Before you go crazy with Holiday shopping using a stores layaway program, check the fine print and see what it's costing you.

In response to the increase in layaway programs and their fees across major retail stores, Sen. Charles Schumer said yesterday he wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether these programs are a deceptive business practice.

Two-month layaway programs requiring a $5 service fee and a 10 percent down payment on something worth $100 equals a 44 percent interest rate. It well surpasses the interest rate most states allow credit cards, which range from 16 to 35 percent, said Schumer, D-N.Y.

“These layaway programs are nothing more than hideaways for sky-high interest rates that consumers would never tolerate with a credit card,” he said.