Local News

You'd Better Read the Fine Print Before Financing Furniture

Posted December 29, 1998

— The lure of easy credit can be too attractive to pass up. You have heard the pitch. "Twelve months same as cash, no interest,ifyou pay it off in time."

But, in some cases, that's a bigif. You had better read the fine print.

Joy Edwards is looking to finance some furniture for an extra room.

She is fully aware that a financing deal is as good as the fine print.

"You might have to pay extra at the very end, somehow, it just depends. That's why you read the fine print to find out what other loopholes there are," said Edwards.

Six or 12 months, same as cash, makes the sale price even more enticing, whether it's furniture or any other high end purchase. But there's a catch.

"If you don't pay the entire amount off, you're going to have to pay the finance charge for the entire amount and the finance rate is 20, 21 percent," said Steve Schreiweis of Rhodes furniture.

Sure you can see a chair in your living room. You come home, take off your coat, put up your feet, but you've heard the phrase, 'what a difference a day makes.'

With some of these financing deals, one day could mean the difference between paying no interest or hundreds of dollars worth.

Looking at it by the numbers, a standard $1,200 purchase at 21 percent interest could end up costing you an extra $300.

And what you see and what you get, according to financial counselor Rebekah O'Connell, depends on how much you read and understand any financing contract.

"Know the exact day that's going to end. It may not be as full a year as you thought it would," said O'Connell.

In the fine print of some financing deals, one year does not always equal 365 days.

Don't assume one financing contract is similar to another one. Each financing company is different and policies vary.

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