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Rent A Center

Rent A Center review with pricing, ordering instructions, key information and FAQs

Rent A Center

Is Rent A Center right for you? See the latest tips for getting the product you want from Rent A Center, how to save money and avoid costly mistakes, see the most popular products people are renting, how Rent A Center compares to similar companies, how to apply the right way online, the critical documents you need to have in order to rent your merchandise, what happens if you stop paying Rent A Center, how to get out of your contract and how to return merchandise the right way so you’re protected.

Shop over 15,000 Products, Guaranteed Approval, Regardless of Your Credit

1) Why Customers Choose Rent A Center

Rent A Center is one of the most popular and largest rent to own companies in the country. The company is a popular source for rent to own furniture, laptops, washers and dryers, gaming consoles (like the popular Playstation 5) and small household appliances.

Not only does Rent A Center have an aggressive online presence, it also has over 3,000 retail stores you can shop, order and rent merchandise from. The company offers a large selection of merchandise, including furniture sets, with the convenience of multiple locations in larger metropolitan areas. The company also has kiosks in various retailers where customers can apply for a rent to own contract on the item the retailer is selling.

How Many Products Does Rent A Center Offer?

Rent A Center has a heavy emphasis on larger items like furniture, refrigerators, washer & dryers and big screen TVs where the store proximity is an attractive feature for customers. Rent A Center can deliver larger items like furniture and appliances, thereby saving customers the challenge of determining a way to get the merchandise home. Depending on the location of your store, you can shop up to 4,200 products but inventory and products are frequently updated and vary by location. While 4,200 products might seem like a small product selection – compared to other rent to own companies – it covers the basics of what their customers want.

How Does Rent A Center Work?

On its surface you get merchandise and make payments. But it’s a little more sophisticated than that. Rent A Center offers two ways to get you started. You can shop online for the product you want to rent and then submit an application. Or, you can visit the store near you and submit your application in person for the item. You can shop for multiple items and put them on one lease contract. When it comes time to pick up your merchandise, be prepared to provide documentation of your residential address, at least two identifiable personal references and proof of income – often recent paycheck stubs. It’s common to find an item in stock and leave with it the same day, provided you have the necessary documentation and meet their approval criteria.

Does Rent A Center Pull Your Credit?

Whenever a company is trying to make a decision on whether to approve you or not, it seems natural to think that your credit score is the first place they look. That’s not always the case and Rent A Center customers need to be aware that they do not pull your credit. You do not have to worry about a “hard” credit inquiry that could possibly negatively affect your credit score.

Does Rent A Center Report to Credit Bureaus?

A lot of people ask this question because it makes sense when entering into a payment plan arrangement to think that your payments will be reported. Leasing and financing are different and you should know that Rent A Center does not report your payments to the credit bureaus.

What is the $10 Pays Your First Week Save Money Offer?

Rent A Center has developed an offer that allows you to pay only $10 for the first renewal period, often defined as your first week. Depending on what you’re renting, this can save you real money. Thereafter, regular rental rates will apply. You must use Promo Code 1WEEK410 in order to get this offer. Additional terms of the offer can be found here.

2) Company Review and Reputation

Rent A Center is an established company with thousands of physical locations customers can frequent. This gives customers high confidence that they are dealing with a reputable company. When renting large items like furniture or appliances, it helps to have customer service down the street at a location where products can be returned or exchanged easily.

One of the best features about the company is that they can find a way to get you approved to furnish an entire room or multi-room residence. The products are name brand and the store locations often have their own delivery service. This is convenient for customers who do not have a truck or way to transport their purchases.

Pros:

  1. The company is publicly traded and has been in business for almost 50 years
  2. There are thousands of physical Ren-a-Center Store locations in US.
  3. The company will deliver large items
  4. You do not have to create an account or register in order to shop their products online
  5. The product selection is capable of furnishing a single room or entire home
  6. You can get same day service and rent the product of your choice
  7. You can get a same as cash discount by paying a reduced rate within 90 days

Cons:

  1. Rent A Center does not report on your credit if you are looking to build a payment history
  2. You will pay more than if you purchased outright from major retailers
  3. Rent A Center does not currently offer a loyalty program

Reputation:

Rent A Center is an established company with a high reputation and extremely large customer following. While you would expect all reviews to be stellar, there have been some mixed satisfaction ratings from customers. As of this writing, Rent A Center has

  1. 4.0 / 5 stars rating on Consumer Affairs
  2. 2.1 / 5 stars rating on Trust Pilot
  3. 1.8 / 5 stars with the Better Business Bureau customer reviews
  4. 1.7 / 5 stars on Site Jabber
  5. 1.06 / 5 stars on Hissing Kitty

3) How to Find Products like Playstation 5 Consoles on Rentacenter.com that are Out of Stock

This video shows you a trick to make sure you’re searching correctly on the Rent A Center website and how to find hard to get products (like Playstation 5 Consoles) when your local store is out of stock.

4) How to Apply Online with Rent A Center

The following describes the nine easy steps for identifying a product and applying online.

Rent A Center General Category

1.1 Select your product category.

Rent A Center Specific Category

1.2 Narrow your search within the product category.

Rent A Center Specific Product

1.3 Select your item. Rent A Center includes all of the relevant payment information in the description for a customer to make an informed decision.

Rent A Center Payment Options

1.3.1 Rent A Center provides you with payment frequency options and the regular payment options.

Rent A Center pricing options

1.3.2 Rent A Center also includes the same as cash price and total cost of ownership if the customer decides to only make payments. The same as cash price option exists if the customer has enough money to purchase the product outright. Rent A Center gives customers 90 days to pay the same as cash rate and save money. Rent A Center also has a special program where the customer can payoff a reduced balance after 90 days. It’s called Early Purchase Option and the company says, “we'll match your payments dollar for dollar”.

Rent A Center Additional Product Information

1.3.3 Rent A Center also provides very detailed information about the product, its specifications, ownership options for you and easy payment options. There’s also a link you can click on that further describes how Rent A Center works.

Rent A Center Order Button

1.3.4 Rent A Center gives you the option to add the product to the cart or start the order process.

Rent A Center Begin Checkout

1.4 The checkout process begins with identifying who you are by providing your mobile phone, email and Social Security Number. Any one of those items can be unique identifiers of who you are but together they can ensure greater accuracy. By providing this type of information Rent A Center can auto complete the fields in the application for your review and editing.

Rent A Center first page checkout

1.5 If you do not have a mobile phone number, you can click a link that says “I don’t have a mobile number” and Rent A Center will take you to a form that you can complete.

Rent A Center checkout SSN DOB

1.6 After submitting your contact information, Rent A Center requests your Social Security Number and Date of Birth. The company recommends getting this information so it can more easily approve you for your rental contract. You can skip this step if you are not comfortable providing this information.

Rent A Center Claim Offer

1.7 The next step is what’s called a “Claim Offer” page. Rent A Center provides you with a promo code that you can use to save money. Rent A Center describes the Claim Offer as: “If there is a promotion available, you may claim the current offer to redeem in store on applicable products. Your store will finalize your order and apply this promotion to your agreement(s) prior to signature. Offers are fully refundable if you decide to cancel your order.” For this product the company is requesting that the customer pay $10.00 and enter their payment information in order to claim the offer. There is an option to skip this step.

Rent A Center Confirmation Page

1.8 The final page is a confirmation page that informs the customer that the order has been received and for the customer to accept delivery of the item at the store closest to the customer. Rent A Center informs the customer on this page that he or she must present a government issued ID and review and sign the rental agreement.

Rent A Center Text Confirmation Message

1.9 Rent A Center sends you a text message to see if the customer is free to speak about the purchase and to prompt the customer to come into the closest store to finalize the rental agreement.

Rent A Center Login

Rent A Center Loging

On the top of the home page Rent A Center has a sign in link on the top right of the page, so customers can access their online account. The company only requires an email address and password on file to access the customer’s account.

5) How Rent A Center Compares to Other Firms

Rent A Center vs. Flexshopper

Flexshopper is a less established publicly traded company and only rents online but has more product selection than Rent A Center. Flexshopper has no physical locations for customers to browse products and provide local customer service support. However, Flexshopper offers an installment finance option that you can apply for on its website. The lender is Transportation Alliance Bank.

Rent A Center vs. Aaron’s Rents

Aaron’s is its largest competitor with approximately $1.75 billion in revenue and just 1,300 locations nationally. Product selection is largely similar but Aaron’s carries Ashley Furniture and another dozen brands, including: Acme Furniture, Abbyson Living, Boyd Sleep, Elements International, Global Furniture among others. Pricing is comparable for similar products but it might be difficult to price shop exact products because they may be bundled or have slightly different specifications and/or manufacturer numbers. Rent A Center also offers tires via rent to own, while Aaron’s does not.

Rent A Center vs. Fingerhut

Despite Fingerhut only offering finance for online merchandise, it serves largely the same consumer market. Both companies sell to customers often with impaired credit but Rent A Center is a significantly larger company. Fingerhut focuses on offering more consumer-based products but cannot compete the same way as Rent A Center does at the local level with larger items like furniture and appliance delivery. This advantage over Fingerhut, along with local customer service, may explain why the size difference between the companies is large.

Rent A Center vs. Leaseville

Leaseville is an online rent to own company and was founded in 2009 and is currently headquartered in Los Angeles, California. How Leaseville works is the customer shops and applies for the product on the Leaseville website and then, upon approval, can pick up the item at a local retail store. Leaseville has partnered with a number of retailers to offer its products to customers. Leaseville mostly focuses on smaller electronic items and does not offer a large selection of furniture like Rent A Center.

Rent A Center vs. Buy on Trust

Buy on Trust is an online rent to own company that focuses heavily on offering products from Best Buy electronics. Customers shop online and apply to rent the product selected. Upon approval the customer shows up to the closest Best Buy retail store, provides a government issued ID and can accept the product to initiate the lease. Often the customer must make an initial down payment on the website as part of the approval process. Buy on Trust uses a third party to accept the applications and service the lease contracts.

Rent to Own Comparison Chart

6) What Happens If I Stop Paying Rent A Center?

The penalties first depend on which state you reside. Some states have very strict laws in favor of the consumer and others are in favor of the leasing company. The first thing you can expect is that a late fee will be assessed to your account when you miss a payment. The next action by Rent A Center is they will call you. It is recommended that you call them before you miss your payment and let them know your financial situation. Sometimes they might be willing to provide options or work an arrangement with you if it’s going to be just one payment you’re having trouble paying.
Unfortunately, some people avoid speaking to the company and try to keep the merchandise after they default on the contract. It is not recommended because there can be significant financial and criminal consequences.
Many states treat non-payment as a civil matter, but more and more the contracts include clauses that can make it a criminal theft matter if you do not return the rented merchandise. If they cannot speak to you, staff may show up to your home. While the Rent A Center staff do not have a legal right to enter your home, you can avoid a lot of issues by letting the company recover its merchandise at that point. You may still owe fees, but they will likely be a lot less if the merchandise is returned.
If you stop paying and Rent A Center cannot recover its merchandise they have a right to initiate legal action against you, often the first business day after you miss a payment. If you are sued and lose in court you may end up owing a lot more than the original balance, because the court could include Rent A Center’s legal expenses and any other fees it deems appropriate.
A court order can even garnish your wages. Your best option is to return the item as soon as you know you will not be able to pay for it. It will also keep your account in better standing once you get your financial situation resolved so you can rent again in the future.

7) How to Get Out of a Rent A Center Contract?

While it might seem scary to try and get out of a rent to own contract, it really isn’t that hard. You just need to pay attention to the language, because rent to own is state regulated and each state might have differing stipulations on the procedures.

The corporate policy is simple, simply return the merchandise. But each state may have differing rules. You will not receive a refund, but you can return the merchandise and pause the remaining payments on your contract for up to two years. The company issues a Payment Protection Voucher that protects you for two years to reinstate the contract, get your merchandise back and continue the balance of your payments until you own the item. The only downside is that if you paused your payments for any extended period of time, you may not receive the same exact item you had before.

The second way to get out of your contract is enter into a new contract. Rent A Center has a neat program where you can upgrade the items you’re renting whenever you want to and they recalculate the payments for the new item(s). The big downside to this is that you are starting a new contract so any amounts you paid on the old merchandise cannot be applied to the new merchandise. However, if the new merchandise has significantly better features, qualities or function, then upgrading could be the right course of action.

8) The Amazing History of Rent A Center

Tom Devlin originally founded Rent A Center in Wichita, Kansas, in 1973. He got the idea as a college student when he worked at an appliance store and discovered that many of the store’s customers were getting rejected at a high rate. He knew that many of these working-class customers could afford the appliances.

While working with his boss, they created a payment schedule that created a pathway for customers to own the merchandise after paying enough installments. This is what gave Devlin the idea to go into business with a single store.

Throughout the next 15 years, Tom Devlin expanded with additional stores and franchisees. A large English rent to own conglomerate, Thorn EMI, purchased the company from Mr. Devlin for a whopping $594 million. That is $1.558 billion in 2022 dollars.

During this time, Mr. Devlin hired Mark Speese (1979) and he later left to start a competing rent to own business, Vista Rent-to-Own. As his company was growing, he changed the name to Renter’s Choice. In 1995 the company went public under the symbol RCII.

In 1998 Renter’s Choice acquired the 1,409 Rent A Center stores and adopted the Rent A Center name. It was then the headquarters of Rent A Center in Wichita, Kansas was closed and moved to Plano, Texas. As of 2020 the company employs approximately 14,500 employees and produces $4.6 billion in revenue (updated 2021).

When did Rent A Center open its first store in Mexico?
2010

When did Rent A Center acquire the virtual lease to own company, Merchants Preferred?
2019

9) Do You Fit the Profile of a Typical Rent A Center Employee?

The Rent A Center workforce estimated demographics are as follows:

  • Men comprise 74% of the workforce
  • White employees comprise about 60% of the workforce
  • Hispanic and Latino workers comprise about 20%
  • African American employees comprise about 12%
  • Asians comprise about 5.5% and the balance are unknown
  • Rent A Center employees average annual earnings are just over $37,500
  • The average time with the company is about 3.7 years

11) Rent A Center Retail Price Comparison of a Product

You can expect to pay between 2.5 to 3.5 times the regular retail price of other what regular retailers charge. At first blush this may seem like Rent A Center is overcharging, but many people cannot afford to make a larger purchase outright and do not have sufficient credit, either. For comparison purposes, we’re comparing the retail price of a ASUS 14" Intel® Celeron® N4020 Laptop with model number: L410MADS04. The product is readily available at a number of retail stores. There are two prices to look for: regular and discounted price. The Rent A Center discounted price is its same as cash price, while the discounted price at Amazon may be a limited sale at the time of the comparison.

NOTE:
This does not compare the payment amount because other retail stores do not offer similar terms.

Rent A Center Amazon
Regular Price $967.56 $299.99
Discounted Price $580.54 $240.00

12) Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs.

Q1. Why does Rent A Center carry different hours in different states
A1. Rent A Center tries to keep their hours stable for most stores in most states. This helps to ensure continuity from location to location for prospective and existing customers.
Q2. What are the Rent A Center Corporate Headquarter Hours?
A2. The corporate office hours of operation are Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Central Time.
Q3. What Day of the Week are All Rent A Center Stores Closed?
A3. Rent A Center stores are open every day of the week except Sunday.
Q4. What are Rent A Center Store Hours?
A4. These vary by owner and location. We provide a guide of what to expect for store hours by state. This can help you depending on what state you reside.
Q5. What time does Rent A Center open and close?
A5. Not all Rent A Center hours are the same. Depending on which state you live in will determine what your store’s hours are most likely to be. Here are the store hours by state to see what hours are most likely the hours for the Rent A Center near you.
States with store hours from 10am to 6pm, include: Washington, Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky*, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia*, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland (Cumberland and Aberdeen), Pennsylvania, Delaware*, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Alaska (10 am to 6pm Saturday), Hawaii (10 am to 6pm Saturday).

Days Timing
Monday 10am to 6pm
Tuesday 10am to 6pm
Wednesday 10am to 6pm
Thursday 10am to 6pm
Friday 10am to 6pm
Saturday 09am to 6pm
Sunday Close
States with store hours from 10am to 7pm, include: California, Arizona, Tennessee (Madison), Kentucky*, Virginia*, Georgia (Jesup), Florida (Orlando), Maryland, Delaware*,

Days Timing
Monday 10am to 7pm
Tuesday 10am to 7pm
Wednesday 10am to 7pm
Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday 10am to 7pm
Saturday 09am to 6pm
Sunday Close
*Kentucky, Delaware and Virginia are exception states. A large number of stores offer both sets of hours from 10am to 6pm or 10am to 7pm Monday through Friday, but all stores are open from 9am to 6pm on Saturday. This is likely because of independent ownership.
These Rent A Centers have different store hours in the following Maine cities: Ellsworth, Waterville, Augusta. Their hours vary but are mostly 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.
Panama City, Florida store hours are:

Days Timing
Monday 10am to 7pm
Tuesday 10am to 7pm
Wednesday 10am to 7pm
Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday 10am to 7pm
Saturday 09am to 6pm
Sunday Close
Q6. How to Return an Item Back to Rent A Center
A6. It should be as easy as showing up to any store and giving them back the item. Not so quick because if you skip the following steps, it could cost you extra money. The first thing you want to do is return the item back to the exact store you rented it from. Not all stores are corporate owned so you may not be able to return the item at a different location. If the item is too big for you to bring back in your car, then call them ahead of time to schedule a pickup. When you do return the item, it is good practice to obtain a receipt describing the condition of the item and date returned.
Q7. What state does Rent A Center not have stores in?
A7. Rent A Center has locations throughout the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. But the company does not have any stores located in the state of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota.
Q8. Is Rent A Center a Rip Off?
A8. Some people think so, but they are often out of touch with the people who rely on a service like this. The reality is that a significant portion of Americans cannot (or have the credit necessary to) pay for large purchases outright. This is what makes companies, like Rent A Center, a valuable resource. Some people say that you should save for a few months, but that’s not always practical. The key to success is to focus on managing a tight budget, so you can begin to save money. Everyone must realize how to manage expenses by separating what is a need and what is discretionary. A lot of people don’t realize that cable TV is not a need in life. When renting products, set a strict spending limit so you don’t spend more than your budget allows and if you cannot make the payments immediately return the merchandise and put your payments on pause to avoid additional financial harm.
Q9. Is rent a center going out of business?
A9. No. Rent a Center will most likely be in business for a long time.
Q10. Will rent a center build credit?
A10. Rent A Center does not report your payment history to the major credit bureaus but keeping your account in good standing will help you maintain your ability to rent future items more easily. This is a different kind of credit for specific types of businesses and industries.
Q11. Are rent a center phones unlocked?
A11. Not all phones are advertised as unlocked. Rent A Center will notate on the products page of their website which phones are unlocked.
Q12. How much do Rent A Center Employees Earn?
A12. The average hourly rate is $18.05 which equates to $37,544. This amount can vary depending on location and cost of living.
Q13. Are there other stores like rent a center?
A13. Yes. The largest competitor is Aaron’s. Plus, there are many smaller, specialty rent to own companies in most major cities. Those stores may include appliance and other large items.
Q14. Do Rent A Center employees have a right to enter your home?
A14. No. You do not have to let them into your home. However, if you have merchandise and are behind on your payments, it is best to let them have the merchandise back. Depending on your state, they could file criminal charges and then the police will be involved and that can become a bigger problem for you.
Q15. What if I sell Rent A Center merchandise to another person or business?
A15. As long as the balance is paid off it is not a problem. The merchandise is yours. But if you still owe money it could be considered theft in certain states, irrespective of whether you’re still paying on it or not.
Q16. Does Rent A Center have Playstation PS5 consoles in stock?
A16. As of the time of this writing the Playstation PS5 is out of stock in many stores. However, you can click here and be sure to enter your local ZIP code to see inventory levels of local stores.
Q17. What is the best rent to own company?
A17. It really depends on your needs. There are a lot of options for consumers, and they should be careful which company they choose. The main choices are online or retail locations. If you want to lease a large refrigerator or washer and dryer, you many want to choose a company that has the item you want and is close by so you can get assistance with any issues. If you’re looking for a computer or small electronic, then you should consider online choices. If you go strictly by revenue size and number of locations, Rent A Center is your choice for best rent to own company.
Q18. What are the Current Promo Codes for Rent A Center?
A18. The current Rent A Center promotions are as follows: $10 Pays Your First Week (Code 1WEEK4TEN) and $1 Pays Your First Week (Code offer is not available. Valid on a new agreement for a single item entered and must meet eligibility requirements. See Store Manager for complete details.)

13) Key Company Information

Legal Name Rent A Center Inc. A Delaware Corporation
CEO Mitch Fadel
Address 5501 Headquarters Dr. Plano, TX 75024
Customer Service Email 800 422-8186
Telephone 5501 Headquarters Dr. Plano, TX 75024
Telephone www.rentacenter.com
BBB Rating B+ as of 11/23/2022

14) Do You Fit the Profile of a Typical Rent to Own Customer?

There was an in-depth government survey of consumers who used rent to own services. The findings were significant. They discovered:

  • 2.3% of households did business with a rent-to-own firm within the previous year
  • 79% were age 18 to 44
  • 73% had a high school education or less
  • 70% of the merchandise rented was ultimately purchased by the customer
  • 75% of customers were satisfied with their experience
  • Of the 19% who were dissatisfied, it was due to the higher prices
  • 38% of rented items were electronics
  • 35% of rented items were furniture
  • 25% of rented items were appliances
  • 59% of the returned merchandise was because the renter’s needs had changed

The conclusion was that the industry does serve consumers and overall satisfaction was high. Most rent to own customers made more than one purchase.