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Would you put your vacation on layaway?

VacationWant to put your vacation on layaway? Sears is offering a way to do just that.

On, consumers can put hotels, cruises, rental cars and airline tickets on layaway, or choose from one of 100 vacation packages starting at $399.

But is it a good idea?

Here's some good advice from Time magazine:

The one big problem with layaway: it’s often not a smart financial move. One study has shown that consumers who use a credit card over layaway will end up paying less interest on the purchase, even on a card with a high APR.

The one positive aspect of choosing layaway over using a credit card is that there’s virtually no way consumers can get buried in overwhelming debt in the same way they can when using plastic.

Before jumping at Sears’ vacation layaway plans, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Read the plan’s fine print, know precisely when your payments are due and how much time you have to pay off the purchase. Plus, figure out what Sears’ fees are for late payments and whether you’ll have to pay any additional travel booking fees. For hotels and cruises, Sears says there are no fees added, but a booking fee may be charged to air reservations.

But even before all of that, consider whether taking a vacation this year is a wise move. Because if the only way you can afford one is to work out a layaway plan, maybe this summer you should consider staying home.

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