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Jan 22

Is bad credit preventing you from keeping warm this winter?

Reading Time: 5 mins

The annual “Big Freeze” weather scaremongering reports are starting to appear – but is your boiler ready to handle the cold?

There’s nothing worse than discovering in sub-zero temperatures that your boiler has packed up. Actually, there is one thing worse: not being able to afford a repair or replacement!

Let’s take a look at how you could afford to install a new boiler (or have repairs done) even if your credit score is dubious.


Boiler Prices

Boiler estimate

New boilers don’t come cheap and prices vary due to different brands, sizes, and models available. Ideally, a new boiler price ranges around £2,500. Anything cheaper won’t be very efficient – and cost you more in the long-term.

With such a big outlay, it’s important to get the facts right before committing yourself to buying a new or replacement boiler.

In general, budget boilers offer shorter life spans, shorter warranties, and reduced customer support levels. Despite their lower installation cost, they are more expensive to maintain and less efficient to run.

But it’s worth noting that boiler installation costs and boiler replacement costs are normally compensated by savings made on a new, energy efficient boiler. After all, more than half of your energy bills are down to your boiler.


Free boilers

Under the Government’s ECO 2020 scheme, some people may be eligible for a FREE boiler. This is to help reduce carbon emissions, eliminate fuel poverty, and help people upgrade their homes to be more efficient.

You need to:

  • Be a homeowner or a tenant with written permission from your landlord
  • Have a boiler over 5 years old
  • Be receiving certain state benefits

If you think you might qualify for a free boiler, contact your energy provider as a first port of call. You can also search for Boiler Grants online to find a local partner of the scheme.

Your local council may also offer renovation grants to homeowners (or tenants with the landlord’s permission) for other energy-saving items too, like extra loft insulation.


Things to Consider in Boiler Replacement

Plumber fitting new boiler

Homeowners change their boiler for a range of reasons. It could be really old and inefficient, or you’ve realised that a boiler with increased capacity is essential to cater for your growing family or home extension.

Consider the following when choosing a new boiler:

  • Boiler type
  • Fuel type
  • Installation space available
  • Your hot water needs
  • Typical daily usage

A combination of these and other factors will help you choose the boiler that best suits your lifestyle.


Energy and Money Saving Tips


According to a report by Energy Saving Trust, your boiler contributes to approximately 55% of your home energy costs. Boiler efficiency will increase reliability and safety and generally reduce your energy bills.

  1.    Use thermostats and timers – Proper use of a thermostat can save you roughly £150 per year on your energy costs. You can improve this by getting a thermostat that records your routine such as NEST
  2.    Install TRVs (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) – These will allow you to individually set or switch off the radiator thermostats in different rooms
  3.    Make your home efficient – Investigate your home for areas where you’re losing energy and heat. Look out for inadequately insulated lofts, walls without cavity insulation, doors, and windows that are not double glazed and floors that have gaps
  4.    Save hot water – Reduce the temperature of your washing and cleaning appliances by 30°. This temperature is ideal for cleaning clothes and maintaining their good condition. Most homes can operate efficiently on a tank of hot water heated at least twice a day
  5.    Annual service – During a boiler service, the engineer will help maintain your boiler in tip-top condition by cleaning out debris and troubleshooting issues that may cause problems in future
  6.    Be alert – Regularly check your boiler, radiators and oil tanks for leaks, discoloration or damage
  7.    Bleed your radiators – Removing air from your system will ensure your boiler is not straining to heat your home.

For the full list of 50 ways to save money at home visit the Hassle Free Boilers’ list.


Boiler Finance Options

Home boiler dials

Boiler companies understand that a new boiler is a huge – and often unexpected – expense. That’s why they’re willing to offer payment plans,  such as buying a new boiler on a finance plan, like:

  • Low rate finance – This payment plan gives customers the option of buying a new A-rated energy efficient boiler on finance subject to status and terms. You can choose to pay off the boiler and installation in 2 to 8 years. An upfront deposit will reduce your monthly payments if you choose to pay a deposit upfront.
  • Pay monthly – This payment option allows you to make affordable monthly repayments as long as you have reasonable credit. You do need to have a good credit score for this option, as it’s a higher-risk investment for the company.

The Effect of Credit Score on Your Boiler Finance Application

Poor credit report

Your credit score can have a positive or negative impact on the pay monthly boiler financing that you can access. It’s advisable to check your credit score prior to a boiler replacement to rectify potential issues and help you negotiate a favourable annual percentage rate (APR).

Once you make the decision to replace an old inefficient boiler with a new A-rated boiler, you can expect to make savings on your energy bills. The savings made will most likely significantly outweigh the boiler installation or replacement costs incurred. It’s also worth noting that a new boiler has the potential of increasing the value of your property.

Can I pay monthly for a new boiler with a bad credit history?

A word of warning: some unscrupulous companies will let you place a charge over your property to let you get a boiler without a deposit. This charge on your property will affect your credit rating and could also go against any mortgage agreements.

If you can’t afford to replace your broken boiler, speak to your local council. They may be able to assist with interest-free crisis loans or put you through to their free boiler scheme to get it replaced free of charge.

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