An article describing ways to get free laptops seems too good to be true. After all, it has to be a scam, right?
Wrong! There are legitimate, scam-free ways to get a free computer. To qualify for most offers, you usually need to be a student or live in a low-income household. If that does not describe you, don’t fret. It’s still possible to get what you need. You simply need to know where to look for opportunities.
If you want to know how to get a free laptop computer, our guide shares a few of the best options.
Legit Ways to Get Free Laptops
Access to the internet is essential in today’s culture. Most work opportunities and schooling require a computer.
However, laptops aren’t always affordable for many families. You can purchase discounted laptop computers from various websites that buy used electronics to help cut costs.
But, for some, that may not be a viable option. Thankfully, there are ways to remedy that.
Here are the seven best ways to get a free computer.
Benefits.gov has a simple mission. It works to provide government assistance to people in need. The site works with government agencies to help individuals and families identify what federal benefits they qualify for.
One of the benefits the site offers is helping those in need to get access to technology. If you want to know how to get free laptops for college students from the government, for example, the site is a suitable way to do it.
Benefits.gov has resources for all 50 states listed on their site. You can browse through the various categories to see what may fit your situation the best.
You can also see the top four most popular benefits for your state, which may help you narrow down your search.
2. On It Foundation
The Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology Foundation (On It Foundation) is another excellent place to go if you’re looking for free laptops for students.
Founded in 1999, The On It Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides free computers, internet, and computer training to low-income families with K-12 students.
The foundation has a few eligibility requirements:
- Be on free or reduced lunch
- Attend a public school
- Live in the United States
If a family doesn’t qualify for a free computer, they can purchase one at a discount through the Jump on It! Program.
The program often has limited availability, and if they don’t happen to have a computer ready, your family will go on a waiting list.
3. Computers with Causes
Computers with Causes goes above and beyond to help families in need. The organization accepts donated computers from companies and, in turn, provides them to families in need.
To qualify for a free laptop through Computers with Causes, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Low-income families with students
- Returning members of the military
- Households in need
You must apply through their website, and staff will get back to you within 30 days to let you know if you qualify.
Computers with Causes also helps companies in need. If you need technology for your organization, this might be the way to get some.
Just add a little bit about yourself and your organization on the application, and the team will reach out to you.
4. National Cristina Foundation
The National Cristina Foundation invites organizations in need to join their network. They don’t send computers to individuals, but organizations that have goals for helping others can qualify for a free laptop.
If you are associated with any of these types of organizations, you may be able to apply:
- Public or private education
- At-risk students
- Economically disadvantaged people
- People with disabilities
Each eligible establishment must be based in the United States and can also include non-profit organizations and government agencies.
The network features a few different benefits. Consideration to join the team depends on you addressing a few things in your application:
- Program’s goals and objectives
- Plan for managing the proposed project
- Organization’s options for technical support
You must also provide proof of your Federal exempt status if you are not a school or government agency. After you are in the system and let them know what you need, they will list your requests on their website.
They’ll include how many computers you need and what requirements you request those devices to have. Organizations can also list if they need scanners, tablets, or digital cameras.
5. Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse
The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR) helps families get free computers.
The AFTRR is affiliated with the National Cristina Foundation and has a similar mission to provide free technology to low-income households.
The site has a map locator to use to find organizations that offer assistance. One word of warning, not all of the options AFTRR are free.
If not, the site directs you to organizations in your area that offer affordable laptop computers.
6. Attend a College that Offers Free Computers
If you’re in college and want to get a free laptop, your school may offer computers to help students complete course work. Of course, you must pay tuition in most cases, but a free computer certainly helps you save money.
An example of an online school that offers free laptops for students is Independence University. The college has Associates, Bachelor’s, and even Master’s degree programs.
Other colleges that offer free computers to students include:
- Purdue University
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Wake Forest
Again, unless you qualify for scholarship money, you will have to pay tuition. But it’s nice to know that some schools offer free laptops for college students.
7. Beaumont Foundation of America
The Beaumont Foundation of America turns its attention to spouses and children of fallen heroes. The Children of Spouses and Children program focuses on helping families who have lost a military member.
The foundation will make contact through the Casualty Assistance Office of military branches and reach out to affected family members.
The program has given out thousands of computers to spouses and dependent children of military personnel.
There are a few requirements to receive a free laptop through this program:
- Had an active duty military family member die in Iraq or Afghanistan
- Children must be 18 years old or younger
- The family member must live in the fallen hero’s household
- People from multiple households may receive a laptop in some cases
- Can include former spouses and stepchildren
The foundation also makes grant money available to eligible students for further assistance.
How to Find Cheap Computers Near You
It is not always possible to get a free computer. All is not lost, though, as there are ways to find discounted laptops near you.
Here are several of the best bets to buy an affordable laptop in your town.
Craigslist: Craigslist is a terrific resource for free or heavily discounted items. Laptop computers are one such thing you can find in most cities on Craigslist.
If you choose to go this route, do your due diligence on the computer. You want to ask questions to determine the following things:
While some people just want to unload their old computers, it’s possible to find one that still has life in it. The platform is only one local option; there are alternatives to Craigslist that may also work.
Your local pawn shop: If you don’t want to deal with a person, you may find a refurbished and discounted laptop computer at a local pawn shop.
You should ask similar questions as you would of a private seller to determine the computer’s quality. As it’s a business, they want repeat business, which they won’t get if they sell you a lemon.
A local computer store: Most cities have stores that buy, refurbish, and sell used computers. This can be an effective way to save money on a laptop.
If you’re looking for laptop deals for college students or personal use, do a quick internet search for “buy recycled computers near me” to find nearby choices.
Where to Find Laptop Computer Deals Online
Don’t limit yourself to where you live to find a discounted laptop computer. Numerous sites buy used computers to refurbish and sell to customers.
Here are a few of the top options:
BuyBackWorld: BuyBackWorld is one of the best platforms to buy discounted laptops. The site buys used Apple products (sorry, no PCs), and refurbishes them to sell to customers.
Inventory varies, based on what they purchase. Still, you can often find several different options for purchase – often at a highly discounted price.
Gazelle: Gazelle works similarly to BuyBackWorld, but the website also carries PCs on occasion.
Also, like BuyBackWorld, you can sell your used electronics for cash to Gazelle and use the proceeds towards a refurbished computer.
Dell Refurbished: Are you a PC person and want the peace of mind of buying from a well-known manufacturer? If so, Dell Refurbished is a terrific option to find discounted laptop computers.
The retailer refurbishes computers and then sells them to customers. Laptops usually start at $299, and the site carries hundreds of options.
If you need a cheap laptop for college students, or merely want one for personal use, Dell Refurbished is worth considering.
Scams to Avoid
Scams are an unfortunate situation many must deal with when looking for discounted or free laptops. Here are some common scams you want to look out for and avoid:
- Anything asking you to enter a contest
- You heard about it via junk mail
- Something looks wrong with the site, or link they’re directing you to
- Broken English, or poor use of grammar
You may also encounter scams via Craigslist or other similar websites. Avoid anyone that asks you to pay beforehand, is unable to answer questions about the computer, and unwilling to meet in a public place.
We hope this article can help you head in the right direction when deciding how to get a free laptop. If you are in a situation where having a laptop is essential, there are resources to help.
Make sure to learn what’s necessary to qualify before applying. It’s great that some of these options don’t just focus on individuals, but organizations as well.
If you don’t qualify for a free computer, remember that there are ways to discounted laptops and save significant money.
Would you buy a computer from someone on Craigslist? How much do you budget for technology each year?