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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Best No Credit Music Gear Financing Option

A Comparison of America's 4 Best Music Store Financing Options Available Without a Credit Check
This is a comparison of the top 4 music stores that offer in house financing without a credit check. Each payment plan has been carefully evaluated with the goal of singling out the very best option for consumers.

In review are Zzounds, American Music Supply, Sweetwater and Same Day Music.  Each of these companies offers a unique payment plan with different terms which are compared (below).

Number of monthly payments without a credit check.
Having More Time to Make Your Payments Makes Financing Music Gear More Affordable

The 1st thing to look at is the number of payments available for financing music gear without a credit check.  Having more payments gives you additional time to pay off your music equipment and equates to easier, more manageable payment amounts.

Zzounds 'Pay as You Play' plan offers the best payment option because it stretches the order total over a very reasonable 4 months.  American Music Supply's 'EzPay' ties for 2nd place with Sweetwater's '3 Payment Plan.'  Both companies offer 3 payment musical instrument financing over 3 months.  Same Day Music came in last place, offering just 2 payments over a 60 day term.

Order amount at checkout needed to qualify
What You Have to Spend to Qualify
Another thing to look at when financing musical instruments is the amount of money you need to spend on an order to qualify for payment options.

For this comparison, Sweetwater has a substantially lower up front costs to access financing.  In fact, they only require $45.00 in your cart for payment plan eligibility. Zzounds, American Music Supply, and Same Day Music all require a minimum $249.00 before you can access payment options.

Fee to order ration
Maximum Interest (Fee to Order Ratio) Possible
As much as being able to qualify for financing with just $45 in your cart may seem helpful, it's good to remember that all 4 of these stores charge a $10 fee for providing payment options.  If you look at this in terms of interest, roughly 22% of a $45.00 order with Sweetwater is going towards that $10 fee.  So it actually makes sense to finance more rather than less if you want your money to go toward music gear instead of fees.  With Zzounds, this works out to be about 1% per each month of financing extended to you, with American Music Supply it's about 1.33% per month and with Same Day Music, it's about 2%.

Customer satisfaction rating on Bizrate
Bizrate Store Ratings
Last is customer satisfaction.  Sweetwater has a slight 0.4 point edge over Zzounds and American Musical at the moment. Same Day Music does not have any established history with Bizrate at present and the company has assigned them a score of zero.  It's worth noting that Same Day Music customers could be absolutely thrilled with the company, but without an established Bizrate history, there's no way to know.

My final verdict is Zzounds.  With the longest payment term, lowest maximum fee to order ratio, lowest fee to monthly payment ratio, and just a 0.4 difference in customer satisfaction, this company is the clear best choice for music fans.

You can click the big blue button below to visit the Zzounds website.


Update, 01/30/2017: zZounds has actually lowered their financing fee, added tiers, and made a six payment option available. They've also lowered the qualifying spend amount to just $59. This makes their payment plans more competitive than ever! I'm including a chart below with the updated fees for financing in each tier.

Order Total
4 or 6 Payments Processing Fee
Less than $600.00
$600 to $1,000
More than $1,000
Order Total
All Other Payment Plans
Less than $1,000
More than $1,000

Their plans have gotten even better too! Here's the updated list of available payment options. Please note that only the 4 payment option on $59-$1000 is currently available without a credit check.

Current Payment Plans Available
4 Payments with no credit check on most products between $59-$1000
6 Payments available on most orders totaling over $249 and up to $3000
8 Payments on orders totaling up to $3000
12 Payments on orders from $3000 to $4000 (see individual product pages for details)

Note: The information contained in this article was accurate as of the time it was written and is subject to possible change. This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit issuer. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information, however all credit  information is presented without warranty. After you click on a link you will be directed to the credit issuer’s website where you can review the current terms and conditions that they offer.
Item Reviewed: The Best No Credit Music Gear Financing Option Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Benjamin Sullivan