BEST OF

Best Pool Loans: Finance a Swimming Pool in 2021

A swimming pool loan can help you finance your backyard's new centerpiece. Compare unsecured loans with your other options.

Annie MillerberndFeb 18, 2021

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A pool loan is an unsecured personal loan from a bank, credit union or online lender that can be used for almost any purpose, including installing a swimming pool.

How you pay for a pool depends on things like how much it’ll cost, how much you have in savings and equity, and your credit and income.

An above-ground pool costs about $2,500 on average, while inground pools can cost over $50,000, according to HomeAdvisor. There are many financing options you could choose in that price range, but personal loans and home equity are both popular ways to pay for a new pool.

These lenders offer unsecured personal loans to finance your new swimming pool.

Summary of Best Pool Loans: Finance a Swimming Pool in 2021

Our pick for

Pool loans with good credit

SoFi
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

4.99 - 19.63%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

680
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

SoFi offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Offers co-sign and joint loan options.

  • Offers .25% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers unemployment protection.

  • Provides mobile app to manage your loan.

Cons

  • No secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Must legally be an adult in your state.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.

  • Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 4.99% APR to 19.63% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 11, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. 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 above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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.

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Our pick for

Pool loans with low rates

Lightstream
Check rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

4.49 - 20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that vary based on loan purpose.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers .5% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Special features including rate beat program and satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history.

  • Multiple account types within your credit history, like credit cards, a car loan or other installment loan and a mortgage.

  • Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.

  • Investments, retirement savings or other evidence of an ability to save money.

  • Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. AutoPay discount of .50% points is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay will be .50% points higher. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 6.14% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.85. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2021 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.

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Our pick for

Co-signed and joint pool loans

Upgrade
Check rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

5.94 - 35.47%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

560
Check rate

on Upgrade's website


Min. Credit Score

560

Key facts

Upgrade offers personal loans plus credit-building tools; you'll need strong cash flow to qualify.

Pros

  • Allows secured and joint loans.

  • Offers a wide range of repayment terms.

  • Offers a 0.5% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers significant rate discount for checking account customers.

  • Offers rate discount with direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No co-signed loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560; borrower average is 678.

  • Minimum annual income: None; borrower average is $78,000.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: Two accounts.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Less than or equal to 75%, including mortgage and calculating in your new personal loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.47%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.

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Our pick for

Pool loans from a bank

Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.74 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Wells Fargo personal loans stand out thanks to a wide range of loan amounts and flexible terms, but borrowers can't pre-qualify.

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Able to fund loans on same or next business day.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Some features only available to existing customers.

Qualifications

  • Must provide personal and contact information.

  • Must provide employment and income information; documentation may be required to verify this information.

  • Must provide desired term and amount to borrow.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

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Where to get a swimming pool loan

Loan rates, terms and features vary by lender, so it’s best to compare multiple options. Online lenders allow you to pre-qualify to see rates and terms with no impact to your credit score, and funding can be faster. But you may get a lower rate from your bank.

You can use annual percentage rates, which include any fees a lender charges, to compare the cost between loans.

Online lenders

LightStream provides loans for outdoor home improvement projects up to $100,000. Its APRs for excellent-credit borrowers (above 719 FICO) start around 5% on loans larger than $25,000.

SoFi offers home improvement loans up to $100,000, repaid over two to seven years. The lender charges no fees and is an option for borrowers with good to excellent credit (690 or higher on the FICO scale).

Upgrade’s loans go up to $50,000 and have shorter repayment terms than LightStream and SoFi. It's a good option for borrowers with fair credit (630 to 689 FICO). Upgrade includes a rate discount for setting up autopay, but it also deducts an origination fee from your loan amount.

Banks

Wells Fargo offers personal loans for home improvements up to $100,000. Existing customers may qualify for a rate discount, while new customers must visit a Wells Fargo branch to apply.

USAA is a financial services company offering members of military families personal loans up to $20,000 for nearly any purpose, including swimming pools. Borrowers with excellent credit may qualify for its lowest rates and repayment terms of more than five years.

Credit unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit lenders that may provide low rates and flexible loan terms, especially for borrowers with bad or fair credit. Membership is required to apply for a loan, and eligibility can depend on where you live, what industry you work in or other factors.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers personal loans up to $50,000 that can be used to finance home improvements, including swimming pools, with repayment terms over 60 months. Membership is exclusive to those in military-related professions and their dependents.

Swimming pool loan rates

Personal loan rates generally range from 6% to 36%. The rate you qualify for depends on factors like your income, existing debt, credit history and credit score.

Here are average personal loan rates by credit score.

How's your credit?

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent.

720-850.

11.2%.

Good.

690-719.

15.5%.

Fair.

630-689.

20.5%.

Bad.

300-629.

25.3% (Lowest scores unlikely to qualify).

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from July 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender.

Financing your pool: Personal loan vs. home equity loan

Unsecured personal loans and home equity are two options to finance large home improvement projects. Here’s when each option makes sense.

When to get a personal loan

  • You don’t have enough equity in your home to cover the project. Once you know the likely cost of your swimming pool, you can calculate your equity to see if it’s enough.

  • You don’t want to use your home as collateral. Personal loans aren’t secured with collateral, but you risk your home if you don’t repay a home equity loan or line of credit.

  • The project needs to start quickly. Many online lenders say they can fund loans as qcuickly as the same day you apply or the following business day. Banks and credit unions can usually fund a personal loan in under one week.

When to get a home equity loan

  • You want a lower rate. Rates are generally lower than personal loans. HELOCs have variable rates, while home equity loans can have fixed rates. In both cases, rates are often in the single digits.

  • You want to deduct interest on your taxes. Interest on home equity loans may be tax deductible if the money is used to "buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer's home," according to the IRS. Consult with a tax professional about whether your pool qualifies.

Swimming pool loans: Things to consider

Approval based on credit: Build your credit score before applying for a loan. You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for a large loan with a low rate.

Additional costs: Homeowners can spend up to $3,200 per year on maintenance and pool repairs, according to HomeAdvisor. Other potential swimming pool costs include higher homeowners insurance and safety accessories, like a childproof fence.

Lower return on investment: A backyard swimming pool may add to your family’s quality of life, but don’t expect it to increase the resale value of your home as much as other home improvement projects.

Last updated on February 18, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences. 

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Pool Loans: Finance a Swimming Pool in 2021

Frequently asked questions