Furniture can be quite expensive, especially if you are moving house or setting up for the first time. 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 furniture options before looking at loans, in store credit or hire purchase. Consider affordable credit and avoid expensive options.
Second hand furniture
It’s cheaper and better for the environment to buy second hand goods.
Community Transport – Home Furniture Reuse East End (Byker) and Home Furniture Reuse West End (Fenham) are furniture shops which sell low cost second hand furniture such as beds, wardrobes, sofas, tables, chairs and fridges. They also stock some new furniture such as beds and mattresses Anyone can visit their shop. They receive deliveries of new items Monday to Friday. You can donate unwanted furniture to them too. They can arrange home delivery for a small fee.
Orange Box North East collect unwanted furniture, electrical and household items, and re-distributes these at affordable prices to individuals and families on low income. They offer a free collection service of any unwanted goods, from single items to full house clearance service.
Reuse Network website can locate your nearest furniture re-use facility where you can purchase or donate furniture.
Freecycle is a not-for-profit movement of people who give and receive items for free in your towns and neighbourhoods. You need to register to be a member. Membership is free.
North East Community Link is a not-for-profit organisation that supports disadvantaged local people in need by supplying them with essential furniture.
Betel UK support people with addictions to rebuild their lives. They also offer services to the community including a charity furniture shop in Benwell which sells second-hand furniture and house clearance services.
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.
Families 1st – North Newcastle Food Bank provide affordable second hand items such as household goods, clothes, furniture and mother and baby packs to people in need. You can buy at a low cost, collect items for free or donate your unwanted items. This part of their service is called Preloved CIC.
Grants and support from charities
Charities have some funding available to help people in need to buy essential items. Use the website below 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. Borrowing money means that it needs to be paid back over a period of time. This reduces your weekly or monthly income for that period, which can cause hardship.
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 available to buy furniture
Moneywise Credit Union offer low cost loans to people in Tyne and Wear which you could use to buy furniture and household appliances.
Your Homes Newcastle provide a furniture service for new YHN tenants. They will supply you with items of furniture in exchange for a weekly payment that is added to your rent. This can include sofas, beds, washing machines, microwaves, crockery and cutlery. Child safety equipment is available free of charge to families on a low income or means tested benefit living in Newcastle.
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.
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 Next, DFS, and Wren 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.
Support to settle or resettle in the community
Help to set up your home and live independently
Newcastle City Council runs The Supporting Independence Scheme They provide basic household items and house moving costs, to help you live independently. For example beds, cookers or fridges. It’s for people on low incomes who are being supported by Adult Social Care or Children’s Social Care, Community Mental Health Teams, Housing Advice Centre, Probation, Your Homes Newcastle Advice and Support Workers and other housing support workers/resettlement teams to:
- resettle in the community following a stay in an institution
- remain in the community rather than enter an institution
- set up home in the community, as part of a planned resettlement programme, following an unsettled way of life
- maintain their independence (families)
You can’t apply directly to this scheme. Your apply through your support worker who can help you to maintain your independence. Read more about the scheme on the council’s website. If you do not have a support worker but feel you need support, contact Community Health and Social Care Direct.
Emergency support funds are available to you from Newcastle City Council if you are in a crisis situation. It can be used to pay for food, clothing, fuel for heating and emergency travel. It’s for people who have no other source of funding or financial support.
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.
Furniture services outside Newcastle
Foundations Furniture is based in Gateshead and offer low cost, pre-loved furniture, electrical appliances and other household goods.
Last updated: August 26, 2022