Crisp morning air, pumpkin spice lattes, Christmas trees lining the store aisles—autumn is definitely here! With autumn comes holiday shopping, and often, holiday debt. One way to keep the debt to a minimum this season is to utilize the layaway programs available at stores all over the country. By making payments to the store instead of the credit card company, you can avoid the post-Christmas headache of facing the financial music. We’ve done the legwork for you and rounded up which stores are providing layaway programs this season—as well as year round! Without further ado, here is your comprehensive guide to layaway for the 2013 holiday season:

Standard guidelines

Though each layaway program has its unique rules (we detail each store’s individual programs below), most guidelines are standard:

  • Availability: Most stores have layaway available year round, with the exceptions of Walmart and GameStop, who only offer holiday layaway programs.
  • Period: The time frame in which the layaway account is to be paid off (varies per store).
  • Opening Fee: Varies per store.
  • Minimum Purchase: No minimum purchase (except Kmart, Walmart and Sears).
  • Down Payment: Varies per store. Required at opening of layaway account.
  • Cancellation Fee: Varies per store. A refund will be given, minus the fees associated with the opening and cancelling of the account. Some stores may require the refund to be given in store credit or exchange.
  • Grace Period: A 7-day grace period after a missed payment is standard for layaway accounts. After the grace period, items will be returned to the shelves and a refund will be given, minus the fees associated with opening and cancelling the account. Some stores may require the refund to be given as store credit or exchange.
  • Multiple Accounts: You can have multiple layaway accounts at the same store at any given time. These accounts are opened as different transactions and are paid as such. You would have multiple accounts if you put a few items on layaway and then wanted to put more items on layaway before the first account was paid off. This is ethical and customary at all stores. The only exceptions to this are Big Lots!, GameStop and Walmart; they each allow only one layaway account, but new items can be added at any time.
  • Clearance Items Allowed: Varies per store.
  • Coupons Allowed! Coupons are allowed at most stores. Just be sure to take them with you when you open your layaway account, along with the store's coupon policy.
  • Online: Some stores offer in-store as well as online layaway, and often the two overlap. Check with your store for details.

Big Lots!

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 6-month
  • Open: $0
  • Down: 10%
  • Cancel: $5
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: 20% of total every month
  • Black Friday Items: Yes; varies
  • Allowances: Furniture only
  • Exclusions: Seasonal furniture

Burlington Coat Factory

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 8-week
  • Open: $5
  • Down: $15 or 20%; whichever is greater
  • Cancel: $10
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: Yes
  • Allowances: 90-day Layaway on baby furniture.
  • Exceptions: Canceled layaway account refunds are given back in store credit or exchange.

Cabela’s

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 60-day
  • Open: $0
  • Down: 25%
  • Cancel: $25
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Bi-weekly
  • Black Friday Items: Yes
  • Allowances: Firearms and gun safes only.

Dress Barn

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 30-day
  • Open: $5
  • Down: 20%
  • Cancel: $0
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: Yes

Footlocker

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 30-day
  • Open: $5
  • Down: 20%
  • Cancel: $0
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: Varies
  • Allowances: Clearance items

GameStop

  • Availability/Period: Holiday/Now through Dec 16, 2013
  • Open: $0
  • Down: $25–125
  • Cancel: $0
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: No
  • Allowances: Select items, including select clearance.
  • See GameStop’s layaway policy here.

Guitar Center

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 30-day
  • Open: $0
  • Down: 25%
  • Cancel: $0
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: Yes

Kmart

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 8-week/12-week
  • Open: $5/$10
  • Down: $15 or 10% (whichever is greater)/10%
  • Cancel: $10/$10
  • Minimum: None/$300
  • Payments: 4 Bi-weekly/6 Bi-weekly
  • Black Friday Items: Varies by location.
  • Allowances: Current and pre-season Items. Everything marked “Available for Layaway” in-store and online.
  • Exclusions: Clearance, perishables, flammables, liquids such as laundry detergent and post-season items.
  • See Kmart’s layaway policy here.

Men’s Warehouse

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 90-day
  • Open: $0
  • Down: 25%
  • Cancel: 25%
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: No
  • Allowances: Clearance items

Sears

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 8-week/12-week
  • Open: $5/$10
  • Down: $20 or 20% (whichever is greater)/20%
  • Cancel: $15/$15
  • Minimum: None/$400
  • Payments: 4 Bi-weekly/6 Bi-weekly
  • Black Friday Items: Yes; varies
  • Exclusions: Door busters on Black Friday and ­ clearance Items.
  • See Sears’ layaway policy here.

Sportsman’s Warehouse

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 60-day
  • Open: $0
  • Down: 20%
  • Cancel: $10
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Any
  • Black Friday Items: Yes
  • Exclusions: Clearance items
  • Exceptions: Cancellation fee applied only if account is canceled after being open for 30 days.

Toys”R”Us/Babies”R”Us

  • Availability: Year round
  • Period: 90-day
  • Open: $5
  • Down: 10%
  • Cancel: 20% of total paid
  • Minimum: None
  • Payments: Bi-weekly
  • Black Friday Items: No
  • Allowances: Clearance items
  • Exclusions: Clothing and perishables
  • Exceptions: The opening fee is $0 from 9-15 through 12-15, 2013.

Walmart

  • Availability/Period: Holiday/9-13 through 12-13, 2013
  • Open: $0
  • Down: $10 or 10% (whichever is greater)
  • Cancel: $10
  • Minimum: $50 total; individual items must be $15 or more
  • Payments: Monthly
  • Black Friday Items: Layaway closed Black Friday; layaway resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Leftover Black Friday items may be placed on layaway.
  • Allowances: Automotive electronics, electronics, toys, infant toys, sporting goods, small appliances and jewelry counter.
  • Exclusions: Clearance, apparel, furniture, accessories, perishables and markdown items.
  • See Walmart’s layaway policy here.

Online layaway

Online layaway is also available! eLayaway.com is a site that allows you to place items from several different stores on layaway in one convenient online location. Here are the details:

Standard eLayaway Membership:

  • Requires an active bank account for automatic payments.
  • Members pay a one-time transaction fee per layaway transaction, as low as 1.9% on the initial purchase price (no matter which payment schedule you choose).
  • Cancellation fee of $25 or 10% (whichever is less).

Advantage eLayaway Membership:

  • Requires an active bank account for automatic payments.
  • Members pay a monthly fee of $8.95 and have the benefit of zero transaction fees.
  • Cancellation fee of $25 or 10% (whichever is less).
  • Your eLayaway payments will be reported to PRBC to build your FICO Expansion Score. The FICO Expansion Score is a new Fair Isaac credit score based on nontraditional credit data.
  • Enjoy exclusive discounts and special offers.

The terms and conditions with online layaway are more detailed than that of traditional layaway, so be sure to read these carefully before taking advantage of the online layaway program. Check out eLayaway to see if online layaway suits your needs!

Check individual locations

Some individual stores may offer layaway independently from their chains. Check with your local branch of these stores to see if layaway is available.

  • Boscov’s
  • KB Toys
  • Marshalls
  • T.J.Maxx

Stores that do not offer layaway

All the stores we contacted that do not offer layaway are listed here. Keep in mind that most high-end department stores and boutiques do not offer layaway, so these are excluded from this list.

  • Bealls
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Belk
  • Best Buy
  • Cost Plus
  • Costco
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dillard’s
  • Fred Meyer
  • Hastings
  • Home Depot
  • JCPenney
  • Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
  • Kohl’s
  • Kroger
  • Lowe’s
  • Macy’s
  • Meijer
  • Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack
  • Office Depot
  • Pier One
  • Pottery Barn
  • R.E.I.
  • Sam’s Club
  • ShopKo
  • Target/Super Target

Do you know of any other stores offering layaway this holiday season? Please share in the comments!