I remember shopping in Kids ‘R Us (well, not exactly shopping, it was more trailing behind Mom while she picked out clothes and held them up to my and my sister’s little bodies for an instant size comparison) and wondering what those signs were for their “Layaway Plan.” Once upon another desperate time, layaway programs rose to popularity during the Great Depression and became a common form of payment for people who couldn’t afford to pay the dolla-dolla bills for stuff upfront. Now, for obvious reasons, layaway is making a big-time comeback. Unlike credit cards, programs charge no interest and require no credit history, but customers can’t take their items home until they’ve paid in full. Most plans charge a small fee, usually around $5, and require customers to pay within a limited time period. Intrigued? Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Kmart and Burlington Coat Factory are offering the option to pay-to-buy—your credit card will thank you.
And online layaway programs are even more rad—you can pay-until-you-get-it on iPods, LCD Sharp TVs, GE refrigerators, almost anything at elayaway.com.