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HP showcases financing

Company lets businesses and governments obtain products at "low lease rates" or defer payments until January at no extra cost.

Hewlett-Packard is taking a cue from furniture stores.

On Monday, the company announced a financing package that lets small businesses and government agencies obtain products at "low lease rates" or defer payments until January "at no additional cost," the company said.

The idea behind the "Jumpstart Success" program is to convince buyers to make their purchases now, instead of waiting for next year's IT budget. There have been signs that IT spending is ready to pick up, although some analysts disagree.

Under the program, customers can pay for HP products over 24 months to 60 months. HP Financial Services will offer the plan directly and through channel partners until Oct. 31.

The financing offer is available for purchases of $25,000 or more at qualified companies and education institutions in North America. It is also open to the U.S. federal government and to local governments in both the United States and Canada, HP said. Federal-government purchases in the United States must be at least $50,000 to qualify.

The program comes in the wake of attempts by competitors to lure HP customers away.