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Home Choice gives customers options to make payments, build credit

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

BAXTER — Home Choice is providing another path for consumers who may want the option of monthly payments to purchase furniture, computers, TVs or household appliances — even snowblowers.

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Home Choice opened in Baxter in October a few feet from Pizza Ranch on Edgewood Drive. The business chain is a sister company of the national chain Rent-A-Center.

At Home Choice, consumers will find new furniture, brand name TVs and computers and home appliances from washers and dryers to fireplaces.

Store Manager Shawn Muder said Home Choice helps people rebuild credit and make payments on items from dining sets to computer tablets to big screen TVs. The store offers delivery. And it provides service on electronics and appliances for customers with contracts in good standing.

Muder said prices on furniture is competitive while electronics may be more than in big box retailers. However, Muder said Home Choice offers flexible ownership options with payment plans and works with all kinds of credit histories. Interest rates will vary depending on one’s credit history, but Muder said Home Choice can get financing for people who can’t get it anywhere else.

“We work with all types of credit,” Muder said.

The store offers in-house financing and acts as underwriters on loans to consumers. Customers own what they purchase and make payments on the loan to the store. Shoppers aren’t limited to a payment plan and can make purchases outright, as well as pay on time or set up a layaway plan.

Home Choice is in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In Minnesota, there are 17 locations, many in the Twin Cities. Muder said the lakes area was picked as the Home Choice was looking to expand north. There are also stores in St. Cloud and Duluth.

Once approved to a certain loan amount, Muder said customers may put a little down and then Home Choice can come up with payments that will work for the consumer. Muder said generally speaking, payments are priced out at $30 a week or about $125 to $130 per month.

The majority of the products are new, Muder estimates 95 percent with some refurbished but certified laptop computers. Consumers may purchase and pay for products within 90 days without paying additiona interest when the deal is done. Flexible ownership options include layaway, 90 days same as cash and installment credit payments. Customers need to have a place to live, a source of income, a few references and proof of identification. Muder said the most popular option is the intallment loan program with weekly, bimonthly or monthly payments.

The store has five employees with opportunities for expansion.

A grand opening with ribbon cutting is planned at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 with chances to win furniture or a 42-inch LED TV. Home Choice also picked a charity in the area and will be presenting Kinship Partners with $1,000 at the grand opening event.

Muder said Kinship was recommended by one of the staff members. The charity fit the bill. Muder said it’s nice to be able to provide children with a father figure or mentor and many of the staff members have families and appreciate the help mentors provide to single parent households.

Muder said his main focus is on customer service and giving people who may not have had the opportunity to buy home furnishings and have the option of a payment plan.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz.

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