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Holiday Shopping: Layaway or Credit Cards?

November 7th 2011 by
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39If you remember a time before credit cards were part of everyone’s life, you probably remember the customer service area in the back of many department and discount stores that offered ‘layaway’.

A layaway plan offered by retailers allows their customers to shop for and make a claim to items they don’t have the cash for at that moment. In most instances, the customer will make a down payment (usually 20%) and pay the rest over time on a regular schedule. Once the item is paid for in full, they can bring it home.

The biggest advantage of layaway is that you don’t pay interest as you would with a credit card. On the other hand, there’s a limited time for paying it off (up to a few months at most) and you can’t take your purchases home until they’re paid for in full.

Many retailers are bringing layaway back this season. If layaway sounds like it could work for you, check your favorite retailers and see if they’re offering it.

While purchasing something without swiping plastic sounds like a good idea, keep in mind that some stores charge a service fee, as well as a cancellation fee if you change your mind or cannot complete your purchase. Also, realize that putting down 20% on, for example, $1,000 worth of goods means you’ll have to come up with the remaining $800 within as little as 30 days at some stores. It can be easy to overextend yourself with layaway, so plan carefully and keep track of your commitments to each store.

Aspire offers many financing and saving options for your convenience. One option is opening a Holiday Club Account. With as little as $5, you can open this account and utilize automatic transfers each pay period to make savings easy and definite. Plus, you will not be able to access these funds until they are transferred into your checking account in October, eliminating the temptation of dipping into your savings. For more information and to open your Holiday Club account today, contact a Member Service Representative at 732-388-0477, Option 3.

Another option, of course, is taking out a $2,011 Holiday Loan from Aspire FCU. With low rates and a 12-month term, you’ll enjoy affordable monthly payments. Use the extra cash to purchase gifts, finalize your winter travel plans, or even consolidate debt – the choice is yours! Apply today! Call 732-388-0477, Option 2 or login to My CU Online.


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