The average North American funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000—a figure that can be difficult to handle for even the most diligent savers. If you need to borrow money, what are your options for funeral financing? We’ll cover several choices and discuss how you can manage the cost of last-minute travel for a funeral.
Funeral financing: 6 options to consider
First, be sure to check if you qualify for any government resources. Social Security, for example, may provide an eligible surviving spouse or child with a special lump-sum payment.
If it turns out you don’t have enough cash on hand to cover the cost of a funeral, there are a several ways you can borrow money to make up for the shortfall. You’ll likely need the funds ASAP—no time to waste on a lengthy approval process—so here are six ways to quickly borrow what you need with a funeral emergency loan.
- Online personal installment loan: With an online installment loan, you can borrow a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Applying online makes it fast, and you can usually get the money within a day or two. You’ll pay it back on a fixed schedule over the next few months to few years.
Note: If the lender doesn’t do a credit check, expect to pay a higher annual percentage rate (APR).
- Paycheck advance from your employer: Your employer may give you the option to be paid ahead of schedule. You repay the loan by deducting the loan amount form your next paycheck.
Note: Terms vary: some employers charge a fee, cap the advance amount at a percentage of your regular paycheck, or limit how frequently you can request an advance. If you leave the job or are laid off, you might have to repay the amount before leaving.
- Credit card cash advance: Most credit cards will let you instantly withdraw cash at an ATM or bank—if you have credit available to tap.
Note: You’ll pay a transaction fee plus interest at a rate which is usually higher than the card’s regular APR. Cash advances are generally limited to an amount that’s less than your credit limit.
- Payday loan: Payday loans are short-term loans. Lenders typically charge a fixed fee based on the amount borrowed, and you have until your next payday to pay off the amount borrowed plus the fee.
Note: Payday loans are usually for an amount less than $1,000
- Auto title/pawn loan: An auto title loan is a type of secured loan uses your car title as collateral. If you own your car outright, you can drive away with cash after an appraisal. The lender keeps your car title until you repay the loan. If you don’t pay it back, you could lose your car. A pawn loan works in a similar way, but with a different object of value (for example, jewelry) put up as collateral.
- Alternative sources: See if any nonprofits and religious organizations in your community may be able to help with emergency funds. Service members, veterans and their families are often eligible for short-term loans with APRs that are lower than other alternatives. College students may be able to turn to their university’s financial aid department for short-term loans, typically for a few hundred dollars. You can also ask for help from other family members. Perhaps they can directly cover certain costs or provide a loan. Even though it’s all in the family, be sure to hammer out repayment terms for any loan.
Help with last-minute funeral travel
Booking funeral travel at a moment’s notice can be stressful and expensive. According to USA Today, only a handful of airlines still offer discounted bereavement fares—but most airlines are willing to help passengers search for the best options available, in terms of schedule and cost. Travelers are advised to reach out directly to airlines, other transportation providers and hotels to find out how to reduce the expense of a last-minute trip.
You can also borrow funds to cover funeral travel costs: The six options above can be used at your discretion. That means you can use the money from an emergency funeral loan however you wish, whether it’s to pay for burial, cover the expense of a flight, or both.
RISE offers online loans to help manage some of life’s unfortunate financial surprises. For millions of working Americans, RISE is a better way to borrow. We are committed to supporting your financial future: Take advantage of our free tools to build better credit and learn new money habits. Apply safely and confidently online today and you could receive $500 to $5,000 in your checking account as soon as tomorrow.