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Best Vacation Loans in July 2024

best loans for vacation
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updated: June 18, 2024

Vacations can be expensive. But you don’t have to magically make thousands of dollars appear out of thin air to pay for one. There are lenders that offer vacation loans with competitive rates that allow you to fund your vacation and pay it off over time.

Vacation loans are a type of personal loan that can be used for anything, including travel. If you have a vacation planned but don’t want to drop a pile of money on a credit card—and haven't saved the cash in a vacation fund—you might want to consider financing your trip instead. Here are a few of the best vacation loans currently available for a variety of borrowers:

Our recommendations

Best for excellent credit: Lightstream

LightStream

LightStream

LightStream

Loan amount
$5,000 to $100,000
APR
9.49% to 25.49%
Min. credit score
660
BBB Rating
A
Lightstream is an online lender specializing in personal loans with competitive rates and loan terms up to seven years. Lightstream caters to applicants with great credit offering rates as low as 6.99% and loan amounts up to $100,000 for borrowers with excellent credit scores. Applications are quick and easy to complete, and same-day funding may be available for loans processed by 3 p.m. EST on a business day.

Pros:

  • Low rates available for borrowers with excellent credit.
  • Will beat competitor rates by 0.10% guaranteed.
  • No loan fees.
  • Loan terms available up to seven years.

Cons:

  • Requires good to excellent credit.
  • No pre-approval option.
  • Lowest loan amount is $5,000.

Best for large vacation loans: SoFi

Big loan amounts
Sofi

SoFi

Big loan amounts

SoFi

Loan amount
$5,000 - $100,000
APR
8.99% to 29.49%
Min. credit score
680
BBB Rating
A+
SoFi is a popular online lender that offers a wide variety of personal loans with funding available up to $100,000. While this may be exorbitant for a vacation loan, SoFi won’t judge you for putting together the trip of a lifetime. SoFi also offers same-day funding for some loans and pre-qualification when applying online, so you can see your rate before signing up for a loan. Loan terms are 36 months up to 84 months, and there is no minimum credit score listed.

Pros:

  • Funding up to $100,000 available.
  • Competitive rates for borrowers with excellent credit.
  • Instant pre-qualification available.
  • Access to SoFi member benefits.

Cons:

  • Best rates require opening SoFi checking and savings, and setting up direct deposit.
  • Origination fee may be charged.
  • Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

Best for bad credit: Upstart

Upstart

Upstart

Upstart

Loan amount
$1,000 to $50,000
APR
7.8% to 35.99%
Min. credit score
300
BBB Rating
A+
Upstart caters to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. It uses other measures of financial readiness when approving loans. For example, if you don’t have a high credit score, but do have a degree and a good job, Upstart may still approve you for a loan (though the rates may not be the best). Upstart offers loans starting at $1,000 and term lengths of three or five years in length. Funding is available as fast as one business day on some loans.

Pros:

  • May be approved for a loan with bad or no credit.
  • Can borrow as little as $1,000.
  • Loan pre-qualification available.

Cons:

  • May have high origination fees.
  • Only two loan terms to choose from (three or five years).
  • Interest rate may be over 30% APR.

Best for low rates: Discover

Discover

Discover

Discover

Loan amount
$2,500 to $40,000
APR
7.99% to 24.99%
Min. credit score
660
BBB Rating
A+
Discover offers simple personal loans up to $40,000 for U.S. borrowers who have a decent credit score. Rates are fairly low starting at 7.99% for the best-qualified borrowers and only going up to 24.99%, which is lower than most other online lenders. There are also no loan fees as long as you pay on time. Discover does require income verification and a valid Social Security number for approval.

Pros:

  • Great rates for borrowers with excellent credit.
  • No origination fees.
  • Fast funding (one business day).

Cons:

  • Must have valid U.S. Social Security number to apply.
  • May charge late fees if you miss a payment.
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers.

Best for smaller vacation loans: LendingClub

LendingClub

LendingClub

LendingClub

Loan amount
$1,000 to $40,000
APR
8.98% to 35.99%
Min. credit score
600
BBB Rating
A+
LendingClub is an online lender that offers low rates and smaller personal loan amounts. You can borrow as little as $1,000 and interest rates start around 8.98% APR. Loan terms range from two to five years. Borrowers with fair credit may qualify, though rates are a bit higher than other lenders. But unlike some other lenders LendingClub allows co-borrowers, making it easier to qualify for a loan with better rates.

Pros:

  • Loans as small as $1,000.
  • May qualify with a lower credit score.
  • Co-borrowers allowed.

Cons:

  • Higher rates than some competitors.
  • Origination fee up to 5%.
  • Highest loan available is $40,000.

Best for Fair credit: Prosper

Prosper

Prosper

Prosper

Loan amount
$2,000 to $50,000
APR
6.99% to 35.99%
Min. credit score
600
BBB Rating
A+
Prosper is an online lender that offers loans to borrowers with fair credit scores, requiring only a score of 640 to qualify for a loan. You can also apply with a co-borrower to increase your chances of loan approval. Loans are available up to $50,000. Funding is fast, too, with loans available as soon as the next business day after approval.

Pros:

  • Can qualify with a credit score of just 640.
  • Can borrow up to $50,000.
  • Next-day funding available on some loans.
  • Can apply with a co-borrower.

Cons:

  • Origination fee charged (up to 7.99%).
  • Fees charged for late payments and bounced checks.
  • No rate discount with autopay.
  • Higher interest rates than some competitors.

Best for fast funding: Best Egg

Best Egg

Best Egg

Best Egg

Loan amount
$2,000 to $50,000
APR
8.99% to 35.99%
Min. credit score
640
BBB Rating
A+
Best Egg is an online lender that offers funding within 24 hours for up to $50,000. The company reports that about half the borrowers who apply for a personal loan receive funds the next business day. You’ll need a [good to excellent credit score](https://time.com/personal-finance/article/what-is-a-good-credit-score/) to be approved for a loan, and origination fees can be high. But if you’re in the market for quick funding, you can get a loan quickly with Best Egg.

Pros:

  • Funding within 24 hours available.
  • Can borrow up to $50,000.
  • No late fees.

Cons:

  • Origination fee up to 8.99%.
  • Higher minimum loan amounts in certain states.
  • Higher interest rates than some competitors.

Best vacation loans compared

TitleBest forLoan amountAPRMin. credit score
LightStream
Excellent credit
$5,000 to $100,000
9.49% to 25.49%
660
SoFi
Large vacation loans
$5,000 - $100,000
8.99% to 29.49%
680
Discover
Low rates
$2,500 to $40,000
7.99% to 24.99%
660
LendingClub
Smaller vacation loans
$1,000 to $40,000
8.98% to 35.99%
600
Prosper
Fair credit
$2,000 to $50,000
6.99% to 35.99%
600
Best Egg
Fast funding
$2,000 to $50,000
8.99% to 35.99%
640
Upstart
$1,000 to $50,000
7.8% to 35.99%
300

Methodology

We reviewed the rates and terms from more than two dozen financial institutions that offer personal loans. We found lenders that offer several loan terms, fixed interest rates only, and rates under 10% APR for borrowers with excellent credit.

We then reviewed Better Business Bureau ratings for companies that have at least an “A” rating or better, with most lenders chosen having the top “A+” rating. We chose a mix of providers that offer loans to borrowers with various credit ratings—some don’t require any credit history or score to potentially qualify for a loan.

Finally, we chose only lenders with transparent fee structures and rates listed publicly on the website. We picked lenders with a range of interest rates, weighing heavier on those that provided lower rates overall.

How to select the best vacation loan

To find the best vacation loan for your needs, you’ll first want to find a lender that is highly rated and trustworthy. You can review Better Business Bureau ratings as well as review complaints against the loan company to understand how the business operates. Our list is a great place to start.

You’ll then want to review your personal credit score to ensure you can qualify for a loan from the lenders you’ve selected. Most require a good credit score, and higher scores will result in better rates. Some lenders also have income minimums and citizenship restrictions, so make sure to review the loan requirements before applying.

Once you narrow down a few companies that offer loans you want—and qualify for—you can typically apply for pre-approval. This process performs a soft credit pull on your credit report, allowing you to see the loan terms and rates before you complete your application. Get pre-approved for several lenders and compare rates to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Once you find the loan you want, complete a full application. This will likely include providing more personal and financial information, as well as including documentation. Once the loan is approved, most online lenders will send you loan funds within a few days.

Alternatives to vacation loans

While vacation loans can help you fund a last-minute trip or an upcoming vacation, it’s not the only way to come up with cash for your trip. Here are a few alternatives to vacation loans to consider:

Savings account. Instead of financing your upcoming trip, it’s a much better idea to save up for it. Yes, it may take longer to save for a vacation than to finance it, but you’ll pay no interest and come home from your vacation debt-free.

Credit cards. If you need to pay for your vacation with a credit card, look for ones with a 0% APR promotional period. This can help you borrow the funds needed and pay no interest if you repay it on time. You may also consider a travel rewards card—some offer sign-up bonuses and points that can help pay for some of the travel expenses, such as flights or hotel room nights. Be sure to read the fine print. For example, many cards provide richer rewards to those who use the lender’s travel portal rather than buying tickets or reserving hotel rooms directly with the provider or through a different type of website.

“Staycation” instead. If you simply don’t have the money for vacation this year, consider putting together an inexpensive “staycation” instead. Avoid the hassle and costs of travel and plan some fun things to do close to home. This can be a great way to explore nearby attractions and enjoy a less-expensive vacation at home.

More on vacation loans

What is a vacation loan?

A vacation loan is a type of unsecured personal loan that allows you to borrow funds based solely on your income, credit score, and credit history. You can typically borrow up to $50,000 and funds can be used for anything (even if not travel-related). Vacation loan interest rates are typically high and may come with origination fees that make these loans even more expensive.

Pros and cons of vacation loans

Pros:

  • Fast funds (usually in a few days).
  • Can help pay for a last-minute trip.
  • Unsecured loans don't require collateral.
  • Fixed interest rates.

Cons:

  • May come with high fees.
  • May have high interest rates.
  • Come home from vacation with debt.
  • Can hurt your credit score if you miss any payments.

How to get a vacation loan

To get a vacation loan, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Find a lender. Vacation loans can be found at many banks or credit unions—but are more popular with online lenders. It’s a good idea to review a few lenders and find one with a good reputation.
  • Get your credit score in shape. If you find your score isn’t good enough to qualify for a loan, you’ll want to increase your score before applying. This means paying down debt, catching up on any missed payments, and reviewing your credit mix. A better score will give you access to better rates.
  • Compare rates. It’s a good idea to compare vacation loan rates and terms between several lenders to find the best one. You can usually get pre-approved with a simple online application to get exact rates and terms from each lender without hurting your credit score.
  • Choose a loan. Once you’ve compared lenders and rates, choose a loan to apply for.
  • Apply. To complete your application, you’ll need to submit documentation and sign the loan agreement. Most lenders will fund vacation loans within a few days and some within 24 hours of approval.

TIME Stamp: Personal loans can help pay for your vacation—at a cost

Vacation loans allow you to get an unsecured personal loan quickly, but many come with high fees and exorbitant interest rates. If your credit is in the dumps you could end up paying 30% APR or more on your loan, which is higher than most credit cards. And some charge up to 8.99% origination fees up-front, which is directly taken from your approved loan amount. While personal loans can help you pay for a vacation you might end up paying a lot more than expected.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Are vacation loans a good idea?

Vacation loans can help you fund an upcoming trip, but you’ll pay for the convenience. Between origination fees and high interest rates for all but the highest-qualified borrowers you could end up paying more than borrowing on a credit card. If you have a solid plan to repay your loan quickly, a vacation loan can work. But in most cases you’ll pay a lot more for your vacation.

Are vacation loans worth it?

Vacation loans can be worth it for last-minute trips (like a destination wedding) or if you qualify for a low rate, but in many cases they can become very expensive. As with any debt, you’ll want to ensure you have a payoff plan in place before borrowing. Expect to pay a loan fee and some interest when paying it off and always run the numbers before applying for a vacation loan.

How hard is it to get a travel loan?

Travel loans, aka “vacation loans,” are a type of unsecured personal loan that you can apply for and get funded within a few days. You don’t need to provide any collateral for the loan—just your income information and a good credit score. If you don’t think you’ll qualify, some lenders allow co-borrowers.

How can I get money for vacation?

You can use a vacation loan or a credit card to pay for your vacation. But the best way to get money for a vacation is to set up a savings account and save monthly. This allows you to break down your large vacation savings goal into small amounts and take your vacation debt-free.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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