While rent-to-own stores can be great to fill a short-term need such as a big-screen TV for the big game actually renting until you own the product can be costly. If ownership is your goal you’ll be better off saving the money, using your credit card or getting a short-term loan from your financial institution and buying it outright. For example, a 50-inch TV that can be purchased online or in a store for around $480 can cost significantly more at a rent-to-own store anywhere from $900 on a 90 day same-as-cash deal to about $1,800 if you make monthly payments. That means the cost ranges from almost 2 to nearly 4 times the in-store purchase price money you could be saving or using for other needs. What should you do? There are a variety of options … If you put about $20 a week into a savings account you’d be able to buy that TV in about 6 months. You could look into the possibility of a personal loan from your financial institution. While there would be interest costs, it would be less costly than a rent-to-own option. You could use your credit card but keep in mind that the faster you pay off that bill, the less you’ll pay in interest costs. A retailer might even offer a 0% financing option but make sure you know the terms and can fulfill your responsibilities. Often a missed payment or not having the balance completely paid off by a specified date will result in a much higher interest rate being applied to the entire length of the loan. Just keep in mind that renting to own can be great for a short-term need but it could be quite costly in the long run. You’ll be better off saving your money, finding a great price on a product and paying it off.