For many people with no credit or bad credit, they may feel like certain purchases are out of their reach. Many retailers target customers with credit problems that they can purchase their item with little or no credit. Some retailers offer this by giving you the option of renting to own.

Rent to own retailers often have more expensive household items such as furniture or appliances.

They have refrigerators, tables, televisions and many more items.

When you need one of these items you sign a contract and they ask you to pay a very small amount for the item on a weekly or monthly basis.

Although this seems ideal to someone who is need of an item, it can actually be a very costly choice for a long period. If you need a refrigerator that normally would cost you $500, you may actually end up paying more than twice that amount by the time you are done making payments.

In addition to paying more than these items are worth, you are also paying for something on credit without actually knowing the true interest rate at which you are paying.

Rent to own retailers do not provide you with paperwork to show what you are paying and how much it will cost you in the long term. The information is very confusing even for the savviest consumer.

Additionally, although it may seem as though you are building credit by paying your rent to own fee on time, these retailers do not report any of this activity to credit bureaus and therefore this does nothing to improve or build your credit score.

If you find yourself in need of an item for your home and you do not have any credit or have bad credit, you should explore all other options before signing up for a rent to own item.

The first thing you should do is decide what exactly you need. You can compare various brands and options for this item online.

Look at all available features and determine what functions you will actually need before you decide on a product.

You should make a list and move all of the wanted features to one column and all of the needed features to another. By doing this simple task, you can help yourself find the most economical choice.

Once you've decided on a product and have found the cost of the item, you can determine if you are able to afford the item with your savings.

You may also be able to wait for a month or two or longer to purchase the item and be able to save enough money to buy the item. If you have time, you can also look for sales.

If you still find you cannot afford the item with your current savings or available cash, you may want to consider some other options.

Check with family and friends to see if anyone has a similar item you can borrow until you have saved enough.

Check the classifieds in your local newspaper to see if there is one for sale at a discount. You can also check out garage sales in your city.

Many times, people end up with extra items and are willing to sell them at a deep discount in order to free space in their home. Using a rent to own retailer should be your last option.