Walmart Layaway 2023: Affirm Offers a New Type of Payment Plan

The holiday season is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start budgeting for gifts, decorations, food, and all the other expenses that come with it. For many shoppers, especially those on fixed or limited incomes, affording all these extra costs can be a major challenge.

In the past, Walmart’s traditional layaway program allowed budget-conscious customers to finance holiday purchases interest-free by putting items on hold and paying for them via installments over time. However, for 2023, Walmart has partnered with Affirm to provide a new type of payment plan option.

What is Affirm?

Affirm is a buy now, pay later financing service. It allows you to split up purchases into set monthly payments. When checking out, you select Affirm and go through a quick approval process. Once approved, you pay for your Walmart orders in predictable installments on a payment schedule.

Benefits of using Affirm at Walmart include:

  • 0% APR financing – No interest or hidden fees
  • Fixed payment schedule – Evenly split up payments
  • Quick approval process – No long credit check
  • Flexible spending limits – Set your own comfortable payment amounts

Affirm is available all year, on both online and in-store Walmart purchases. This makes it a helpful budget tool beyond just holiday layaway.

What Changed with Walmart Layaway for 2023?

Walmart has partnered exclusively with Affirm to provide financing options previously filled by its holiday layaway program. Key differences include:

  • No more in-store layaway – All payment plans must go through Affirm
  • More payment flexibility – Affirm offers biweekly or monthly payment options
  • Year-round availability – Not restricted to the holiday season
  • Interest and fee-free – 0% APR if paid on time

For shoppers wanting traditional layaway where you reserve items in-store, Walmart no longer offers this. Affirm gives customers a modernized, digital layaway experience.

Is Affirm a Good Alternative to Layaway for 2023?

For most customers, Affirm provides a better payment plan option than old-fashioned layaway. Benefits include:

  • Convenience of online financing – Shop and check out as usual online
  • No trips to the store – Items ship directly rather than needing in-store pickup
  • Available for everyday purchases – Not just holiday or high-ticket items
  • No storage fees – Items ship right away instead of being stored

The main advantage of layaway was reserving hard-to-find holiday items. But with Affirm, you can finance purchases without having to worry about them selling out.

Overall, Affirm delivers a more flexible, digital layaway solution adapted for today’s shoppers. It provides budget-friendly financing not just during the holidays but all year long.

Tips for Using Affirm at Walmart

If you’re considering using Affirm for 2023 holiday shopping, keep these tips in mind:

  • Review payment terms upfront – Know repayment details before checkout
  • Compare biweekly vs monthly schedules – Pick most affordable increments
  • Set spending limit – Only finance what fits your budget
  • Pay on time – Avoid interest by paying installments when due
  • Use for necessities – Don’t overspend on discretionary items
  • Take advantage year-round – Apply to everyday Walmart purchases

With smart planning, Affirm can be an effective tool for holiday financing and budgeting. Avoiding overspending is key to making any payment plan work for your financial situation.

The Future of Department Store Layaway Programs

As Walmart shifts to Affirm for payment flexibility, many other major retailers are also moving away from traditional layaway. Amazon, Target, Kmart, and several others have dropped their holiday layaway programs in recent years.

The reasons include:

  • Rising costs of staffing layaway programs in-store
  • More shoppers choosing online checkout and financing
  • Higher demand for flexible digital payment options

However, some department stores like Burlington, Big Lots, and Kohl’s still offer seasonal layaway programs. The disappearing in-store programs may disappoint some budget-focused shoppers. But most customers seem to prefer the greater convenience and flexibility of modern financing alternatives. Services like Affirm provide a better layaway solution adapted for the digital era.

In the future, we will likely see more big box retailers partner with buy now, pay later services. This allows them to cater to cash-strapped shoppers in a scalable, cost-effective manner. Meanwhile, traditional layaway will continue fading away as more sales shift online and shoppers seek digital, on-demand payment plans.

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