Layaway: Easy Credit With Little Paperwork, What you need to know
Purchasing items using credit has become a way of life for many, particularly as the holidays approach. Those who experience difficulties obtaining credit may be unable to purchase using credit cards or other conventional credit methods, without incurring excessive additional costs.
Layaway is a method by which anyone can pay installments on an item they wish to purchase, without a credit check. Typically a small, non-revolving fee is charged for the layaway services. Although retailers have differing layaway methods and charges, the basics of layaway programs are similar. The retail store will hold selected items for a predetermined period of time, at the price of the item, when it was selected. When all scheduled payments have been received for the item, the customer can take possession.
A small down payment is taken at the time the item is laid away. The amount needed to lay away an item may be the first installment of the plan or a percentage of the item’s purchase price, plus the service fee. If you choose to cancel your purchase, the money paid on your contract will be refunded, minus a small cancellation fee.
K-Mart, Sears, Best Buy and Wal-Mart provide layaway plans for customer convenience and ease of payment. Target does not offer a layaway plan. Although layaway is an old idea that has been in use for many years, it has seen a recent resurgence, as families encounter tough economic circumstances.
Before the advent of the Internet, payments could only be made in-store or by phone, but now many retailers offer online payment possibilities. K-Mart and Sears offer online options for payment, but Wal-Mart payments must be remitted at a Wal-Mart store cash register.
Current layaway plans offered by K-Mart and Wal-Mart differ in the categories of service fees, time to pay and qualifying layaway items. K-Mart and Sears offer the most flexible plans, with nearly every conceivable item qualifying for layaway at any time of year. Typical K-Mart and Sears layaways are either 8 or 12 weeks, requiring four or six payments, respectively. Wal-Mart offers only Christmas layaway for the restricted time period that includes December 16.
Promotional items at Wal-Mart and Best Buy do not qualify for layaway during the promotional period, while K-mart and Sears stores will honor sale prices on their layaway programs. Best Buy does not honor promotional prices, and issues a “layaway card” for the remainder owed on the item, after initial payment has been made at their customer service counter.
Wal-Mart requires a layaway purchase to total at least $50, with items included in the purchase totaling at least $15 each. Best Buy requires a minimum purchase of $250 in order to qualify for their layaway program. Best Buy also requires a hefty 25% down payment on layaway items. Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Sears all offer down payments starting at 10%.
All retailers reserve the right to return layaway items to store stock, if payment has not been made according to terms or if layaway items have not been picked up by the required date. Almost all layaways are paid bi-weekly, including those offered by the above mentioned retailers. Sears.com: Gifts Under $25?
When utilizing layaway services, the consumer must be proactive to determine which layaway program best meets their needs. Obtaining a written list of terms and requirements and following them to the letter will eliminate problems and insure smooth layaway operations. Pamphlets containing layaway requirements are available at retail stores or on store websites. If layaway is not your style them you can utilize our TOMS Coupons, Zulily Coupon Code, Kohls Coupon Code help you save money now!