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Loans for Funeral Planning Expenses
Dealing with the death of someone close to you is always difficult, but it’s even more of a struggle when their estate isn’t large enough to cover the costs of the funeral. When a death is sudden or a funeral is unplanned, your best next step is often to acquire a funeral loan.
Applying for funeral financing is fast and easy:
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What is a funeral loan?
A funeral loan is a loan you can get to cover the costs associated with the funeral or memorial of a loved one. In most cases, this loan will be in the form of a personal loan, though there are other options available which we’ll discuss shortly.
How does funeral financing work?
A funeral loan is usually a lump sum you borrow from a lender which you then pay off, plus interest, in the following months or years. If you use a personal loan, the lump sum will be deposited in your bank account for you to spend as you see fit. Other funeral loans are paid directly to the funeral home.
Top funeral loans to consider
✔ Minimum Credit Score: 660
✔ APR: 2.49% - 19.99%
✔ Loan term: 2 - 7 years
✔ Funding turnaround: as soon as same business day
LightStream offers up to $100k personal loans as soon as same business day without origination fees and easy to use mobile app.
✔ Minimum Credit Score: 640
✔ APR: 5.99 - 29.99%
✔ Loan term: 3 - 5 years
✔ Funding turnaround: 1 - 3 business days
With Best Egg personal loans, borrowers with fair to good credit can get funding for 3-5 years and have the option to use the loan for a variety of purposes.
✔ Minimum Credit Score: no minimum requirement
✔ APR: 18.00 - 35.99%
✔ Loan term: 2 - 5 years
✔ Funding turnaround: 24 - 48 hours
With OneMain Financial, borrowers can obtain a personal loan of up to $20K without a minimum required credit score. Origination fees do apply and the lender offers bonus financial education tools and calculators.
When should I apply for a funeral loan?
A funeral loan is a good choice when a death is sudden or the deceased’s estate has not put any money aside for a funeral. Funerals can be expensive, depending on what you choose to do, and can be a big financial strain at such short notice. A funeral loan will help lighten the burden.
What is the average cost of a funeral?
The average cost of a funeral in the US costs between $7,500 and $10,000. The funeral home service, casket, burial, and headstone are all included in this cost. Costs vary depending on where in the country you reside and what traditions you wish to follow. Some of the average costs are:
- Funeral director’s services: $1,500
- Casket: $2,300
- Embalming: $500
- Rental costs for service: $500
- Catering: $250
- Grave site: $1,000
- Gravedigger costs: $600
- Grave liner/burial container: $1,000
- Headstone: $1,500
For this example, the total costs would be around $9,000.
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Funeral Pricing Checklist
The FTC has an excellent pricing checklist you can use to compare funeral home expenses. We've consolidated this document into a print ready format. Be sure to make multiple copies of this document to compare costs while you are performing your research
Click here to download FTC pricing checklist (Print ready PDF document)
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How can I reduce the costs of a funeral?
This is a deeply personal topic, so you need to decide what is right for you and the other people attending the funeral. Some of the ways you can reduce costs are:
- Opt for direct cremation
- Have a wake or memorial service instead of a funeral
- Have a closed-casket funeral (to forego embalming)
- Do your research into a good, yet affordable funeral home in your area (or ask a friend to do it for you)
- Consider an at-home funeral, if it’s legal in your state
What are the pros and cons of funeral loans?
- You don’t need to use up your savings: You can spread the cost of the funeral instead of depleting your savings
- Fast and easy to get financing: Once you’ve chosen a lender, the application process usually takes less than 10 minutes and the money is usually in your bank account or paid to the funeral home within a few days.
- Fixed monthly payments: Most forms of funeral loan come with fixed monthly payment, so you’ll be able to work it into your budget and not worry about actively paying it off unless you want to pay it off early
- Most don’t have early repayment fees: Provided you read the terms and avoid a loan that charges a fee for repaying it early, you could pay it off in a few months if your loved one owned property you can sell after the funeral
- Improve credit score: Paying a regular loan payment on time every month will help build positive credit history
- They aren’t easy for everyone to access: if you have poor credit, you may find it difficult to secure your loan
- You may overborrow: choosing to borrow too much can result in higher costs and more difficulty in getting debt free
- You may still be paying off the funeral in a few years: which can make it difficult to move on or heal emotionally
- You need them quickly: which leads many to make decisions they wouldn’t have chosen if they’d been in a better place
What are the different types of funeral financing?
- Personal loan: This is the traditional type of loan where you borrow a lump sum and pay it back plus interest in the following years. Your creditworthiness will dictate the interest rate you can get and how much the loan will cost you, so make sure you shop around for the best rate.
- In-house funeral payment plans: Many funeral homes offer payment plans that allow you to pay off the cost over 6-12 months. Some funeral homes will also offer you a temporary loan if you show proof of a life insurance policy that will be paid to you in the near future (they do not need to know the value of the policy).
- Credit card: If you have the funds available on your credit card(s), or have good or excellent credit to get a good credit card, you can consider putting the costs on your credit card. This is a flexible way to pay, but can come at a high cost if you don’t actively try to pay it off
- Crowdfunding: If you’re comfortable with it, you can ask friends, family, and well-wishers to contribute to the funeral costs via crowdfunding. Alternatively, if you choose to take out a loan you can put out a collection plate or box to ask for donations at the funeral. This is relatively common practice when someone has passed unexpectedly.
How much should I borrow for a funeral?
This is another area that is personal to you and your family traditions. Consider all your options, get a quote from a funeral home or director, and then decide what kind of funeral you want and how much to borrow. Remember that the funeral doesn’t need to be expensive to be special – think about what personal touches would best represent your loved one.
Can you pay for a funeral in installments?
Most funeral plans are designed to be pre-paid by the deceased themselves some time before their death. That said, it’s always worth speaking to the funeral homes in your area to find out what financing options they offer.
What is the best way to pay for funeral expenses?
The best way to pay for funeral expenses is with money from the deceased’s estate, if they were of an age to have one. When that is not available, using savings or asking for donations from others close to them (or well-wishers online) is best to avoid getting into debt.
If none of these options are available to you, compare personal loans to find one with the best rates and terms for your circumstances.
Compare funeral financing options & apply
Once you’ve decided that a funeral loan is the right next step for you and you have an accurate estimate of funeral costs in your area, it’s time to apply. Compare the best funeral loans here to find the one that best suits your circumstances. When you’ve chosen, simply follow the application process. This usually takes less than 10 minutes and funding is often deposited in your bank account within just a few hours.
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