Bad Credit Guitar Financing (Top 15 Options)

Bad Credit Guitar Financing (Top 15 Options)
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Amber Brooks
By: Amber Brooks
Posted: April 27, 2016
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Every guitarist, from beginner to professional, will tell you that there’s a guitar they’ve always dreamed of owning. Whether it’s the rockabilly feel of a semi-hollow Gretsch or the versatile action of a classic Fender Strat, most everyone who plays dreams of one day owning “the one.”

But what if your poor credit history is standing in the way of financing the guitar of your dreams? Fear not — we’ve researched the market and uncovered no fewer than 15 options for financing your dream guitar, even with a bad credit rating. Let’s take a look at the choices.

Store Financing (#1-5)  |  Personal Loans (#6-10)  |  Credit Cards (#11-15)

In-Store Guitar Financing (#1-5)

A handful of music stores offer financing options for instruments and equipment purchased at the store, either online or in person. The following is a list of music stores that approve customers with a less-than-perfect credit rating.

zZounds logo1. zZounds
The “Play As You Pay” installment plan is a simple, no-interest, automatic-approval option available upon checkout. You can choose 4-Pay, 8-Pay, or 12-Pay depending upon the price range of your merchandise. Only orders shipped to the U.S. are eligible for this program.

American Music Supply logo2. American Musical Supply
This store offers 0% interest payment plans, one of which doesn’t require a credit check. All customers are pre-approved to make three monthly payments on orders that cost between $249.00 and $995.94, with no interest attached. To make monthly payments for longer than three months, you’ll need a credit check. 

Guitar Center logo3. Guitar Center
With a Guitar Center Gear Card, you’ll get exclusive financing offers. This includes payment installment plans with  0% interest for 24 months on guitar, bass, keyboard, and amp purchases that come to $699 or more. Guitar Center also has a 30-day layaway program, requiring 25% of the price total to be deposited up front.

Chicago Music Exchange logo4. Chicago Music Exchange
Online financing with Affirm allows customers to pay in 3, 6, or 12 months. Affirm implements a soft credit check to verify eligibility for financing. In-store financing with GE Capital won’t charge interest until after 6 months of payments. PayPal’s Bill Me Later offer is also a lenient financing option available upon checkout.

Sweetwater logo5. Sweetwater
For purchases of $4,000 or less, the “3 Easy Payments Plan” equally disburses three monthly payments on your guitar. Apple products do not qualify for this plan. If late on a payment, customers will incur a $15 late fee. Sweetwater must approve your credit report before you can be enrolled.

Picking a finance plan to accompany your guitar purchase makes the final price easier to handle. Oftentimes, paying in increments is more doable for customers, but be on the lookout for high interest rates or fees. The cost could end up being more than you anticipate.

Personal Loan Financing (#6-10)

Instead of involving yourself in a store-specific payment plan, you can easily take out a personal loan to finance your guitar. The BadCredit.org team has rated and approved the following five lenders as reliable sources of loans for people with bad credit.

   
★★★★★

4.9

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$1,000 to $10,000 5.99% - 35.99% 3 to 60 Months

See representative example

The above options offer installment loans (for those who qualify) that allow you to pay the loan back over time, whereas the following two options are short-term loans of up to $1,000 that require the borrower to pay the loan back in a shorter period of time — more of a paycheck advance, if you will.

  • Short-term loan of $100 to $1,000
  • Bad credit is no problem
  • Large network of lenders
  • Loan decision as fast as a few minutes; funding as soon as next business day
  • Required: Income of $1000+/month and at least 90 days on job
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
             
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$100 to $1,000 200% - 2,290% Varies

See representative example

All five of these companies specialize in approving those with poor credit for a loan. Applying online is a quick process that can finance your musical purchases within hours. If you keep up with your monthly payments, you can earn a better credit rating as well.

Credit Card Financing (#11-15)

Have you considered using a credit card to finance your purchase? Not only do the following five cards approve those with bad credit, but they also report your payment history to credit bureaus, which can help your credit score in the long run. Besides, after landing the guitar of your dreams, you might need the extra spending power of a credit card to buy yourself an amp or case to accompany it.

  • Checking account required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statements
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
6 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • Use your line of credit to shop over 450,000 items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Take advantage of low monthly payments if you apply and are accepted for a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit
  • Fast, easy online application process and a quick decision
  • Not an access card
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
 
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial credit limit of $500.00 (subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results are provided online
  • Checking account required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10

While the above three cards are our top offers for those with bad credit, the following two are still viable options from reputable issuers.

  • Checking account required
  • Monthly reporting to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • We provide a response in 60 seconds or less
  • No security deposit required
  • Apply today, and if approved, pay a Program Fee to access your available credit (additional fees and charges apply)
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial credit limit of $500.00 (subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results are provided online
  • Checking account required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10

Keep in mind that credit cards aren’t a quick fix but a long-term investment. You will be responsible for paying back what you spend, but as long as you plan ahead and make your payments on time, you can avoid paying any interest on your credit card purchases.

Ready to Rock?

As you can see, the options for financing a guitar with bad credit are plentiful. From in-store financing to traditional lenders, there are a number of choices for you to consider when making your next purchase.

With these 15 financing tips, not only can you land the guitar of your dreams, but with regular on-time payments, you may also end up rebuilding your credit in the process.