Cricket Wireless, AT&T’s wholly-owned prepaid subsidiary, is taking aim at T-Mobile once again, this time by offering consumers device payment plans. The plans are more flexible than T-Mobile, though, offering customers the ability to choose the length of time they wish to finance their devices, and even a rent-to-own leasing option that doesn’t require a credit check.
Here are the details, straight from the horse’s mouth:
- Tier I: Finance your device with an initial loan payment of $19.99 and 0% interest for 24 months. This option requires approval through a standard credit bureau check, and accessories and tax may be included in the loan.
- Tier II: Finance your device with an initial loan payment of $19.99 and six-month deferred interest offer and 29.99% APR for an 18 month term. Customers pay no interest if the purchase amount is paid off within 6 months. If the loan is not paid off within 6 months, all accrued interest from the date of purchase is billed to the account. Monthly payments for this option are determined by the amount of the loan. This option also requires approval through a standard credit bureau check. Accessories and tax may be included in the loan.
- Tier III: This rent-to-own leasing option is equivalent to 90 Days same as cash. That means, a customer can purchase a premium device with $49.99 initial rental payment, pay the remaining balance in installments over a 90-day period, and not incur any interest at all – just like you paid for your device upfront. This option requires no credit check, but a third party may be used to verify financial information.
Cricket does require small initial down payments, while T-Mobile often offers its customers $0 down. In any case, this brings an interesting new idea to the device financing market, and I’ll be interested to see how (and if) T-Mobile responds.[Cricket]