FTC: Stores, banks offer pet leases

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 00:29:38-04

You've heard of leasing a car, a house, even furniture. But what about a pet?

It's a thing, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The agency put out a warning about the practice that some pet sellers and banks are teaming up do.

It works exactly how it sounds. Potential pet parents are allowed to take the presumably expensive pet home without paying in full.

Instead of signing a lease for one to three years with set monthly payments, at the end of the term, you don't own the pet but have the option to pay a lump sum or give it back.

My advice? Just wait until you can afford to pay in full. If you're too impatient then at least make sure you pay on time. Because a missed payment could mean your animal gets repossessed. 

Finally, read the contract before you sign it.  Leases require that the terms, penalties, and responsibilities be clearly spelled out.

The FTC has a guideon exactly what businesses are required to disclose in any consumer lease that they offer.