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Layaway

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WSVN -- Christian Medina is getting a good look at what his kids want for Christmas.

Christian Medina, Shopper: "They want roller blades, dolls. They want everything."

Whatever ends up on the list, Christian says he might just put it on layaway this year.

Christian Medina, Shopper: "I'm trying to think of how many things I'm going to buy, and if it's a whole lot that I can't afford right now, instead of using the credit cards, I'll just put it on layaway, and in 30 days, I'll come back and get all my stuff."

Forget credit card debt and high interest rates.

This year, lots of stores are bringing back old-fashioned layaway programs.

Susan Miller, Toys "R" Us Manager: "We're having a great response to our layaway program. Customers are using the program as an alternative to using your charge card and to ensure that they do get the hot selections now."

Walmart has layaway year-round for jewelry. But this holiday season, they're also including toys and electronics.

Jose Colon, Walmart Manager: "When we announce it on TV, actually a couple of days before the day, we have thousands of phone calls. I'm telling you, there were calls and calls and calls. People were just asking when it starts."

Shoppers like Beatrize Cordero, who's shopping for a big family.

Beatrize Cordero, Shopper: "I think it's a good idea for storage. Mainly, it's storage for me."

There is a fee to open most layaways.

Store Employee: "And you are aware of the $5 service fee?"

Customer: "Yes I am."

Experts say, if you use layaway this year, be realistic about what you can afford; make sure you understand the payment schedule as well as the late-fee policy; and always keep an accurate record of your payments.

It's all about shopping early to pay in full later.

Susan Miller, Toys "R" Us Manager: "We just wanted to provide another way for customers who are looking to stretch their dollars a little more this holiday, and we're looking for another way to help them out."

Lynn Martinez: "It's also a good idea to get a copy of your store's layaway policy and keep it at hand."

If you have any other questions about layaway programs, or if you have story ideas for Money Monday, e-mail us at moneymonday@wsvn.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Today's Budget

http://www.todaysbudget.com/layaway-plans-are-back-stores-offering-layaway-service/

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