An agreement known as a "hire purchase" is one in which a sizable down payment is made and successive payments of the remaining debt plus interest are made over time. In the United Kingdom, the phrase "hire purchase" is frequently used, although in the United States, the phrase "installment plan" is more frequently used.
There may, however, be a distinction between the two: With some payment schedules, the buyer acquires ownership rights as soon as the seller and buyer sign the agreement. In hire purchase agreements, the buyer does not actually become the legal owner of the goods until all payments have been made.
The following features set it apart from other payment methods:
- As soon as the purchase is made, the buyer immediately receives the items.
- Until the buyer makes the final payment, the seller or financier retains ownership of the items or asset.
- After making a down payment, the buyer makes interest-bearing recurring payments for the remaining.
- The ownership title is handed to buyers once payment is in full.
- These purchases are subject to a flat rate interest (interest is based on the entire loan amount for the entire term).
- In the event of a buyer default, the hire vendor may (legally) seize the asset. The deposit paid by the buyer is also considered a fee for using the item.
Similar to rent-to-own agreements, like those for rent-to-own cars, hire purchase contracts give the lessee the flexibility to buy at any point throughout the contract's duration. Hire purchase, which is similar to rent-to-own, enables people with poor credit to spread out the cost of expensive items they otherwise couldn't afford over a longer period of time. Because the buyer doesn't technically own the items until all payments have been paid, it differs from granting credit.
The opportunity to purchase more expensive goods than an individual or business could typically afford is the principal benefit of employing hire purchase agreements. The fact that the payments are spaced out over time makes them less onerous for the buyer and enables them to buy a more expensive asset. Because a hire purchase agreement is not seen as an extension of credit, it can be used even by those with bad credit or who have reached their credit limit.
Similarly, hire buy arrangements might benefit companies with little or no working capital. As long as all installments are made, ownership of the item is not transferred until then, posing no danger to the seller because the item may be repossessed at any time if payments are not made. Since there is no extension of credit involved in the arrangement, consumers may use the payment plan in an interesting way.
Along with the buyer, vendors profit from hire purchase agreements. Given that more people can afford the pricey items, the majority of the benefit comes from the increasing demand for their product. Hire contracts ultimately increase the company's revenue and broaden its consumer base. The benefits of the buyer's accrued interest, which they will receive in the subsequent installments, accrue to the corporation if they are self-financing the product.
The hire purchase contract has drawbacks for both the vendor and the buyer. In an effort to buy pricey items outside of their budget, the consumer frequently goes overboard and ends up being saddled with additional expenses.
Furthermore, interest payments might be very expensive, especially when compared to outright buying the things at the beginning. The risk of entering into a hire agreement is increased by the lack of explicit disclosure of the interest rates.
Hire purchase agreements can result in challenging organizational and administrative chores on the part of the vendors, which ultimately raises expenses for the business.
Contracts for hire-purchase are not viewed as credit extensions.
With a hire purchase contract, ownership does not transfer to the buyer until all payments have been made.
Hire purchase agreements typically end up costing more over time than outright acquisitions.