Funding a funeral please, don’t go for convenience – do prepare and compare.

 Funding a funeral please, don’t go for convenience – do prepare and compare.

 At The Farewell Guide, we are on a mission to protect and support consumers when arranging a funeral.

The current economic downturn has made it increasingly difficult to finance day-to-day expenses. However, when faced with the loss of a loved one, the additional burden of funeral expenses can feel totally overwhelming. With the average cost of a basic funeral now standing at £3,953, many families are struggling to make ends meet.

Comparing this to the average annual salary after tax of £27,600, it would take roughly 14% of the annual salary to cover the cost of a funeral. It's always a good idea to plan and have a financial strategy in place for end-of-life expenses.

Sadly, funeral costs are increasing, with the average cost of dying in total rising by 3.8% from £8,864 in 2021 to £9,200 in 2022, according to Sunlife UK. Despite this, there is some hope, as the average cost of a basic funeral has decreased by 2.5% from £4,056 in 2021 to £3,953.

When it comes to paying for a funeral, consider these tips:
  1. Compare funeral providers!
  2. Discuss and share your wishes with loved ones, to prevent overspend.
  3. Shop around for funeral funding/credit options
  4. Research government funding and charitable grants


  1. Compare different funeral providers:

It is important to compare different funeral providers when arranging a funeral. Research shows on average 82% go with the first provider they find, and with our research showing funeral costs on average range in by 46% for the same funeral, and some in the same area can be an eye watering to 250% in certain London boroughs.  The Farewell Guide free service allows you to easily compare prices and services of over 5,800 funeral directors for your wishes.


  1.  Discuss and share your funeral wishes with loved ones.

Discussing and sharing your funeral wishes with loved ones can help ensure that your final farewell aligns with your personality and preferences. It's important to consider what matters most to you and communicate it to your loved ones, so they can honour your wishes without overspending.

There are many elements to consider when planning a funeral, and it's important to choose what suits you best. Don't feel pressured to pay for something just because it's traditional or expected. Making it personal is key.


Some of the big expenses to consider include:
  • Type of service: Will it be a traditional funeral service, a memorial service, or a celebration of life?
  • Coffin type
  • Burial or cremation: burial can potentially cost £££ more than a cremation.
  • The number of limousines

By discussing and planning your funeral wishes, you can help alleviate the burden on your loved ones during a difficult time and ensure that your final farewell reflects your unique personality and preferences.

Pick what really suits you and your personality, don’t pay for something because ‘that’s

  1. The Farewell Guide have put together something to look out for when funding a funeral. 

According to a survey conducted by the charity Citizens Advice, around 10,000 people in the UK are forced to borrow money each year to pay for a funeral. The same survey also found that funeral debts averaged around £1,700 per person. Additionally, a report by SunLife in 2020 found that funeral costs in the UK had risen by 62% in the past decade. So we want to make sure you have all facts and choices on the table to prevent funeral debt!

There are many providers that offer funeral financing to help cover the costs and ease the financial burden. Some may think during a time of grief to overspend and not look at alternatives and take the funeral finance that is on offer with the funeral provider. Funeral finance may feel like a security blanket at the time and provide quick access to funding and give you with flexibility payment plans but it can leave you out of pocket and may even lead to financial issues.

The most popular funeral finance provider is Funeral Safe they credit agreement that allows you to spread the cost through monthly repayments; Funeral Safe provides financing for funerals for many independent funeral providers, and some larger branches such as Co-op, Funeral Partners and Beyond Life (Correct as of 11/04/2023). They offer credit for part, or all the funeral costs (£500-7,500+) can be financed, and you’ll pay it back over terms of 12 months – 5 years with (fixed) APR rates from 15.9%. Some suppliers are suggesting 3 months free with a 0% interest rate on all loans by Funeral Safe.

15.9% APR is very high, and we would suggest looking at alternatives such as a bank loan which can start from as low as 4.9% APR As covered previously, not thinking ahead for your funeral plans can cause additional stress, emotional turmoil, and financial burden on your loved ones.

For example, we calculated the interest rate over 36-month period from finance providers and have put together some alternatives and some illustrations of costs for your ease.

Monthly Amount  
cost of finance  
Total amount you repay  



Funeral Safe  


 £                        311.31  

 £                   2,207.28  

 £                         11,207.28  



M&S Personal Loan  


 £                     268.90  

 £                     680.53  

 £                          9,680.53  





 £                     270.45  

 £                       736.11  

 £                            9,736.11  





 £                      272.76  

 £                      819.49  

 £                           9,818.49  



Potential saving by looking around:  


 £                   1,526.75  





This is on a consumer having no adverse financial history and based on a salary of £30,000 here is a handy calculator to work out APR  

Money Saving Expert has a great array of the latest loans available.


  1. Research government funding and charitable grants

If you are not entitled to government help, you may wish to apply for a funeral loan. Providing the application process is successful, a loan amount will be agreed upon based on your ability to pay it back over a set amount of time. Terms and conditions will vary between providers.

Government schemes can cover:


Charities that offer funeral support grants that may be helpful:

Friends of the Elderly

T: 020 7730 8263

Child Funeral Charity

T: 01480 276088

Leukaemia Care

T: 08088 010 444


By following these four tips, you can save money and still give your loved one a fitting funeral without going into financial hardship. Remember, there are funding options available, and you don't have to go through this alone.