Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Buying a computer with bad credit is a task that is a little more complicated than simply selecting the system desired and assuming that the purchase can be paid for over time. As anyone who has gone through some sort of financial reversal knows, attempting to secure financing for even a smaller purchase may be somewhat more difficult. Fortunately, there are several ways to go about financing a computer with bad credit, although the interest rate and other terms may not be as competitive as the rates and terms that someone with good credit could command.
One approach to financing a computer with bad credit is to secure the support of someone who does have good credit. In this scenario, the partner in the purchase manages the actual acquisition of the computer. Arrangements are then made to tender payments directly to the partner, with those payments continuing until the debt is repaid. While this approach does make it possible to acquire the computer, it does nothing to aid in improving credit scores.
Another strategy is to work with rent-to-own stores that offer desktop and laptop computers along with the usual selection of furniture and appliances. Many of these types of retailers are less concerned about credit ratings and more about income level and job stability. As long as the customer has a steady job and generates a minimum amount of income, it is possible to go about financing a computer with bad credit by agreeing to the terms of the lease-to-own agreement. One benefit is that retailers of this type do sometimes report to the credit bureaus, which could help to improve credit scores. A drawback to this arrangement is that interest on the programs is normally quite high and the payment schedule is often weekly or bi-weekly rather than monthly.
A third alternative to financing a computer with bad credit is to obtain a loan. Getting a loan with bad credit will mean working with a financial institution that offers specific lending packages to clients who are considered high-risk. Here, the customer can anticipate paying a higher rate of interest in exchange for the lender taking on that additional risk. Just about all of these types of high-risk loans do report to the credit bureaus, meaning that consistently paying on time will result in the creation of a positive line item on the credit reports. In addition, the rate of interest is normally lower than the rate assessed at rent-to-own stores, making this option for financing a computer with bad credit a better strategy in the long run.
@Soulfox -- true, but there are ways to go the rent-to-own route and still come out OK. If you have bad credit and need a computer in a hurry, a rent-to-own store may be your only option.
Still, not all rent-to-own stores are created equal. There are some that will effectively allow you to pay off your loan early and save some cash on interest. If you must go that route, look at the contract terms and see if you will save some money if you can double up your payments.
I would seriously avoid the "rent to own" stores unless you need a computer immediately. Take a look at how much you will pay in total to own that computer and then compare that price to a comparable computer in a retail store. It is not unusual to ultimately wind up paying three times what that computer is worth by going the rent to own route.
If you don't need a computer immediately, then you have some flexibility. Figure out how much you would pay going the rent-to-own route, set that amount aside every week and the chances are good you will be able to purchase a great computer fairly quickly.
Remember that computers used to be extremely expensive in the 1980s. Things have changed and you can now get a great one for very little money. Take advantage of that fact and save up for one instead of financing if you have the time.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!