Many businesses sell their products or services to consumers on terms. The consumer can purchase high priced goods and services with affordable monthly payments over 6 to 60 months. This enables many consumers to buy products and services, which they could not pay for in one large payment.
This method of buying products and services allows consumers to enjoy and utilize products immediately while paying for it over several months or years and fits into a budget that is manageable. This type of purchase is called a Retail Installment Contract, which is between the retail establishment or merchant and the consumer. The consumer signs a contract and agrees to pay the merchant a monthly payment until the purchase amount of the product plus the interest is paid in full. When the contract is paid in full, the consumer has full ownership of the product.
Many businesses would be unable to stay in business if they did not sell goods and services on terms. Products and services ranging from $500.00 to $15,000.00 are usually financed – sold by using a Retail Installment Contract. A good example would be purchasing a car. The car is financed for 60 to 72 months and the buyer can drive the car as long as the payments are made each month.
Buying a home would not be considered a consumer Retail Installment Contract. A home is financed by a mortgage with a payment term of 30 years.
Some common industries that sell products and services using Retail Installment Contracts are Health, Home, Technology, Education, and Recreation. These might include Computers, Campgrounds, Radio Keratotomy, Personal Jewelry, Internet Access, Nursing, Travel Clubs, Orthodontia, Security Systems, Web Sites, Massage, Resorts Timeshares, Veterinary, Water Purification, Dating Services, Electric Mobility, Furniture, Business Opportunities, Fitness Equipment, Hearing Aids, Plastic Surgery, Pet Stores, Appliances, Household Goods, Seminars, Martial Arts, Dentistry, Buyer’s Clubs, Electronics, Health Clubs, Piano Sales, etc.
Merchants can be traditional brick and mortar retail and service stores, in-home direct sellers, direct-mail, infomercial sellers, and internet sellers. Merchants that are selling products or services that range between $500 and $15,000 may lose many sales opportunities unless they offer financing to the buyer. By utilizing a consumer finance company, merchants are not required to have deep pockets to carry the sales financing themselves.
A finance company buys (at a discount) the installment sales contracts of retail merchants, which provides an immediate cash flow to the merchant. The merchant can stock more products and make more sales. A merchant can sell new Retail Installment Contracts as they are originated and their current in house portfolio of consumer receivables to generate immediate cash for restocking, capital improvements, and provide working capital.