Is layaway right for you?

Woman shops for a toaster at Sears
Woman shops for a toaster at Sears


Haven't decided how you're going to pay for your gifts this holiday season? Given that credit has become so difficult -- and expensive -- what about layaway?

It was everywhere in the 1920s and 1930s, but after becoming virtually extinct in the 1980s (when everyone was using credit cards), layaway made a big comeback last year. And many stores -- from Sears and Kmart, which had 3 million layaway customers combined last year, to some high-end boutiques -- are looking to capitalize on its success.