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Why the latest iPhone is worth going into debt for one in five Americans

SALT LAKE CITY — What is something worth going into debt for? Your home? Your car? Maybe that big family vacation you had to put off at the start of the pandemic?

It turns out, many Americans believe the latest iPhone from Apple is an expense worth going into the red for, according to a study shared with the KSL Investigators.

WalletHub found that close to half of Americans said their cell phone was their most important possession during the pandemic. And 20% think the new iPhone is worth going into debt for.

“So, it makes sense why we see the demand for the new iPhone is still very high,” said Wallethub’s Jill Gonzalez.

Besides all the apps, features and whatnot our smartphones can do, Gonzalez said they have become a status symbol.

“There is a sense of keeping up with the Joneses,” she said. “15% of people actually say that they would judge someone who doesn’t have the new iPhone as a sign that they are struggling financially.”

But if you are not insecure where you stand compared to the Joneses — consider this: Shopping around online, the KSL Investigators found the newest iPhone 13 Pro Max going for more than a $1,000. But if you go for a slightly older, or refurbished model, you can save hundreds.

Having good credit is also a money saver when it comes to buying cell phones, though that is controversial.

“If you have excellent credit, you’re probably going to have to pay less monthly than someone with fair or poor credit,” Gonzalez explained. “And a lot of consumers don’t necessarily agree with that.”

About 45% of those surveyed by Wallethub said they believe credit checks for cell phones are simply not fair.

American debt remains a major hurdle for consumers, especially lower income Americans struggling with their credit who in the end pay more for stuff that they choose to finance.

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