Rent-to-Own Consumer Tips For Consumers In Tough Economic Times

In tough economic times, rent-to-own can be a viable means for millions of American consumers to acquire appliances, furniture, electronics and computers. Especially at a time when consumer credit is scarce and when existing credit lines are being cut, the rent-to-own transaction can be especially useful to the credit-challenged because it never incurs debt or requires a credit check. Additionally, the customer is never obligated to make the next payment and can return the product at any time for any reason.

However, the transaction may not be right for everyone and customers need to use the option to their best financial advantage. Listed below are some rent-to-own tips for consumers.

1) Shop around. The rent-to-own industry is very competitive and will bend over backwards to attain your business, so use this fact to your advantage.

2) Assess your payment options. Use the 90-days-same-as-cash option, if possible. If you make the payments according to contract, in 90 days you'll have a refrigerator – or other home product – at an affordable price in the market that is significantly cheaper than paying over time with a credit card.

3) If you cannot fulfill the three-month option, choose the rent-to-own plan that's right for you. The final price will still be less when payments are fewer. Some rent-to-own companies offer 180-days-same-as-cash plans.

4) Exercise the early-purchase option. The early-purchase option can reduce the total rent-to-own price by 50 percent of remaining payments.

5) It's about flexibility, but "least/shortest" is cheapest. Choose the least number of payments over time to save considerable money. Rent-to-own stores offer the flexibility of choosing your own payment plan.

6) Ask about payment-reinstatement rights. Make sure the rent-to-own company offers a payment-reinstatement option. If you return a product for any reason then at a later date you can reinstate your previous payment history toward final ownership of the product. Most state rent-to-own laws mandate a payment-reinstatement option and some stores offer a "lifetime payment reinstatement" option.

The Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) has spent more than 25 years improving rent-to-own business practices to become one of the most vibrant consumer industries in America. For more information on rent-to-own, contact APRO Public Affairs Director Richard May at 800/204-2776, ext. 104.

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  • National Barn and Storage Rental Association (NBSRA)
    NBSRA 2012 Convention, Marriott-Las Colinas, Irving, Texas. For more information, contact Leland Ulrich at 817/822-6760.
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  • National Barn and Storage Rental Association (NBSRA)
    NBSRA 2012 Convention, Marriott-Las Colinas, Irving, Texas. For more information, contact Leland Ulrich at 817/822-6760.
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  • Ohio Rental Dealers Association
    Midwest RTO Training Expo, Belterra Casino Resort, Florence, Indiana. For more information, contact Mike Tissot, 740/634-2666.
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  • Ohio Rental Dealers Association
    Midwest RTO Training Expo, Belterra Casino Resort, Florence, Indiana. For more information, contact Mike Tissot, 740/634-2666.
  • The Premier Companies
    The Premier Companies, Financial Workshop, Williamsburg, Virginia. For more information, contact John Darden at 434/566-3652.
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  • The Premier Companies
    The Premier Companies, Financial Workshop, Williamsburg, Virginia. For more information, contact John Darden at 434/566-3652.
  • Association of Iowa Rental Dealers
    Association of Iowa Rental Dealers 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting, Hilton Garden Inn, Johnston, Iowa. For more information contact Brian Luksetich, 515-244-2224, ext. 213.
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  • The Premier Companies

    The Premier Companies, Discovery Day - Franchise Prosects are invited to The Premier Comanies corporate office to learn about the franchise opportunity and hear from the support team, Williamsburg, Virginia. For more information, contact John Darden at 434/566-3652.

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  • Bestway Rent-To-Own
    Bestway Rent-To-Own 2012 Annual Meeting, Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact Dena Livingston 972/387-7235.
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  • Bestway Rent-To-Own
    Bestway Rent-To-Own 2012 Annual Meeting, Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact Dena Livingston 972/387-7235.
  • Florida Rental Dealers Association
    FRDA Annual Norman 'Slats' Slatton Golf Memorial at Temple Terrace G&CC, followed by Reception and Texas Hold 'Em Tournament at Tampa Marriott Westshore, Tampa, Florida. For more information, please contact Sharon Tomaszewski at 813/241-0607, ext. 11.
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  • Bestway Rent-To-Own
    Bestway Rent-To-Own 2012 Annual Meeting, Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact Dena Livingston 972/387-7235.
  • Florida Rental Dealers Association
    FRDA Annual Meeting and Vendor Mingle, Tampa Marriott Westshore, Tampa, Florida. For more information, please contact Sharon Tomaszewski at 813/241-0607, ext. 11.
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  • Bestway Rent-To-Own
    Bestway Rent-To-Own 2012 Annual Meeting, Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact Dena Livingston 972/387-7235.
  • Oklahoma Rental Dealers Association
    ORDA Annual Meeting, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma. For more information, please contact Chuck Haver.
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