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Using rent-to-own plans
Some retailers offer rent-to-own plans, or "consumer leases", to make products like appliances, furniture and vehicles more affordable. They allow you to spread payments over a fixed period of time—like 12 monthly payments over one year—before you can own the product outright. While turning to rent-to-own plans may sound like an easy solution when you're short of cash, it may become pricey.
Before you commit to a rent-to-own plan, consider:
- if you need this item right now
- if you can wait to buy the item after you have the money
- if a second-hand item would serve you as well as something new
- if there are other credit options like applying for retail credit from the merchant or borrowing the money from a credit union or bank that may be more affordable credit options
- the total costs of the item. There may be extra charges such as financing, handling or balloon payments at the end of the contract
- if you may buy this item before the end of the rental term
- if you may return the item before the rental period ends without a financial penalty
Making a complaint about a rent-to-own plan
To make a complaint about a rent-to-own plan, you should contact the retailer and use their complaint-handling process.
If you are not able to resolve your issue with the retailer, consult The Complaint Roadmap for advice on the next steps to resolve your issue.
For more information about laws governing rent-to-own business practices where you live, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.