How to Pay for Furniture for Your New Home

So you found your perfect house and bought it. Now it’s time to begin making it a home and one of the first steps is purchasing furniture. There are usually many items you need to buy and they can add up quickly.

According to real estate agent Sarah Bowles of Urban Habitat, furnishing a new home from scratch can cost up to 25% of your home’s value. So if your home is worth $300,000, you could pay pay up to $75,000. Of course this estimate can vary widely, depending on your tastes, if you already have some furniture, what kind of bargains you can swing, etc. However, for most buyers, furnishing a new home will require some financial planning. The question is how can you foot the bill?

Furniture payment options


Of course, the most straightforward option is to buy your furniture using cash. You can either take some time to save up the money or use savings that you already have. The advantage to this route is that you don’t acquire any debt and don’t have to pay to borrow money.

If you decide to pay cash and don’t have all of the money right away or don’t want to spend it all at once, you can opt to buy your furniture gradually. “Ultimately, it is important to recognize that you can take your time when furnishing your home because most homeowners will stay in one place for six years before moving,” Bowles says.  A good approach is to identify all of the things you need and to make a list. Then, prioritize the pieces of furniture from most to least important.

For example, a kitchen table, a bed and a living room couch probably will be at the top of the list, while side tables, a bed for the guest bedroom and a bookshelf can come later. With this approach, you can buy furniture as you can afford it and will gradually furnish your home over time without taking on any debt.

Bowles also said the cost can vary depending on where you are shopping, “Are you visiting IKEA and Target, or higher-end furniture stores, like West Elm and designer shops? If you don’t want to blow the bank, shop smart. Visit antique stores, discount shops and Craigslist if you are looking to save on your furnishings.” This tip can apply no matter which finance option you end up choosing.


  • Pay no interest or fees
  • No debt acquired or strings attached


  • May take a while to save up for purchases
  • May not be able to furnish your entire home immediately
  • Won’t build credit
  • No rewards programs to earn returns on your spending

Personal loan

Another option is to take out a personal loan. With this approach, you can get a large amount of money up front. While you can spread out your furniture purchases over time, this option may enable you to get most, if not all, of your furniture right away. Then, you can pay back the money over time on a plan that works with your budget.

The pros of this option are that you can get your furniture right away and don’t have to save up the money or drain your savings. You will also be building your credit as you repay the personal loan, assuming you make all of your payments on time.

The downside is that you will have to pay interest and fees, which means your furniture will end up costing you more than if you had paid cash. Approval for this kind of financing will also be dependent upon your credit.

If you go this route, there are several online lenders that make getting a personal loan an absolute breeze as long as your credit is decent. You can apply online, and if approved, lenders can transfer the money to your bank account in as little as one business day. Prosper, SoFi, Lightstream and Avant are all great options.

Read more about our top picks for personal loan companies here.


  • Furnish your house right away
  • Online lenders make the process accessible and convenient
  • Build your credit by making timely payments
  • High loan amounts are available


  • Pay more for your furniture because of interest and fees
  • May be difficult to get approved if your credit is poor

Financing through a furniture store

Furniture stores may also offer financing options. This route can make the process easy as you can work out the deal in-store.

The downside is that you may not want to buy all of your furniture from that store, in which case you would have to figure out multiple funding options. Furthermore, when you take the financing offered by the store, you don’t get to shop around to find the best deal so may end up paying more than with other lenders.


  • Can be convenient
  • Get your furniture now
  • Build your credit by making timely payments
  • The store may be more flexible with approval because they want to make a sale


  • You may not want all of your furniture from one store
  • You may not get the best rates on your financing because you can’t shop around
  • Will have to pay interest and fees to the lender
  • Have to get approved based on your credit

Credit card

Lastly, using credit cards to purchase your furniture is another option. This way, you can shop around to find the best credit card in terms of interest rates, rewards and other benefits (such as travel perks, etc). Once you find it, you can go to any store that accepts credit cards and purchase the furniture you want.

The downside to credit cards, as with loans, is that you will be paying more for your furniture over time because of the interest and fees. However, the better your credit, the less you’ll pay. Furthermore, you can earn something in return for your spending through rewards programs and can also build up your credit in the process.

**Tip: You may be able to cut down on your financing costs by looking for a credit card with a promotional introductory period in which interest is reduced or nonexistent.


  • Get furniture right away
  • Earn rewards for your spending
  • Build your credit by making timely payments


  • Pay more for your furniture because of financing costs
  • Your credit limit may be less than you need to buy all of your furniture
  • Have to get approved based on your credit

Furnish your new home

With several options to choose from when buying furniture for your new home, you should be able to find one that works best for your situation, or a combination of them that will suit your needs.

Weigh your options, shop around to get quotes (if needed) and figure out the payment strategy that will work best for you. Then you can enjoy the comforts of your new home.