Whether it’s setting up a first home, or revamping a bedroom, furniture costs always represent a significant outlay of money for the homeowner.
But rather than spending a large amount on furniture, a growing number of businesses are assisting consumers in affording beds, sofas and other items by offering a range of finance deals.
Whilst some brands like Marks & Spencer and Laura Ashley offer interest-free finance without the customer having to place a deposit, it’s also common for some furniture companies to require the consumer to put down a deposit first.
Companies like John Lewis commonly ask for a 10% deposit on anything up for £25,000 of furniture goods, whilst the Swedish firm, IKEA, offer a different option by asking for a simple one-off £10 deposit.
But interestingly some brands have also found success with buy now pay later schemes. It’s a payment option that’s available at the Bedstar bedroom furniture website where the consumer is able to pay after six or twelve months.
From interest-free pay monthly schemes, to buy now pay later options, these finance deals will usually require the consumer to meet the brand’s eligibility criteria by providing details of employment status and a history of addresses.
Such a credit check will provide the furniture company with the proof that the customer can repay debts. And it should mean that the consumer is carefully spreading the cost of their payments, rather than building up a potentially dangerous series of debts.
Furniture finance deals are formal loans that are legally binding, so if the consumer cannot make meet their monthly payment, they will find themselves landed with bank charge and even suffer a tarnished credit history.
Whilst there are always a few rare examples of where a furniture finance deal from the likes of DFS and Barclays has been cancelled as a result of extremely unpredictable circumstances, the responsibility is always with the consumer to ensure that they follow their payment agreements.
Although the consumer always has options of avoiding such finance deals by saving up to buy the furniture in a lump sum, it seems that these payment trends are here to stay.
With everything from our mobile phones to our television streaming options starting to shift away from one-off payments, it looks like UK consumers are starting to realise how spreading payments across a period of time can help them achieve a higher standard of living.