ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing retailers to clearly show how layaway plans can actually cost a consumer more than using a credit card.
Schumer is asking major retail associations to advise their members to more clearly present their layaway fees to customers. The Democrat says the ultimate cost of a layaway with a $5 fee can equal 40 percent interest over two months.
Major retailers nationwide are reviving the layaway plan that started during Great Depression as a way to help low-income people without access to credit to buy presents during the holidays.
Schumer says if retails don't comply, he will ask the Federal Trade Commission whether the practice is deceptive or misleading.
Stores see a need because many low-income consumers may have maxed out on credit cards.
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