WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Remember layaway? That’s where you can put stuff aside and pay it off without interest, with all the gifts under the tree by Christmas morning. It’s what the older generation Santas did. But in the age of technology, this philosophy has transcended into apps, under the guise of “Buy now, Pay later.” 

Apps like Klarna, Zip, Afterpay all promise you can buy now and pay later. But ask yourself; how will the apps make money? Financial Advisor Jason Haswell says it comes down to the varying interest rates and when those kick in. 

Read the small print: Some claim ‘interest free’ but only for a small chunk of time. Many ask for payments over a six-week period. 

“Buy now, pay later works as long as you pay it off before the time period ends before interest starts.

Make sure whatever payment you’re going to make fits into your monthly budget. As long as you’re doing that, it gives people a great advantage because you can buy a little more at Christmas.

Jason Haswell, Managing Director with The Monteverde Group 

If you’re hoping to buy that flat-screen tv or a dining room table, Haswell says if you can fit that smaller payment into your monthly budget, the apps are a great way to do it. 

Haswell advises Santa, if you are reading this, to avoid credit card debt that follows you into the new year.