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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

4.4
★★★★★

Finder score

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Aside from financing your move, SoFi offers a wide range of career-boosting perks like networking events and educational resources that can help you get your professional start in a new town. You can also qualify based on a new job offer, as long as it begins within 90 days of applying. But don't borrow too early. You still need to afford repayments before your first paycheck comes.
  • Available in all states
Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.
Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.
Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

Best for when you’re new to the country

Stilt personal loans

4
★★★★★

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This lender is one of the few that specializes in financing nonresidents. You don't need a green card to qualify. And instead of your credit score, Stilt considers other aspects of your financial history when evaluating your application, like spending habits. But it might not be ideal for your first move: You need to have a job and a US bank account to qualify.
  • Only available in: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin

Best for medical residents and fellows

Laurel Road personal loans

4.2
★★★★★

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Laurel Road has a special personal loan program for medical residents that rivals a medical residency student loan. Depending on your year in training, you can borrow up to $80,000 — three times as much as you can borrow with some student loans for residents. And you can partially defer payments to pay as little as $25 a month while you're enrolled in the program. The downside is that rates start much higher than you'd typically find with a student loan provider.
  • Available in all states

Best for for good and excellent credit

LightStream personal loans

4.8
★★★★★

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LightStream is a great option if you're looking to cut back on the cost of your move. It offers some of the most competitive rates out there. Get a better offer from another lender it might beat that rate — as long as it meets certain terms and conditions. It also has a steep 0.5% autopay discount to help you save even more.
  • Not available in: Iowa, West Virginia
*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

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

4.2
★★★★★

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While Upstart looks at your credit score, it also gives more weight to your career and level of education. This can help you qualify for a more competitive rate if you've spent more time building on your professional skills than your credit history. But rates run relatively high, from 7.8% to 35.99% APR.
  • Not available in: Iowa, West Virginia

Best for bad credit

OneMain Financial personal loans

3.4
★★★★★

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This lender doesn't have any hard-and-fast credit requirements, and could offer relatively competitive deals if your credit score is below 580. Especially if you opt to secure your loan with collateral. You can get your money as soon as the next day, though you'll have to stop by a branch to sign your documents.

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
* OneMain Disclosures:

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

ProviderAPRBest for …What sets it apart
SoFi8.99% to 29.99% fixed APRMoving to start a new jobAccess to networking events and financial support.
Go to site
Stilt7.99% to 15.99%When you’re new to the countryFunding made easy for nonresidents — you don’t even need a green card.
Read review
Laurel Road7.99% to 23.25%Medical residents and fellowsAccepts cosigners and has a $300 referral bonus.
LightStream7.49% to 25.49%Good to excellent creditA rate beat program that can potentially save you 0.1% — plus low starting rates.
Go to site
Upstart7.80% to 35.99%Fair creditLooks at your education and career — not just your credit score.
Go to site
OneMain Financial18% to 35.99%Bad creditNext-day funding is available if you can go to a local branch.
Go to site

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.

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. credit score Loan amount
Best Egg personal loans
Finder Score: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Best Egg personal loans
8.99% to 35.99%
640
$2,000 to $50,000
Fast and easy personal loan application process. See options first without affecting your credit score.
Upstart personal loans
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Upstart personal loans
7.80% to 35.99%
300
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
SoFi personal loans
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
SoFi personal loans
8.99% to 29.99% fixed APR
680
$5,000 to $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no required fees.
Upgrade
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade
8.49% to 35.99%
620
$1,000 to $50,000
Check your rates with this online lender without impacting your credit score.
LendingPoint personal loans
Finder Score: 3.3 / 5: ★★★★★
LendingPoint personal loans
7.99% to 35.99%
620
$2,000 to $36,500
Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
Happy Money
Finder Score: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Happy Money
11.72% to 24.50%
640
$5,000 to $40,000
Pay down your debt with a fixed APR and predictable monthly payments.
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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
  • Gas
  • Storage unit rentals
  • Moving insurance
  • Hotel stays
  • Realtor or broker fees
  • Utility contract termination fees
  • Living expenses while you wait to start a job

Compare moving companies + 4 ways to save money

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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

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Anna Serio
Writer

I covered my living expenses while abroad with federal student loans for the first few years of my stay. How? I signed up for a graduate program at an American University that offered federal student aid. While I had to pay for that initial plane ticket, I was able to qualify for funding enough to cover my living expenses, student visa fees and annual trips back to the states.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Bottom line

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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Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer, specializing in consumer lending. Her writing and analysis has been featured on Bankrate, MSN and MediaFeed. She holds degrees in anthropology and German language and literature from Middle Tennessee State University. See full bio

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Kellye has written 132 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal, business, student and car loans
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