When you’re planning a vacation, cost is almost certainly a factor. But when your travel budget comes up short, what are your options? Many people may use credit cards to fill in the gaps, but some travelers turn to vacation loans. But are these loans a good idea? In this post, we’ll talk about what they are and what your options may be regarding this type of loan.
What Is a Vacation Loan?
Image via Flickr by Ian D. Keating
Vacation loans are personal loans to fund vacations. Since personal loans are unsecured, you will not need to put down any collateral unless you have a low credit score.
Personal loans are usually available for anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000, but the amount you’re eligible to borrow will depend on your credit score and your reason for applying for a loan.
What Do You Need to Do to Get approved?
Your financial institution will take your credit score and reason for requesting a loan into account when deciding whether to approve your loan request. Your potential lender will also look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. If your credit score is too low or your DTI is too high, you’re less likely to be approved.
Pros and Cons of Vacation Loans
As with almost any financial decision, vacation loans have advantages and disadvantages.
- Since personal loans are unsecured, your interest rate is likely to be lower than a credit card or another type of loan.
- If you manage the debt well, it won’t impact your credit score, unlike maxing out a credit card to fund a vacation. Using a credit card will cause your credit score to take a hit since your credit utilization ratio will go above the recommended 30 percent.
- Since the amount of your loan payment will be consistent, you will know what your payment will be from month to month. Before you apply for a loan, use a personal loan calculator to get an idea of your monthly payments.
- Many personal loans have terms of one to seven years, meaning you’ll be making payments and paying interest long after your trip is over. By paying interest, you’ll be paying much more for your vacation than you would if you funded it with cash.
- Taking out a loan for an unnecessary expense, such as a vacation, may encourage bad financial habits such as spending more than you have.
- Taking on any form of debt poses a risk. If for any reason you’re unable to make loan payments, your credit score will be negatively impacted.
Items to Look for in a Vacation Loan
Before signing a loan agreement, do your research and compare loans to find the best interest rates. Once you’ve found a loan that suits your needs, be sure you understand the terms of the agreement, especially the length of the loan period and amount of your monthly payments.
Everyone deserves to take a vacation, but taking on debt to fund your trip may cause more stress than it relieves. If you choose a vacation loan, be sure that you can comfortably repay it before agreeing to the loan.