For some people, coming by the lump sum required to purchase an Apple Mac outright can be a tall order.

Yes, it still might be something that would dramatically help with work or school, and improve the user’s ability to earn money, push their business forward, or become an extremely useful tool.

In cases like these, many people turn to financing to secure what they need, and pay the balance off over a specified amount of time.

When it comes to financing an Apple Mac, there are a few different options on the table. Below, we will look at whether it is better to finance the purchase of a Mac, or whether it is better to lay down the cash up front.

0% Financing

When it comes to investigating financing, there are a number of different factors to consider. Interest is one of the most important.

Apple, capitalising on the increased spending of consumers over the December to January period, routinely offer 0% financing at these times as well as periodically promoting the offer at other times – the current offer period for 0% finance runs from the 6th of February 2014 to the 28th of March 2014. This is in the hope that consumers will take advantage of the lack of interest to pay and the ability to offset the price payable over a number of months.

The clear attraction of 0% finance is that the customer is actually paying for what they are getting, and no more. With many financing agreements, the customer must, literally, pay the price for not having the money up front by paying an increased amount in smaller increments.

There are, however, some caveats to this. The 0% financing that Apple offers from time to time is restricted to a ten-month period and only for orders over the price of £449. The current offer period for 0% finance runs from the 6th of February 2014 to the 28th of March 2014.

If, after ten months, the buyer finds themselves still paying for their purchase, and there could be dozens of legitimate reasons for this, then the interest will no longer be at that original rate. This means the price of the item rises as the consumer’s ability to pay may be diminishing.

With other financing options, which can range from 12 to 36 months, rates of interest and APR vary, obviously above the 0% offered above. Apple handily provide a ‘Finance Calculator’ on their website, which helps potential customers to work out what they might be paying.

Finance Needs Approval

Whilst finance sounds like the ideal solution for consumers who lack the money to buy outright, it is not given over without checks into their financial background.

For some, this could be problematic. The user agreement on the Apple UK website tied to the 0% financing option states that the consumer needs to both make a qualifying purchase and obtain finance approval from Barclays Partner Finance. This means that Barclays has to perform a background check, making sure that the buyer’s financial history points to them being able to make the scheduled payments. If the user has some defaults, debts, or a chequered financial history, then the finance company may turn them down.

This can obviously leave some in a catch-22 situation: they cannot afford the Apple Mac outright, yet are also unable to obtain financing for one, due to their financial history.

Refurbished or Used Products

Some potential consumers, who might be planning to combine a good finance rate with the reduced price of a refurbished Mac will be left disappointed.

In the terms and conditions of the 0% financing deal, it explicitly states that this rate is not valid with the purchase of used or refurbished equipment.

This could be a blow to some, as refurbished equipment can come with a significantly reduced price tag compared to new stock.

The Computer World Moves Fast

For those looking to purchase a Mac for professional or design use, but not as part of a business, finance may be a bad option.

As everyone knows, the rate of advancement in technology is growing exponentially. Every year, the drives get bigger and the computers get faster, with the gaps between growth shrinking ever more.

As such, a consumer paying for a computer on finance for a year or more could find himself or herself with something that is outdated in their field by the time they have finished paying for it. In addition, by that point, their hardware has degraded in value and they have to start the whole process over again.

Whilst this is also true of a Mac bought outright, the amount of remuneration they could receive from selling it will be a better percentage of its worth than if it were bought on long-term finance.

Overall, financing is a good deal for those that can get an interest rate as close to 0% as possible. A longer-term deal that has higher interest may not be so.

For those looking for a powerful device for work or design tasks, the better route may be outright purchase, perhaps of a refurbished model if finances are restricted.

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