Can't afford a G1? T-Mobile will now let you split the bill across 4 months

Whether you only upgrade once every two years or every time a new handset drops, following the latest in mobile hardware can be an expensive hobby. Lookin’ to keep sales up in the face of an economic slump, T-mobile has introduced a new means of paying for your latest gear fix: the Equipment Installment Plan.

If you’re a “qualified customer” (in other words, your credit doesn’t suck), T-Mobile will give you the option of splitting up the tab for hardware and accessories across four months. The first month gets paid up front, and the next 3 payments are tacked onto each subsequent month’s bill. With no finance fees, interest, or start-up fees involved, it seems like a pretty solid way to feed your mobile addiction; rather than one big dent in your wallet, you get four small dings. The installment plan is open to those coming to T-Mo anew and those who are already locked into contract.

We’re still digging a bit deeper to try to find a catch in the details (for example, are there additional fees if a hardware payment is late?) – we haven’t found anything yet, but we’ll let you know if we come across any red flags.