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With lower rates on average than a credit card, a vacation loan can be a quick and inexpensive way to pay for a trip you don’t have the time to save up for. But it’s not free. If you’re not on a time crunch, consider other options like saving up or using a layaway program to keep more money in your wallet.
As states and countries around the world slowly begin to reopen, you’re likely itching to book your next vacation. But with health experts worried that reopening too fast could result in a second wave of COVID-19 cases, you’ll want to take measures to keep yourself safe and help stop the spread.
Our post-coronavirus travel packing list breaks down essentials you shouldn’t leave home without. And our guide to traveling during the pandemic lays out travel restrictions you should keep in mind when deciding where to visit next.
A vacation loan is usually an unsecured personal loan you can use to pay for a vacation. Some providers like Uplift allow you to take out the loan while you’re booking your trip. But in most cases, you’ll have to take out a loan before you book your flight and accommodations.
These are available at many small banks and credit unions. But online lenders tend to have the quickest turnaround and might be a good choice if you’re crunched for time.
Select your credit score range and your state to view vacation loans you might qualify for. Get started on your application by clicking Check my rate. Or click View details for more information.
It depends on the situation. Vacation loans can be helpful if you have an unexpected trip and can’t pay for all of the costs out of pocket. But if you’re planning your trip far in advance, consider saving up instead of financing your trip.
It’s possible to get a vacation loan with bad credit. Uplift, which offers loans specifically for travel, works with bad-credit borrowers. But you’ll generally need a credit score of 670 or higher to qualify for a competitive deal — what most lenders consider to be good credit.
You also might not be able to qualify for the highest loan amounts lenders offer with bad credit.
Before you take out a loan, consider these alternatives.
The cheapest way to pay for a vacation is to save up ahead of time. But you’ll need to have enough time before you start booking flights. How long it takes depends on your budget and how much you need. If this is your first time saving for a goal, you can use the following strategies.
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A travel credit card can give you access to airport lounges, complimentary insurance coverage and frequent flyer rewards. Many new cards also come with a 0% promotional APR for over a year — giving you interest-free financing for costs you can repay in that timeframe.
But you typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a competitive offer. And after the promotional period is up, you’ll usually face higher rates than a personal loan and could have to pay an annual fee. If you travel abroad, you might also be on the hook for foreign transaction fees.
Vacation packages often come with a few ways to pay for your trip. For example, Disney offers several financing options including savings accounts, rewards cards, loans and more that you can use to cover the cost of your trip.
These can unlock discounts you otherwise wouldn’t have access to, though they still might not necessarily be the cheapest option out there.
A layaway program allows you to make a deposit on a trip in advance and pay it off before you travel. Typically, you’ll have to pay a flat fee instead of interest. It can be less expensive than a loan, and it’s typically open to all credit types. But you’ll still need to save up for the cost of the trip ahead of time to take advantage of this program.
If your trip has a special meaning — maybe you want to climb Mount Everest or teach English abroad — you might be able to raise some of the funds by setting up a crowdfunding campaign and sharing it on social media. Or, unofficially crowdfund by asking friends and families for donations toward your trip rather than birthday or holiday gifts.
A line of credit gives you access to cash you can draw from as needed. This allows you to avoid borrowing more than you need, while also giving you access to cash as you need it. They tend to come with higher limits and lower rates than a credit card. But they’re less common than personal loans.
Compare more options for funding your next trip by reading our guide to personal loans.
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