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Is American First Finance Really Worth It? How It Works

American First Finance provides not a loan but a lease-to-own service you can use to finance product purchases at several stores, but with hidden terms to know.

Among the growing number of payment plan providers, especially those allowing access to buy now pay later without credit check consideration, American First Finance is one you can use at several merchant locations.

With its promising low-fee early purchase option in the first three months and a high purchasing credit available to use to buy your favorite items, the eagerness could make you ignore the accompanying terms.

American First Finance

American First Finance

Max. Amount

$5,000

Credit Check

Soft

Type

Lease-to-Own


Tip: American First Finance provides a lease-to-own as a service allowing you to buy items in varying categories from several merchants, online and offline.

While it provides flexibility in terms of small-sized monthly installments, you could pay more than double the original product cost over 12 months.

However, it provides a good option through its 90-day early purchase offer which you can utilize and save more than 100% of the lease-to-own costs.

 

Whether you want to lease to own a lawnmower, get new electronics on a payment plan, or finance a new furniture set at home, the funds provided by American First Finance could help you handle those without paying the bulk of the upfront costs.

It has several merchants spread across varying categories like equipment, appliances, car parts, furniture, electronics, and others operating online and through their retail stores.

 

Read more about American First Finance

You can use this option to finance your purchases at many of its partners if your cart size is up to its minimum, usually from $300 but it cannot exceed the maximum of $5,000.

It provides a lease-to-own service at the payment gateway and unlike Progressive Leasing and similar solutions, it does not offer a same-as-cash benefit for early contract closure.

However, you will still enjoy the best savings when you are able to complete payments within the first 90 days as only a considerable percentage is charged more.

Just like other lease-to-own contracts, you may end up paying more than twice the cost of the product (if you were to pay upfront) after missing the 90-day early buyout offer.

The platform still gives a second chance through its post-90-day early purchase option which allows you to complete payment at any point of the lease before the twelfth month.

While the second option might not yield better savings than the first, it is still preferred rather than waiting until the last day of the contract.

If you wait until the last month to complete the payments, you will have more than doubled the price of the item when all your repayments are added since inception.

It is a good option to use if you can close out the contract within the first 90 days to save on the high cost that could go into leasing.

American First Finance is Accepted by

PayPair

PayPair is a financing marketplace connecting consumers with merchants that sell products in different categories ranging from electronics, appliances, tires, and more with options to pay with lease-to-own services like American First Finance, Koalafi, UOwn, and others.

Conn’s HomePlus

Conn’s HomePlus is a retail chain offering furniture, appliances, electronics, and mattresses. With a focus on providing affordable and quality products, it caters to customers’ home needs, providing a wide range of options for home improvement and furnishing.

TireAgent

TireAgent is an online platform that simplifies tire purchases. Offering a diverse selection of tires for various vehicles, it provides convenience through an easy-to-use interface and a comprehensive range of tire options for consumers seeking reliable and suitable choices.

American Furniture Warehouse

American Furniture Warehouse is a major furniture retailer with locations across the United States. Known for its vast selection of affordable furniture, mattresses, and home d├ęcor, the store caters to diverse styles and preferences, offering a comprehensive shopping experience for customers.

Down4Sound

Down4Sound is a car audio company specializing in aftermarket car audio products. Known for providing high-quality sound solutions, they offer a range of audio equipment and accessories for car enthusiasts seeking enhanced audio experiences in their vehicles.

Items That Makes Up the American First Finance Contract

Before you are approved to finance a product using American First Finance, it is required that you first agree to its terms.

These terms are stated clearly in its lease contract detailing different aspects you need to know concerning the financing, especially regarding how your repayment will work.

Below are some of the important things you need to know that will give you a better understanding of how it works:

 

Cash Price

The “Cash Price” in the contract represents the total amount of money required to purchase the leased item outright in a lump sum.

It is the original retail value or full cost of the product or service subject to the lease agreement.

Understanding the cash price is crucial for both American First Finance (the lessor) and the lessee (you) in negotiating lease terms.

This serves as the baseline for calculating monthly lease payments, charges, and potential buyout options during or at the end of the lease term.

 

Lease Term

“Lease Term” refers to the period during which the lessee or you makes payments to lease a product with the option to eventually own it.

The lease term in the American First Finance contract typically spans several months up to 12, and during this time, the lessee makes regular lease payments.

These payments contribute to the overall cost of the leased item.

Unlike traditional leases, where the lessee may return the item or have the option to purchase it at the end of the term, American First Finance contracts often have an ownership component built into the agreement just like PayTomorrow and similar offerings.

This means that upon completing the lease term and fulfilling the financial obligations, the lessee usually has the option to acquire ownership of the leased item.

 

Lease Scheduled Payments

Scheduled payments in the contract refer to the predetermined, regular payments that you agree to make to American First Finance over the course of the lease term.

These payments are typically outlined in the lease agreement and are based on factors such as the total cost of the leased asset, the term, any upfront payments or fees, and the applicable lease costs.

It provides clarity on the financial obligations of the lessee (you) throughout the lease period.

You are expected to make these payments on a regular basis, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, in accordance with the terms outlined in the lease agreement.

 

Early Buyout Option

An “Early Buyout Option” in the lease refers to the provision that allows the lessee (the person or entity leasing the asset) to purchase the leased item before the end of the lease term.

This option provides the lessee with the flexibility to acquire ownership of the asset before the original lease period concludes.

In the terms, this option is applicable within the first 90 days (or 101 days depending on what is given in your contract).

The buyout amount is predetermined and specified in the lease agreement. This amount remains constant throughout the lease term, providing clarity on the cost of acquiring ownership early.

The cost of purchase at this stage is very considerate and you may end up paying just an extra 12% of the cash price to close out the contract.

If you can at this phase, you should utilize the opportunity because, after this, the cost of the lease will escalate which would make you pay so much.

 

Early Purchase Option

An “Early Purchase Option” in the American First Finance contract refers to a provision that allows the lessee (the person or entity leasing the asset) to purchase the leased item after the first 90 days and before the end of the lease term.

This option provides a second chance to the lessee with the opportunity to acquire ownership of the leased asset ahead of the originally agreed-upon schedule in order to save some money.

The key distinction between an early purchase option and an early buyout option is in the stage both can be activated.

While “early buyout” can be used within the first 90 or 101 days to enjoy a significant saving, the “early purchase option” is after the 90 days but before the end of the contract.

 

Cost of Lease-to-own

The term “lease-to-own cost” in the American First Finance agreement refers to the total amount for which you, as the lessee, are responsible.

This includes all expenses associated with renting the product throughout the lease term.

If you choose to buy the item in the final month, you need to add this cost to the cash price at the conclusion of the lease to get the overall total cost of ownership.

In essence, the lease-to-own cost represents the aggregate rental fee for the entire duration of your lease agreement.

 

Total Cost of Ownership

This is the total cost you are required to pay in total before the product will become yours.

It is not a separate payment that you will make at the end of the lease because your scheduled repayments are based on this total.

The total cost of ownership is simply the cash price added to the cost of the lease-to-own.

You probably understand now that the cost is usually very high because the rental fee (lease-to-own cost) is added to the original price to determine the total you will pay before the item becomes yours.

 The more you keep an item with you, the more rental cost you accumulate on it hence, using the early buyout or purchase option will save you a lot of money that could end up handling rental costs.

 

How American First Finance Works

American First Finance simply allows you to access products on a lease-to-own term, meaning that the company bought the item from one of its partnering stores and decided to rent it out to you with an option to become yours after completing the rental payments or using any of its early purchase options.

How American First Finance Works

Below is a more detailed view of the steps involved when using American First Finance to buy a product from any of its supporting merchants:

 

The Application Process

Users can initiate the financing journey by applying online or in person at a participating retail partner’s location.

The company has strategically designed the application process to be accessible, ensuring that individuals with varying credit histories can have a fair chance at approval through its soft credit check.

The application involves the submission of key information such as personal details, income, and employment history.

American First Finance takes a holistic approach, looking beyond traditional credit scores to assess the creditworthiness of applicants.

This approach increases inclusivity and provides opportunities to those working towards improving their bad credit scores or who may have been overlooked by conventional financing institutions.

 

Approval Criteria and Decision

American First Finance employs a comprehensive set of criteria for evaluating credit applications.

In addition to credit scores, factors such as income stability, employment history, and other relevant data play a crucial role in the approval decision.

By considering a broader range of indicators, the company aims to extend financial opportunities to a wider audience.

Upon successful approval, the applicants will receive detailed information about their approved financing options.

At this stage, it employs only a soft credit check to determine eligibility through alternate credit data made available through agencies like FactorTrust and Clarity Services.

 

Product Selection and Financing Options

Once approved, customers have the freedom to choose from a variety of products or services offered by participating retailers.

These may include furniture, electronics, appliances, and other consumer goods.

The flexibility in product selection is a key feature, allowing consumers to fulfill their needs and desires while adhering to their financial capacities.

Its lease-to-own model allows customers to acquire a product by making periodic payments over a specified lease term.

This option often comes with the added benefit of ownership at the end of the lease period or until the early purchase option is triggered.

Customers have the flexibility to use and enjoy the product while spreading the cost over manageable payments.

At this stage, it is worth knowing that when you receive the product, it is actually from American First Finance and not the merchant. Why?

Because American First Finance bought it from the merchant on your behalf and rented it out to you.

 

The Repayment Stage

Once you have picked up the product, you are required to make regular payments based on the chosen financing option.

The company offers convenient methods for making payments, including online platforms and other accessible channels.

American First Finance provides options for customers to choose payment terms that align with their budget and financial situation and based on your preference at the beginning of the lease, you will continue to repay periodically.

This can be weekly, every two weeks, or on a monthly basis as chosen on the contract as your preferred timings.

These repayments are automated hence, you will have to set this up from the early stages by linking your payment card for auto-deduction at set dates.

 

First 90 or 101 Days Early Buyout Period

The early buyout phase is the best time in the American First Finance contract you have to close the deal and complete the payment 100% to make the product fully yours.

It has to be exercised within the first 90 to 101 days (as stipulated in your contract) through the portal or simply by reaching out to its support team for assistance.

If you can utilize this option, you will end up saving the most possible funds as you will escape the heavy rental costs that will follow later. 

To start this process of closing out the contract, you can log into your American First Finance account or contact their support team for guidance on the necessary steps.

 

Early Purchase Option Stage

This is the phase that comes after if you miss the chance to end the contract in the early buyout phase (from day 91 or 101 depending on your contract terms).

Though you do not enjoy so much savings as applicable in the early buyout phase, it is still an option to enable you to pay less compared to waiting until the end of the contract.

Savings could be anywhere ranging from 11% to 30% at this stage and it varies depending on the time you utilize it during the lease period.

While it may not be that much, being offered a second chance after missing the early buyout phase is a good aspect of the contract.

 

Ownership Option and Lease Conclusion

The concluding phase of the American First Finance contract typically occurs in the twelfth month.

Upon a careful review of all payments made since the initiation of the lease at this juncture, it becomes evident that the cumulative total surpasses double the original price of the product.

Because it allows you to spread payments in small values, you may not notice it until you care to recalculate at the end of the lease.

If you have paid all the needed rental costs at this stage, you can become the owner of the product.

 

American First Finance Frequently Asked Questions

 

Below are some frequently asked questions about using American First Finance for product financing:

 

What is American First Finance?

American First Finance is a financial services company that specializes in providing consumer financing solutions, particularly in the retail and e-commerce sectors.

The company offers various financing options, including lease-to-own and installment plans, to individuals who may face challenges accessing traditional credit options.

Its prominent financing option offered is the lease-to-own model, allowing users to lease products for a specified period, making regular payments.

At the end of the lease term, they often have the option to purchase the items, providing a pathway to ownership.

Does American First Finance run your credit?

Certainly, AmericanFirst Finance conducts a soft credit check into its approval process.

A soft credit check, also referred to as a soft pull or soft inquiry, serves informational purposes and has a minimal impact on your credit score.

Distinguishing itself from a hard credit check associated with loan or credit card applications, a soft credit inquiry is less impactful on your overall credit score.

American First Finance’s soft credit check is integral to evaluating your creditworthiness and involves a comprehensive review that extends beyond a simple credit score assessment.

What items can I purchase with American First Finance?

American First Finance offers consumer financing solutions that can be used to purchase a variety of items across different product categories.

The specific items you can purchase may vary depending on the retail partners that have partnered with American First Finance.

However, in general, the types of items that are commonly eligible for financing through its financing include:

Furniture: This may include sofas, chairs, dining tables, bedroom sets, and other pieces of furniture.

Electronics: Items such as televisions, audio equipment, gaming consoles, laptops, and other electronic devices may be eligible for financing.

Appliances: Kitchen appliances (refrigerators, ovens, microwaves), laundry appliances (washing machines, dryers), and other household appliances.

Home Improvement Products: Items related to home improvement, such as tools, outdoor furniture, and landscaping equipment.

Fitness Equipment: Exercise machines, treadmills, elliptical trainers, and other fitness equipment.

Jewelry and Watches: Some retailers may offer financing options for jewelry, engagement rings, watches, and other accessories.

Mattresses: Financing may be available for mattresses and bedding accessories.

Smartphones and Gadgets: Depending on the retail partner, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic gadgets may be eligible for financing.

Musical Instruments: Instruments such as guitars, keyboards, and amplifiers may be financed through American First Finance.

Children’s Products: Items like cribs, strollers, car seats, and other children’s furniture and accessories.

It is important to note that the availability of financing for specific items depends on the policies of the individual retail partners that have partnered with American First Finance.

Before making a purchase, it is advisable to check with the specific retailer and review the terms and conditions of the financing agreement.

This ensures a clear understanding of the financing terms, including interest rates, fees, and the total cost of ownership associated with the chosen financing option.

What is the minimum credit score for American First Finance?

American First Finance, like many alternative financing providers, considers a variety of factors in addition to credit scores when evaluating applications.

While there is no specific publicly disclosed minimum credit score requirement, American First Finance is known for its emphasis on providing accessible financing options for individuals who may not have strong credit histories.

Instead of relying solely on traditional credit scores, American First Finance often considers alternative data points and factors such as income, employment history, and the applicant’s ability to make regular payments.

This approach is intended to broaden access to financing for a more diverse range of consumers.

Can you return the American First Finance item?

Should you decide to discontinue the use or possession of the merchandise and wish to cease future payments, you have the option to terminate your lease at any time after the initial term of your agreement by informing American First Finance.

How can I contact American First Finance?

To reach out to the American First Finance support team about your lease-to-own contract, go to the support page and choose your preferred option for reaching its support team through either voice call, web app chat, or mail and in-office visits.

 

With many merchants accepting it to enable their customers to access buy now pay later financing in-store and a growing number of online partners, there is no doubt American First Finance is a good alternative provided you can pay it off within the first 90 to 101 days for its early buyout offer.

 

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