Rent-to-own, sometimes called lease-to-own, is one way to purchase high-priced items like furniture, appliances, and electronics when you don’t have the money to pay in full upfront. Two popular rent-to-own stores in the United States are Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center.
Below, we do the legwork of comparing Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center so you don’t have to. We will let you know what products they offer, what their payment plans are, and what incentives they offer for shopping with them.
Aaron’s vs. Rent-A-Center: Rent-to-Own Plans
With a rent-to-own payment plan, the total cost of your purchase gets spread out into multiple payments over weeks or months rather than in one full payment upfront. Some stores even offer incentives like same as cash options if you pay your plan off early. Below, we’ve outlined the different payment plans and payment options for both Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center.
- Requirements: Aaron’s minimum lease requirements include a verified source of income, government-issued ID, Social Security number, residence information, and references. Aaron’s will check credit history and creditworthiness, as well as rely upon consumer reports and information obtained from third parties in considering an application, but you don’t need to have credit to be approved.
- Rent-to-own payment plans: 12, 18, or 24-month plan options
- Payment: Your monthly payment can be made in-store, via auto-payment with a credit or debit card, or online through Aaron’s website.
- Same as cash: Aaron’s offers 120 days same as cash (90 days same as cash in California). This means that if you pay off your lease within about 120 or 90 days, you will pay the price of your leased items plus applicable taxes. The cost of lease services will be waived.
- Fees: There are no hidden fees with Aaron’s rent-to-own payment plan. Delivery, setup, service, and repair are all included in your monthly payment.
- Pausing payments: If you decide you no longer want your items or if you need to stop your payments temporarily, Aaron’s offers lease cancellation and lease freeze. Both options allow you to return your items at any time and stop making your regular payments. Aaron’s also offers Lifetime Reinstatement, which allows you to receive your items back if and when you are ready and resume payments right where you left off.
- Requirements: Proof of residence, source of income, and at least two personal references; Rent-A-Center may check credit history, but no established FICO score is necessary to be able to lease.
- Rent-to-own payment plans: Rent-to-own payment plans vary in length. You can choose how often you wish to make your payments. You can make your payments weekly, twice a month, or once a month.
- Payment: You can make your regular payments in-store, over the phone (though a small fee will be assessed for phone payments), online using Rent-A-Center’s ePay, or in cash at certain retailers like 7-Eleven or CVS.
- Same as cash: Rent-A-Center offers 90 days same as cash. This means that if you pay off your lease within 90 days, you’ll only pay the cash price for your items plus applicable taxes.
- Fees: There are no hidden fees with your Rent-A-Center rent-to-own payment plan. Delivery and setup of your items as well as any needed service or repairs are all included in your monthly payment.
- Pausing payments: Rent-A-Center offers a payment freeze assurance should you need to temporarily stop your payments. At any time during your lease, you can return your items to Rent-A-Center and stop your payments. When you are ready to resume payments, you can get your items or comparable items back and pick up your payments where you left off.
Aaron’s vs Rent-A-Center: What’s In Stock
Both Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center offer a variety of products for rent-to-own. Below, we’ve outlined their product categories and given examples of the kind of items you can expect to find in each category. This way, you’ll know where to head if you’re looking for something specific, or you’ll know to shop both stores to compare products and prices.
- Furniture: Sofas & sectionals, sofa & loveseat sets, living room sets, bedroom sets, dining room sets, recliners and chairs, mattress sets, TV stands, patio furniture, game room furniture, office furniture, and accessories such as end tables
- Appliances: Washer & dryer sets, refrigerators, freezers, ranges, air conditioners, and other appliances such as dishwashers
- Electronics: TVs, TV bundles, laptops, tablets, desktops, monitors, gaming, digital cameras, smartwatches, and audio & video
- Seasonal: Lawn & outdoor goods and fireplaces
- Refurbished: Some Aaron’s locations may have pre-leased merchandise available at a discounted price for lease or purchase. Pre-leased items may include furniture, appliances, electronics, or seasonal items.
- Furniture: Sofas & sectionals, recliners & chairs, living room sets, bedroom furniture, kids’ bedroom furniture, mattresses, TV stands, office furniture, outdoor furniture, and dining room sets
- Appliances: Washers & dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges, dishwashers, heating, cooling, vacuums, and small appliances
- Electronics: TVs, home theater & audio, video game consoles, cameras, camcorders, projectors, laptops, tablets, desktops, smartphones, smart home, and security
- Seasonal: Lawn care, grills, and outdoor living
- Refurbished: Refurbished and previously rented furniture, electronics, and appliances are available for rent or for purchase outright at reduced prices. Find out more about Rent-A-Center’s process of refurbishing items.
Aaron’s vs Rent-A-Center: Incentives
Both Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center strive to be competitive in a popular rent-to-own market. Below, we’ve outlined some incentives that each store offers for shopping with them.
- Low-price guarantee: Aaron’s offers to match any local competitor’s advertised cost of total lease ownership for the same item.
- Aaron’s Club: The Aaron’s Club, which requires a low monthly membership fee, includes payment waivers in the event you become involuntarily unemployed or have an accident or sickness. Your Aaron’s Club membership may also come with savings on such things as hotels, rental cars, and dining.
- Worry-free guarantee:The Rent-A-Center worry-free guarantee includes the following: no credit is needed when initiating a rent-to-own plan at Rent-A-Center, flexible payment options, free product service and repairs during the payment agreement, and free same-day delivery.
- Competitor’s price match: On new agreements, Rent-A-Center may adjust the price of its item to match its competitor’s if you can prove the competitor’s price and that the items are identical and in identical condition.
- Liability Damage Waiver: This is an optional program you can opt into with each rental agreement. For a small fee, made with each payment, Rent-A-Center will cover your item in the event of theft or damage due to a natural disaster.
Find out more about Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center in our research on other places like Rent-A-Center and like Aaron’s. You may also be interested in our lists of the best rent-to-own furniture stores and legitimate online rent-to-own stores.