When it comes to household appliances, almost everything is now available to buy online and for many, this way of shopping has become the norm. But when it comes to bigger items such as those in our Black Friday Refrigerator Deals (opens in new tab), you may be a bit more hesitant to purchase online than if you were buying say a coffee maker (opens in new tab) or a toaster (opens in new tab).
Such caution is understandable with more expensive appliances like the best side-by-side refrigerators (opens in new tab), yet it’s a leap that many more shoppers are now happy to make, particularly if they’ve visited a store for a quick look first. However, what happens if such sales come around when you haven’t got all the funds needed to buy your new refrigerator to hand? Well, finding out how to get a refrigerator on finance could provide the answer.
To help lighten the financial load for potential customers, most refrigerator stores will have finance options available to allow you to spread what you must pay across a longer timeframe. With this in mind, here we take a look at the various advantages and potential disadvantages of the various forms of refrigerator finance you could be offered, before the best Black Friday USA deals (opens in new tab) start to arrive…
- 6 things to consider when buying a new refrigerator (opens in new tab)
Refrigerator finance is a form of point-of-sale finance, which retailers both online and in the shopping malls tend to offer when you’re about to spend big. If you haven’t got all the money available to pay upfront for what you want to buy, these “buy now pay later” options allow you to take a product away and then pay off what you owe in installments in the months ahead.
Essentially, point-of-sale finance is a loan, and so can prove particularly useful if you don’t have a credit card - or don’t want to use it - and look all the more attractive for the interest-free or low rate promises that tend to come attached. Without doubt, point-of-sale finance can prove a good option if you’re confident that you can pay back what you borrow on time. However, as with any loan, there is plenty that you should think about ahead of signing on the dotted line.
Advantages of refrigerator finance
Given point-of-sale finance is quick to complete, and can sometimes be arranged with no credit check too, refrigerator finance tends to be the simplest payment option if you haven’t got a credit card or want the security of knowing what your monthly payments will be. Of course, the ease with which point-of-sale loans can be arranged might prove too much of an allure for some too, particularly if you’re the type of person who can be tempted to buy on sight.
No credit history required
The criteria by which point-of-sale finance providers judge eligibility for their loans means they’ll often be willing to lend to you, even if you have bad credit. Instead of looking at your credit rating, point-of-sale loans tend to be approved on the basis of your checking account, and the transactions that you make. That said, if you do suffer from bad credit, it’s usually worth seeing how the best credit repair services (opens in new tab) might be able to help, particularly as most people will need access to credit in the future, whether that be through the best mortgage lenders (opens in new tab) or for a personal loan.
Disadvantages of refrigerator finance
It can prove expensive
Even though 0% refrigerator finance deals are not usually hard to find, options which might charge as much as 30% APR are not uncommon either, so you need to pay attention. Remember too, that you’re effectively taking out a loan, so making sure the repayments are within scope of your overall budget is a must as well. Also consider that you’ll be tied into making the payments for quite some time, and take note of any charges that could be applied should you fail to make a payment when you should.
Credit score considerations
While you’ll find that some refrigerator financing can be taken out without a check on your credit, there will also be some options that will. Given the potential impact any credit can have on your rating, it’s always a good idea to ask whether there’ll be a hard pull credit check, so that you can decline if you want.
Similarly, always take the time to find out if the credit bureaus will be notified of the refrigerator finance that you’re taking out - this is important because if it is added to your credit report, and you fall behind with repayments, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as a result too.
Understanding the returns policy on anything you buy with a point-of-finance loan, and not just refrigerator finance, is always important. If you want to return what you’ve bought, or even simply exchange it, there’s a chance that you’ll need to continue paying down your loan if a full refund isn’t forthcoming or shipping needs to be paid. Also be aware of penalties that might come into play if you want to pay your finance off early, because you’ve returned your purchase.
How to buy a refrigerator on finance
Once you’re happy that buying a refrigerator on finance is a good option for you, getting your hands on the best french door refrigerators (opens in new tab), the best mini fridges (opens in new tab), or whatever type of refrigerator you’re looking for, is just a few steps away.
The refrigerator finance plans that are on offer are usually clearly visible beside the purchase price in your online shopping cart, or close to the checkout if you’re in a physical store. Select the relevant refrigerator finance option for you, and you’ll usually be transferred to the website of the company that is actually offering the refrigerator financing loan, or sometimes straight to an application form.
The information that you’ll need to share is exactly what you’d expect - your name, date of birth, the last four numbers of your Social Security number, and a way of getting in touch - and often, in a matter of moments, you’ll know if you’ve been successful in your application for refrigerator finance or not. Assuming you have been, simply put your signature in the right box, and you’re ready to seal the deal at the checkout.
Other ways to finance a refrigerator
Although financing a refrigerator purchase with a point-of-sale loan will prove a good choice for some, there are others for whom alternative payment methods are still likely to be the best option.
Interest-free credit cards
Zero percent credit cards are a great way to enjoy the payment flexibility offered by point-of-sale refrigerator finance, but can also offer extra benefits too. In particular, some of the best credit cards (opens in new tab) that offer 0% on purchases include introductory offers for signing up, and will reward you for spending on your new card.
If the refrigerator finance that is available to you must be repaid in a relatively short space of time, an interest-free card might be the better option here too - remember that the top cards allow a period of up to 20 months before interest starts being charged. Sometimes you’ll also see a new credit card among the refrigerator finance options at a checkout, with the store where you’re shopping putting its own name to a card that can be used in the usual way.
On the downside, securing one of the top rated cards will typically require that you have good credit, and may take a few days to arrange. Taking out a credit card will also usually involve a hard inquiry on your credit report, whereas refrigerator finance companies may not. Importantly, also remember that the best way to use a 0% card is to pay down the balance (opens in new tab) before the end of the interest-free period, when high rates of interest will start to be charged. And never spend more on your credit card that you’re comfortable you can afford - if your card debt is of concern to you, the best debt consolidation companies (opens in new tab) are one way to start getting things back under control.
Take out a personal loan
If your new refrigerator is at the higher end of the price spectrum, the best personal loans online (opens in new tab) are another potential alternative to point-of-sale refrigerator finance. As long as you have good credit, and the best rates and widest range of payment terms are available to you, a personal loan could prove the more affordable payment option and give you longer to pay off what you owe as well.
Here, however, to ensure your funds are available, you’re probably best advised to apply for your personal loan at least three or four days in advance, and you can expect a hard inquiry credit pull as well.
Lease to own
If you sign up to lease to own financing, the crucial point to remember is that you won’t legally own the refrigerator - or whatever you’re buying - until you pay the amounts specified agreed under the lease. That means that if you decide to stop paying - or simply can't - you’ll need to return the appliance, though you are free to do so at any time.
Usually, lease to own finance requires that you pay the full price of the item, plus fees, within a set period of time - this will typically range between 90 days and 12 months. If you fail to meet the agreed terms, then you can expect high rates of interest and fees to be applied.
Lease to own can prove useful if you need to secure refrigerator finance, but would rather any decision be based around your income instead of your credit rating. In the negative column, however, remember that the refrigerator will not be yours until the lease agreement is fulfilled, and that the rates, fees and terms don’t tend to stack up well against other refrigerator finance options, especially if you agree to pay over the long term.
If PayPal is an acceptable payment option at the refrigerator company where you’re hoping to buy, PayPal Credit might well be an option too.
Essentially a credit line within your PayPal account, PayPal Credit can be used in a similar way to a 0% credit card, giving you a grace period where no interest will be charged on what you buy. Some refrigerator companies provide a PayPal Credit signup option when you’re about to pay, but bear in mind that credit approval is required.