Home > Personal Loans > Can I Get a Loan for a Laptop?

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


Whether you prefer to haul your schoolwork to the local coffee joint, or enjoy telecommuting privileges for work, a laptop might be essential for your lifestyle. Unfortunately, even the more affordable laptops cost several hundred dollars. And if you need tons of memory, excellent processing speeds, and other bells and whistles, you could pay $1,000 or more for a new laptop.

If you need a laptop right now but don’t have cash on hand, you may wonder how you’ll pay for it. Can you get a loan for a laptop?

The short answer is yes. You can get a loan for just about anything, if you look in the right place.

If you have excellent credit, a bank might give you a small personal loan, which you could use for a laptop. Or you could check out peer-to-peer lenders like Prosper and Lending Club for a small personal loan.

But before you go this route, but sure you understand all the caveats.

For one thing, most banks — and even P2P lenders — have higher limits on personal loans. It’s just not worth their time to give you a $500 loan. In fact, many places won’t let you take out less than a $5,000 loan.

That may be great if you really need $5,000 or more. But even if you’ve got your eye on $2,000 Alienware laptop, a $5,000 loan is way more than you need. And don’t think you’ll just kick the extra money back into paying the principal, either.

For one thing, you’ll probably get hit with some origination fees up front, and you may have to pay extra fees if you pay off the loan too early.

What Are Some Alternatives?

Taking all that into account, taking out a personal loan to buy a laptop may not be your best bet. If you really need a laptop right away, here are a couple of other options for paying for it.

1. Start with a beater, and work your way up.

Laptops are kind of like cars. If you start by borrowing to buy one, you’re likely to keep borrowing each time you buy a new one. You’ll be so busy paying off the first laptop that you won’t have time to save up for your next one. And since technology becomes obsolete quickly these days, you might just pay off one laptop before you need another one.

You can avoid this situation by saving up first. If you must have a laptop for essential work or school activities, start with a “beater.” Find an old laptop on Craigslist for $100. Or consider a cheap, lightweight option like a netbook or Chromebook. Then, save up for a few months and buy a nicer computer in cash down the road.

2. Use a credit card with a 0% APR introductory rate.

Plenty of credit cards these days have 0% APR introductory rates. You may be able to get one even if you don’t have excellent credit, you just have to shop around. This option gives you some of the benefits of a loan — like being able to get the laptop you want up front and immediately — without many of the drawbacks.

And if you pay enough each month, you may not even have to pay interest on your laptop. For instance, let’s say you take out a card with a six-month introductory APR in July and buy a $1,000 laptop that month. Then, you can just pay at least $167 per month for the next six months.

The laptop will be paid off before you have to start paying interest on your credit card purchases. Then if you chose a card with great rewards, you can continue using the card. Just use it for everyday purchases, and pay the balance in full each month. In the end, you’ll wind up with a new laptop, some credit card rewards, and no interest paid!

So if you need to go into debt to buy a computer, it’s important to research your options, and choose the one that will cost you the least over time. It’s also important to make sure you can afford the monthly payments. Finally, opening a credit card or taking out a personal loan to make a large purchase will affect your credit standing. If you want to know how your laptop loan will affect your credit, Credit.com is one free resource that lets you check your credit scores and gives you an explanation of how your credit history impacts them, as well.

More on Credit Cards:

Image: a.collectionRF

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