How to Finance a Computer with Bad Credit (Step by Step)

In the era of the “gig” economy and the remote workplace, the computer has become a necessary way to make a living. Unfortunately, it’s also equipment that often has to be supplied by a worker. Is it possible to finance a computer with bad credit? Read on to explore your funding options to get the tools you need for your work.

Do you need a computer?

Woman sitting in front of computer

The computer is the center of every home office. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 27.5% of US employers allow employees to work from home at least part of the week.(1). And as of 2021, nearly 16% of Americans have earned income from the “gig” economy(2).

if you work from home or you are some type of contractor, a computer may be essential to your income. If your employer does not provide you with a computer, you will need to purchase or finance your own.

Even if you already own a computer, you may need to upgrade your setup to run basic software or meet your employer’s specifications. If your computer fails, you may need to replace it quickly whether you have the cash or not.

Before you start looking for financing options, you need to determine if a computer is something you really need. If you need a computer, you’ll need to decide what computing power you need. Computers come in a huge range of specifications, with prices generally ranging from $300 to $3,500 depending on configuration and brand. Don’t pay more for features you won’t use(3).

If already fight bad credit, you don’t want to risk further debt or credit damage from missed payments. So how do you finance a computer with bad credit?

💻 More information: You are curious about diving remote work, but no previous experience? Here is your guide.


Is computer financing a smart idea?

Funding is not for everyone. Financing any purchase allows you to:

  • Complete your purchase without waiting to save enough money.
  • Shop around for the best financing options.
  • Rebuild your credit regular and timely payments.

But on the other hand, it doesn’t always make sense to finance items like computers. This is because funding can:

  • Cause you to pay more in interest.
  • Change yours debt to income ratio.
  • Present opportunities for missed payments that lower your credit score.

In addition, your financing options may be affected by different types of loans. Revolving credit (such as a credit card or line of credit) offers flexible financing, but may not offer the same amount of money as an installment loan.


Ways to finance a computer with bad credit

Consumers are facing record costs for basic necessities, so it’s understandable that you don’t have the funds to buy a new computer right away. But if you need to buy a computer now, you can explore the following ways to finance a computer with bad credit.

1. Credit card

You may already have your first computer financing option in your wallet. Using a credit card to buy a computer means you get the laptop or desktop computer you need today and then pay off the credit card balance over time.

Of course, if you have bad credit, you may not have enough credit to cover the entire purchase. You can still pay part of your purchase with your credit card and then pay the rest out of pocket.

Pros:

On the plus side, credit card purchases offer:

  • A simple, direct payment method.
  • Chance to collect rewards.
  • Secure payments.

Some retailers may even offer a discount on your first purchase when you use a store credit card.

Disadvantages:

Credit cards also have disadvantages.

  • High interest rates.
  • Low credit limits (prevents you from making a big purchase).
  • Damaged credit if you miss payments, have a high balance or apply for too many cards.

As with any other loan, not making your payments on time can cause your credit score to drop even further.

2. In-store financing

In these challenging times, many consumers may not have the funds to purchase a computer outright. However, if you want to finance your computer with bad credit, several retailers offer in-store financing options. The exact terms vary from dealer to dealer, but generally you pay a deposit (often a percentage of the total purchase) and then pay installments directly to the dealer over time.

Unlike traditional lenders, shop financing doesn’t determine your eligibility based solely on your credit score. In fact, retailers use it as a selling point to secure business from those who might not otherwise be able to buy a computer. Just beware of hidden fees and high interest.

Pros:

On the plus side, in-store financing:

  • It is available regardless of your credit score.
  • It allows you to deal directly with the merchant.
  • May include discounts from some retailers.

Therefore, trade financing can be a good option if your credit score prevents you from other financing options.

Disadvantages:

While every dealer is different, in-store financing has some disadvantages, such as:

  • Potentially high interest rates.
  • Hidden fees (origin fees, administration fees, etc.)
  • Prepayment penalties that prevent early repayment of the loan.

Remember that even if you’re dealing with a lender rather than a credit union, missed or late payments can affect your credit score.

3. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) programs

While some vendors offer “buy today pay later” for in-store financing, a growing number of third-party apps allow you to complete large purchases and then make payments over time. For example, Apple Pay Later is a popular option.

The BNPL app completes the purchase for you and then splits the purchase into a series of equal installments. The best BNPL providers can even do this with little or no interest and minimal fees, making them a great choice for people looking to finance a computer with bad credit.

Pros:

BNPL apps provide:

  • Flexible payment options.
  • Fast approval times.
  • No interest or interest rates lower than consumer credit cards.

Most importantly, the credit required for a BNPL application is usually much lower than other types of financing, and some providers do not require a credit check at all.

Disadvantages:

On the other hand, BNPL platforms have disadvantages such as the following:

  • Payments can be difficult to track.
  • Some users may get stuck with repayments after returning an item.
  • Missed payments can still result in late fees and damage to your credit.

Plus, splitting a large purchase into equal installments can still mean that each payment is high. Know the exact payment terms before opting for BNPL option.

📊 More information: Dive into the latest Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) statistics. understand current consumer trends.

4. Personal loans

Another way to finance a computer with bad credit is to take out a personal loan. Personal loans are one of the most flexible forms of financing around, and some lenders may offer better interest rates than your credit card.

Some lenders offer personal loans as low as $1,000, which can be perfect for financing your new computer. The main disadvantage is that personal loans usually have higher credit requirements than other options on this list, so check the lender’s requirements before applying.

Pros:

Personal loans are ideal if you are looking for:

  • Fast approval time.
  • Flexible financing options.
  • Clear loan terms.

Generally, personal loans do not require collateral, which means you can apply for a loan without pledging any of your existing assets.

Disadvantages:

Here are a few reasons why personal loans aren’t always a good option for those with bad credit:

  • Lenders tend not to approve bad credit financing.
  • Loans that are available with bad credit can have high fees and interest rates.
  • There can be high fees and penalties for late payments.
  • Simply applying for a personal loan can damage your credit.

Still, if you can find a lender that will work with your credit score, it can still be an option for computer finance loans.

5. Business loans

Are you buying a new computer to support your business? This is common among copywriters, graphic designers or other freelance professionals. If your computer will be used for business purposes, you may be able to finance a computer with bad credit by getting a small business loan.

Equipment loans are a particularly attractive option because they are already designed to buy things like computers and office equipment. Even office furniture can be financed with an equipment loan, although lenders may ask you to specify what items you will be buying when you apply.

Pros:

An equipment loan may be a good option if:

  • You use the computer exclusively for business purposes.
  • You also need to finance software or other office equipment.
  • You have stronger business credit than personal credit.

If you’re a business owner, you should already be keeping your business and personal finances separate. This means that your lender does not even need to look at your personal credit history.

Disadvantages:

The obvious downside is that you will only be eligible for business / equipment loans if you have an established business. To qualify you must:

  • Show that you are an established business with a clear legal structure.
  • Provide the lender with a copy of your business plan and financial statements.
  • They have a strong business credit score.

This is where it gets tricky. While some lenders will focus on your business credit score others may also scrutinize your personal finances to determine your loan eligibility, which can still make securing bad credit business loans difficult.


Alternatives to computer financing loans

The above options can potentially help you finance a computer with bad credit. However, any type of financing will increase your debt load and potentially affect your credit score, especially if you miss a payment. For these reasons, it may be useful to consider one of the following loan financing alternatives.

1. Postpone the purchase and save money

The best way to avoid finance charges altogether is to pay for your computer outright. Sure, it might take a little longer to save up, but if you can hold off on buying until you have the cash, you’ll be able to buy a computer without all the extra interest charges or monthly bills.

2. Look for bargains

A computer may be easier to reach than you think. Make sure you don’t try to buy more computers than you need. And before you look into bad credit loans, look around for computer bargains. For example, some retailers may offer “open box specials” where you get new products at a deep discount.

Some electronics manufacturers also offer refurbished computers that are still under warranty. These options translate into big savings and eliminate the need for third-party financing.

3. Crowdsharing

Why not ask your friends or social media followers for financial support? This can be a great option when starting a new business. Crowdfunding platforms allow you to ask for donations by posting messages like: “Come support my new graphic design!”

The crowdfunding platform usually takes a portion of this money, but the rest is yours. Business owners may offer something in return for support—such as a discount or early access to your services—but your fan base may prove to be more supportive than your credit bureau.


Expect to buy

In the current economic climate, many consumers are researching how to finance a computer with bad credit due to the necessity of these devices in their daily lives. Computer shoppers have a number of options when it comes to purchasing a new laptop or desktop computer. Do your research as lenders vary in terms of interest rates and loan terms. Financing will almost always cost more than buying the item outright, but following this guide can help you make the best decision when you’re making a major purchase.

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