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Financing Your Back-to-School Laptop

Financing Your Back-to-School Laptop

For college students, computers are as important as textbooks if not more so.

Students’ homework? Online. The articles that students need to write their research papers? Archived online.

Colleges now put everything from campus news to career center information to dining hall schedules on the Internet, making personal computers as important for today’s students as the paper and pens of yesteryear’s college-goers.

But laptop computers have one major downfall – they cost money. Among tuition, boarding costs, meal plans, textbooks, lab fees and student loans, college students – and their parents – can find themselves strapped for cash.

For college students lacking thousands of dollars in spare cash to spend on electronics, there are options.

Some manufacturers resell used and refurbished models for less then the cost of a new computer. Other services allow students to finance computer purchases.

One company, Pay by the Day (, lets students pay as little as $2.25 each day toward a brand new, brand name computer.

Students can fill out a credit check application online. If their credit is approved, students can order any electronic device, including Toshiba notebooks, Lexmark printers, Apple iPods, IBM desktops, Canon cameras or Microsoft gaming systems from Pay by the Day’s Web site.

Students determine a set amount of money, that will be automatically withdrawn from their bank account to pay for their purchase. With no extra money down, Pay by the Day sends brand new electronics to students’ homes, so they can begin building their personal Web page – or start their homework – without delay.

The service does not have hidden costs. If students find themselves with extra cash, they can put it toward their purchase without paying extra fees. Once the student finishes paying for their computer, they own it completely.

Paying for college causes students enough worries. Paying for the electronic study equipment they need to graduate should not cause more. With systems like Pay by the Day, students can buy quality electronics for less money per day than a daily latte or pizza order.

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