Acima Credit Retail Financing Review

Acima Credit is an alternative lender that provides point-of-sale financing for lease-to-own purchases of various merchandise, including furniture, electronics, auto parts, and appliances. This type of financing can be a good fit for those with less than perfect credit scores, but for others, there are cheaper financing options such as personal loans and even credit cards. Headquartered in Sandy, UT, the company was founded in 2013 as an innovative FinTech startup named Simple Finance, but it changed the name to Acima.

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Acima Credit at a glance

Lender Min Loan Max Loan APR Range Terms Key Benefit
Acima Credit $500 $5,000 N/A 12, 18 and 24 months Quick; low credit score accepted.

What we like about it

Acima point-of-sale financing is a convenient option if you need to purchase merchandise and you can’t afford to buy it outright, but you don’t have other financing options. The company’s “No Credit Needed“ policy is helpful if you have a bad credit history or you don’t have one at all — you can build it through Acima as the company reports your lease activity to Experian.

  • Good for bad /no credit
  • Helps build a credit history
  • Quick financing

Things to consider

The convenience of Acima financing comes at high costs if you don’t utilize the option to pay off early.  This means that if you have good credit, there are better borrowing options for you, such as a loan or a personal credit line. Also, you will need to document that you have an active checking account with at least $1,000 of income per month with at least three months of income history with your current source of income. Keep in mind that you won’t own the merchandise until you repay the amount borrowed.

  • Expensive financing
  • Minimum $1,000 of monthly income
  • No ownership until full repayment

What you need to know

Acima approves leasable items valued from $500 to $5,000. You pick out the merchandise you want and upon lease approval, Acima purchases the merchandise from the participating store. The approval of a lease lasts for 90 days and if you don’t choose anything, the approval just expires.

The merchandise is owned by Acima and rented to you until you complete all the lease renewal payments, or you chose an early purchase option.

Acima offers 12- to 24-month financing terms. You can also terminate the lease any time you want, without penalty, which can significantly lower your financing costs. For example, a 12-month schedule allows you to spread your payments out so you can pay off the lease over one year without buyout fees or penalties. But Acima also offers several early payoff options.

You can choose to pay off the full account and purchase the merchandise within the first 90 days when you pay only the purchase price for the item plus $10 as a processing fee. With this option, you effectively pay $10 for the convenience of splitting your payments over three months instead of paying the full purchase price upfront. There is also an early buyout option that allows you to pay 75% of the remaining payments owed in one lump sum at any time after the first 90 days of the agreement.

It’s essential to keep in mind that Acima reports your lease to Experian, which can help you progress from the poor or no credit status if you stay current on the repayment schedule.

The application process is quick and easy with the following steps:

  1. Fill in the online application
  2. Supply your personal information, government-issued ID and checking account history
  3. You are notified about the application within seconds.
  4. Once approved, your approval lasts for 90 days.

What is point-of-sale financing?

POS financing is a type of consumer finance that merchants offer to their customers at the point of purchase to assist them in buying the product or service by splitting payments up into installments.

In a credit transaction, a bank gives you a loan that you then use to buy merchandise. You repay the loan by making regular payments back to the bank, which includes both principal repayment (the amount you borrowed) and interest.

With a lease agreement, Acima purchases the merchandise you select from a participating store, which you then rent from Acima. You make lease renewal payments to Acima while using the merchandise. There is no interest that you need to pay as in the case of a loan, but the lease payments are based on the value of the merchandise and the cost of lease services. You can use a purchase option to own the property or terminate the lease at any time, without penalty.

Acima Credit’s alternatives

Afterpay

Afterpay is a company offering point of sale loans for online purchases. You pay for a purchase in four interest-free installments, which are due every two weeks. Afterpay does not charge any interest or additional fees if you pay on time. However, if you don’t stay current, the company will charge you a late fee which goes up to 25% of the order value at the time of purchase, so make sure you pay the amount you owe on time. You can apply online and are notified if you’re approved immediately. Afterpay is convenient for purchases of lower-value merchandise such as apparel, makeup and home decoration products.

Affirm

Affirm is another provider of point of sale financing for online purchases. You select Affirm at checkout and then provide the required information for a real‑time loan approval decision. At the end, you chose the payment schedule and confirm your loan. The company offers a 6-month, 12-month and 18-month payment schedule with 15% APR. Unlike some other competitors, Affirm wows never to charge more than you see upfront, including late fees or penalties of any kind.

Splitit

Splitit enables shoppers to pay for purchases with their debit or credit card by splitting the purchase price into interest-free monthly payments. With no applications or credit checks, Splitit offers a 6-month, 12-month and 18-month payment schedule, allowing you to collect your usual benefits such as points, miles, and cash-back. Splitit is suitable for purchases of higher-value merchandise such as technology, fashion and jewelry and furniture. The company makes money by charging merchants a fee per transaction, while for shoppers, paying with Splitit is free – you pay the price you see and there are never any interest, late payments or additional fees. This means that Splitit offers the best of both worlds — no interest and no late fee.

The bottom line

There are certain situations where Acima retail financing can be a good option for you. The company does not require a minimum credit score to approve financing, nor does it play any role in the financing approval processes, which makes it suitable for those with no or less than perfect credit history. Instead, Acima Credit utilizes alternative data sources and modern technology to select lease worthy applicants – regardless of their traditional credit histories. You can look at our top reviewed personal loans or other loan options for bad or no credit.

However, this type of financing tends to be very expensive, so be very careful to use it sparingly. This option makes sense for those that don’t have a lot of extra money each month but still need to make a large purchase.

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Aleksandra Deric
Aleksandra Deric
Contributing Writer

Alex Deric is a freelance finance and technology writer that brings in-depth investment knowledge and experience to her writing. Originally from Serbia, Alex has spent more than a decade working in the finance industry around the world, including London and New York. After having studied at Oxford and the London School of Economics, she is now working towards her Ph.D. degree. You will find her published work on sites such as The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, NetworkNewsWire, CQNet, FundingHQ, and CS Strategies. She’s an avid runner and a firm believer that financial education can make the world a better place.