This week T-Mobile announced a program aimed at making it easier for customers to afford a cell phone upgrade during trying financial times. The Equipment Installment Plan spreads the cost of a new phone over a four month period without any additional financing costs. The new program is available to both new and current customers and can be combined with promotional pricing on purchases above $19.99.
Paying for your next cellphone with the Equipment Installment Plan (EIP) makes more sense than pulling out the plastic. Not only will you avoid the interest charges associated with a credit card, but the fixed 4 month term from T-Mobile forces you to pay off the phone so you won't be able to rack up interest charges for the next two years.
Initially skeptical of this four month no interest offer, WalletPop reached out to T-Mobile to find out what the catch was; specifically what happens if a customer on this plan is late making a payment. T-Mobile informed us that there is no specific late penalty assigned to the EIP, however since the installment is billed as part of the normal cell phone bill they would be subject to the standard T-Mobile late fee.
It was refreshing to see that one late payment didn't negate the offer or result in a deluge of backdated interest charges like many other payment plans mandate.
Overall this is one of the easiest ways to fit the cost of a new cellphone into your budget. If your idea of a cell phone is one that makes a phone call and does nothing else, you won't benefit much from this plan, but for those of us who need a more expensive phone in order to get our work done; paying in installments is an affordable way to upgrade. This is one option I'd love to see all cell phone carriers roll out, especially if they keep these favorable terms.
For now I'm just glad a company is offering "layaway" for those of us who feel the need for instant gratification!
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