Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Avoiding The Rent To Own Trap

How many of us are not intrigued by the thought of a new big screen TV or living room furniture? I know that we would love to have a brand new computer or washer and dryer set today!!!!! We Americans are a little spoiled... okay, we're a lot spoiled! We live in a society of Veruca Salts (you know - "I want it nooowwww") and we will find the easiest way possible to get what we want. Some merchants have found a way to feed on this and grasp us in a long lasting and VERY expensive money trap! "Rent to own" stores have popped up everywhere offering our biggest desires for a small fee and immediate possession.

Rent to own companies allow you to lease an appliance or furniture for a small fee either weekly or monthly paid. At rates like $19.99 a week it's easy to lure those that have the "must haves". After you have paid all your weekly or monthly payments that were agreed upon (typically 12-24 months) you will own the item outright.

This sounds ok, until you look at the bottom line. The other day when I visited a local rental center just to check out the ins and outs I was SHOCKED to see that the items cost the buyer 2x the cost they could buy the product on the spot if they chose the easy payment financing. So, I could pay $1700 for a TV today or I could pay $141.67/mo for 2 years. Total that up and I would be paying $3400 total for the same TV! That's ridiculous! If I put back that $141.67 in the bank each month for 12 months, I could pay for the TV outright and avoid paying all the interest. Miss a payment, however, and my TV could be repossessed. And if  I wanted it back, I would have to start my payment plan all over! Another down side, the item I receive probably is NOT a new item. It may have been in a multitude of homes before it landed in mine. The warranty could be void, the remote could be mismatched and there may not even be a manual to learn how to operate the thing. And my husband knows, when it comes to electronics.... I NEED a manual!!!

So I hope in this you will understand that Rent To Own store are NEVER a good idea! You will never be getting the best deal! Put your money back and shop a local or box store. Who knows, with patience and the right timing you can probably land the same TV or an even better one for a much better price than the base line at the rental store!

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