Home > Uncategorized > How to Buy the iPhone 7

Comments 0 Comments

After Apple’s press conference on Wednesday, you may have your eye on the new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus — whether you want to play the new Super Mario Run on the 4.7-inch Retina HD screen (5.5-inches if you go with the Plus) or simply because you’re ready to upgrade your current phone.

Either way, this shiny new gadget, available Sept. 16 (pre-orders start Sept. 9) is going to come at a price. The iPhone 7 starts at $649, and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769, so you’ll need to figure out how that’s going to fit into your budget. (Note: Despite the lack of a headphone jack, the latest iPhones will come with lightning-port headphones and a compatibility adaptor at no additional cost. So, at least there’s that.)

Apple iPhone Upgrade Program

According to Apple’s website, the upgrade plan offers you the option of spreading the cost for a new 7 series over 24 months, and you have the option of getting a new iPhone after 12 payments. So, if you signed up for this program last year to buy a 6 and you’ve made 12 payments toward it, you could theoretically be eligible for a new 7.

If you decide to sign up for the program now, you could get the smallest iPhone 7 (32GB) for $32.41/month or the iPhone 7 Plus of the same size for $37.41/month. The middle tier (128 GB) is $36.58/month and $41.58/month, followed by the largest memory size (256 GB) for $40.75/month and $45.75/month. In addition to the phone, this price tag includes the coverage of AppleCare+.

A Quick Look at Financing With the Four Main Providers

Rates will likely vary with each provider, as they typically look at a version of your credit to determine your rates (more on that in a minute). But here’s a general idea of some of their financing options.

  • AT&T: AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, their website details different installment plans that, once the sales tax is paid, come with $0 down and no finance fees.
  • Verizon: According to an email from a Verizon spokesperson, “customers can pay for phones on device payment, which is no interest over a period of time,” which will vary on a case-by-case basis.
  • Sprint: The Sprint website outlines installment plans and notes that “there are currently no related service discounts for devices purchased with monthly installments.” But there are no finance fees. Sprint did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • T-Mobile: A media relations representative said T-Mobile doesn’t “have any details to share” but their site does have different breakdowns on up-front costs of phones based on a consumers’ credit score, including an option for those who want to avoid the credit check and just pay for the device up front. Note: their financing is available in-store only.

Consider Your Options

“The options depend a lot on what carrier you are on, your current contract status and whether they offer any promotions,” Jim Wang, the founder of WalletHacks.com and a Credit.com contributor, said.

“The first step is to review your phone contract and see when it expires,” Wang said. “If you are out of contract, you have the most flexibility. If you are still in a contract, check when it expires and what the early termination fee might be.”

If you decide to stay with your current provider, Wang recommends checking with them to see if they’ll give you a discount or free phone for extending your contract. Apple also offers a credit of up to $250 when trading in an eligible smartphone. It also never hurts to comparison shop with competing providers. Make sure you look beyond the base monthly charges and compare the fees, Wang suggested, as “these are fees your existing cell provider might not charge you” so you may ultimately save money.

And there’s always the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program we mentioned before, which Wang said isn’t “the cheapest overall option, but if you must have a new phone each time one is released, it could be the most affordable one.”

Paying for Your New iPhone

As we also mentioned earlier, many cell phone service providers will take a look at your credit history to determine the rates you’ll pay for your phone and/or service plan. If you don’t know where you stand, now is the time to find out. You can pull your free annual credit reports from the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

If you discover your credit isn’t quite where you’d hoped it would be to get you some of the best terms and conditions, you can take steps to remedy it. You can pay down debts, repair any errors you may discover after reviewing your reports and reduce the number of credit inquiries until your scores rebound.

Image: g-stockstudio

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team