If you are looking at some big ticket items for your Christmas shopping list, you may want to consider using a layaway plan. Layaway was once considered a dated, old-fashioned method of payment, but it's making a comeback. Many businesses are now offering layaway programs for today’s financially strapped consumers.

With many stores offering layaway services, the Better Business Bureau's Jim Judge is offering advice on how to use this payment plan in lieu of credit cards.

Judge comments

In addition, there are several questions you should ask before entering into an agreement. Those include: how much time do you have to pay off the item? When are the payments due? How much do I have to put down? And, what happens if you miss a payment? Are there penalties? Does the item return to inventory?