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Using rent-to-own plans
Some retailers offer rent-to-own plans (also called "consumer leases", "lease‑to‑own", or "options 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 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
- you can wait to buy the item after you have saved the money – try using the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's Budget Planner to create a personalized budget
- a second-hand item would serve you as well as something new
- whether there are other credit options like applying for retail credit from the merchant, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option, or borrowing the money from a credit union or bank. Some of these options could be more affordable.
- 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
Learn more about how these plans work and what happens if you cannot make a payment.
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.
Trusted consumer information
Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.