Affordable electrical goods
Buying new white goods (fridges, washing machines, cookers) or electrical items such as computers for your home can be a large and often unexpected expense. Some high street shops charge very high interest rates if you buy items and spread the cost out over weekly payments. You can end up paying 2 or 3 times more than the value of the goods. Rather than exceed your budget, think about second hand electrical goods options before looking at loans, in store credit or hire purchase as repayments may cause hardship. Consider affordable credit and avoid expensive options.
Second hand goods
It’s cheaper and better for the environment to buy second hand goods.
The Reuse Network can help you locate an organisation near you that sells used electrical goods.
St. Oswald’s Hospice has 3 shops in the Newcastle area where you can donate or buy second hand items, including furniture and electrical goods.
The British Heart Foundation have charity shops across Newcastle where you can buy low cost clothes, toys and goods. They have Furniture and Electricals shops in West Denton and Byker where you can donate or buy second hand goods including furniture and electrical goods.
Grants and support from charities
Charities have some funding available to help people in need to buy essential items. Use theTurn2us website to find a grant that can help you in your situation. If you are on a low income check if you can get the items that you need from any charities first.
Turn2us is a charity where you find charitable funds and grants to apply for, when you need money for essential things in life. For example, furniture, household items, white goods, electrical items, studying, bringing up children, experiencing life changing circumstances and more. They have a telephone helpline, benefits calculator and online information.
Affordable credit options
If you can’t find the item that you need second hand and need to lend some money to buy it.
Moneywise Credit Union offer low cost loans to people in Tyne and Wear which you could use to buy white goods or electrical items.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can award interest free Budgeting Loans or Universal Credit Budgeting Advances to help you pay for essential things, such as furniture, clothes, moving costs or hire purchase debts. You must be in receipt of certain benefits and for a certain period of time. The loan is paid back by direct deductions from their benefits.
Read more about affordable credit options in Newcastle.
Computers and mobile devices
Read more about getting online and digital equipment on InformationNOW.
Getonline@home (operated by Microsoft and Currys) offer customers on benefits a refurbished PC or laptop for £99. If you are not on benefits then new customers pay on average £20 more for an item if you call Currys and purchase broadband or a home telephone line too.
FurbdIT is a partnership working to reduce digital poverty. They collect unwanted devices and IT equipment and refurbish. As an individual you might be referred for a device from a housing provider partner or you can contact The Hope Foundation.
Buying items on credit
Before buying a new item, you may be able to find it cheaper second hand, or apply for grants to help, as explained above. However if you can’t do this, you may be able to buy essential items using online lending companies.
Many high street retailers, such as Currys, AO.com offer credit options, where you can spread the payments for the thing you wish to buy over a number of weeks, months or years. They may offer an option to buy now, pay later. These companies charge interest on these payments, which means you will pay more for the item you are buying. They may carry out a credit check before you can purchase an item and only offer these deals to people with a good credit score.
It is worth shopping around to find the best and most affordable deal for you. You will need to make regular payments for the items you buy. Read more about managing your money and budgeting on InformationNOW.
Fair for you is an alternative to high cost weekly payment stores. It’s a not for profit, online lending company, set up for the benefit of people who are unable to get mainstream credit. They offer support to buy household appliances, laptops, prams and furniture such as beds, sofas, tables and chairs. Use their loan calculator to see how much you will pay in total.
Smarterbuys is an online alternative to expensive, high interest stores to buy essential home items, such as household appliances, electrical items and furniture. You need a bank account or credit union account to use this service. Smarterbuys work with a number of housing providers and social landlords. Using this service involves taking out a loan which you pay back across a number of months. You are charged interest, so you pay more for the product. They’re a charity that’s regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Make sure you’re claiming any benefits you’re entitled to
If you’re entitled to welfare benefits make sure that you’re claiming the full amount that you’re entitled to. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as:
- Citizens Advice Newcastle give benefits advice to anyone in Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service give benefits advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have a public advice line open to all Newcastle residents and a consultancy line and referral form for professionals.
- Newcastle libraries offers remote access to advice on different days of the week. See the booklet below
There are more benefit advice services in Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice‘ booklet.
Last updated: January 14, 2022