Rent-To-Own Lenders 'Exploiting' Low-Income Families

Debt Advice Foundation has welcomed a call from children's charity Barnardo's for so-called 'rent-to-own' lenders to be forced to display the equivalent High Street price of products.

Barnardo's has warned that families on low incomes are being exploited by rent-to-own suppliers, and that the interest rates charged and total cost of the credit are not being made clear.

One leading rent-to-own lender said it was a responsible lender and that its rent-to-buy models allowed low-income families access to a range of products that they might not otherwise be able to afford. However, Barnardo's said consumers were paying up to 150% more for some standard household appliances.

A spokesperson for Debt Advice Foundation commented: "Whilst we must recognise that there will always be occasions where those on low-incomes may need to replace essential household items without adequate savings or access to mainstream credit, it’s important that people understand that these types of schemes aren't an appropriate way to furnish their home as a general rule. If someone is considering entering into a rent-to-own agreement, it’s vital that the interest rates and total costs are set out very clearly so that they can make an informed choice."

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