How to finance an iPhone X

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

Updated

When the iPhone X was released in November 2017, excited customers put in preorders for the £999 handset and you may have been among those who excitedly visited Apple to be among the first to order this super-retina, all-glass phone.

You might’ve quickly completed the credit app with financing partner Barclays only to be confronted with a disappointing message: “Not approved for financing.”

Fortunately, you can still own an iPhone X with other financing alternatives.

Option 1: A personal loan with fast turnaround.

  • Good for those who want more flexibility.

A personal loan is a general financing tool that you can use to cover any large expense. Unlike with phone-specific financing, you can apply for personal loan amounts of £1,000 to £25,000 and use the funds to pay for must-have accessories as well including wireless headphones, a phone case or a charging base.

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

Because your cash won’t be deposited in your bank account today or tomorrow, consider purchasing the iPhone X today on a credit card, and then use your approved loan funds to pay off your card balance when your statement arrives.

Option 2: Finance your iPhone through your mobile phone provider.

  • 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. All the big providers – Vodafone, EE, Virgin Mobile, O2 and Three – offer phone financing that can be grouped into your monthly bill. This financing typically comes with an interest-free period of up to 24 months, but you’ll likely have to make a one-time payment of about £100 at the checkout to receive the phone.

Option 3: Switch to a new provider offering a discount.

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

If you visit any major mobile phone provider, you’ll probably see deals for the iPhone X front and centre — part of a competitive battle for your business. Some providers are offering big discounts off the iPhone X when you trade in specific smartphones, while others offer to subsidise a chunk off the cost when you sign a multi-year contract.

Option 4: Use the iPhone Upgrade Programme

  • Good for current smartphone users that just need extra cash to foot the bill.

Already got an iPhone? Apple allows you to trade in your old smart phone for up to £335 for an Apple gift card, which you can use to partly fund your new iPhone X.

Value depends on the model and condition it’s in, with newer phones commanding the highest trade-in price. But you still might want to trade in your old phone anyway to avoid dumping it in that drawer full of old devices.

Last-ditch option: A short-term loan

If none of the above four options works for you, you have another alternative, albeit a costly one: a short-term loan. These loans are designed for repayment within a few weeks to a few months, depending on the lender.

Because interest charges for short-term credit are extremely high, you might want to wait until you’ve saved enough to purchase the iPhone X, and work on improving your credit rating with a product like a credit-builder credit card. A way of financing an expensive phone for free is a 0% credit card, if you can pay off the balance by the end of the interest-free period. But if you have a poor credit rating, you’re unlikely to be eligible.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

Please note: High-cost short-term credit is unsuitable for sustained borrowing over long periods and would be expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing.

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