Layaway offers shopping option that could ease burden of inflation

Some layaway plans require a minimum purchase to use and account set-up fees may be non-refundable
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 1:41 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:55 PM EST
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InvestigateTV - For shoppers looking to switch up their holiday spending strategy, some experts said layaway plans could be the best option, with some major retailers like Walmart, Sears, and Burlington.

To use layaway, you find an item you want online or in a store and make a down payment to put it on hold. You usually have a specific window of time to pay the full amount. This is not a credit transaction and there is no interest charged, but there may be fees.

Michael Joyce with the financial firm Agili, warned shoppers should read the fine print of the contract, because cancelation fees or account set-up fees are often added.

In fact, many stores charge a $5 to $10 dollar service fee to set up a layaway account, which is usually non-refundable if you can’t make a payment or have to cancel the contract.

Some stores have a minimum spending requirement, while other stores require a down payment. For more information on layaway and other store financed purchase plans, check out this article from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

CORRECTION: Some retailers we mentioned originally do not offer layaway.