Taking a very "un-carrier" approach, Cricket and MetroPCS recently introduced financing programs that allow prepaid customers to purchase high-end smartphones with a reduced upfront cost. Cricket has partnered with Progressive Finance to cover the cost of its devices, while Metro is using Billfloat as its lending option. Keeping things unconventional, these new programs do not use credit checks and instead only require that customers have a valid checking account.
Cricket customers whose purchase exceeds $200 can apply for financing at retail stores and authorized dealers. The program covers up to 90 percent of the premium with the upfront charges being the remaining balance and the first month of service. Loans are amortized for up to nine months, with interest waived on accounts paid off within the first 90 days of financing.
MetroPCS' financing is only available for 4G handsets. The program gives you an additional 60 days to pay off a smartphone purchase at an APR of up to 36 percent. Billfloat also assesses a service fee ranging from $8.95 to $17.95 based on a customer's bill amount. Both programs are similar to T-Mobile's Value plans, with the biggest difference being that America's fourth largest carrier requires a two-year service agreement. Our wish? That these new pricing methods bring high-end devices to prepaid without the steep upfront costs.