Editorial Review

Acima Credit: 2020 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 NicastroJanuary 3, 2020

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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 fees and interest.

  • 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 is most commonly used for cars, furniture 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.

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.

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 price of the item, plus a $10 payment processing fee and a $40 rental agreement fee. More than a third of Acima’s customers use this option, according to the company.

Repay after 90 days, but before 12 months: You pay an amount that’s less than the remaining payments owed. You can save 25% or more on outstanding payments, depending on the payoff date and your state's lease laws, according to Acima.

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

Lease example: You purchase furniture that costs $1,000 and sign a lease agreeing to pay $2,000 over 12 months. If you pay off the lease in the sixth month, the total cost would be approximately $1,500, according to the company.

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 more than 380 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the majority on billing and collections. Several customers have reported issues exercising Acima’s 90-day, early-payoff option.

Acima says its legal department responds to all complaints at the BBB.

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: Acima offers financing on items typically made with a credit card. Given the high costs, it makes sense only if you pay off the lease within 90 days. Paying it off over 12 months doubles the cost of your purchase.

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 almost double the purchase price. Read the terms and conditions carefully before leasing.

Have unstable income: Missing payments can hurt your credit score and increase the cost of your lease.

Have 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. Click the button below to compare rates and terms on personal loans from lenders that partner with NerdWallet.

How Acima Credit compares

Credit cards and personal loans are two less expensive alternatives to Acima Credit, and you’ll own the items immediately upon purchase.

NerdWallet recommends comparing borrowing options to find what works best for you. To compare personal loan options, click the button below to see estimated rates from multiple lenders on NerdWallet.

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.