Lafayette

Dec 8, 2011 11:30 PM by Maddie Garrett

Layaway Makes Big Comeback for Holidays

Layaway used to be something your parents or maybe your grandparents used, but thanks to the economic downturn this shopping trend is back and taking hold in Acadiana.

It might seem old fashioned, in fact many stores haven't even offered the layaway for over 20 years. But as families stay strapped for cash over the past few holiday seasons, they're finding it might just save the day.

Instead of charging it, many shoppers are shelving their holiday gifts and letting stores keep them safe while they pay them off over several weeks or months.

"Absolutely love it and I missed it when it went away. So now that it's back I will use it and I will continue to use it," said shopper Starr Delaune.

Delaune said layaway is a life saver this year, especially because she buys gifts for dozens of children for charity.

"I was just shopping a little bit all year long. This way I can go get what I want that's on my list, put it on lay away, pay in three or four installments and then I'm done," she said.

Starr isn't alone either. Whether you've got kids to buy for or a long Christmas list, the Better Business Bureau said more people are turning to layaway.

"So you have more time to buy, you can use a budget, and you can rest assured that you have all your christmas shopping done. I think it's a wonderful thing," said BBB President and CEO Sharane Gott.

And the best part said Delaune: No interest.

"It's definitely a good idea for most people because you don't have the interest charge on a credit card," added Gott.

Still, the BBB warns you still need to use caution when using layaway.

"Now if you don't live up to your committment, you pay late, there could be late fees, you don't want to do that. You want to be a smart consumer you want to do the right thing at the right time," explained Gott.

And as Christmas gets closer, the deadline to pay off those gifts is coming up quick. Here are a few more layaway tips from the BBB:

-Be sure to get everything in writing.
-Know what happens if you miss a payment or no longer want the item.
-Always stick to a budget. Don't put an item on layaway if you may not be able to make the payments.

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