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AAFES expanding layaway program

An interest-free way to purchase items

Soldier shops at the Exchange, which offers discounted items, tax-free and profits go back to support the military community. Photo provided by AAFES

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Back-to-School shopping season is upon us and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is helping military families stay on budget by expanding its layaway program to include computers, tablets and more July 1-Aug. 31.

Layaway is a purchasing option that allows you to place a deposit on an item which pulls it from the shelf and "lay it away" for pickup at a later date. At AAFES, you pay a small service fee and a deposit to hold your item and you make payments until the item is paid for then you can pick it up. The major benefit of the program is it allows hot ticket items which may sell out be held for you and it is an interest-free program.

Laptops, desktops, iPads, notebook computers, tablets and other electronics that support educational excellence are not usually eligible for the Exchange layaway program, but soldiers, airmen and families can enjoy the expanded program before the school year.

"We want to make sure JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord) kids have all the resources they need to succeed in school," said Michael Einer, JBLM Exchange general manager. "The expanded layaway helps military families budget their back-to-school costs in a way that works for them."

To utilize the layaway program there is a $3 service fee and you must make a 15 percent deposit to place your items on layaway. The item must be completely paid for and picked up by Aug. 31, 2019.  "There can be a lot of costs that hit all at once when preparing for the start of school," said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. "The extended layaway gives families more flexibility to plan their back-to-school budget."

AAFES currently has three ways to layaway merchandise: 30-day layaway for all clothing, handbags and shoes, 60-day layaway for all other merchandise (except jewelry), 120-day layaway for fine jewelry. A purchase must be $25 or more and there is a $3 service fee, 15 percent deposit, and a $5 cancellation fee. All clearance merchandise, computers, peripherals and major appliances (except for special promotions like above), furniture, mattresses, exercise equipment, seasonal and outdoor living and electronics $299 and up are not eligible for layaway.

During certain times of the year such as Back to School and the holiday season, AAFES offers layaway promotions which waive layaway fees or lift restrictions as to what can be put on layaway. The Exchange's fee-free holiday layaway typically runs from Sept. 1-Dec. 24. The official dates this holiday season will be announced soon. During this special promotion there are no layaway fees.

For more information about the program, visit your local AAFES customer service.

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