History of furniture stores that offer payment plans
Furniture Credit is not a new concept. The idea of exchanging goods or services in return of future payment has been with us in some way, shape or form since the first human civilizations were established. Going as far back as the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, ancient civilizations used different forms of credit, from a crude form of bill of exchange to early forms of mortgages. Imagine the monthly payment on a pyramid. Or finding a furniture on credit arrangement for all the Pharoh’s afterlife essentials? And who’d get the credit for bad credit if Tut’s Tomb went into foreclosure? Yikes! Credit has been used to fund trading expeditions, establish colonies and economic growth in the New World, transfer wealth across vast distances. Credit is a part of history. Without it we may not have many of our oldest and most recognized companies in existence, our banks, and our financial institutions.
As credit developed into the refined modern system, so too did we develop a definition of what we’d call ‘bad credit’. Some of the first settlers in America had to fund their expeditions on credit, and when payments couldn’t be made they had to re-negotiate. Early forms of currency in the new world were known to be easily counterfeited. Payments between lenders and creditors could go unpaid for several months. Financial crisis would hit when selling on credit went unchecked. So for as long as there’s been credit, there’s also been people and businesses getting credit with bad credit.
It wasn’t until modern times that the systems in place to track and monitor bad credit came to be, formalizing a system where businesses would get credit for bad credit. Evolving beyond the ledger book, information was shared, records were kept, and patterns established. After the financial crisis of 1837, which saw the closure of banks and thousands of businesses, the Mercantile Agency was established and later to evolve into Dun & Bradstreet, a well-known corporate credit history tracking firm responsible for the first centralized credit reporting system.
The 20th century saw the explosive growth of personal lines of credit. Credit started with credit accounts and payment plans in department stores. It was especially popular in the furniture industry, where pioneers like Aaron Rentals, Badcock Home Furniture and others introduced lease to own furniture. Buy now pay later catalog businesses were also early adopters, including Fingerhut and W.S. Mason (now Mason E-Z Pay, Stoneberry part of Mason Companies Inc.) and Emporium. Personal credit cards have been around since the early 1900’s, but they were mostly limited to customers of a single bank or business. It wasn’t until the introduction of the Diner’s Club card in 1950 and American Express credit cards (the first to use plastic) in 1959 that personal credit cards were introduced. With Visa and Mastercard’s innovation of creating a credit card that could be used by multiple banks and merchants that the modern personal credit system exploded in popularity. Soon there were credit cards for every major bank and most major stores, including furniture stores. Between personal credit cards, mortgages, personal loans and now online credit services such as PayPal, personal lines of credit have gone from the boardroom to become essential to everyone’s personal lives. And with it the potential of gaining negative credit for bad credit came to the personal financial front.
With the growth of personal credit comes bad credit. Delinquent payees, for whatever reason be it fraud, financial disaster or personal circumstances, disrupts their financial liquidity and shakes the confidence of their creditors. In order to maintain and track a consumer’s credit history and give creditors the ability to predict and decide a client’s potential for lending (and eventually paying it back), credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian were introduced. This allowed banks and lenders to make a dubiously informed decision on whether or not to lend credit to their customers. The credit reporting system is not without flaws. Inconsistent reporting, solved entries that still linger in the credit report, a lack of context on the system and a confusing rating system have essentially created an overtly complex and convoluted system. People were being given credit for bad credit, deserved or otherwise.
And that is where we find ourselves today when it comes to personal credit. One has to take out debt in order to gain positive lines of credit. This can be good when you can pay them off. Apply for furniture credit, get your furniture on credit, make your payments and add positive credit to your credit report. Bingo! Creditors look upon people favorably when your financial solvency is positive. So it’s common for people to have a credit card and at least one form of financial loan, be it a mortgage, car loan, furniture loan, business loan or personal line of credit. Sometimes bad credit can be a legitimate reflection on a person’s credit situation, especially for those bad apples who move on from creditor to creditor without any intention of paying back. But more often than not when payments go delinquent it’s from honest people suffering circumstances beyond their control. Financial setbacks such as job loss, illness or injury, unexpected expenses, collections, bankruptcy and other economic hardships introduce bad credit their credit reports. Regardless of intention or circumstance, guess who gets the credit for bad credit? The consumer. When it affects an innocent person’s ability to apply for credit, denying them the essentials for everyday living such as personal transportation, shelter and furniture, nobody benefits. Not the businesses who can’t sell to them. Certainly not the customer who wants a fresh start. But it’s benefitted lenders and payday loan companies such as Cashadvance.com, a further evolution of modern day credit, but one with a hefty, high interest price to pay.
As it’s said, see a need fill a need. As long as there’s been bad credit, there have been merchants and retailers trying to find ways to reach this oft-overlooked demographic, while customers caught in a vicious cycle of being denied credit due to poor credit ratings try hard to establish good credit for the future. This is where the modern rent to own furniture store comes into play. Buy now pay later online stores such as Fingerhut, Stoneberry, Flexshopper and Furniture7 are the wave of the future. Furniture financing online, selections from a wide range of vendors and delivery to your door; no need to visit a brick-and-mortar store! Furniture chains such as Bob’s Discount Furniture, Badcock and others have adapted to changing times, even creating their own financing companies such as Progressive Leasing to cater to their customers. People are finally able to get credit for bad credit, but in a good way, as the industry adapts and adopts practices such as no credit check and furniture on credit to cater to customers whom earlier would have been rejected.
No longer is a personal financial disaster a death knell for your future plans, the veritable wound that prevents you from gaining a mortgage or a personal loan. There’s other ways to get loan for bad credit. Gaining good credit for bad credit has been made easy thanks to lease to own. What’s part of the history of rent to own is in its own way an essential part of the much wider history of credit picture. As it walks these stepping stones of financial evolution, furniture leasing stores and online merchants have adapted to changing conditions and continues to thrive and help its customers on the way.
*This page is only for information purposes and all information is not guaranteed to be accurate and or reliable. We accept no responsibility for incorrect information and all viewers, readers and users of our website are encouraged to do their own research and not rely on the contained publishing. All information was made available on the following websites: Encyclopedia of Credit, CreditCards.com. In no way are we affiliated with, owned or operated by the following mentioned companies: Badcock Home Furniture & More, Fingerhut, Flexshopper, Rent-A-Center, Aaron’s Inc., Bob’s Furniture, Mason Companies Inc., Cashadvance.com, Progressive Leasing, Equifax, Transunion, Experian, or any other subsidiary thereof.
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