Cricket, MetroPCS roll out financing programs for high-end smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S3
Finance your phone

For those with texting fingers bigger than their wallets, Leap Wireless subsidiaries Cricket and MetroPCS have recently introduced financing programs to bring high-end phones to prepaid customers.

Each carrier has teamed up with financing partners to give those who buy their minutes up front a way to make a small down payments in store, then pay off their smartphones over time.

These financing plans don't require a credit check, only that customers have a valid checking account.

The fine print

Cricket partnered with Progressive Finance to provide the credit for customers' smartphones. Those who buy phones more than $200 can apply for financing in official stores or other authorized retailers.

Progressive Finance will cover up to 90 percent of the premium and customers are left to pay the remaining 10 percent and the first month of service in the store.

Loans will be amortized for up to nine months, but the interest will be waived if customers pay it off in the first 90 days.

At those terms a customer can pay $105 up front for an iPhone 5 and walk out of the store.

MetroPCS teamed up with Billfloat, but is only financing 4G LTE devices (like the Galaxy S3).

MetroPCS will give customers an additional 60 days to pay off the smartphone at an APR of up to 36 percent. Billfloat will also charge a service fee ranging from $8.95 to $17.95 based on the final amount.

Both programs are similar to T-Mobile's Value plan, which also finances phones to be paid off in the long term.

However, T-Mobile's plan requires a two-year contract, whereas Cricket and MetroPCS don't require any such commitment.

Cricket should roll out its financing options in the first quarter of next year. MetroPCS wasn't so chatty about its launch time frame.

If you're the idea of financed prepaid smartphones piques your interest, checkout our 5 best prepaid smartphone roundup to get an idea what you can pick up sans contract.

Via Engadget