Deferred Interest Plans – Are They a Smart Way to Shop?

Interest Rate (File photo)

SEATTLE -- Chances are you've seen or heard the ads: “Buy now – with no interest for 12 months, 18 months...or more! Stores offer these "deferred interest programs" to encourage holiday shoppers to buy big-ticket items. It sounds a whole lot cheaper when think you don’t have to pay any interest.

Consumer advocates are wary of these deferred interest promotions. For one thing, a lot of shoppers don’t understand how they work. And if you don’t follow all the rules, the potential downsides can make this an expensive way to shop.

On the KOMO Midday News (weekdays 1-3pm). Chi Chi Wu with the National Consumer Law Center in Boston talked about those gotchas. (Click the picture above to hear the audio).

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