To Layaway or Not to Layaway

If you’re short on cash or credit, buying an item on layaway might strike you as an appealing idea, especially if you’re sure you’ll have the money for it in the near future. But what exactly is layaway, and is it a good idea? Let Money Ladder help you sort out fact from fiction.

What’s Layaway?

Layaway is the practice of paying for a good in portions, and then receiving the item once all of your payments have been completed. It’s different from an installment plan in that when you pay by installments, you get the item immediately and then pay it off piecemeal, whereas with layaway the payments must happen before the good is yours. When determining if layaways is a good idea for you, it’s crucial to keep in mind that it’s not the same thing as an installment plan, as this is a mistake many people make.

Advantages of Layaway

Getting an item on layaway purchases doesn’t accrue interest, which means that unlike many situations involving credit you won’t end up paying more in the long run than you would have with cash up front. Layaway also ensures that you’re not spending beyond your means. There’s no incentive to overspend if you can’t even get your hands on what you want until you’re done paying. Layaway is a good idea if you’re not trying to affect your credit score and you know you’ll have the money for what you want in good order soon.

Disadvantages of Layaway

Of course, if the money for what you want isn’t forthcoming, you’ve just saddled yourself with a reservation for something you might not be able to afford. It’s also worth noting that while layaways don’t accrue interest, they do frequently come with fees: there’s usually a small charge for opening a layaway account, and you can bet your bottom dollar (literally) that there’ll be a cancellation fee if you decide to back out. Figuring out if layaway is a good idea for you hinges on your certainty that you’ll be able to pay for what you want down the road, just as much as how certain you are that you want this particular item enough for the seller to guarantee it for you in the first place.

Is Layaway Right for Me?

Layaway can be a good resource if you want (or need) to buy something expensive, but either don’t have the credit for it or don’t want to change the credit score you already have. That said, because it entails a certain level of financial obligation, layaway is a good idea only if you’re absolutely certain you’re going to have the income you need to make a final purchase. If you don’t have the capital to pick something up now, it may not be wise to assume that it’s a sure thing you’re going to have it in the near future.

Ask yourself these questions before you decide on layaway payments:

  • Do I need the object in question?
  • Is it a safe bet I’ll have the cash to pay for it very soon?
  • Is my credit stable enough to be able to pay for it on an extension?

Only you can know for sure if layaway is a good idea for you, but make sure to think over your options carefully before you make a final decision.

Make the Right Choices with Money Ladder

If poor credit or no credit is influencing your decisions about what you can or can’t purchase, we’ve got good news for you: help is just around the corner. Money Ladder is committed to making sure that no matter what your means are or what your level of financial expertise is, you can receive all the wisdom and resources you need to make sure you’re financially prosperous for years to come.

If you want to know more about whether layaway is a good idea or not, leave us a comment below. You can also speak with one of our Client Success Specialists about what Money Ladder can do for you by calling us at 1-888-585-8492. You have a lot of choices in this world when it comes to both methods of payment and financial guidance, so make the one that will serve you well and join the Money Ladder family today.

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