Best Guitar Financing

Best Guitar Financing in 2020: The Definitive Guide

Best Guitar Financing:

The Definitive Guide

We analyzed 15 guitar retailers to find you the best guitar financing deals currently available. 

Head straight to Chapter 2 if you want to see the winners and our recommended deals.

DISCLAIMER: We strive to keep this information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when visiting the retailer, financial institution or service provider. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating the offers, please review the terms and conditions.

chapter 1:

Introduction

When looking to buy a new guitar, amp, pedals or any other guitar gear, financing can be a great way of satisfying your GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) so that you can get what you want now rather than later. 

But what is in-store guitar financing? and where are the best deals to save you money?

In-store guitar financing is financing offered by a music retailer, through them, that helps you spread the cost of the purchase over a set period of time.

However, it can be a real hassle trying to find the best in-store guitar finance because there is a multitude of options and terms and conditions available on the market and they aren’t always clear.  

So we have taken that hassle away by reviewing 15 retailers. So if you are looking for the best guitar financing, read below.

chapter 2:

Guitar Financing Winners

Below are the three best in store guitar financing plans currently available.

 We looked at the terms and conditions and overall deals including interest rates, payment terms and payment lengths to bring these top 3 and help you make a quick yet well informed financial decision.

Best In store Guitar Finance Winner

Play as You Pay
  • Best Finance For Bad Credit
  • No Credit Check up to $1,000 over 6 monthly payments.
  • 0% Interest (No Deferred Interest)
  • No Deposit
  • Lowest Price Guarantee
  • Borrow up to $4,000*
  • No Early Repayment Fees
  • Up to 12 Month Payment Plans*

Among the 15 guitar finance deals that we analyzed, zZounds was the best overall winner. 

zZounds offers guitar financing up to $1,000 with no credit check and up to $4,000 with a credit check. There is a range of monthly payment plans from 4 months through to 12 months and there is 0% interest over the course of your monthly instalments. 

zZounds have no deferred interest which is an important point to note, as many of the guitar finance deals from other stores include deferred interest. If you are not familiar with the term it means that interest accrues through the course of your loan period but is never applied unless you miss a payment. 

This can be a big deal as some of the in-store guitar financing we looked at charged as much as 29.99% APR deferred interest on some of their finance deals. 

Runners up

Best for Maximum Borrowing with No Credit Check

Ez Pay
  • No Credit Check
  • Borrow up to $1,500 Max
  • 3 & 5 Month Loan Terms

Best From Major Guitar Retailer
(Credit Check Unlikely)

Easy Payments
  • Credit Check Unlikely
  • Borrow up to $4,000
  • 3 & 6 Month Loan Terms

chapter 3:

Guitar Retailers
Analyzed

We analyzed 15 retailers, read their terms and conditions, payment terms and payment lengths. Below we summarise the good and the bad of each in store guitar finance deal to help you make an informed decision on your next purchase.

Click Retailer Below To Jump To Their Financing Deals

ZZounds has been around for 24 years. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

The finance option they provide is called Pay as You Play.

They offer a ‘Lowest Price Guarantee’ so if you see a lower price before you place your order, they will beat it, even up to 45 days after your order ships, see details here. Most shipping rates are also free or or super low cost.

They currently offer the longest payment plan term on zero interest finance without a credit check (6 months).

For full Pay as You Play terms and conditions, please read the detail here.

Pay as You Play

The Good

The Bad

  • No Credit Check up to $1,000 over 6 monthly payments.
  • Borrow up to $4,000
  • 0% Interest
  • 4, 6, 8 and 12 Month Payment Plans available.
  • 0% Interest rate with no deffered interest
  • Excellent Sales Support
  • They are rated 9.5 on bizrate
  • Does Not Improve Your Credit Score as You Use Your Own Card.
  • Processing Fee up to a maximum of $17.95.
  • Late payment fee of $10 for each later installment payment

Sweetwater has been in business  has been around since 1979 and they were founded on ‘doing the right thing’. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They have two in-store finance options. One is the Sweetwater Card and the other is Sweetwater Easy Payments.

They offer to ship the your order the same day if it is received by 3PM Eastern time. They have free shipping to the lower 48 states and offer an expedited shipping option. Nearly every purchase comes with the free 2 year Total Confidence Coverage warranty . 

They currently offer the highest easy payment borrow amount of $4,500 but on 3 month and 6 payment options.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

Sweetwater Card

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • Deffered Interest of 29.99% APR
  • Payment lengths subject to promo deals

Sweetwater Easy Payments

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit check could be requested
  • Borrow up to $4,500
  • 3 & 6 Month Payment Plans Available
  • Free shipping to lower 48 states
  • No deferred interest
  • They are rated 9.8 on bizrate
  • Minimum purchase of $100 on 3 month plan and $400 on 6 month plan.
  • Processing fee of $10 for 3 month plan and $15 for 6 month plan.
  • Monthly payments could be very high e.g. $1,500 if borrowing $4,500 over 3 months.
  • Late fees of $15 per missed instalment

Guitar Center has been established for over 50 years and have nearly 300 stores across the US and describe themselves as the largest musical instrument retailer in the world. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They have one in-store finance option called the Gear Card. They also have an Essentials Card for those with not much credit history or bad credit but we haven’t seen the details for this.

They confirm that because of the relationships they have along with their buying power that with them you will find the ‘guaranteed lowest price’. They also have an excellent array of pre-owned and open box music gear. 

They also ship worldwide although their finance deals do not stretch outside the US.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

Guitar Center Credit Card

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • Deffered Interest of 29.99% APR
  • Payment lengths subject to promo deals

Musician’s Friend has been established for close to 40 years and began as a family run business but then was bought by Guitar Center in 1999. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They have two in-store finance options, one called the Musician’s Friend Platinum Card which is subject to a credit check and the other is Paypal

As they are owned by Guitar Center they have similar benefits. There is free shipping within the 48 contiguous US states and DC. They price match up to 45 days after purchase. 

They offer a 45 day return policy and also include a free 2 year warranty on guitars and basses for parts and labor.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

Musicians Friend Plantinum Card

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • Deffered Interest of 29.99% APR
  • Late Payment Fee of $39
  • Payment lengths subject to promo deals

Paypal Credit

The Good

The Bad

  • No interest if paid in full within 6 months
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • Credit Check Required
  • Minimum purchase of $99
  • Deferred interest rate of 25.99% APR
  • Single receipt transaction
  • Minimum instalment late fee of $39

American Music Supply started as a dorm room operation and today has been running for over 30 years.  They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They have one in-store finance option called EZ Pay and no credit check is required up to $1,500 for a 3 month payment plan.

They offer free 2 day shipping and all orders placed Mon – Fri by 4pm Eastern Time will ship the same day. Orders come with an additional 12 months of warranty (on top of the manufacturers warranty) for free included in the purchase.

They also offer a 45 day return policy.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

The Good

The Bad

  • No Credit Check up to $1,500 on 3 month payment plan
  • No Credit Check up to $1,000 on 5 month payment plan
  • 0% Interest
  • No deffered interest as uses your own card
  • Up to 12 month payment plan
  • Credit Check Required for payment plans for 8 and 12 months
  • Minimum spend of $49 on 3 month payment plan
  • Minimum spend of $249 on 5 month payment plan
  • Minimum spend of $299 on 8 month payment plan
  • Processing fees up to a maximum of $19.95 + and state or local taxes on day of order.

Sam Ash is a family owned operation and they have been going since the early 20th Century and one of the longest running stores in the USA. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They have two in-store finance option the Sam Ash Credit Card and the No Credit Needed Option.

They offer free shipping on all orders over $9.99 (according to their website) and a 60 day price protection. So if you find a lower price from any authorized US dealer within 60 days of your purchase they will refund the difference.

They also offer a 45 day money back guarantee from the date of shipping and if you order by 4PM EST it is shipped the same day.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

No Credit Needed Option (Lease to Own)

The Good

The Bad

Sam Ash Credit Card

The Good

The Bad

Bananas at large otherwise known as Bananas.com have been going since 1974 and have stores in the Bay Area. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They currently have 8 in-store finance options: 

  • No Credit Required: Zibby, Acima, Quadpay, GetFinancing
  • Credit Required: Affirm, Greensky, Paypal Credit and Synchrony (which we don’t show below).

They offer free shipping on most orders over $94.72 but tend to push for you to order online and pickup in store. Their stores are located in San Rafael and Santa Rosa, CA.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

Acima (Lease to Own)

No Credit Required

The Good

The Bad

  • $50 initial payment
  • Need to prove you deposit $1,000 a month in to checking account where the money will be paid from
  • High fees and interest
  • 12 Month Payment Plan means you'll almost pay double the purchase price.

Zibby (Lease to Own)

No Credit Required

The Good

The Bad

  • No credit needed
  • Borrow up to $3,500
  • Lease to buy terms between 12 and 18 months
  • Buy items outright at any time
  • They don't declare the interest rate.
  • Deffered and compounding interest
  • Lot of poor customer feedback

GetFinancing (Lease to Own)

No Credit and All Credit Scores (Covers All Spectrums)

The Good

The Bad

  • Poor Credit to No Credit: Borrow up to $1,500. FICO score not needed. Approvals are instant.
  • Fair Credit: Borrow up to $5,000. Approvals are instant.
  • Good Credit: Borrow up to $10,000. 14.99% fixed APR. Approvals are instant.
  • Poor Credit to No Credit: Need to have $1,000 monthly income. 5 Month minimum lease term
  • Fair Credit: Lease up to 24 Months.
  • Good Credit: Lease up to 60 months.
  • Interest rates outside of 'Good Credit' are dependent on credit score.

Quadpay

Soft credit check - No credit required

The Good

The Bad

  • 4 Payments
  • Interest Free
  • Borrow up to $2,000
  • 25% Down payment required on on purchase
  • $7 late fee on installments after 7 days
  • One time account fee of $7 added if payment is later and still not paid after 14 days

Affirm

Very Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Monthly payments
  • Use your own card
  • 3, 6 and 12 Month terms available.
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • No late fees
  • No early repayment fee
  • 0% APR & No deffered interest
  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 10% to 30% APR

GreenSky

Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Maximum purchase of $25,000

Paypal Credit

The Good

The Bad

  • No interest if paid in full within 6 months
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • Credit Check Required
  • Minimum purchase of $99
  • Deferred interest rate of 25.99% APR
  • Single receipt transaction
  • Minimum instalment late fee of $39

Alto Music Started in 1981 and now has 3 full line locations and a pro audtio showroom in NYC. They are one of the top 10 biggest music retailers in the United States. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They currently have 4 in-store finance options: 

  • No Credit Required: Layaway, Progressive Leasing
  • Credit Required: Alto Music Credit Card, Affirm.

They offer free shipping on most orders over $94.72 and same day shipping (for items in stock) if order is Mon – Fri before 4pm EST, holidays excluded.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here

Layaway (Online or In-store)

The Good

The Bad

  • $20 down or 20% which ever is the greater
  • Must be paid off in 6 months
  • Cancelled layaway's subject to 10% restocking fee of total sale

Progressive Leasing

The Good

The Bad

Alto Music Credit Card

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • Deffered Interest of 29.99% APR
  • Payment lengths subject to promo deals

Affirm

Very Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Monthly payments
  • Use your own card
  • 3, 6 and 12 Month terms available.
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • No late fees
  • No early repayment fee
  • 0% APR & No deffered interest
  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 10% to 30% APR

Reverb is an online marketplace for buying and selling new, used and vintage musical instruments. They have been going since 2013 and were bought by Etsy in 2019. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They currently have 1 “in-store” finance option and that is Affirm.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here

Affirm

Very Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • 0% Interest deals available
  • Search by '0% Affirm' on Reverb to find compatible deals.
  • Monthly payments
  • Use your own card
  • Between 3 and 36 Month terms available.
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • No late fees
  • No early repayment fee
  • 0% APR & No deffered interest
  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 0% to 30% APR
  • Interest rates dependent on individual

Amazon need no introduction, they are one of the most trusted and used companies worldwide. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They offer the Amazon Store Card.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here

Amazon Store Card

Fair or Better Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Various promotional deals (read here for details)
  • 0% Interest 'Special Financing' and 'Equal Monthly Payments' financing.
  • Zero fraud liability
  • 6, 12 & 24 Month repayment terms available
  • No annual fee
  • 5% Back on purchases if you get the 'Prime Store Card'
  • Credit Check Required
  • Deferred Interest Rate from purchase date. Standard variable purchase APR is 27.49% APR.
  • Special financing minimum spends: 6 months = $150 or more, 12 Months = $600 or more, 24 Months = $800 or more
  • Late payment fee of $35

The Music Zoo has been operating for over 25 years. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They offer the Music Zoo Credit Card and  Affirm financing .

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here

The Music Zoo Credit Card

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • Deferred Interest of 29.99% APR applied if not paid off during term. Applied from purchase date.
  • $100 minimum spend

Affirm

Very Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Monthly payments
  • Use your own card
  • 3, 6 and 12 Month terms available.
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • No late fees
  • No early repayment fee
  • 0% APR & No deffered interest
  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 10% to 30% APR

Kraft Music They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They offer the Yamaha Music Credit Card and PayPal Credit financing .

Free shipping on orders $79 and over. Orders received prior to 2 pm Central time will ship the same day, see here for more information.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

Yamaha Credit Card

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • 36 Month Deals on selected brands and purchases
  • Minimum spend of $299 or more for 12 month deal
  • Equal monthly payments
  • Deferred interest at a rate of 29.99%APR

Paypal Credit

The Good

The Bad

  • No interest if paid in full within 6 months
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • Credit Check Required
  • Minimum purchase of $99
  • Deferred interest rate of 25.99% APR
  • Single receipt transaction
  • Minimum instalment late fee of $39

NStuff Music are a family run business and have been operating for over 50 years. They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They offer Green Sky Financing, Progressive Leasing, Snap Finance, Paypal / Paypal Credit and Synchrony financial .

Most products qualify for free shipping. Orders received prior to 3 pm EST will ship the same day, see here for more information.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

GreenSky Financing

Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Maximum purchase of $25,000
  • )% Financing for 12 months on orders over $600

Progressive Leasing

The Good

The Bad

Snap Finance (Lease Purchase)

Online Finance

The Good

The Bad

  • $39 one time processing fee at date of purchase
  • Lease-to-own arrangement details not declared on their website. Make sure to read this if they offer you lease terms.
  • Steady income of $1,000 a month to a checking account required.

Paypal / Paypal Credit

The Good

The Bad

  • No interest if paid in full within 6 months
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • Credit Check Required
  • Minimum purchase of $99
  • Deferred interest rate of 25.99% APR
  • Single receipt transaction
  • Minimum instalment late fee of $39

Synchrony Financial

No details provided on their website at time of writing.

Chicago Music Exchange have been operating for over 25 years They have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They offer Affirm and Synchrony financing .

Free shipping on all orders*. Most orders ship the same day and fully insured, see here for more information.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here.

Affirm

Very Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Monthly payments
  • Use your own card
  • 3, 6 and 12 Month terms available.
  • Credit limit dependent on individual
  • No late fees
  • No early repayment fee
  • 0% APR & No deffered interest
  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 10% to 30% APR

Synchrony Financial

No details provided on their website at time of writing.

The largest retailer in the world may need no introduction but they have a huge collection of guitars, amps, pedals (click here to see them all) and other gear along with many different musical instruments.

They offer Capital One Walmart Rewards Card and Affirm.

Most orders over $35 are eligible for free shipping, see here for more information.

For full terms and conditions of their payment plans, please read the detail here for Capital One Walmart Rewards Card and Affirm

Capital One Walmart Rewards Card

Fair Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 17.99% to 26.99% APR

Affirm

Very Good to Excellent Credit Score Required

The Good

The Bad

  • Monthly payments
  • Use your own card
  • 3, 6 and 12 Month terms available.
  • From $144 to $2,000
  • No late fees
  • No early repayment fee
  • 0% APR & No deffered interest
  • Credit Check Required
  • Rates from 10% to 30% APR

Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments below so we can all benefit from your knowledge and get the best deals for our guitar gear needs!

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