The best vacation loans come from LightStream. This online lender offers loans specifically for timeshares and destination clubs, which have APRs of 4.98% - 20.49%, plus general-purpose personal loans that can be used for vacations. The general-purpose loans have an APR range of 3.99% - 19.99%
, dollar amounts of $5,000 - $100,000
and no origination fee.
Upgrade offers the best vacation loans that allow co-applicants. When you apply with a co-applicant, both applicants’ credit scores and incomes will be considered in the approval process. The company also offers loan amounts of $1,000 - $50,000
and an APR range of 6.95% - 35.97%
Best Egg has the best vacation loans for fair credit. You’ll need a credit score of at least 640 to qualify for a loan from Best Egg. The company also offers loan amounts of $2,000 - $50,000
and an APR range of 4.99% - 35.99%
LendingClub offers the best vacation loans with small minimum loan amounts. The company has loans as small as $1,000
and an APR range of 7.04% - 35.89%
. You’ll also need a credit score of at least 600 to qualify.
LendingPoint has the best vacation loans for people with bad credit. You’ll need a credit score of 580 or higher to qualify. The company also offers loan amounts of $2,000 - $36,500
and an APR range of 7.99% - 35.99%
Prosper offers the best vacation loans for people with fair-to-good credit. The company has a credit score requirement of 640+, an APR range of 7.95% - 35.99%
and loan amounts of $2,000 - $40,000
Vacation Loan Offers Comparison
||4.98% - 20.49%
||$5,000 - $100,000
||6.95% - 35.97%
||$1,000 - $50,000
||4.99% - 35.99%
||$2,000 - $50,000
||7.04% - 35.89%
||$1,000 - $40,000
||7.99% - 35.99%
||$2,000 - $36,500
||7.95% - 35.99%
||$2,000 - $40,000
*According to multiple third-party sources
There are a lot of good vacation loan options available, and even people with bad credit may be able to get funding. It might not be the best idea to even try get a vacation loan, however.
Should You Apply for a Vacation Loan?
The decision is entirely up to you, of course. But it’s best to avoid unnecessary debt, and a vacation expensive enough to require a loan definitely qualifies as more of a luxury than a necessity. As a result, this type of loan could put your finances in a needlessly vulnerable position, in addition to making your trip cost more due to interest and fees.
In general, you want to owe as little as possible and have as much as possible saved. A vacation loan pushes you in the wrong direction. Plus, if an emergency happens and you’re unable to pay back the loan, you could wind up ruining your credit over something that was supposed to be a fun outing.
It’s best to pay for your vacation with money you already have saved. So, try to set aside a little money each month for future trips. You could also do some extra work to earn additional funds before you travel. Alternatively, you might consider simply taking a less expensive vacation. Ways to do this include choosing cheaper activities and destinations, hunting for the best ticket deals, or using saved credit card rewards to pay for a portion of the trip.
That said, if you’re confident you’ll be able to pay off a vacation loan, there are plenty of good options available.
Tips for Getting the Best Vacation Loans
- Create a budget. It’s hard to know how much of a loan you’ll need if you don’t first know how much your vacation will cost. Add up the expenses for transportation, food, activities, shopping and more. Then, subtract any amount you’re able to pay with cash you already have. Keep in mind that this is the opposite of the most responsible approach – deciding what kind of vacation to take based on what you can already afford.
- Compare personal loan offers. Given that the loan is for a vacation, you probably won’t have to worry much about getting a large amount of funding or having quick approval. So you can focus on comparing what really matters: APRs and fees. You’ll also want to keep the loans’ minimum credit score requirements in mind.
- Check for pre-qualification. Comparing loans will only give you a very broad idea of their costs. But getting pre-qualified will give you a clearer picture of what your rates might be, along with a sense of your approval odds. You can get started with WalletHub’s free pre-qualification tool.
- Submit your application. The fastest way to apply is usually online. You’ll need to provide personal details like your name, address and Social Security number, along with financial details such as your income, employment status and housing status.
- Wait for a decision. With most personal loans, you can expect to hear back within a few business days. Some of the best lenders provide decisions the same day you apply.
- Receive your money. Assuming you are approved for a vacation loan, you should get your funds within a few business days.
Vacation Loan Statistics
Americans spend an average of $2,000 - $3,000 per vacation. We can’t always afford the full tab with savings alone, either. Nearly one in four people say they’ve borrowed money for a vacation, according to WalletHub research, and even more of us (37%) believe travel is worth going into debt for.
So it should come as no surprise that U.S. consumers have racked up a ton of vacation debt: $12.6 billion, as of 2019. And that figure is likely to continue rising as long as we continue to spend so lavishly on leisure travel.
||U.S. Leisure Travel Spending (Billions)
Source: U.S. Travel Association
Only a small amount of all vacation borrowing actually comes from personal loans, though, at 12.7%. In contrast, credit cards account for 46% of vacation borrowing. Plus, 97.7% of personal loans are used for purposes other than vacation.
Personal loans are the best way to get vacation financing, even though they’re not usually marketed as “vacation loans.” On that note, there are some companies that specialize in vacation lending, but they tend to either have high rates or not provide much information on their websites. It’s better to stick with a reputable personal loan company, which also affords you extra flexibility with your spending. Personal loans can be used for anything.
At the end of the day, taking out a vacation loan can help you finance an exciting travel experience that you otherwise wouldn’t get to have. However, once the fun is done, it’s important to be responsible. Pay your bills on time, or memories of your getaway will be tainted by late fees and credit score damage.