Following the announcement of the planned purchase by AT&T earlier this week, Cricket has announced a new handset financing program for customers with three distinct tiers dependent on the customer’s history with the carrier and includes a cursory credit history check depending on the customer’s financing program selection.
The first tier requires a 4% down payment on a new device plus a minimum monthly payment of 4% of the device’s retail cost over 2 years at 0% interest. This first tier does not charge extra financing fees or additional interest on the retail cost of the device over the life of the account at a 2 year maximum, while the second tier increases the down payment percentage to a 5% down payment on a new device plus an increased minimum monthly payment of 5% of the device’s retail cost.
The above tier does not include extra financing costs like the first tier, if the device is paid in full within the first six months of service. The last tier is much like conventional appliance and furniture financing with no credit check required and requires an 8% down payment on a new device and a same-as-cash price for hardware paid off in 90 days, with finance charges being applied on the remainder if not paid off within the initial 90 days of service.
The following is an example with the Samsung Galaxy S4 to better explain the new financing options at an MSRP of $649, with a $26/month payment at the first 4% tier, a $32.50/month payment at the second 5% tier, and a $52/month payment at the highest 8% tier, though the rates do not factor in any additional taxes and fees that may be required.
As the financing program is being provided by a third-party and not Cricket/Leap itself, the carrier is not shouldering the risks of financing handsets under the new program and those looking to upgrade handsets under the new program will have to first pay upfront according to the financing offer selected, while also paying a prorated amount for the switch to a new rate plan. The financing program will be launched on Sunday July 21st.