IBM cuts Low Rate Financing program rate

IBM started off its third fiscal quarter Monday by dropping the bottom interest rate available to corporate customers taking advantage of the company's Low Rate Financing program, targeted at mid-size firms shopping for leased servers, software, and other IBM products.

IBM's lowered rates now start at 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent, and are available to customers in North America, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The cap on how much customers can borrow has also been raised, from US$500,000 to $1 million. By purchasing a specific combination of Web servers and software, customers can finance up to $2.5 million.

The Low Rate Financing program, created in February and intended to run for one year, allows customers to lease an array of IBM products, including the company's eServers, PCs, services, retail store systems and storage and networking products. It's one of several promotional programs available through IBM Global Financing.

Not all program customers qualify for the 5.3 percent rate -- it's only available to those with sterling credit ratings. Still, most customers in the program obtain financing rates better than the 8.5 percent to 9 percent IBM would typically charge, said IBM spokesman J. Timothy Ohsann.

Servers from IBM's iSeries line of integrated application servers were among the most popular products financed through the program during the second quarter of this year, Ohsann said. Customers are primarily using the program to lease servers and software, he said.

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