Do you have to buy a Mac all at once?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Free Ale, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Free Ale macrumors member

    Free Ale

    Mar 29, 2012
    So if I buy a Mac from the apple store do I have to pay cash all at once? Or can I have monthly payments? Just curious as I have never bought a Mac, and dunno if everyone walks in there with two grand in hand.

  2. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    You can sign up with their Barclay's financing service to see if you qualify for their payment plans. The amount of money varies person to person as well as the APR, etc.
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    At the Apple Store I worked at, people would sometimes walk in with two grand in hand (which was always fun to count/mark), but 99% of folks paid with a credit/debit card.

    Like And1ss mentioned, Apple does work with a bank named Barclay for people looking for financing. Just remember that it's Barclay that finances you, not Apple.
  4. radgar macrumors newbie


    Aug 16, 2010
    use a credit card

    Use a credit card, especially if you're buying in the UK. My reasoning? Good interest rates - sometimes 0% on purchases for a fair period. Points or rewards on purchases with some cards. But most importantly, the extra insurance you get for no extra cost from some cards. And in the UK you also get additional consumer rights when paying by credit card. offers info on card deals.
  5. Free Ale thread starter macrumors member

    Free Ale

    Mar 29, 2012
    I'm buying in the USA, I'm 18, and I don't have a credit card. Nor do my parents. We always pay cash, which I would be able to do. I was just wondering if there was a way to pay it off In like 6 months without getting a lot of interest.
  6. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Try a bank

    I don't know which Mac you would want to buy, but just apply for a personal loan at a bank. If it's the bank that you use, that's even better. The interest rate might not be great, but certainly manageable for a 6-month time period.

    They might even give you a favorable rate since they know that you could afford to pay cash. Just tell them you're trying to establish good credit.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Paying cash -- good move. Keep it up! Only makes sense to borrow if you don't have the cash now and must have the computer now. You will be paying more (interest) on a quickly depreciating asset.
  8. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    As you're 18 it might be worth looking into a credit card for yourself. Totally good habit to be able to pay in cash, but it is extremely useful to (a) have a credit card for limited situations and (b) begin to build a credit record for yourself so when you want to buy a car or a house you'll be able to do so more easily.
  9. jablko macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    A lot of credit card offers are for 6, 12 or 15 months without interest. I make one big tech purchase each year (computer, camera, lenses, etc), so each year I get a new interest-free card and cancel the old one. You have to be very careful to pay it off before interest sets in, but I personally have never had to pay a credit card company interest yet. Plus, cash-back rewards means I'm actually getting a small discount on my purchase.

    However, being 18 makes it quite hard to get a good credit card. If your parents have good credit, you could make a deal with them. Otherwise, you just have to save until you have the money in hand, which it sounds like you have anyway.
  10. Free Ale thread starter macrumors member

    Free Ale

    Mar 29, 2012
    I am in a personal finance class right now, and our teacher says we should get credit cards and charge amounts like 50$ that we can pay off at the end of the months, to establish credit.

    I might do this if they can give credit cards that have 6-months no interest.

    Does this sound plausible?
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Apple Financing:

  12. Free Ale thread starter macrumors member

    Free Ale

    Mar 29, 2012
    I see the barclaycard has a 12 months without interest on 999$ up purchases. Anyone do this? And can tell me about the experience?
  13. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I came pretty close to taking this deal but decided on a less expensive model instead. I got a refurb 2010 Mac mini for $469. I use it as my Mountain Lion testing machine and DVD ripper. I put 8 gig of RAM in it and it might become my main Mac one of these days.

    Be very careful about those "same as cash" offers. I remember paying fedex to overnight a $30 payment so I could avoid a $1600 finance charge a few years back. Many of these companies have a clause in the "so many days same as cash" agreement that says if you don't pay it off by the deadline, the interest reverts to the interest you would have to pay if you paid nothing by the deadline.

    They are often sloppy with their billing and their online payment systems are flaky. All of these factors increase the risk you will still owe a penny or two on the deadline date and they can spring the steel trap and send you a bill for the full value of the interest you would owe if you had paid nothing from day one.

    If someone is in the EU, perhaps the practices are less predatory but here in the US, banker is another word for scumbag. For more, see a certain video rental starring Chevy Chase and Demi Moore called "Nothing but Trouble". :D
  14. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    r0k's points are important ones.

    If you search the forums here for Barclaycard-related threads you'll probably find one I'm remembering -- the one where the borrower had a different notion of what the due date was (or something like that) and ended up paying a lot of interest.

    Do yourself a favor and look that up. It's not that Barclaycard was behaving badly. It was something to do with when the "12 months" actually began.

    So far as I know, all "interest free" deals have draconian penalties for missing even a day. I've got one now for my solar power setup, and believe me, I'm going to pay it off a month in advance. If I screw up and miss their deadline? Then I get to pay 17.33% interest on the entire amount.

    I'm sure your finance teacher at school knows all about this. Ask.
  15. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Don't know how strict they are, but at 18, with no credit history and parents with no credit cards either, you might find it hard to be approved for this or any other credit card.

    Also remember that there are more customization options available online. ;)
  16. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2011
    I pay only with unmarked, non sequential bills and I never have a problem at an Apple store.
  17. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    What you're essentially asking for is layaway, which is something Apple doesn't do. If you want monthly payments, you have to finance through the bank Apple uses.

    Back in 2002, I financed a Powerbook G4 Titanium on a 6-month, 0% interest student plan through MBNA (which was absorbed by Bank of America), the 3rd party bank Apple was using at the time. I will say though that with financing plans like this, make good and sure you can actually pay the balance off within the allotted time, otherwise they'll often smack you with the maximum lawful interest (I think that's something ridiculous like 24.99%) Barclay may offer something similar, but being an 18-year old no credit history may make getting approved difficult.

    If anything, your parents could probably cosign on the financing. They'd surely have established credit history (even without credit cards) if they're currently financing a vehicle or paying a mortgage and pay their bills on time.

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