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Funding your apocalypse bunker or panic room

When the worst-case scenario happens, you want to be prepared.

It may not be the end of the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. A bunker gives you a place to go just in case because anything could cause a bug-in scenario, from a natural disaster to political drama. If you’re in the market for a bunker and need funding, you might consider turning to a personal loan to help make your safety a reality.

Can I build a bunker with funding from a personal loan?

Since personal loans can be used for things like home improvement or debt consolidation, you can take one out to pay for a portion of your bunker or safe room. You aren’t limited much by the purpose for your loan. Your credit score and ability to pay back the money you borrow will weigh more heavily on approval and rates/terms offered.

Make sure to state your reason for a loan when you apply. Some lenders may offer special rates depending on the purpose you designate, but by comparing lenders and rates, you should be able to find a reasonable loan to get you started on your emergency preparations.

Compare top personal loans

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Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
3.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 to $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 35.99%
$2,000 to $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
Upstart personal loans
5.4% to 35.99%
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
Upgrade personal loans
5.94% to 35.97%
$1,000 to $50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
LendingPoint personal loans
7.99% to 35.99%
$2,000 to $36,500
Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
SoFi personal loans
6.99 to 22.23%
$5,000 to $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
LendingClub personal loans
6.34% to 35.89%
$1,000 to $40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
Monevo personal loans
1.99% to 35.99%
$500 to $100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.

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How much do bunkers generally cost?

Costs can vary widely depending on the climate and environment. Size and material also play big factors in the cost of a bunker.

If you’re looking for a place to go should someone break into your home, a panic room or safe room may be a more cost-efficient option. Safe rooms made of concrete can run anywhere from $6,000 to upwards of $17,000. It’s typically more expensive to add a safe room to your home after-the-fact than having one built during the original construction of your house.

Converting an existing room, like a closet or bathroom, into a panic room can cost about $30,000. First, you’ll have to reinforce the room with at the minimum, plywood, which can run you anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. Then you’ll need to add bullet-resistant electronic doors, which can run about $20,000. If you want a back-up generator and a dedicated phone line for the room, this will run you another $4,000 to $5,000.

If you’re fearing the worst, whether it be a disaster caused by nature or mankind, an underground bunker or a transformed missile silo may serve you better, even if it ends up costing more. According to multiple websites geared toward building your own bunker, the average cost ranges anywhere between $30,000 to $60,000. This is because excavation, shipping and installation are difficult, time-consuming tasks.

Two example pricepoints

To give you an example of what you’ll get for your money, we looked at an economical bunker and a more upscale bunker offered at Rising S. Bunkers, America’s biggest manufacturer of all-steel underground bunkers.

  • The company offers an 8×12 mini bunker featuring a one-room shelter with a mini kitchen, closet, toilet, bunk bed, air filtration system and a TV/DVD combo for $39,500.
  • Meanwhile, a 20×20 bomb shelter featuring two bedrooms with walk-in closets; a living room with a TV/DVD combo; a kitchen/dining room area; and a bathroom with a shower, toilet, sink and tankless water heater will cost you $156,000.

Ultimately, the more complex your bunker gets and the more amenities you add to it, the more it will end up costing. Keep this in mind when you’re considering taking out a loan.

Are there other ways to pay for a bunker?

A personal loan is unlikely to cover the full cost of a bunker. You may be able to pay for shipping the container or excavating your property, but you’ll likely need another source of financing if you don’t want to take out multiple personal loans.

Home equity loans

A home equity loan is a secured loan that uses your home’s equity as collateral. Basically, it’s how much your home is worth minus the debt against the property. Lenders typically allow you to borrow 80% to 90% of your equity in the form of a loan, so if you own the majority of your home, taking out a home equity loan may be an easy way to borrow a large amount of money to finance your bunker.

Company financing

Many bunker and panic room builders offer financing for consumers who may not be able to pay for the costs outright. When you’re researching which company to go with, examine the prices of their bunkers as well as the financing they have in place to make your bunker more affordable.

Credit cards

A credit card is unlikely to be a good way to pay for your bunker as a whole because of the credit limit. But it could be a decent way to get the furnishings and supplies you may need in the future. When you’re done building and need to build a stockpile, a credit card could be a way to quickly buy the essentials you’ll need in case of an emergency.

5 factors to consider when building a bunker

  • Local climate. A person who lives along the coast and faces the threat of a hurricane has much different needs than a person who lives in the Midwest and has to take shelter from tornadoes. Look up blueprints that suit the immediate challenges you may face when planning your bunker.
  • Daily needs. It’s not enough to have a safe place to go when disaster hits. Should an emergency last multiple days or weeks, you’ll want to have enough supplies to keep you and your family healthy. This includes food provisions, first aid kits and a water filtration system.
  • Family size. The space you’ll need for one or two people is vastly different from the space you might need for a family of four or five. Having enough space for each person to be comfortable is important when you’re stuck together for long periods of time, so if possible, design your bunker around your family’s size.
  • Entertainment. Although you should prioritize the things you need to survive over the things that make you happy, keep in mind that your mental health is critical in scary situations. Having games, movies, books and other sources of entertainment will keep you satisfied while you’re trapped in an enclosed space.
  • Safety. This is the most important feature to keep in mind. Safety includes having secure doors and exits, making sure your air and water filtration systems are top-notch, having surveillance around the perimeter of your bunker and any other things you can do to protect yourself. The structural stability of your bunker is also crucial, so be sure you’re working with a certified engineer when building your bunker.

Bottom line

If you’re in the market for a doomsday bunker or panic room, a personal loan can be a simple way to finance your project. Compare your options and consider using other funding sources to complement your budget so you can develop the right hideaway for you.

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