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Alternatives to Apple Card financing for iPhone 11 and 11 Pro

How to pay for the newest iPhone when Apple's financing shuts you out.


Fact checked

Apple just announced its iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models — and with starting prices of $699 and $999, your wallet is in for some shock. If you don’t qualify for the Apple Card or the Barclaycard Financing Visa, don’t sweat it: There are a few alternative financing options available.

A personal loan with fast turnaround

  • Good for those who want financing with $0 down payment and more flexibility.

A personal loan is a general-use financing tool that you can use to cover any large expense. Unlike phone-specific financing, you can apply for personal loan amounts of $1,000 to $50,000 and use the funds to pay for must-have accessories as well. Go ahead and add $500 extra for wireless headphones, a phone case and a charging base.

Typical turnaround: You can expect to receive your personal loan funds within a few business days. Most lenders offer immediate preapproval decisions, which means you’ll quickly find out how much you’re eligible to borrow so that you can plan your next steps.

Finance your iPhone through your carrier

  • Good for those who want to roll payments for their phone into their monthly bill.

If you aren’t approved for financing through Apple’s site, you might be able to get financing through your current mobile carrier. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all offer phone financing that can be grouped into your monthly bill. Carrier financing typically comes with an interest-free period of up to 24 months, but you’ll likely have to make a one-time payment at checkout to receive your new iPhone.

Switch to a new carrier offering a stellar discount

  • Good for those who aren’t married to their current carriers — and are on the lookout for a deal.

If you visit any major wireless carrier, you’ll probably see deals for the iPhone 11 front and center — part of a competitive battle for your business. Some providers offer large discounts when you trade in specific smartphones, while others offer to subsidize a chunk off the cost when you sign a multiyear contract.

Here’s a breakdown of what we’ve found with the big four carriers:

  • T-Mobile. If you have an eligible iPhone to trade in, you could get 50% off the iPhone 11. And if you have an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, you could get 50% off the iPhone 11 Pro.
  • Verizon. Verizon offers up to $500 off your new iPhone — including older models like the iPhone XS. Provided you trade in a qualifying phone, you could have $300 to $500 credited to your account over 24 months. And if you switch to Verizon Unlimited, you could get a $200 prepaid Mastercard.
  • Sprint. With an eligible unlocked trade in, you may be able to pay $0/month for your new iPhone 11. Trade ins can be in any condition, but if you opt for the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll still have a monthly payment.
  • AT&T. If you pick up a new line with AT&T, you could receive a BOGO deal: Buy an eligible iPhone and get the iPhone 11 for free. And as a bonus, you could also receive a $300 reward card.

Use the iPhone trade-up program

  • Good for current smartphone users that just need an extra $100 to foot the bill.

Already have an iPhone or other smart phone? Apple allows you to trade in your old device for up to $600, which you can use to partly fund your new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max.

The amount you receive depends on the model and condition your phone is in, with newer phones getting the most bank. But even if you have an older device, it might be worth trading in anyway – it’ll be more useful than sitting in a drawer full of low tech junk, and even if it’s not eligible for a trade in, Apple will recycle it for free.

Last-ditch option: A short-term loan

If none of the above four options work for you, you have another alternative — albeit a costly one: A short-term loan. These loans are small-dollar financing products designed for repayment within a few weeks to a few month, depending on the lender.

Because finance charges for every $100 you borrow can be high, you might want to wait until you’ve saved enough to purchase the iPhone 11 or work on improving your finances so you can choose another option instead.

How much does a new iPhone cost?

Here’s what you can expect to pay for a new iPhone if you buy it without a carrier:

SizeiPhone 11iPhone 11 ProiPhone 11 Pro Max
64 GB$699$999$1,009
128GB$749Not availableNot available
256 GB$849$1,149$1,249
512 GBNot available$1,349$1,449

Compare personal loan lenders

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible Personal Loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Fiona Personal Loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
Monevo personal loans
3.49% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Even Financial personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
Upgrade Personal Loans
7.99% to 35.97%
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
SoFi personal loans
5.99% to 19.96%
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
Good to excellent credit
Borrow up to $100,000 with low rates and no fees.
OneMain Financial Personal Loans
18% to 35.99%
An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

With iPhones becoming increasingly expensive, finding a way to pay for it can get more complicated. If you don’t want the new Apple Card or don’t qualify for it, a personal loan might be a good alternative. You’ll want to get preapproved with multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal. To learn more about other financing options, check out our guide to personal loans.

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