What Are the Benefits of Layaway?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Layaway is an option that allows shoppers to place a small deposit on items they wish to buy and incrementally pay off the entire purchase price over a period of time. In return, the retailer holds the items in reserve for the customer, releasing them once the total amount of the payments equals the purchase prices. There are several benefits to using a layaway plan, including the ability to avoid incurring interest on credit card accounts and managing purchases without creating undue stress on the household budget.

One of the main benefits of layaway is the ability to pay for purchases over time, finally taking possession of the purchases once they are paid in full. This approach differs from buying products on credit, in which interest charges are assessed that eventually drive up the overall purchase cost for the customer. With a layaway plan, a deposit is made and regular payments are tendered over an agreed upon period of time, such as 60 days. At the end of that time, the items bought with the plan are released to the customer.


In addition to avoiding interest payments, using layaway shopping also has the benefit of being able to buy items and pay for them over time without causing any problems for the household budget. Since a little can be paid each week until the balance is settled in full, it is fairly easy to use this approach for a variety of purchases, ranging from furniture to household appliances and even to toys and other gift items for the holiday season. As long as the payments are maintained and the balance is retired according to the terms of the retailer’s layaway plan, it is possible to eventually secure the items purchased and owe nothing at the time they are picked up from the store.

Today, some retailers are even offering the convenience of an online layaway option. This approach may call for physically selecting items and putting them into a layaway plan at a store, then making payments via a secure online interface. Other applications allow shoppers to select items offered via an online store and make a series of payments over a specified period of time, with the retailer shipping the items once the balance is paid in full.

Using layaway is an excellent option for anyone who wants to avoid running up balances on credit cards and paying a lot of interest on purchases. While some retailers do charge a small fee for managing this type of service, those charges are usually considerably less than the fees associated with various financing methods. In addition, this approach offers the benefit of knowing when the items are actually picked up from the store, they are paid in full and not subject to any additional types of interest or other charges.


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