For the past 10 years, our dependence on credit cards has grown exponentially. But as the credit crunch worsens many Americans are finding it difficult to fund the things they want or even need. Christmas is right around the corner and if you don’t want to charge up a pile of credit card debt, you need to get another plan for paying for those Christmas gifts. Layaway plans offer a great opportunity to pay for your Christmas gifts while keeping your budget and credit card debt under control.

How Layaway Works

Retail stores allow customers to pay for items over time. The customer selects what they want to buy, the retailer places it in storage and the customer makes timely payments until the items are paid for in full. No interest is charged; but there may be nominal one-time fee for using the service. The fee can vary from 10 to 15 percent of the total price. Not perfect; but it beats the interest rates charged on credit cards. For those of us who are no longer using credit cards (either voluntarily or involuntarily) layaway can offer a great alternative for buying items we need but may not be able to afford immediately.

Stores that may offer layaway:

Burlington Coat Factory
Toys ‘R’ Us
TJ Maxx
Check with your local retailer because details and conditions vary from store to store.