As any member of APRO would know, access to some of the most common household items can affect the quality of life for a customer and potentially impact their future. A computer for school homework for a student, a mattress for that single mother of two or a working refrigerator for a family, are becoming more challenging to purchase for consumers who might not be in the best financial or credit position. Many people are left with no “traditional” payment methods to be able to progress.
A group of retailers and manufacturers are addressing this issue, including APRO member Aaron’s, forming The Open Door Coalition. The Open Door Coalition aims to “support alternative ownership arrangements like lease-to-own that give every family – regardless of their financial status – the opportunity for a better future.”
“Broadening the ability to make key purchases is critical to reducing the opportunity gap,” says Douglas Lindsay, president of Aaron’s, a division of Aaron’s Inc. “Leasing, rent-to-own and other alternative ownership opportunities, can play a big role in improving lives.”
Besides broadening the ability for alternative purchase arrangements for buyers, the coalition also focuses on “better [education for] consumers by providing guidance and information aimed at strengthening their financial status,” and “increase awareness for the critical and positive role that leasing and other alternative ownership opportunities play in improving lives.”
“Many consumers simply aren’t aware of how to best manage their finances,” says Lindsay. “By debunking common credit myths and providing financial tips and best practices, the coalition hopes to empower consumers to better their financial status.”
The coalition’s new website, www.opendoorcoalition.com, shares several real-life stories of individuals recovering from debt, divorce, identity theft and other significant life changes, who felt they made their living situation better by taking advantage of alternative purchase options.