Profitt Report: The ins and outs of using layaway for your holiday shopping

Photo credit: MGN

This might startle you: there’s only seven more weekends before Christmas! Shoppers are expected to spend more this year than last: nearly $970 according to the National Retail Federation.

Cash or credit aren’t your only options while shopping this season. Layaway is a way to spread out your payments like a credit card but avoid costly interest. However, that doesn’t mean this program is right for everybody and every budget.

First, you should be aware of any fees. Some layaway programs are free, some require a service fee up front. You likely will need to put some money down in order for the store to hold your items.

Next, look into the payment schedule, it varies by store. Some stores allow you to pay online, some require you to come to the store for payment. When you’re done paying for your items, you can pick them up.

You’ll also want to check into the cancellation policy. Sometimes, you’ll be charged a cancellation fee if you decide you don’t want the items anymore.

The benefit of a layaway account is you get the long-term payment plan of a credit card, minus the interest. By knowing the rules and fees, you’ll be better informed and can decide if this is a holiday shopping plan for you.

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