Get the funds you need to give your dearly departed loved one the farewell they would’ve wanted.
The passing of a family member or friend can be an incredibly difficult time, but the unfortunate reality is that a funeral can also place a significant financial burden on those left behind. Funerals can cost as much as $15,000 to organize, which can cause a strain on your bank account when you’ve still got other financial obligations.
To help you cover the cost of giving your loved one a proper farewell, you may want to consider a funeral loan.
How much do funeral expenses cost?
Many people underestimate or simply don’t even think about just how much funerals cost. In the US, the average cost of a funeral can range between $7,000 and $10,000 depending on whether you want a simple ceremony or a much more elaborate farewell.
Here are common expenses to budget for:
- Funeral director fees for their professional funeral planning services
- Transport for the deceased to a funeral home
- A hearse to transport the coffin to the burial site or funeral location
- A coffin or casket
- The death certificate
- Preparing the body for viewing, burial or cremation
- Cemetery and crematorium fees, including the cost of a burial site
- A headstone
- An urn for cremated remains
- Newspaper notices or an obituary
- A celebrant or clergy
- Memorial cards
- Refreshments for the wake
If you don’t have the cash or savings on-hand to cover these expenses, a funeral loan might help.
How do funeral loans work?
A funeral loan is basically a personal loan that you can use to cover unexpected funeral expenses. You’ll apply online and if approved, you’ll typically receive your funds within a few business days. Once the money is in your bank account, you can pay for the necessary expenses.
Depending on how much everything costs and how much of your own cash you plan to use, you may want to consider applying for a little more or a little less than the anticipated total costs.
Here are top online lenders to compare for a funeral loan:
Three important things to consider before applying
- The risks of borrowing. Make sure you’re aware of all the risks associated when borrowing money to pay for a funeral. For example if you apply for a secured loan, will the asset you offer as security be repossessed if you can’t afford to repay your loan?
- Your repayment amounts. Crunch the numbers to find out how much your regular repayment amount will be as well as the total cost to you over the life of the loan before you apply – that includes money borrowed, interest and any other fees.
- Other payment options. Before you borrow money, consider whether there are any other ways you can cover the funeral costs. For example, have you been setting money aside in a savings account that could be used to foot the bill?
The importance of planning aheadIf you’re worried that your death could place a significant financial burden on your family, you could set up a prepaid funeral plan or get funeral insurance.
How to compare funeral loans
If you’re shopping around to find the right personal loan to help cover the cost of a funeral, remember to consider the following factors when weighing up the pros and cons of loans:
- Speed of access to funds. You may need urgent access to funds in order to pay funeral costs as soon as possible, so make sure to consider the speed in which a lender assesses applications and transfers the loan amount to you.
- Secured or unsecured. Will you need to offer any assets as security for the loan? While a secured loan will allow you to access better interest rates and lower fees, don’t forget that if you fall behind on repayments that the lender could seize those assets.
- Interest rate. Compare interest rates across a variety of loans to work out how much your regular repayment amounts will be. Compare fixed- and variable-rate loans to find what your best option is.
- Fees. Read the loan terms and conditions to see if there are any application fees, origination fees or ongoing charges that apply – as well as the penalty charged if you miss a repayment.
- Repayment schedule. Can you tailor the repayment schedule to suit your income and budget? Is the regular repayment amount something you can realistically afford?
- Loan terms. Loans with short repayment terms are paid off quickly but require larger monthly payments, while loans with longer terms have smaller repayment amounts but could end up costing more with interest in the long run.
What you’ll need to apply
You’ll need to check that you’re eligible for the loan with the lender you’re interested in before applying. You will typically need to meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Provide your name, date of birth, contact details and proof of ID
- Explain the loan amount and purpose
- Supply documents proving your employment and income
- Provide details of your assets and liabilities
Once you have submitted your application, the lender will assess it. Application processing times vary across lenders, but some are able to offer same-day preapproval and turnaround times within days.