Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS have both begun offering handset financing programs that allow customers to pay off cell phone purchases over time.
Both companies employ a firm called Progressive Finance, which pays the carrier for the handset and then collects payments from the subscriber for their phone.
The financing program will cover up to 90% of the cost of a handset and then allow customers to pay for it over a maximum of nine months. If a customer pays off the loan within 90 days that are not assessed an interest fee (Interest rate is sketchy but speculation is 36%), and you can take up to nine months to pay off the full amount.
The financing agreement is between the customer and the Finance Company, and cellular companies won't have to deal with late fees or interest payments. The financing company does not perform a credit check.
T-Mobile USA recently announced the end of device subsidies. Its program works differently in that customers make a down payment on the cost of their cell phone up front and then make a monthly payment for it to T-Mobile throughout the life of their service contract.