Renting a Dog?

A recent article by Patricia Clark tells the story of Dawn, who wanted to buy her 7 year old son a new puppy after the death of their dog. She went into a pet store and ended up purchasing a $2,400 golden retriever. Later the family was reviewing their credit report and saw a $5,800 charge from a company they had never heard of.

They discovered the dog had been purchased with financing offered by a company called Wags Lending. Many phone calls later, Dawn learned the ugly truth. She was leasing her dog. The financing agreement fine print stated they were to make 34 monthly lease payments of $165.06 with a buy out at the end for two months’ rent. Dog dies? You still owe the money. Miss a payment? The dog can be repossessed. The annualized interest was 70 percent!

The genius behind Wags Lending thinks that in 10 years just about everything will be on lease. He even thought about offering lease financing for funerals. He does lease furniture, wedding dresses, hearing aids and custom rims. All to the tune of almost $100 million. All based on people wanting something they really cannot afford. So folks are willing to pay the equivalent of 70% to 170% interest to have it now.

The folks in our pews need the church’s voice to speak the truth in love. People need to understand the costs involved in borrowing or leasing. The monthly payment number should never be the deciding factor in making a purchase decision. The total costs should always drive our decisions about purchases. Does it really make sense to pay $5,800 for a $2,400 dog?