8 Stores With the Best Layaway Programs

Layaway can be a budget-friendly alternative to buying with credit cards. But what used to be a simple option for cash-only customers is now more complex, with fees and cancellation charges and shorter pickup dates. While it can still be a great way for shoppers to spread out their payments, it's important to know how much it will cost.

 

01
AAFES

AAFES
AAFES

AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) offers layaway all year round:

  • 30-day layaway for all clothing, handbags, and shoes.
  • 120-day layaway for fine jewelry.
  • 60-day layaway for all other merchandise.

Purchases must be $25 or more, and a 15% deposit is required. There is a non-refundable $3 service fee for processing and a $5 fee for canceled layaways.

Merchandise excluded from layaway includes clearance merchandise, computers, peripheral, and major appliances, furniture, mattresses, exercise equipment, seasonal and outdoor living, and electronics for $299 or more.

Layaway is only available for in-store shoppers. 

02
Baby Depot

Baby Depot at Burlington
Burlington

Baby Depot is a division of Burlington Coat Factory that sells various brands of car seats, baby clothing, cribs, changing tables, and other baby items. 

Baby Depot has a year-round 90-day in-store layaway program.

A 20% deposit is due at the time of purchase. An additional 20% payment is due 14 days from the purchase date.

There is a $5 service fee, though there have been promotions in the past offering a $5 gift card for in-store purchases. There is also a $10 cancellation fee (plus tax where applicable).

Refunds of layaway deposits are given as a gift card rather than cash. 

 

03
Big Lots

Big Lots, Inc. logo
PRNewsFoto/Big Lots, Inc.

Big Lots has a plan similar to a layaway plan, but it is not promoted and it may not be available at all stores. The program is called "Price Hold" and it is mostly used for furniture purchases.

When putting an item on "Price Hold," a 10% deposit is required. Big Lots will then hold the item for 90 days. Some stores may charge a nonrefundable $5 fee.

Another option offered to Big Lots shoppers is a lease-to-own program managed through Progressive Leasing.  Qualifying items include sofas, loveseats, sectionals, dining sets, and mattresses, as well as seasonal items such as outdoor patio furniture, gazebos, umbrellas, grills, and chairs. 

The initial payment is $49 and you won’t own the merchandise unless you make 12 months of payments or exercise an early purchase option that may include a markup over the invoice price. Payments are automatically deducted from your checking account. 

The program is not offered in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Minnesota,  Vermont, or Wyoming.

04
Burlington Coat Factory

Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory

Burlington Coat Factory has offered layaway to customers for over 45 years. Shoppers have the option to use the 60-day program all year, not just during the holiday season. Layaway is only an option for in-store shoppers.

A 20% deposit is due at the time of purchase. An additional 20% payment is due 14 days from the purchase date. 

There is a $5 service fee, though there have been promotions in the past offering a $5 gift card for in-store purchases. There is also a $10 cancellation fee (plus tax where applicable).

Refunds of layaway deposits are given as a gift card rather than cash. 

05
TJ Maxx

Marshalls and TJMax
Marshalls and TJMax

The off-price store TJ Maxx offers a 30-day layaway program in some stores. A deposit of 10% (or a minimum of $15) is required, and there is a service fee, according to a company spokesperson. Jewelry, furniture, and merchandise that’s been marked down may not be put on layaway.

In most states, a cancellation fee will be deducted from the deposit if the layaway isn’t completed. Contact your local store or call customer service at 1-800-926-6299 for more details. 


 

06
Sears and Kmart

Sears and Kmart
Sears and Kmart

Kmart and Sears offer layaway in stores and online. Programs are for eight or 12 weeks and a fee of $5-$10 is charged, except where prohibited by law. The longer period is only for purchases of $300 or more at Kmart and $400 or more at Sears. Payments are biweekly and the down payment is $10, or in some cases, 10%.

Items that are available for online layaway will be identified as "Layaway Eligible." Just select “Pay with Layaway" when you checkout. 

There is a cancellation fee of $15 for eight-week layaways and $25 for 12-week layaways. Layaways may be canceled seven days after payments are due.

For more information, read the Kmart and Sears layaway policies online. 

07
Walmart

Walmart Logo
Walmart

Each year, Walmart seems to extend its holiday layaway program. It now begins Aug. 30 and ends Dec. 9. (Year-round layaway may be available on jewelry in some stores.)  The program is offered in stores only and covers items such as electronics, furniture, toys, select sporting goods, small appliances, and jewelry.

To be eligible, individual items must be priced at $10 or more, and the total layaway purchase must be at least $50. The deposit is $20 or 20%, whichever is greater, and that’s what you’ll forfeit in a cancellation fee in most states if the order isn’t paid in full and picked up on time.

For more information, read the Walmart layaway policy online. 

08
Hallmark Gold Crown Layaway Program

Hallmark Gold Crown
Hallmark Gold Crown

Hallmark Gold Crown has layaway programs all year in the corporately owned stores. The company offers a 90-day program with a 20% deposit requirement, and only full-priced items can be put on layaway. There are no service or cancellation fees, according to a company spokesperson. 

Note: Independent Hallmark Gold Crown stores may or may not offer layaway and may have their own terms for the program.