Is Big Lots Financing Worth It?
Big Lots sells a variety of household goods, from mattresses to computer accessories and seemingly everything in between. For cash-strapped consumers, Big Lots also offers two financing options: a credit card and a lease-to-own program.
Here’s what you need to know about Big Lots financing and how a traditional personal loan works and compares.
- Big Lots financing: What you need to know
- A personal loan may be a good alternative
- What if I have bad credit?
Big Lots financing: What you need to know
Big Lots Credit Card
Whether you’re interested in Big Lots furniture financing or another large purchase, the store offers a branded credit card as a financing option. The card has no annual fee and offers special financing terms.
This credit card offers two special financing offers:
- 0% interest on purchases of $250 or more, if you pay the account in full within six months.
- 0% interest on purchases of $750 or more if you pay off your account in full within 12 months.
If you don’t repay the balance in full within the promotional period, you’ll be charged interest from the date of the purchase. This is known as deferred interest. If you choose not to opt for special financing, you can earn back a percentage of what you spend instead.
According to the Big Lots website, to be eligible for the credit card you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a U.S. resident residing in the United States
- Have a U.S. Social Security number
- Have a street, rural route or APO/FPO mailing address. P.O. boxes are not permitted.
- Have a valid government-issued photo ID
Factors such as your credit history and credit score may also be weighed when determining your eligibility for the Big Lots credit card. You can either apply online for card or in-person by visiting a store location.
Progressive Leasing offers a Lease-to-Own Program, also called a Rent-to-Own Program. This financing option is available at Big Lots locations that carry furniture.
Qualifying items for Progressive Leasing include:
- Loveseats, sectionals and sofas
- Dining sets
- Patio furniture
- Other seasonal items
How it works
If you’re looking for Big Lots furniture financing, Progressive Leasing lets you pay for big-ticket furniture items over time by automatically withdrawing payments from your bank account each month. When you’ve paid for the purchase in full over a set period of time, you own it, entirely. To own the item you’re leasing, you must make 12 months of payments or move forward with the early purchase option. Although the typical lease agreement lasts 12 months, it may be offered up to 15 months.
An example of an early purchase option is the 90-day purchase option (three-month purchase option for California shoppers). If you pay for the item in full during the first 90 days, the 90-day purchase option includes a markup above the invoice price (except for the three-month purchase option for California).
The initial payment for lease agreements is $49 and monthly payments depend on the price of the item that’s leased and the number of months stated in the agreement. This Big Lots financing option requires no prior credit history to apply, but the company does perform a credit check.
To be able to apply for Progressive Lending, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a checking account and provide your account information
- Provide personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, etc.
- Provide employment information, like your employer’s name, address, monthly income and hire date.
A personal loan may be a good alternative
If you have a large upcoming Big Lots purchase planned but don’t have enough funds to cover the entire amount, a personal loan may be another alternative to look into. According to LendingTree’s latest personal loan statistics, a “major purchase” is among the top five reasons borrowers take out a personal loan.
When you take out a personal loan, you receive a lump sum of money to use as needed. Based on the terms of your loan agreement, you’ll make fixed monthly payments to repay the loan, plus interest.
Personal loan qualification requirements
Each lender has its own personal loan qualification requirements, but you should expect your credit to be strongly considered. That’s because personal loans are unsecured — you don’t need collateral to qualify. The stronger your credit score, the more personal loan options you’ll have and the greater access to competitive terms.
For example, the average personal loan rates, based on Q1 2019 LendingTree data, was 33.38%. However, rates varied widely depending on borrowers’ credit score. Those with scores at 720 or higher received average rates from 7.27%, while those with subprime credit had personal loan rates averaging 85.92%.
Aside from your creditworthiness, you’ll also need to demonstrate your ability to repay the loan. Lenders may ask about:
- Your current employer
- Your income
- Existing debt obligations
Applying for a personal loan
If you’re considering a personal loan instead of one of Big Lots’ financing options, it’s important to first know where your credit stands. Request a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com to see what a potential lender might see while evaluating your application. If you spot any errors, report them as quickly as possible.
After assessing your credit and determining that you want to move forward with a personal loan, shop around to find the best offer for your needs and financial situation. You can find personal loans from traditional banks, credit unions and online lenders.
Consider the loan amounts that are available. For example, if you only need a $1,000 personal loan but a loan offer requires a minimum $2,000 loan, a personal loan might not be the right fit for your next Big Lots purchase. Additionally, calculate the total cost of taking out the loan, including fees and interest so you understand how much the item is really costing you.
What if I have bad credit?
Personal loans for bad credit can charge excessively high interest rates, pushing the overall cost of your purchase much higher than the sticker price. If you can’t access a personal loan with a favorable rate because of your credit, consider holding off on the purchase until you’ve saved enough money to pay cash.
If waiting on your purchase isn’t possible, your may consider these two other options:
- Payday advance: Talk to your employer’s human resources department to see if the company offers a payday advance program. Keep in mind that this option will mean that your following paycheck will be lower as a portion of your check is withheld to repay the advance.
- Secured personal loan: Another alternative to consider if you have bad credit is a secured personal loan. A secured personal loan requires you to put forward collateral to guarantee the loan. If you default on your loan, you’ll lose your collateral.
Regardless of where your credit stands, know you have other options outside of Big Lots furniture financing. Before moving forward with any of them, ask yourself whether the item is really worth getting into debt. Consider spending a few months to save up for it instead of paying interest and fees to have it right now — this is the best way to ensure you’re still getting a good deal at Big Lots.