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Is Rent-to-Own a Good Deal? Only if You Want to Pay Double

Today someone asked me if I really felt it was a bad idea to use rent-to-own furniture stores. While I understand that they seem like an easy way to purchase items you may not be able to because of credit issues, doing so can stretch your finances beyond anything reasonable. Let’s look at a real example.

The television below is being sold and marketed by a national rent-to-own furniture store. Buy it now using their store financing and you will pay over $3,000. That is more than double what it is selling for at other electronic and department stores.

Sony 55” LCD TV (model KDL55BX520) – retail price between $1,100.00 and $1,399.00

Amount per week


Amount paid

Pay via rent-to-own


104 weeks


Save and buy in cash


51 weeks

$1,524.91 (includes sales tax at 9%)

So, if you save the same amount of money ($29.99 a week) you could buy the television in cash! If you continued to save the money you for one more year (the amount of time to pay off the rented set) you would have another $1,500 to put towards something else!

It can be really hard to set aside the urge to have something now. Putting bigger purchases into real money terms can help show the real value of the item you want to purchase and the value of your own money. Ask yourself; is it worth paying an extra $1,500 to have that television now?

If you or someone you know needs helps managing their finances or learning about ways to repay debt call AFS today or click on the Get Started button.

Published Mar 14, 2012.