Best moving and relocation loans
If the costs of moving has you down, here's what to know about financing your expenses.
The most common type of relocation loan is an unsecured personal loan. You can use these for any legitimate expense, including the cost of a move. Generally, relocation loans are best for expensive moves — think over $5,000. Otherwise, other options like taking out a new credit card might be a less expensive choice.
Our team reviewed over 120 personal loan providers before selecting these lenders based on factors such as the ranges of rates, terms fees and loan amounts available. We perks that might benefit someone in the middle of a move — like lenders that accept job offers rather than requiring employment.
6 best personal relocation loans
Best for moving to start a new job
SoFi personal loans
- Available in all states
|Min. credit score||680|
|APR||8.99% to 25.81%|
|Loan amount||$5,000 to $100,000|
Best for when you’re new to the country
Stilt personal loans
- Only available in: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin
|Min. credit score||Not required|
|APR||7.99% to 15.99%|
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $35,000|
Best for medical residents and fellows
Laurel Road personal loans
- Available in all states
|Min. credit score||680|
|APR||7.99% to 23.25%|
|Loan amount||$5,000 to $80,000|
Best for for good and excellent credit
LightStream personal loans
- Available in all states
Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.
Best for fair credit
Upstart personal loans
- Not available in: West Virginia
Best for bad credit
OneMain Financial personal loans
But you can likely find a better deal if you have fair credit or higher. Rates start at a high 18% APR, including an origination fee of 1% to 10%.
- Not available in: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont
Not all applicants will be approved. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). If approved, not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your state of residence and your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Highly-qualified applicants may be offered higher loan amounts and/or lower APRs than those shown above. OneMain charges origination fees where allowed by law. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $500. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Visit omf.com/loanfees for more information. Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase cryptocurrency assets, securities, derivatives or other speculative investments; or for gambling or illegal purposes.
Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. North Dakota: $2,000. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.
Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
Example Loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.
Time to Fund Loans: Funding within one hour after closing through SpeedFunds must be disbursed to a bank-issued debit card. Disbursement by check or ACH may take up to 1-2 business days after loan closing.
Summary of best business loans for moving
|Provider||APR||Best for …||What sets it apart|
|SoFi||8.99% to 25.81%||Moving to start a new job||Access to career and financial support.|
|Stilt||7.99% to 15.99%||When you’re new to the country||Funding made easy for nonresidents — you don’t even need a green card.|
|Laurel Road||7.99% to 23.25%||Medical residents and fellows||Accepts cosigners and has a $300 referral bonus.|
|LightStream||7.49% to 25.49%||Good to excellent credit||A rate beat program that can potentially save you 0.1% — plus low starting rates.|
|Upstart||6.40% to 35.99%||Fair credit||Looks at your education and career — not just your credit score.|
|OneMain Financial||18% to 35.99%||Bad credit||Next-day funding is available if you can go to a local branch.|
Compare more personal loans to help finance your move
Check out additional personal loan options that can help you get settled in your new home.
What costs can I cover with a relocation loan?
There are no limits to what costs you can cover with a relocation loan — as long as it’s legal. Depending on how you do it and how far you’re going, moving can cost you as little as $50 if you just need to rent a truck or over $10,000 if you have a big cross-country move.Here are some common expenses you might want to consider when calculating your full cost.
- Boxes and packing materials
- Hiring movers
- Security deposit
- Shipping your car
- Shipping furniture
- Moving truck rental
- Storage unit rentals
- Moving insurance
- Hotel stays
- Realtor or broker fees
- Utility contract termination fees
- Living expenses while you wait to start a job
Pros and cons of using a relocation loan
A relocation loan might help make sure your relocation costs are fully covered on time. But it’s not always a great choice.
- Cheaper than your credit card. Credit card rates usually run from 15% to 22% APR. If you can’t pay off your balance right away, a loan is typically less expensive.
- No collateral required. While some lenders might offer secured loans, you don’t have to put any assets on the line to get most personal loans.
- Freedom to jump on opportunities. Borrowing can be an investment in a new job opportunity that can pay for itself.
- Funding as soon as the next day. Many online lenders offer next-day financing if you get all of your documents in on time.
- Finance up to $100,000. The main restriction on how much you can borrow is your ability to afford monthly repayments.
- Adds to your monthly expenses. A personal loan adds to your monthly expenses and can make it hard to qualify for other types of financing until you pay it off, like a new car loan.
- Potential origination fees. While it’s possible to find a loan with no fees whatsoever, many lenders charge an origination fee of up to around 5% of the loan amount at closing.
- High rates and few options for bad credit. With credit scores below 580, you could easily end up paying a rate as high as 36% APR, if you’re able to qualify for a loan at all.
- May require a job. If you’re moving to start a job, you might not be able to qualify for a personal loan — unless you already have an offer.
How else can I pay for a move?
A personal loan isn’t the only financing solution you can look into. Consider these options as well.
- New credit cards. Many credit cards come with a 0% APR promotional period that lasts around 12 months. If you can pay off your moving expenses within that time, this is one of the least expensive options.
- Save up. The cheapest way to finance a move is to plan ahead by creating a budget. There are a range of online calculators that you can use to get an estimate of your moving costs to help you set a goal.
- Company relocation assistance. If you’re upgrading to a new job or are transferred to a new office, find out if your company covers any part of your moving costs.
- Use a service like OfferUp. Sell whatever you don’t plan on taking with you to help finance your cost.
- Friend and family loans. Ask friends and family if they’d be willing to lend you money for the move. If you’re uncomfortable going to one or two people, consider setting up a campaign on a crowdfunding site where more people can chip in small amounts.
How Anna paid for living abroad with student loans
I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who wasn’t already considering going to college or graduate school. But otherwise, it’s an inexpensive way to finance your stay outside of the country, compared to personal loans or credit cards. Plus, being a student it makes it a lot easier to stay abroad legally for an extended period of time.
3 tips for covering moving expenses
- Plan ahead. Estimate how much a move will cost you to help determine your expenses and budget. If you have time to save, set money aside for paying your final bills, covering any deposits or preparing a place at the end of the road.
- Shop for quotes. By comparing moving companies, you can save money by finding the exact service to meet your needs. The cheapest move is likely the one that lets you rent a truck and drive your belongings yourself. If can’t do that, companies that charge by weight or total truck square footage can offer you rates and fees to compare.
- Cut down on costs. Skip the hotel and stay with friends or family on a cross-country move, get free boxes from liquor stores and retailers, and find other ways to avoid spending more than necessary.
Can I write off moving expenses on my tax forms?
Not anymore. Because of the sweeping tax reforms signed into law in December 2017, you can no longer write off the moving expenses that come with relocating for a new job. Unless your move took place under the wire and you can claim it in your 2017 tax returns, you won’t be able to write off movers or vans, hotels, airline tickets or other expenses.
Speak to a tax professional about your specific move to determine if it’s eligible for 2017 deductions.
Watch out for moving company scams
The last thing you want is to have strangers hold your possessions hostage for a higher fee than you’d agree to. But there are a few red flags to watch out for.
- No inspection. A legitimate company won’t give you an estimate or contract without visiting your place to get an idea of what you’re planning on moving.
- Consistent complaints. If multiple customers complain on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot that they ended up paying more than they agreed to, it’s a sign the company is not legit.
- Frequent name changes. Companies with a bad reputation often change their name to rebrand.
- Upfront fees. While it might be that the company is working through a broker that requires a deposit, in most cases, you shouldn’t pay until the job is done
Legit moving companies typically ask to inspect your home to estimate overall costs, often six to eight weeks ahead of your scheduled move date. By knowing how much you’re moving — and, therefore, how much labor and supplies are necessary — a company can provide a more accurate idea of how much you can expect to pay for its services.
If the company offers a quote without an inspection, it could be a scam to lowball you now and require more money after moving your items.
Moving isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you need a boost to your budget when relocating, compare rates for personal loans you’re eligible for to fund the next chapter of your life.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get a relocation loan even if I’m not changing jobs?
You might be able to, but it depends on the lender. Some lenders offer relocation loans only to people who are relocating for business or employment.
But you can always take out a general-purpose personal loan, which usually doesn’t require a specific reason for taking it out.
Should I move my stuff by myself?
It depends on your situation. Moving your own items through a service like U-Haul will likely save you money — and reduce the likelihood that you’ll need a loan to help out. But DIY is often harder, what with the packing, hauling and unpacking.
Weigh the pros and cons of all options before deciding on the best for your needs.
I need help buying furniture. What are my options?
You have several options to finance new furniture. These include: credit cards, in-store financing, personal loans, rent-to-own stores and more.
Image source: Shutterstock
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