Chances are you've heard of Rent-A-Center. The concept is rather simple. You rent to own things. Now, imagine you have paid off what you owe Rent-A-Center. Everything should be all good, right? Not so much with the company based out of Plano, Texas, which is worth $3 billion. There are now thousands of customers complaining about being harassed by debt collectors, despite having paid off what they owe.

Virginia real estate investor Olivia Quinn says she lost her mortgage because Rent-A-Center, the nation’s largest rent-to-own company, failed to correct her credit report. She had paid off her rented merchandise — twice.


Leroy Walton of Georgia settled his account with Rent-A-Center in 2013, his records show. But for years after, he says debt collectors pursued him, even threatening him with arrest.

How is Rent-A-Center able to get away with this? Well, just like anything where there's a lot of money involved, there are loopholes, and they use those loopholes to their advantage to work outside the many consumer protection laws.

If you're looking to buy something by renting to won, think again. Just stop and think about this, a Vizio soundbar with subwoofer which retails on Amazon for about $148, will cost you roughly $779 through Rent-A-Center.

That not enough of a deterrent? A lot of states have laws in place that allow a rent-to-own company to pursue criminal charges against customers who miss payments and do not return the rental upon request.

Still not enough? Not only have customers filed lawsuits against the company because bad book keeping has negatively effected their credit, but their shareholders have as well. Yes, they people who own stock in the public traded company have failed lawsuits against the company because their book keeping is so bad.

So there you go. If that's not enough to keep you from going to a rent-to-own place, I'm not sure anything will.