Lease-to-Own Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is a lease-to-own transaction?

A: A lease is not a loan or credit transaction. It has several names: lease, lease-to-own, rent-to-own, or rental-purchase. With a lease, you select the item(s) and a payment solution company, such as American First Finance. American First Finance purchases the item(s) from a Merchant. You take the item(s) home. American First Finance retains ownership until you pay for the item(s) plus rental fees. Other fees may be included, such as late, non-sufficient funds, delivery, and optional Liability Damage Waiver fees. As a result, the total amount you pay for leasing an item is more than the retail cost.

Options for Ownership

  1. Finish out the length of your agreement by simply paying all the scheduled payments on your lease agreement on time.
  2. Use the Early Buyout Option or the Early Purchase Option. (These will link to the EBO/EPO questions on Product FAQ page)

You may terminate your contract at any time by returning your merchandise to the store where it was acquired, or by processing a return with us. For store return policy details, please contact the store. A copy of your contract was emailed to you when you completed the signing of the documents. For all questions regarding your account, please contact American First Finance.


Q: What is an Early Buyout Option on a lease-to-own account?

A: The Early Buyout Option period is an option that offers you the largest cash savings for your lease-to-own agreement and allows you to obtain ownership early.

You can obtain ownership early by paying the Early Buyout Balance during a specified period before your lease agreement ends. See your agreement for details about this option.

The Early Buyout Balance Includes:

The full cash price of the merchandise, plus:

  • Sales tax,
  • Any Early Buyout Option fee,
  • Applicable fees: Late fees, LDW (Liability Damage Waiver) fees, and
  • NSF fees, and any state fees, where required.

Your agreement may vary, so check your agreement for your specific dates.

As a note, you are not obligated to exercise the Early Buyout Option. It is completely optional.


Q: What is an Early Purchase Option on lease-to-own accounts?

A: If you were not able to exercise the Early Buyout Option, you can still save money on leasing fees by exercising the Early Purchase Option.

You may exercise the Early Purchase Option after the Early Buyout Option ends and before the end of your agreement term. Refer to your agreement for the exact number of days of the Early Buyout Option period.

Remember that an Early Purchase Option is not the same thing as an Early Buyout Option. For details about the Early Purchase Option, visit the Product FAQ page. (Visit the Product FAQ page links to the EPO question on the Product FAQ page.)


Q: Will scheduled automatic payments pay off the Early Buyout Option?

A: No. You must make payments that are larger than your scheduled automatic payments to exercise the Early Buyout Option. You can make additional payments through our customer portal or by contacting our customer service team.

Refer to your agreement for the exact number of days of the Early Buyout Option period, and other important details.

You may opt out of automatic payments at any time by team.


Q: Do I own the merchandise starting on day 1 of my lease-to-own agreement?

A: No. American First Finance owns the merchandise and leases it to you. You may obtain ownership by exercising one of these three options:

  1. The Early Buyout Option; (links to EBO Product FAQ page question)
  2. The Early Purchase Option; (links to EPO Product FAQ page question)
  3. Make all of your scheduled payments.


Q: I’m finished using my merchandise and do not want to own it. How do I return it?

A: If you no longer choose to use or possess the merchandise, you can terminate your lease at any time by notifying American First Finance. Please contact American First Finance if you would like to discuss a return of your leased merchandise.


Q: Is there a “same as cash” option?

A: No. American First Finance lease-to-own products are competitively priced. However, your product will cost more than the retail price or cash price since fees and charges apply in accordance with your agreement.


Q: What cost(s) are included in my scheduled payment?

A: Your regularly scheduled lease-to-own payment includes the applicable leasing fees, cash price, sales tax, and a Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) fee if LDW coverage for the merchandise was selected.

If you paid a security deposit, your scheduled payments would be decreased by the amount of your security deposit, distributed across the number of payments indicated in your contract.

To determine that payment amount, divide your security deposit by the number of payments in your agreement. Then, subtract that figure from the original scheduled payment amount to see your new adjusted payment value.

All applicable fees and charges are disclosed in your agreement. We encourage you to carefully read and understand the agreement before signing and to re-review your agreement if you have questions at any time. We’re also here to help if you have any questions.


Q: Does a lease-to-own transaction have interest?

A: No, lease-to-own transactions do not have an interest rate because they are not loans or a type of credit. However, a lease requires the customer to pay leasing fees, resulting in the customer paying more than the retail price or cash price of the merchandise they are leasing.