The Return of Layaway: An Overview of Layaway Programs

Layaway Programs: Best Buy & Target

Best Buy
Only select Best Buy stores are currently offering layaway, and it's not as good as what is offered at Sears/Kmart. You can only layaway a purchase of at least $250 and the service fee is 5% of the total cost, which can add up for expensive items.

Down Payment:
25% of the purchase price is required up front. This lowers your biweekly payments, but can lead to a bit of a sticker shock!

Payoff Period:
You are required to make a payment every two weeks, and you have up to 8 weeks to pay off a computer or 12 weeks for other items.

Limitations:
You can't layaway clearance items, promotional items, or post-paid cell phones, among other items. But otherwise the restrictions are pretty minor. Check here for details.

A better deal? If you've got decent credit, you're probably better off getting the Best Buy credit card, which currently is offering 0% interest for 18 months on any purchase $429 or up. However, if you don't pay it off completely in 18 months, you'll be stuck with all of the interest accrued for the entire period. Also, as with any credit card, make sure you are fully aware of the new credit card fees, which can put a serious hole in your wallet.

Target
Unfortunately, Target has never offered layaway. However, if you're making a big purchase, you can score a great deal using their credit card. All purchases currently get 5% off, and you usually get a discount at the register for signing up on the spot. Check with your local Target to see what bonus they're currently offering. If you open a card, and can pay it down before the first interest payment hits, it's a great discount. Depending on your credit, the card will usually charge between 13%-23% interest, so it can certainly add up. If you would rather not open a new card and you have cash now, you can opt for the Target debit card, which is hooked up to your regular checking account, and you will still get 5% off all your purchases.

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Next Page - Layaway Programs: Wal-Mart, Kohl's & Toys 'R Us

November 5, 2010
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