Cricket and MetroPCS offering financing programs to help customers pay for handsetsAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS are both no-contract operators that offer a range of handsets for their customers, but since they don't deal in contracts and heavy subsidies, some customers may not be able to afford the out-of-pocket cost of some high-end smartphones. However, a report from FierceWireless has revealed that both carriers have new financing programs to help these users out. Cricket confirmed that it's working with Progressive Finance to offer loans to customers that purchase over $200 worth of hardware. The loan doesn't require a credit check, only an active bank account. The loan can cover up to 90 percent of the cost of a device, which can knock a new iPhone 5 that's normally priced at $500 down to $105.
Once a Cricket customer gets one of these loans, he or she has up to 90 days to pay it off without incurring any interest and nine months to pay the loan off in full. The loan program was launched in time for Black Friday last month and is available nationwide at corporate Cricket locations and dealers. Cricket has only been advertising the financing program in some of its markets, but it plans to expand the advertising early next year.
MetroPCS's financing program is being offered in partnership with both Progressive Finance and BillFloat. However, Metro didn't provide many other details about its program except that it "allows customers the ability to use MetroPCS' 4G LTE services on higher-priced handsets."
As I noted before, neither Cricket nor MetroPCS offer contracts, which makes them attractive options for folks that don't want to sign away two years of their mobile lives. That leads to some higher prices for some hardware that not everyone will be able to afford, though, so these financing programs become attractive because they can help people buy the high-end phones that they want. T-Mobile's Value plans offer something similar, locking customers into a two-year contract and letting them pay off their device over that commitment, but Cricket points out that its program is different from T-Mo's since Cricket doesn't require contracts or a credit check. For the contract-averse, Cricket and Metro's financing options could be worth looking into, especially for Cricket users that can pay off their loan within 90 days to avoid interest.