We’ve all seen the ads. “Take it home today! No Down Payment!” blah, blah, annnnd blah. If you’re considering a rent to own “purchase,” don’t do it. It really isn’t worth it and I’ll tell you why. Simply put; the rent to own trap is killing your finances.
How the Rent to Own Trap Is Killing Your Finances
I’ll be the first to admit that the deals can look amazing, especially if money is tight and your own appliances, furniture or electronics are not in the best shape. A brand new computer for only $40.00 per month, a king size bed for just $100.00 per month, the washer you have always dreamed of having for $25.00 per week – They’re shiny deals with shiny prices. At least, until you really look at them.
Let’s walk through the process of purchasing a rent to own item. Actually, I don’t even want to use the word purchase because, for most people, it ends up being a lease.
• You walk into the store and a salesman who could rival a used car salesman on pushiness comes up to you.
• You tell him what you’re looking for and he leads you in the right direction.
• You lay eyes on that shiny new *insert the item you want here* and decide the price is right so you tell that beady-eyed salesperson that you want it.
• You head to fill out paperwork, sign a contract, make your first week or month’s payment and head home with your new purchase or to wait on the delivery guys to bring it.
Now let’s roll back a bit – That contract you signed. Did you read it? If you did, you might notice that you’re making that $50.00 a week payment for the next year of your life. Congrats! You just bought a $2600.00 computer and that’s not including tax! Plus, what happens if you forget or miss a payment? You lose your item and in most cases, you lose the money you paid on it.
Rent to own programs include things like financing fees, interest and more that all jack up the final cost of the item. By the time you’re done, you could have bought it outright four or five times. You’ve paid all of the financing fees, you’ve paid interest, and you’ve paid for the convenience of being able to make payments.
So what are you to do if you want to make a purchase, but don’t want to use a lease to own program? Instead of making those payments to someone else? Make them to yourself. Weekly or monthly, whichever your budget can handle, put a $50 payment into your savings. After a few weeks or months, you’ll have the money you need to buy what you want. No finance charges, no interest rates, no losing it if you can’t make a payment. It’s yours, free and clear with no strings. As a bonus in most cases you can get a better price by paying all cash! make sure to negotiate!
What experience have you had with rent to own items?