Cash, credit or layaway?

Cash, credit or layaway?

By Karen Stiles. CREATED Oct 9, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Cash, credit or layaway - which of these is the best way to pay?  It depends.

Why is the form of payment so important?

When you are making a purchase, you need to think about who you are buying from, how you will protect what you have bought, and how you will afford it.

Why might you want to use cash instead of credit?

If you are buying something as is, with no warranty or recourse, you may want to consider using cash - especially if the purchase is from someone that you do not know.

Keep in mind, anytime that you hand over a check or credit card, you are supplying the seller with some fairly personal information such as account numbers, routing numbers, and all of the information to make charges or debits from your account.

If you do not know the seller personally, cash is the best way to keep your personal information private.

When should you use credit or layaway?

Credit and lay away gives you time to pay, but you want to be sure that you make payments on time and that you are fully aware of any fees, penalties, or interest charges.

If you do not pay on time, you could damage your credit rating, get hit with some hefty fees, and if the item was on layaway, you could lose out on having these items held for you.

How will the form of payment you use protect your purchase?

If you buy with a major credit card, not only will you have the option to dispute a purchase if something is not as promised, but many major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard or American Express also offer extended warranties and temporary coverage of loss or breakage in the first 90 days.