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ZTE launches lease-to-own plan in the US, even for users with bad credit scores

ZTE’s new payment plan targets customers that want a new device but can’t (or won’t) pay the full price right away.

Published onOctober 14, 2015

ZTE Axon Phone-11

The US phone market is slowly shifting away from carrier subsidies, forcing customers to face the harsh reality of full retail device prices. Big players like Apple and Samsung have come up with schemes to reduce the shock, and now budget specialist ZTE is offering its own solution, with a new lease-to-own plan launching today.

ZTE’s payment plan targets customers that want a new device but can’t (or won’t) pay the full price right away. Users will be able to schedule monthly installment plans over six to 24 months, and approval is granted on the spot. The program is ran by ZTE in cooperation with leasing company SmartPay, and even clients with less than great credit scores are encouraged to apply.

Once you pay off all the installments, you own the device, and you can also pay it off early, though some limitations may apply depending on the state you live in. You may also need to pay a BuyOut fee of 3.5% to 20%, depending on the specifics of your plan.

ZTE Axon vs the competition

If you want to give up on the device before the agreed upon term, you can return it. The device must be in “working order” and you must be up-to-date with your payments – upon returning it, the lease ends, and you’re free to start a new plan, if that’s what you want.

Buyers can opt for SmartPay regardless of carrier, but only for unlocked devices. ZTE smartphones like the Axon Pro are, of course, covered, but you can also buy ZTE’s quirky ZTE Spro 2 smart projector and other devices.


ZTE Introduces New Lease-to-Own Option for Smartphones and Mobile Devices

ZTE customers can now get a mobile device and pay for it over time

Richardson, Texas – October 14, 2015 – ZTE USA, the fourth largest smartphone supplier in the U.S. and second largest in the no-contract market*, today introduced a lease-to-own payment plan for customers who want to pay for their phone or other mobile device over time and spreadout their payments to make it more affordable. This lease-to-own payment option is provided through SmartPay ™ Leasing Inc. and will be available online for all customers beginning soon at

Lease-to-own is available for unlocked devices such as the recently launched Axon Pro and other mobile devices such as the ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector.

We are introducing leasing options because we believe advanced mobile technology should be available to everyone. We also want the experience of purchasing and using a ZTE device to be easy for any consumer,” said Lixin Cheng, CEO and chairman of ZTE USA. “How customers want to pay versus the amount they are comfortable paying are equally important – and ZTE can provide the best of both worlds.”

Leasing options for credit scores of all types

With SmartPay, you can get an immediate approval to lease ZTE devices. If approved, simply select the ZTE device you want, make your first payment at checkout and make scheduled monthly payments thereafter**.

No long-term contracts

The length of a lease plan is determined when you apply and can range from 6 to 24 months. Once all payments are made, the lease is complete and you own the device. You can also pay off your lease early without any penalties or future fees***.

Upgrade your phone when ready

If you’re up-to-date on your monthly payments you can cancel your lease at any time and upgrade your device by simply returning your current device in good working order to SmartPay. Once your phone is received your lease is cancelled and you’re free to get the new device you want.

*Strategy Analytics, North America Handset Vendor Market Share, Q2 2015

**$0 to 25% of your lease amount could be due when you complete checkout, a debit card is required.

***BuyOut Fees from 3.5% to 20% may apply depending on the lease-to-own payment plan you qualified for. This option is not available in NJ, MN, WI, and WY. Customers in NJ, MN, WI, and WY are offered a 12 month lease plan which renews annually. Your lease plan may be cancelled at any time. An early termination fee may be applied. You cannot own leased items in NJ, MN, WI, and WY. Instead you can cancel your lease at the end of the term, or you can renew at a lower cost.


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