Acima Credit: 2021 Review

Acima is a point-of-sale option for lease-to-own purchases. Borrowers can minimize high financing costs by paying off the lease early.

Steve NicastroFebruary 24, 2021
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Our Take

The bottom line: Acima offers lease-to-own financing, but it can be costly if you don't quickly repay the lease in full.

Acima

Acima

Min. Credit Score

None

Loan Amount

$500 - $5,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can qualify with bad credit.

  • Fast funding.

  • Soft credit check.

Cons

  • High-cost financing option.

  • Customer complaints.

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Full Review

Acima Credit offers point-of-sale financing with instant approval. Applications for its lease-to-own financing are made online or in-store through participating merchants. Acima can be used for almost anything, including cars, furniture, mattresses, electronics and appliances.

Upon applying, Acima does a soft credit pull, which does not impact your credit score. However, approval is based mainly on your income and checking account history instead of credit history, so borrowers with bad or no credit can apply.

To qualify, you’ll need a monthly income of at least $1,000 over the past three months, deposited into a checking account in good standing, with no bounced checks, overdrafts or negative balances.

Though Acima won’t charge interest, you’ll pay a markup price and the cost of leasing, which according to the company, usually doubles the original price of the item. This can make Acima a costlier option compared to credit cards and personal loans.

Acima Credit payment options

Acima offers a lease model where you can own the merchandise at the end of 12, 18 or 24 months. Customers can request one of two early-purchase options to lower costs:

Repay within 90 days: You pay the Acima Cash Price, which includes a markup over the original price, plus a purchase fee. The purchase fee can vary by state but is typically $25.

Repay after 90 days, but before 12 months: You pay an amount that’s less than the remaining payments owed. The percentage can vary by state but is typically 65% of whatever you still owe.

You can set up either early-purchase option through Acima’s online customer portal or by contacting Acima’s customer service department.

Returns: You are responsible for making payments during the time you have the leased item, but you can return it at anytime without penalty, according to Acima.

Customer complaints: Acima Credit has over 300 complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the past year. The majority are focused on billing and collections.

Is Acima Credit right for you?

Acima Credit may be a good option if you:

Must buy something immediately, and you don’t have savings or a credit card: Given the high costs, Acima makes the most sense if you need to make a purchase you can’t cover any other way.

Have bad credit: Acima has no minimum credit score requirement, and approval is based mainly on your income. Acima also reports payment activity to credit bureau Experian, so timely payments may help build your credit.

Acima Credit is not a good idea if you:

Can’t pay it off early: Acima technically owns the item until you’ve repaid the lease in full. If you choose the 12-month term, you’ll pay double the purchase price. Read the terms and conditions carefully before leasing.

Have unstable income: Missing payments can hurt your credit score and result in fees, increasing the overall cost of your lease.

Have fair or good credit: Better financing options may be available to you. For example, credit cards can offer cash back, rewards and 0% interest promotions, and personal loans typically cost less and have longer repayment terms than Acima. You’ll also own the items immediately upon purchase.

How Acima Credit compares

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