Funeralbooker has launched the first nationwide interest-free financing solution to solve the problem of unaffordable funerals for both families and funeral directors.
Funeralbooker has launched the first nationwide interest-free financing product for funerals, meaning that the recently bereaved can now easily access money to cover funeral costs.
The average cost of a funeral nationally is now £3,897 and finding the money to pay for a funeral can be particularly difficult when the average UK household only has £3,134 in savings and one in four UK families have less than £95. These savings may also be illiquid or have an interest penalty for accessing them.
Frequently families may often be able to reclaim the cost of the funeral out of probate – the money received from the deceased’s estate; however, on average, probate takes between six to nine months to complete. This is where Funeralbooker has stepped in to offer families an interest-free solution for up to 12 months.
James Dunn, co-founder of Funeralbooker, said: “Funerals are stressful enough without having to find a considerable sum of money at short notice – money that the average family simply doesn’t have available. We are delighted that families who use our website to engage a funeral director can now spread the cost over a more manageable period.”
For funeral directors, 65% of whom are small, independent family businesses, this solution tackles the dual problem of cash flow and ‘bad debt’. Historically, funeral directors used to know everyone in the village and could assess if a customer was able to afford their services or not.
Times and demographics have changed: people often no longer stay in the same small village or know their local funeral director; however, these small family businesses are still expected to effectively lend large sums of money to people who they have never met before.
Directors have to pay out third party fees for burial and cremation (disbursements) up to two weeks before the funeral, and often only receive payment from the customer a month after the funeral.
This means they can be out of pocket for six weeks, a huge challenge to a small business’s cashflow. Now, when customers pay for a funeral using Funeralbooker’s financing option, funeral directors get paid in full, up front.
Dunn added: “We have always championed independent funeral directors and it’s fantastic to take away some of the stress of running a small business. We get them paid in full, upfront and allowing them to focus on where they truly excel – looking after families and creating lasting memories.”
Following bereavement, customers can use Funeralbooker to begin the process of arranging the funeral and getting help to pay for it. They can compare like-for-like for funeral director quotes from the comfort of home and choose the one that is right for them.
If finance is required, an application is completed over the phone with one of the Funeralbooker team. This typically takes under 15 minutes with an instant decision available. On approval, the money is sent directly to the funeral director ahead of the funeral, reducing stress and work for the family.
Paul and Denise Weelings, who have used Funeralbooker, said: “We didn’t have the money in one go, so this has been a God-send. It made an enormous difference as otherwise we would have had to wait for probate. It relieves some of the pressure and it’s reassuring to know the monthly cost up front and have the flexibility of being able to pay it back early.
"We’re more than impressed with the funeral - very professional and respectful - and the finance just played its part in making everything easier.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement