You Can Finance a New iPad. The question is, should you?

The iPad is a fantastic gadget that can do all sorts of amazing things, no doubt. If you’re keen on purchasing one you’ll find that, on Apple’s website and in any Apple store, you can now finance an iPad for 6, 12 or 18 months with 0% interest.

There are a lot of models to choose from now including the “regular” iPad, the iPad Mini and the new iPad Air. Chances are that either you or someone on your holiday shopping list wants an iPad but the fact is that purchasing one outright will put a huge dent in your holiday shopping funds. That fact makes chopping up that one big payment into 6, 12 or 18 payments a lot more palatable but, before you go signing on the dotted line, there’s a few things that you need to know.

The first thing is that the offer is on a Barclaycard  Visa.  If you pay the entire amount off on time, without a single late payment, you will  get the 0% interest rate that they promote but, if you happen to miss even one payment, you’re going to be charged interest that is prorated back to the date of purchase. That interest rate?  22.99%.  It also varies along with the prime rate.

If you’re positive that you can pay off those payments every month without fail (and without forgetting) then financing your new iPad would be a good idea. On the other hand, if you’re already good about paying your bills on time you probably have the financial ability to simply purchase the iPad outright and forgo the financing completely. (We know we’re just assuming now, but it’s probably a pretty good assumption.)

There’s also the fact that most iPads will need one of 2 types of Wi-Fi service, either Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus cellular, and in order to get that service you’ll need to sign up for a monthly data plan that is going to significantly add to your costs. Throw in the extra cost of insuring your new iPad (which we recommend no matter how you pay for it) and your monthly costs are even higher.

Now that we’ve looked at the  down side to financing and iPad, here are a few other options that you have instead.

First, although it might seem sacrilegious, you could look at another tablet that’s not so expensive. Android has models being made by Samsung and a number of other companies that are actually darned good and will cost you quite a bit less.

You might also consider paying for that iPad on a credit card that has an interest rate less than 22.99%. If you have excellent credit you probably have one of these in your wallet already. You could also look at getting a new credit card that has a no interest introductory offer and use that to purchase your iPad.

There’s also the “old-fashioned way” of simply saving up for your iPad and, since it’s only the beginning of November, that might still be a possibility.

Finally there’s putting your new iPad on a rewards card but only if you can definitely pay the balance in full every month. This final option will actually help your credit profile because you’ll be using your credit and then paying it back as agreed. It will also help you to increase your rewards points.

Getting yourself or a family member a new iPad for Christmas or Hanukkah is certainly a great idea in a lot of ways because, let’s face it, the iPad is really incredible and can open up a new world of interesting entertainment, web surfing, search and even learning opportunities. On the other hand, financing your new iPad probably isn’t the greatest idea unless you are 100% certain that you can safely pay off the cost within the finance time that you can arrange with Apple. If not the cost of your new gadget is going to increase substantially, something that will take the shine off of those holiday smiles incredibly fast.