When you hear the phrase “90 days same as cash,” it might sound like a free-for-all that enables spending without worry or restraint. Before you go too crazy and amass a mountain of unaffordable debt, understand the meaning behind this financing tactic designed to entice you into a costly splurge.
The Real Deal
Consider the “90 days same as cash” offer a grace period during which you don’t have to pay for an item. It’s common for retailers to use this financing offer with expensive items that you probably need or want but don’t have the cash to buy. At the end of the 90 days, if you don’t pay off the balance of the purchase, the retailer will begin charging interest.
Fine Print Points
These financing deals can pack a punch in the fine print. Don’t assume that just because you’re not making payments for the first 90 days that interest isn’t accruing, because sometimes the fine print will reveal that interest accrues, even when you’re not making payments. Find out the APR before you make any deals – chances are, it’s 24 percent or higher.
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