a way that makes sense for your financial situation.