TECH

Now you can buy that iPhone or MacBook on the installment plan with Apple Pay Later

Sometimes you don't have a choice about when to buy a new tech device – like when your phone is stolen or you have an important paper due Monday and the only thing coming up on your laptop screen is the sad Mac icon. Let's say that happens the week you are due to pay your mortgage or rent. Now you've got a cash flow problem.

Those consumers may be happy to hear that Apple will be offering its own "buy now, pay later" plan that will let them split a purchase into installments.

But unlike when you buy your phone through your wireless network and make 24 or 36 installment payments, the timeline is much shorter. Apple Pay purchases can be split into four equal payments and you'll have six weeks to pay it off, without incurring interest or fees. You would incur those, however, if you still had a balance after six weeks.

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"Built into Apple Wallet and designed with users’ financial health in mind, Apple Pay Later makes it easy to view, track, and repay Apple Pay Later payments within Wallet," the company said in a press release Monday.

Apple did not specify a launch date for the service. But if tradition holds, the "buy now, pay later" option will likely be part of the iOS 16 rollout in the fall, like many of the other features being promoted at the Worldwide Developers Conference this week.

It's not just good at the Apple store: You can use Apple Pay Later wherever Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app.

Users can apply for the service through their Apple wallets or during the checkout process. 

However, not everyone watching was impressed by the news. Some were even concerned, saying it's a bad idea from a personal finance perspective.

"This is how you go into debt," commented one Twitter user.

"This is literally Klarna," said another.

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