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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Purchasing PCs and Components | Payment Methods ]

Delayed Payment Options

The alternative to immediately paying for your purchase is to take advantage of one of the various delayed payment methods. These generally fall into two categories: options that let you delay payment for a price, and those that do so for free. The "free" ones are generally offered as an incentive by a vendor to increase sales. The ones with a cost earn money for the company through interest or similar fees (sometimes more than the company gets for the hardware).

I am generally skeptical about delayed payment for major purchases. In most cases waiting to pay is very expensive and can greatly increase the amount that you end up paying for an item, if you aren't careful. Delayed payment is debt, and I think most consumers have too much debt to begin with, so don't expect to see me recommending that you undertake more. At the same time, there are situations where it may be necessary, so I am going to do my best to inform you about it so you can do it in the way that makes the most sense.

In this section I talk about several ways that you can delay payment on a PC or component purchase. First I cover deferred payment and purchase orders, which are ways that some buyers can delay payment for a period of time without interest. Then I take a look at three ways of spreading payment for an item over time: credit card balances, financing and leasing.

Next: Deferred Payment

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