Unearth Your Fortune

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By Maddy Scheckel
September 26, 2023


Don’t be discouraged by credit denials; explore Acima’s lease-to-own option for affordable purchases.

31% of Americans who apply for credit are denied. 

If you’re part of this group, you’ll be happy to know that traditional credit isn’t the only way to finance purchases.

Lease-to-own services like Acima are becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers with low or no credit. 

Acima lets customers lease products they otherwise could not afford.

So if you can’t qualify for traditional financing, read on. 

In this Acima review, I’ll explain how you can use lease-to-own to buy expensive items without going into debt.

What is Acima?

Acima’s lease-to-own services can be used for online or in-store purchases!
Source: Acima

Acima is a lease-to-own service that lets you lease products like TVs, mattresses, and mobile phones until you own them.

There’s no interest on purchases, but Acima applies fixed markup and purchasing fees.

The way it works is simple: Let’s say you want to buy a new couch that you can relax on after a long day at work. Acima pays the retailer for the couch and leases it to you. After making all the lease renewal payments, the couch is yours.

You can buy from stores like:

  • Best Buy
  • Ashley Furniture
  • Bob’s Discount Furniture

To locate stores near you, go to the Acima store locator and enter your address, ZIP code, or city.

If you prefer shopping from the comfort of your home, use the Acima MarketPlace to find a list of online retailers that accept Acima.

You can spend up to $4,000 and pay it back over 12, 18, or 24 months. There’s also an option called Acima Cash Price, which allows you to pay your lease within 90 days.

Warning: The total amount of your lease is calculated on Acima’s Cash Price of merchandise plus the cost of using the lease service. In addition, some states require sales tax on rental payments. So, it’s likely you’ll end up paying double the original cost of what you bought. 

For example, if you bought a TV worth $1,500, you’ll pay around $3,000 over the next 12 months.

This makes Acima an impractical option for anyone with a good credit score, as you can buy items on your credit card for way cheaper (and potentially earn bonus points).

How Does Acima Work?

Has this Acima review got you thinking about purchasing new furniture, mattresses, and household appliances? 

Follow my four-step guide for a seamless buying experience:

  1. Choose where to shop
  2. Get approved
  3. Shop for what you want
  4. Enjoy your purchases

Step 1: Choose Where To Shop

The first step is choosing a store you’d like to purchase from. You can find a list of participating retailers by visiting the Acima shop directory.

Acima is available for customers at over 15,000 retailers!
Source: Acima

Once you’ve chosen a store, apply online by going to Acima.com, downloading the app, and signing up for an account. Alternatively, walk into a store of your choice and talk to a sales consultant. They’ll set you up with an account in no time.

Step 2: Get Approved

You can lease to own up to $4,000 worth of products at once. To qualify, you must meet these criteria:

  • Earn at least $1,000 per month
  • Have three months of income history
  • Hold a state-issued photo ID and Social Security number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

Acima will conduct a soft credit check, and approval is based on your income.

Step 3: Shop For What You Want

Upon approval, you can buy from the retailer you’ve selected in step one.

If you’re shopping online, head to the Acima MarketPlace, and you’ll find participating retailers within the U.S. If you choose to shop in-store, your sales consultant will let you know which purchases you’re eligible for.

When checking out, you’ll have to settle on an initial payment of between $0 to $70. You will agree to a 12, 18, or 24-month lease option and set up a payment schedule.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Purchases

Now comes the best part: Enjoying your purchases.

You lease the products until you own them. If you have the money, pay it off early because the earlier you finish paying, the more you save.

Is Acima Financing Legit?

Acima is a legit lease-to-own financing provider.

It has 4.5 stars on the App Store and four stars on Trustpilot, with over 20,000 reviews across all platforms.

However, users complain that the financing fees aren’t transparent, so you always want to double-check with your retailer.

Pros and Cons of Acima

You can pay off your lease whenever you wantUnavailable in Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Good credit isn’t necessary Financing is expensive 
It can help you build your credit score if you make payments on timeNot a lot of flexibility with payment deadlines

Acima Review

Here’s an Acima review from Darra J. talking about how easy the sign-up process is. After paying the lease, Darra noticed a credit score boost.

This Acima review shows that Acima can build your credit score.
Source: Acima

Another Acima review by Aaleyiah W. also spoke about the ease of use. Aaleyiah used Acima to buy a sectional couch, coffee table, and bed set.

You can use Acima to make big-ticket purchases.
Source: Acima

But not all the reviews are positive. This Acima review disliked the hidden fees, so it’s something to clear up with your retailer.

Many customers complain about hidden fees.
Source: Trustpilot

This Acima review was also caught out with unexpected late fees. But it’s good to see that Acima is reaching out to these customers and trying to settle any issues.

Commonly Asked Questions About Acima

Does Applying For Acima Hurt Your Credit?

Applying for Acima doesn’t hurt your credit score because they run a soft credit pull instead of a hard inquiry. But Acima also considers your income and checking account history when approving your account. This means that consumers with bad or zero credit history can still qualify.

What Can I Use Acima For?

You can use Acima to buy items such as household appliances, furniture, mattresses, and tires from stores like Best Buy and Ashley Furniture. For a complete list of retailers that partner with Acima, feel free to visit their shop directory on their official website. 

Is Acima Predatory?

Acima isn’t transparent about the cost of leasing, which some consumers see as predatory. And even if you pay off your lease after 12 months, you’re still paying double the original price.

Are Acima Payments Monthly?

You need to pay your Acima lease monthly for 12, 18, or 24 months before you own your purchase outright. But if you have the finances, you can pay off the lease early.

Acima Complaints?

Many customers complain about the lack of transparency over fees. So when leasing something with Acima, always ask your sales consultant about late fees and other purchasing fees. If you’re shopping online, carefully read through your lease agreement before signing it.

Does Acima Help Build Credit?

Acima reports your on-time and late payments to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. This has its pros and cons. If you’re making payments on time, it’s an excellent way to build credit. But your credit score will take a hit if your payments are late. 

Does Acima Check Credit?

Acima runs a soft credit check when approving your account. This won’t harm your credit score, and you still may be able to qualify if you have no credit.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Acima?

Acima will report your account to the credit bureau if you miss payments. After an extended timeframe, Acima might repossess your purchase because it’s not yours yet.

Is Acima a Ripoff?

Acima isn’t a ripoff since it allows consumers that can’t qualify for a credit card or personal loan to make big purchases with little money down. However, many reviews say Acima isn’t transparent about its fees, which can cause you to pay more than you initially expected.

What Are Alternatives to Acima?

Another lease-to-own option is Katapult. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is also an excellent alternative to Acima. You can buy products without worrying about interest or high fees. Buy now, pay later lenders such as Klarna and Afterpay partner with thousands of retail stores, so you can shop almost anywhere.

What Stores Accept Acima?

Best Buy, Mobile City, Big Tires, and Ashley Furniture are all examples of stores that accept Acima. For a full list, use the Acima search directory on their official website.

Does Acima Report to Credit Bureaus?

Acima reports your payments to Experian, one of the three credit bureaus in the U.S. This can help you build good credit if you have a low credit score. But if you’re missing payments, future lenders will be able to see this, reducing your chances of qualifying for loans.

Who is Acima a Good Option For?

Acima is a good option for consumers who earn at least $1,000 per month but don’t have the money or credit to make a large purchase.

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