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North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Rent-to-Own

Rent-to-own can give you the option of taking home a big-ticket item without a credit check or down payment by making small weekly payments. What rent-to-own ads don’t tell you is the total cost of the item. If you signed a rent-to-own agreement for a $300 television with payments of $14.00 per week for 87 weeks, you’d wind up paying a grand total of $1,218 – more than triple the retail price.
 
The ads also don’t tell you that if you miss a payment, the item can be repossessed and you can lose credit for all of the payments you’ve made. To get the item back, you’d have to start paying for it all over again.
 
Before you decide to rent-to-own, ask yourself the following questions:
 
  • Is being able to return the item after using it worth paying more than double in rent what it would cost to purchase the item?

     

  • How does the cost and terms of renting-to-own compare to other payment options, like layaway or installment payments?

     

  • How does the amount you’ll pay weekly compare to the total cost of the item?

     

  • How long must you make payments before you own the item?

     

  • How much would you pay for the same item if you bought it someplace else?

     

  • Is the item new or used?

     

  • Can you wait until you’ve saved enough money to buy it? Consider the example of the $300 television. If you saved $14.00 per week for just 22 weeks, you would have enough money to purchase that TV and could save yourself more than $900 in rent-to-own costs.
 
We Can Help
 
If you have a complaint about a rent-to-own contract, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.