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Home / Insights / Rent a Center vs National Credit Direct

Rent a Center vs National Credit Direct

In this article, we compare two popular buy now, pay later businesses: Rent-A-Center and National Credit Direct.

Rent a Center vs National Credit Direct

Rent-to-own and other buy now, pay later businesses have been around for over a hundred years, bringing benefits for customers who find it hard to purchase products they need through alternative channels. Offering flexible purchasing options, such as, buy now, pay later plans (BNPL) enable you to make convenient installment payments, typically on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. And unlike layaway offers, these plans allow customers to take home their purchases up front.

In this article, we compare two popular buy now, pay later businesses:
Rent-A-Center and National Credit Direct and see how they match up for two of the same products.

Rent-A-Center is a large rent-to-own retailer in the United States. They offer flexible payment options, including weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payments, with no credit check required. They have a huge selection of furniture, appliances, and electronics customers can choose from, including the latest Playstation gaming consoles.

National Credit Direct is a financial service company that offers rent-to-own financing for furniture, appliances, and electronics. They provide a rent-to-own program that helps customers finance their purchases and make low monthly payments. They may have a smaller selection of products compared to Rent-A-Center, but they offer a personalized financing solution for customers with good or bad credit.

So, let’s dig a little deeper into the major differences between these two reputable Pay Now Pay Later companies…

About Rent-A-Center

The History of Buy Now Pay Later on Credit

Rent-A-Center is an industry leader in the buy now, pay later arena. They provide a rent-to-own service that helps buyers afford to take home bigger ticket items, such as electronics, appliances, and furniture when they might not have cash on hand or other financing options. And they offer a worry-free 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Rent-A-Center also offers a vast array of name-brand items the likes of Whirlpool, Ashley Furniture, Samsung, and other household names.

Rent-A-Center has been serving customers since 1973. It all started in Wichita, Kansas with founder, J. Ernest Talley, realizing the need for an affordable way to provide basic household items to low-income families.

With Ernest’s vision in mind, he founded Rent-A-Center, and it quickly became a hit with customers who were struggling to make ends meet. The concept of rent-to-own was new at the time, and Rent-A-Center's novel approach made it stand out in the market.

Through the years, Rent-A-Center grew exponentially, with locations now across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company 1000s of products, from furniture to electronics, and has become a go-to for those looking for flexible payment options.

Below are the categories of products Rent-A-Center offers:

  • Furniture
  • Appliance
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Smartphones
  • Tires
  • Handbags
  • Deals

But Rent-A-Center's success isn't just due to its products and services. Rent-A-Center has been recognized for its passion and commitment to social responsibility, including its support of various charitable organizations and initiatives.

Currently, Rent-A-Center continues to lead the rent-to-own industry with its unique solutions and dedication to customer satisfaction. Its history is a testament to the power of entrepreneurship, social responsibility, and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

Rent-A-Center Guarantees

With Rent-A-Center’s Worry-Free Guarantee, you get to enjoy the name-brand items you want at a payment you can afford, with the option to own when you're ready.

Rent-A-Center enables users to enjoy name-brand items at a payment they can afford - and the option to own those products when they are ready. Customers benefit from six months same-as-cash, an early purchase discount, free same-day delivery, and price match comparisons with competitors, all with no long-term commitments.

Worry-Free Guarantee: With Rent-A-Center's Worry-Free Guarantee, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a rent-to-own plan that requires no credit check, offers flexible payment options, and includes free product service and repairs during the payment period, as well as free same-day delivery.

Stoneberry Customer Service

Competitor Price Match: When starting a new rental agreement, Rent-A-Center may adjust the price of its items to match that of a competitor's if you can provide proof of the competitor's lower price and that the items are identical in both product and condition. That’s an awesome cost saving benefit!

Stoneberry User-Friendly Website

Liability Damage Coverage: This is a program you can choose to participate in with each rental agreement. For a small fee included with each payment, Rent-A-Center will protect your rented item against theft or damage caused by natural disasters.

Clear Product Information

The Rent-A-Center No Credit Option

The Rent-A-Center No Credit Option is a popular feature that provides customers a unique option to rent furniture, electronics, and appliances without a credit check.

The No Credit Option includes the following benefits:

No Credit Check Required: To get started on a rent-to-own plan, you don't need to go through a credit check, making it easier and more accessible for a wider range of customers.

Rent-to-Own Plan: Rent-A-Center offers a rent-to-own program that allows you to rent furniture, electronics, and appliances and pay for the products over time, with the option to purchase the items at the end of the rental agreement.

Flexible Payments: With the Rent-A-Center No Credit Option, you can choose from a variety of payment options that are within your budget (even a tight budget) and schedule.

Access to a Wide Range of Products: By choosing the No Credit Option, you also have access to a large selection of furniture, electronics, and appliances, including top brands and the latest models.

Convenient Shopping Experience: Rent-A-Center's No Credit Option allows you to easily, conveniently, and quickly rent the items you need, with no credit check required and with flexible payment options.

User-Friendly Interface

Various Ownership Options

Depending on what works best for your budget, you can choose from multiple ownership options, including the following.

Option 1: Small flexible payments

Approval for Contract: To get started, you just need to be approved for a contract with Rent-A-Center.

Tailored to Budget: Rent-A-Center works with you to ensure you get the right products at a payment amount and schedule that fits your budget.

Adjustable Agreement: The rental agreement can be updated along the way to accommodate any changes within your needs and/or budget.

Payments Made: Once you make all the payments according to the agreement, you would have then fulfilled your obligation and now fully own the product.

No Further Obligation: Upon owning the product, you have no further obligation to Rent-A-Center.

Option 2: Own it when you’re ready

  • Savings: This option can save you a substantial amount of money compared to paying the total cost of a rent-to-own agreement.
  • Anytime Purchase: If you decide you want to outright own a product, you can at any time by paying the early purchase price.
  • Lower Cost: The earlier you choose the Early Purchase Option, the lower the total cost of the item will be.
  • Own the Product: Once the early purchase price has been paid, you will own the product and no longer have any further obligation to Rent-A-Center.

Option 3: Pick up where you left off

  • Flexible Option: This option provides you with flexibility and peace of mind, allowing you to pause and resume payments as needed.
  • Pause Payments Option: Rent-A-Center allows you to pause your payments if you need or want to.
  • Return the Product: To pause payments, you simply return the product(s) you have rented.
  • Resume Payments: If you are able to resume payments, you have the option to receive the same or a similar item.
  • Continuation of Rental: By choosing to receive the same or a similar item, you can pick up where you left off in your rent-to-own agreement.

Easy Payment Options

At Rent-A-Center, there are several payment tools available to a customer, including the ability to:

  • Pause Payments: Allows you to temporarily stop making payments on their rent-to-own agreement.
  • AutoPay:.
  • Automatically deducts payments from your designated payment method on the due date.
  • Pay by Phone: Gives you the option to make payments over the phone using a credit or debit card.
  • Pay Online: Enables you to securely make payments through Rent-A-Center's online platform.
  • Pay In-Store: Offers you the option to make payments at any Rent-A-Center retail location in person.

Free Product Repairs

The Rent-A-Center free product repair guarantee is a benefit offered to customers who have initiated a rent-to-own agreement and includes the following benefits:

  • Coverage: You will receive free repairs for the product during your rent-to-own agreement.
  • No Additional Cost: If your product becomes damaged or stops functioning properly, Rent-A-Center will repair it for free, and you will not have to pay for the repairs.
  • Part of Worry-Free Guarantee: This guarantee is included in Rent-A-Center's "worry-free guarantee" which aims to provide you with peace of mind and protection for your purchased products.
How Stoneberry Works

About National Credit Direct

About Stoneberry’s Buy Now Pay Later Credit Program

National Credit Direct is another unique Buy Now Pay Later platform that aids hundreds and thousands of individuals in purchasing quality and name brand products they would otherwise not be able to purchase. National Credit Direct provides credit payment plans for customers, allowing them to create budget-friendly payment plans for purchasing the company's products.

National Credit Direct is best suited for people with credit issues in the past and who wish to prevent hidden fees and unnecessary interest rates.

National Credit Direct is a reputable company and is evidenced by their 1000s of customer testimonial recordings.

National Credit Direct was founded in 2013 with their main focus on helping customers struggling to obtain financing for essential household items. With a business model and commitment to providing affordable payment plan options and personalized financing solutions, National Credit Direct quickly gained popularity among 1000s of customers throughout the United States.

Expanding its product offerings through the years, including popular brands such as Samsung and LG, National Credit Direct met its goal of providing the name brand products demanded by their customer base.

Below is a list of product categories offered by National Credit Direct:

  • TV & Home Entertainment
  • Laptops & Computers
  • Cell Phones & Tablets
  • Gaming PCs, Consoles & VR
  • Video, Photography & Drones
  • Wearable Technology
  • Music and Sound
  • Home, Furniture & Décor
  • Major Appliances
  • Small Home Appliance
  • Better Sleep
  • Jewelry & Fashion
  • Outdoor, Fitness & Health
  • Children's Corner

The company's commitment to customer satisfaction has earned it a reputation as a leader in the rent-to-own industry.

Today, National Credit Direct continues to offer affordable and flexible financing options for their valued customers in need. Its years of history is a testament to its commitment to providing exceptional service, personalized solutions, and a focus on helping customers achieve their goals.

Pros of National Credit Direct

Unlike Rent-A-Center, National Credit Direct does not rent or lease products. National Credit Direct provides credit payment plans to customers who want to purchase their products. National Credit Direct reviews the application and determines if you are eligible for credit. If approved, you will be given a credit limit which can be used to purchase products from National Credit Direct. You can then make a budget-friendly payment plan to pay off your credit balance.

If you have less-than-perfect credit, or no credit at all, National Credit Direct might be the right option for you, with their regular payment plans, guaranteed approval, no hidden fees or interest charges, and unlimited customer support. National Credit Direct also offers a reward points program, similar to that of many well-known credit card companies or airlines, that can help you purchase more products.

Some of the major benefits of National Credit Direct include:

1. Flexible Payment Plans

National Credit Direct offers simple, flexible, and hassle-free payment plans. Customers can choose from weekly, bi-weekly (every two weeks), and twice-monthly options. In each of these cases, National Credit Direct will work with a customer to design a program that fits their budget.

2. No Hidden Charges

The payment plan for all products purchased from National Credit Direct are made up of the price of the item(s) along with defined shipping and handling charges and applicable taxes. No interest and no hidden fees. The only added costs relate to a small annual fee (also explained up front) and charges for a returned payment.

3. 100% Money Back Guarantee

Customers have a month after activating an account to receive a full refund. No questions asked, as long as the item is not blemished and the warranty has not been voided. Upon return, the full refund will be credited to your account.

4. Easy Approval

Another benefit of National Credit Direct is that, since they are a credit company, they have flexibility when approving customers who have less-than-perfect credit. They even allow customers with bad or no credit to establish a payment history by making a small, one-time payment on a product along with layaway payments. Once a new history has been established, National Credit Direct will offer a line of credit to pay the balance of the purchase price. Otherwise, a customer is set up with a credit limit for purchases.

5. Reward Points

Only National Credit Direct offers Reward Points, granting customers more for their money with reward points that can be applied to many of the items offered on the website.

Reward points accumulate for every dollar spent (100 points for $1) and can be redeemed for cash back or free merchandise.

6. Trade-Up Program

National Credit Direct even enables you to trade in old electronics or appliances that are still of value towards the purchase of a new product.

Product and Price Comparisons

1. Acer - Swift 3 Laptop

Designed on the Intel® Evo™ platform for a truly remarkable and outstanding experience anywhere, the lightweight Acer Swift 3 - 14" FHD IPS Widescreen LED Laptop- Intel Core i7- Intel Iris Xe Graphics- 8GB LPD enables users to perform at their very best, thanks to its robust 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processor.

In addition, this widescreen LED laptop is combined with super-fast connectivity and vivid Intel® Iris® Xe graphics on its 14” Full HD IPS display. It has a fantastic 85.73% screen-to-body ratio and a rather sleek metal chassis. Moreover, with its enduring battery life, you can be empowered to do everything on the go!

National Credit Direct Monthly Payment Plan and Total Costs

Pros of Stoneberry

If consumers purchase Acer - Swift 3- 14" FHD IPS Widescreen LED Laptop- Intel Core i7- Intel Iris Xe Graphics- 8GB LPD from National Credit Direct, they will need to make 13 monthly payments of $193.85.

The total amount you will pay, including shipping and activation, is $2,519.99. In addition, National Credit Direct enables you to earn 251,999 Reward Points on this item.

Rent-A-Center Monthly Payment Plan and Total Costs

Delayed Shipping Times?

If consumers purchase Acer - Swift 3- 14" FHD IPS Widescreen LED Laptop- Intel Core i7- Intel Iris Xe Graphics- 8GB LPD from Rent-A-Center, they will need to make 18 monthly payments of $180.97*. The total cost of ownership, including shipping and activation, is $3,341.20.

2. Sony - PlayStation 5 Console

The Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) is a home video game console featuring stunning games and 4K TV support, along with an array of exciting features such as Integrated I/O, adaptive triggers, HDR technology, ultra-high-speed SSD, tempest 3D audio tech, and up to 120 fps with 120Hz output.

National Credit Direct Monthly Payment Plan and Total Costs

If consumers purchase a Sony PlayStation 5 from National Credit Direct, they need to make 13 monthly payments of $123.08. The total amount you will pay, including shipping and activation, is $1,599.99. In addition, National Credit Direct enables you to earn 159,999 Reward Points on this item.

Rent-A-Center Monthly Payment Plan and Total Costs

If consumers purchase a Sony PlayStation 5 from Rent-A-Center, they will need to make 14 monthly payments of $180.21*. The total cost to own, including shipping and activation, is $2,620.12

Final Verdict: Which is a Better Option?

After comparing Rent-A-Center and National Credit Direct, our final verdict is in favor of National Credit Direct.

National Credit Direct stands out from traditional rent-to-own companies like Rent-A-Center due to three main differentiating factors: its Reward Points Program, its Ability to Build Credit, and its Trade-Up Program.

Let's take a closer look at each of these benefits.

Reward Points Program

National Credit Direct has a unique Reward Points Program that allow you to earn points on your products purchases. These points can then be redeemed for cash back or free merchandise. National Credit Direct’s Reward Points Program adds even more value to the already budget-friendly payment plans they offer. Unlike traditional rent-to-own companies, which more often than not, have hidden fees and high interest rates, National Credit Direct rewards its customers for their loyalty and timely payments.

Ability to Build Credit

Another significant advantage of National Credit Direct over Rent-A-Center is its ability to help you build their credit history. Simply making regular payments on your credit accounts can improve your credit rating and increase your chances of obtaining loans or credit in the future. This can be incredibly helpful for those consumers who may have had credit issues in the past and want to rebuild their credit. Unlike Rent-A-Center, which typically does not report to credit bureaus, National Credit Direct reports to major credit bureaus, which can have a positive impact on customers' credit scores.

Trade-Up Program

National Credit Direct's Trade-Up Program allows customers to upgrade your outdated electronics for the latest technology. This is a very popular program offered by National Credit Direct. Their Trade-Up Program can be a huge benefit for those who want to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology. You can trade in your current electronics and use the value towards the purchase of newer, more advanced products. This can also save you lots of money in the long run, as you won't have to continually buy electronics at full price. Rent-A-Center does not offer a trade-up program, making National Credit Direct a better choice for those who want to keep up with the latest technology trends.

Overall, National Credit Direct's unique benefits, such as its Reward Points Program, Ability to Build Credit, and Trade-Up Program, make it a more attractive option than traditional rent-to-own companies like Rent-A-Center. By offering budget-friendly payment plans, rewards for timely payments, and opportunities to upgrade to newer technology, National Credit Direct is a smart choice for those looking to purchase products and improve their financial situation.

Rent to Own Comparison Chart