Thinking about using Acima for your next big purchase but not sure if it’s the real deal?
Shopping online is huge these days, but paying for everything at once is not easy. That’s where Acima comes into play. Maybe you’ve seen it as an option when you’re about to buy something online, or maybe a buddy told you about it.
So, what’s the deal with Acima, and can you really trust it with your hard-earned cash?
What is Acima?
Acima is an online platform offering lease-to-own financing for home necessities and fashion apparel. Through Acima, you can get various items on lease, including outdoor goods, appliances, furniture, eyewear, jewelry, etc.
Through Acima, you can apply for a lease for items valued anywhere between $500-$4K.
Unlike other platforms, Acima considers more than just your credit score to determine your eligibility. Acima also has a very straightforward signup process. You can easily sign up on Acima through your mobile device or by visiting a participating store.
Is Acima Legit and Safe?
Yes, Acima is a legitimate and safe option for lease-to-own purchases, but you have to understand their terms and conditions.
To get a lease on Acima, you have to submit an application first. Once your application gets approved, you’re all set to get the item you applied for. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that you will not own your items initially.
Acima will also require you to make an initial payment that will range between $0-$70. The initial payment is due before receiving your goods!
After making the initial payments, Acima allows you to choose a lease term. Acima gives you a choice between 12, 18, and 24 months, paired with a few early purchase options as follows:
90-Day Early Purchase
If you opt for this option, the platform will require you to pay the “Acima cash price” for your goods.
You must also pay the initial payment and purchase fee for your items. According to Acima, the purchase payment is typically $25. Nevertheless, the number might vary based on your resident state.
After 90 Days
Acima also gives you the option to buy your merchandise after ninety days and well before your terms. If you opt for this option, Acima will usually require you to pay approximately 65% of your remaining total lease amount in a lump sum amount.
Acima also states that if you stick to paying off your items by making all lease renewal payments, you might have to pay a significant amount. This amount is usually double the original invoice for the items that you bought.
According to Acima, the lease payments are dependent on the merchandise’s value that you have chosen. The same rule also applies to the cost of lease services.
Due to these policies, it is impossible to know how much of a financial setback you would face since you will not know the financing costs until after you have applied.
Is Acima Right For You?
Let’s take a look into situations where Acima is right for you and where it isn’t:
Acima is good if:
1. You need something immediately, and there is no way to accumulate the money required
Considering its $4K limit, Acima allows you to get anything you want imminently. Nevertheless, it is no secret that Acima applies some high charges when it comes to paying the lease. Buying from Acima makes sense if there is no possible way to make up the needed amount in any way.
Even so, you might find other financing options with much lenient lease terms.
2. You have a bad credit
As mentioned earlier, Acima’s eligibility criteria extend more than the credit score. Acima also has no minimum credit score, which means that your lease approval mainly depends on your income.
Acima is bad if:
1. Can’t Pay Off Early
Acima does not give you ownership of the leased items until you have paid for them in full! With Acima’s policies in mind, unless you cannot afford to pay off the leased items early, you will have to pay double the costs for the item!
Hence, it is important to read Acima’s terms and conditions before applying to spot any unfavorable terms that may affect you later.
2. Have a Fluctuating Income
If you have a fluctuating income stream and might be unable to cover the lease terms, it is a bad idea to consider leasing through Acima. If you miss a lease payment on Acima, you will have to pay additional fees, increasing the overall cost of the item.
3. You Find Cheaper Options Elsewhere
While Acima is convenient, it can become very difficult to pay off the amount. With its fees and rigid policies in mind, it is better to look for better options for your item. For instance, buying some items through credit cards will not only give you a better lease term, but you will also be eligible for rewards and cashback.
On the other hand, personal loans are also a great option when compared to Acima. Not only do they cost less, but they also have longer repayment terms compared to Acima.
If you are lucky, you might even find some options with 0% interest promotions!
Verdict: Is Acima Legit?
Although Acima is legitimate, it is not a favorite for its strict policies, high fees, and even higher payment terms.
If you want to lease an item, it is best to consider other options before settling for Acima.
Hi, I’m Ashley a freelance writer who’s passionate about personal finance. Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by the power of money and how it can shape our lives. I’ve spent years learning everything I can about budgeting, saving, investing and retirement planning. So if you are looking for tips, advice, or just a little bit of inspiration to help you on your financial journey, you have come to the right place. I am always here to help, and I am excited to share my passion for personal finance with you.