A retail installment contract allows consumers to pay for a product or service over a period of time in fixed monthly installments. There are federal and individual state laws that regulate retail installment contracts.

What Are Examples of Retail Installment Contracts?

Retail installment contracts include: health or country club memberships, cosmetic or elective medical procedures, jewelry purchases, and dating service memberships.

What Makes a Retail Installment Contract Legally Binding?

Generally, for a retail installment contract to be legally binding, the following terms and conditions must be included:

  • Total amount due
  • Interest rate
  • Duration of contract
  • Amount of monthly payment
  • Fees, such as late fees or payoff charges
  • Down payment received
  • Cancellation or refund clauses, if applicable

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are a consumer who entered into a retail installment contract which you believe is unfair or illegal, or you are a retailer wishing to draft a retail installment contract, an attorney experienced in consumer credit can review the document and advise you of the laws in your area.