Funeral directors often need part payment to cover third party costs, called disbursements, before the funeral can go ahead.
Some require full payment, while others are more flexible, particularly if you are waiting for a government funeral payment.
If you need to pay a deposit and have no other options you may want to look at affordable loans and credit. However, if you do not have the funds you can approach the local council where the person died and ask for a public health funeral.
If the funeral is arranged and there is money outstanding on the bill, you may be able to enter into a monthly payment plan with the funeral director.
Did you know?
- When negotiating a repayment agreement with a funeral director it is important to make sure you can realistically afford the regular repayment amount.
- If you already have a plan and are struggling to make repayments contact Step Change for advice. Step Change can also advise you about any other debts you have, such as payday loans, catalogues and banks.
- Government Budgeting Loans or a Budgeting Advance may be available if you are in receipt of an eligible benefit and can be used for funeral payments. The application process in Northern Ireland is slightly different Budgeting Loans (Northern Ireland) and Budgeting Advance (Northern Ireland). The amounts tend to be fairly small and Budgeting Loans can take 20-25 working days to be processed.
- Credit unions can sometimes offer lower interest rates. Contact your local credit union for further information.
- There are now a lot of companies that offer loans specifically for funeral costs – an internet search for ‘funeral finance’ will bring up lots of different options. Be aware that some of the results may be connected to specific funeral directors.
- With any loan you can end up paying back a lot more than you borrowed, so be sure to check what the total cost of the loan will be over the repayment lifetime, and the amount of your regular repayments.
- Has another family member or friend offered to pay or help out with funeral costs, or is there someone you feel comfortable asking? Check out our Crowdfunding advice too.
- Speak to your funeral director about the possibility of a payment plan.
- You may be able to borrow interest free e.g. on a 0% interest credit card or from a charity like the Bank of Mum and Dad
- Contact your bank about possible loans or try other high street banks or loan companies. Bear in mind that doorstep and pay-day lenders often charge high interest rates, which could be costly to pay back.
Hints and tips
Be aware that if you take out credit for a funeral, most charities will not reimburse you for this as they tend only to look at money remaining on the bill.
It may be worth entering into a payment plan whilst you are awaiting the result of an application to a charity, particularly if you are feeling under pressure from the funeral director.
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