If you like using the Navy Exchange's (NEX) layaway system, they just gave you a little boost. You can now layaway almost all items for 90 days instead of 45 days. That means you have that much longer to stash away things that you want and pay them off before taking them home, you now have more time to make it happen and spread out those payments.
Previously the rule had been 45 days for clothing and shoes, 90 days for almost everything else.
I'm a big fan of layaway plans. They generally come with low or no fees -- the NEX, for example, charges $5 to use their program -- and it means when you can make payments on an item without incurring any actual debt. You can always cancel the layaway (which also comes with a small fee -- $5 at the NEX), which means if you change your mind you don't already have thousands of dollars on your credit card.
So that's $5 in fees for a 90-day payment plan instead of crazy interest rates on your credit card. If you need an items and can pay for it this way instead of going into debt, the choice seems easy to me.
Jewlery and watches at the NEX price over $500 will continue to be available for a 180-day plan. The NEX requires you to pay 10 percent for the items in layaway up front and then make an equal payment every 15 days. The amount of those payments is based off the total price of the item you put in layaway. And, as in the past, computers, tablets, iPads, monitors, digital cameras, peripheral computer equipment, software and video games are not permitted on layaway, NEX officials said.
No word from AAFES on whether or not it will update its layaway policy at stores on Air Force and Army bases to match the Navy's new plan. Right now AAFES allows 30 days for clothing, handbags and shoes and 60 for all other allowed merchandise except jewelry. Jewelry can be on a 120 day plan. They also require a 15 percent deposit, a $3 fee and a $5 cancelation fee. AAFES policy excludes appliances, computers, electronics priced over $299 and furniture, mattresses, exercise equipment and seasonal and outdoor living items, their site says.
The Marine Corps Exchange's layaway policy is not publicly available.