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Cricket Adds Handset Financing Plans

Atlanta — Cricket became the first national prepaid wireless carrier to offers three handset-financing options, including a rent-to-own leasing option.

The Cricket Phone Payment Plans were designed to make is premium devices more affordable to prepaid customers in lieu of paying full price up front, said VP/chief marketing officer Janna Ducich.

Though Cricket has offered finance plans before, the initial payment on the new plans is fixed to take the guesswork out of what the initial payment will be, a spokeperson said. Also new is that taxes and accessories can be included, though only in the tier 1 and 2 financing plans.

Any phone priced at more than $199, including the Samsung S6 and ZTE Grand X Max+, qualifies for the new Phone Payment Plans. A maximum of five devices can be financed per account.

Qualified customers pay as little as $19.99 down, plus taxes and fees, depending on the plan. Customers choose from one of the three following plans.

Tier I plan: Make a down payment of $19.99 and pay 0 percent interest for 24 months. The option requires approval through a standard credit bureau check.

Tier II plan: Make a down payment of $19.99 with six-month deferred interest and a 29.99 percent APR for 18 months. Customers pay no interest if the purchase amount is paid off within six months.  If the loan is not paid off within six months, all accrued interest from the date of purchase is billed to the account. Monthly payments are determined by the size of the loan. The option also requires approval through a standard credit bureau check.

Tier III plan: The rent-to-own leasing option is positioned as equivalent to a 90-day same as cash plan. A customer purchases a device with $49.99 initial rental payment, pays the remaining balance in installments over a 90-day period, and doesn’t incur any interest charges. This option requires no credit check, but a third party may be used to verify financial information, the company said.