Poor homeowner funding turned costly after COVID delayed work
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla .– Gulfport resident Francine Giannotti says she has spent 2020 stressed out but not so much from the pandemic. She blames a kitchen remodel from the coronavirus era that dragged on for most of the year.
Giannotti signed a contract with Home Depot to modernize the floors, counters and cabinetry in his kitchen.
“I have wanted to renovate the kitchen for a long time,” she said.
Giannotti chose Home Depot for the $ 15,000 job because of its good reputation and its zero percent financing for six months.
In January 2020, she placed the entire purchase on a new Home Depot credit card.
Then COVID struck, causing delays in getting the supplies needed for her job.
“It was understandable that there was a delay in the shipment,” Giannotti told ABC Action News. But due to delays and some manpower issues, the job wasn’t completed until November.
She asked Home Depot to extend the interest rate to zero percent. As a courtesy, the home improvement store agreed to do this. And Giannotti received an email, stating in part, “I sincerely apologize for the stress we added… I will confirm… that the interest has been changed to 0% for 24 months, and all charges for interest on the account have been canceled.
But Giannotti said the company never honored the offer, so it issued a “call to action.”
We asked Home Depot about Giannotti’s account, and a few weeks later the two sides reached a confidential agreement.
A spokesperson for The Home Depot told ABC Action News in an email: “We strive to provide our customers with a great experience and appreciate the opportunity to work with Ms. Giannotti to make this happen.”
While this story ends well, experts advise avoiding funding non-essential items like home improvements or new furniture.
Discount rate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride says it’s important to remember that these long-term loans can hurt your bottom line.
“It could make you want to buy something you didn’t really intend to buy, or it could make you bite more than you can chew,” McBride said.
And if you don’t pay off the balance during this low interest or interest-free period, the interest rate could skyrocket, he said, causing your monthly payment to increase.