“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Let me start by saying, I have had my share of credit troubles in the past. Some due to poor decision making and others caused by circumstances that seemed out of my control. I have gone down the short term, high interest loan rabbit hole. I have had one of those terrible high interest credit cards with huge fees and a tiny credit line. I have also joined some of those buying clubs that give you a credit line to buy off-brand merchandise that nobody wants or needs.
These credit products are essentially a hamster wheel that keep you paying and paying and at the end of the day, you are left with nothing to show for your troubles.
The Game Changer
Recently, I stumbled on a lease-to-own electronics store called BuyOnTrust.com. I reached out to their customer service to get a better understanding of how the whole process works. It’s basically like a Rent-A-Center™ online but for brand name electronics fulfilled by Best Buy™. They literally have just about everything available that Best Buy™ offers. I was pre-approved for $2,500 after filling out a quick form and I placed an order for a new TV, microwave and dishwasher. I picked the items up the following day at the Best Buy™ I chose during the checkout process. It really was that simple. I just showed my ID and nothing else was required for pickup.
Yes, But Where’s the Catch
The lease-to-own model has been around for years. In the past, you went to a brick-and-mortar store with an awful selection of products, but they usually provided you with a high enough approval amount you could get life’s bare necessities. In many cases the products you leased were used. Interest rates and fees were high, but not as bad as a short-term high interest loan which could cost you 10x your initial approval amount.
At www.buyontrust.com the fees were reasonable and if I paid off the lease in the first 90 days the fees were negligible. However, there were fees. The inventory of brand name electronics was amazing (Literally just about anything you could get at Best Buy™). In addition, all the products are NEW!
Little to No Credit is Required
Amazing selection of brand name merchandise
Products are fulfilled by Best Buy™
Approval amounts are much higher than bad credit, credit cards and short-term loans
The process was fast and simple.
Fees and rates were far lower than a short-term high interest loan.
Small weekly payments to fit your budget and lifestyle.
There are fees. The longer you lease the item and make minimum payments, the higher the cost of ownership.
They don’t ship. You have to be near a Best Buy™ to take delivery in person.
The qualification criteria for lease-to-own products at www.buyontrust.com was surprisingly small. After being turned down repeatedly in the past, this was refreshing. Basically, all you need is the following:
1 A 3-month income history
2 Monthly income of greater than $1,000
3 A valid credit card or checking debit card to make a small initial payment
4 A checking account that has been open for 90 days and is in good standing (ie. free from NSFs, excessive overdrafts, & negative balances)
How to Win
The reality of bad credit doesn’t simply have to be high interest rates and fees, low credit amounts and a high credit hurdle to even get approved. Read our article about winning the lease-to-own game.
The lease-to-own model still has fairly steep fees but my experience with www.buyontrust.com was extremely positive and overall, I felt I was treated fairly. www.buyontrust.com provided me with exactly what I wanted, and they were extremely open about their fees and the cost of ownership. In a world filled with predatory lending products, my experience at www.buyontrust.com was a breath of fresh air.