Alana Vandagriff | 

Walmart Layaway Is Gone — But Is Affirm the Answer?

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Attention Walmart holiday shoppers: it’s safe to say that Walmart Layaway is now a thing of the past. For the second holiday season in a row, the Walmart Layaway website is nearly nonexistent. But not to worry, we’ve found options — including the layaway-like program Affirm that you can use with Walmart purchases. Affirm is a type of buy now, pay later service that’s also partnered up with Amazon, Target, and even Peloton.

Layaway programs are beginning to go by the wayside, but you’ll still find some stores with layaway, especially during the holiday season.

Here’s what to know about the old Walmart Layaway program and what they push you toward now instead.

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1. Walmart Layaway is gone from

A person using a laptop displaying the Walmart Layaway page on their website which reads, "Our layaway program has ended. Check back next year for program updates" and an advertisement for Affirm below the message.

There wasn’t an official announcement from Walmart about their move away from layaway, but the page on Walmart’s website now focuses on their partnership with Affirm.

They’re calling the buy now, pay later program “an alternative to layaway.”


2. Walmart layaway with Affirm is your only option now, for eligible purchases between $144 and $4,000.

A screenshot of the pop-up on a Walmart online cart for Affirm

Instead of holding your purchases until you could pay for them (like the Walmart Layaway program offered), Walmart has shifted to a buy now, pay later setup with Affirm. So what is Affirm? It’s a payment option that’ll pop up at checkout for hundreds of online retailers, including Walmart.

Affirm performs a credit check and charges interest. If you choose to use Affirm to pay for your Walmart purchase, you’ll have the option of repayment plans of three, six, and 12 months.

Here’s the list of product categories that are eligible for Walmart Affirm (note that purchases must be $144 – $4,000):

  • Apparel
  • Automotive car care
  • Entertainment
  • Hearing aids and durable medical devices (like wheelchairs and walkers)
  • Home
  • Jewelry
  • Lawn and garden
  • Sporting goods
  • Toys


3. Layaway used to be free, but Affirm will cost you. Dearly.

someone scanning a code at checkout at walmart

This one’s a bummer. Affirm charges interest when you spread your payments out over three to 24 months.

Affirm may offer special financing as low as 0% APR on select products, but they’ll charge you interest on most other items — in the range of 10% – 36% APR, depending on your credit.

To see how this interest could add up, let’s look at an example. If you get a 20% interest rate with Affirm, a $150 purchase divided into 12 monthly payments of $13.92 would end up costing you $167.04. That’s an extra $17 you could be spending on something else.

Related: If you’re a regular Walmart shopper, make sure you know these Walmart clearance secrets.


4. You can use Walmart Affirm in stores.

An Affirm buy now pay later sign inside Walmart

If you’re shopping in your local Walmart, you can still use Affirm. Once you sign up for Affirm (this part can only happen online), you can either use it as a payment method at or scan a barcode at checkout in-store at Walmart.

That means you get to take home your purchases (or have them shipped) right away before you start making payments.



5. Only use Affirm if you need a long time to pay off your Walmart purchases.

woman carries two tvs

The good news is that Walmart and Affirm haven’t totally ruined Christmas. To a casual observer, it may look like using Affirm is the only way to buy now and pay later at Walmart. But that’s just not the case.

There are LOTS of buy now, pay later services out there, although none of them offer the long payback period that Affirm does.

Most of these competitor services split balances into four payments, with 25% upfront and then another 25% every two weeks. Best of all, they don’t charge you any fees to use their services.

Walmart doesn’t accept all of the best buy now, pay later services out there — but some, like PayPal, Klarna, and Zip Pay, offer a “ghost card” that can be used everywhere Visa is accepted. Yep, that includes Walmart.


6. Split your Walmart purchase into four payments with a ghost card from Klarna.

A screenshot with Klarna ghost card extension pop-up.

The simplest solution I found is to use a “ghost card” from Klarna to pay for your holiday stuff in four payments spread out over six weeks. How it works is that you pay 25% of the total due at checkout, and then you make a payment of 25% of the purchase price every two weeks after.

The good news: Klarna won’t hurt your credit and doesn’t charge interest or any fees whatsoever.

The semi-bad news: you can only use Klarna at, not in the physical store.

To use Klarna, first download the mobile app or Chrome browser extension and create an account, which includes adding a debit or credit card that will be used for your four payments. The app will automatically give you an estimated spending amount, up to a maximum of $1,000 based on a soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit). Each ghost card you create will take away from your available spending amount.

TIP: Join Klarna’s loyalty program, Vibe, and earn rewards when you shop using Klarna. Thanks to KCL reader Louise for this tip!

So far, that’s the best way I’ve found to beat Walmart (Scrooge) and bring back the cheer to holiday shopping! Let me know if any of you come up with another solution, and I’ll keep digging.

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