BEST OF

Swimming Pool Loans: Financing Your Pool With a Personal Loan

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

Annie MillerberndJuly 31, 2020
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A swimming pool loan is an unsecured loan from a bank, credit union or online lender that can be used for almost any purpose, including swimming pools.

Interest rates on personal loans are typically higher than on home equity loans, but getting one can be faster — and you don’t risk losing your home as you do with a secured home equity loan.

Before diving in, consider that most financial experts do not recommend personal loans for discretionary purposes. If you take a pool loan, make sure the monthly payments fit in your budget, and have a plan to pay it off.

Here’s what you need to know about swimming pool financing, including where to get a pool loan, how to calculate costs, choosing a personal loan versus a home equity loan and things to consider.

Summary of Swimming Pool Loans: Financing Your Pool With a Personal Loan

Our picks for

Swimming pool loans

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

3.99 - 16.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

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.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

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

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on existing assets and the reason for the loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com, which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust now Truist 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 rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust now Truist Bank.
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SoFi

on SoFi's website

SoFi

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 18.53%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on SoFi's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

SoFi is a strong option for consumers with good to excellent credit, offering low rates, no fees and flexible payments.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualify.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Offers member perks.

Cons

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

  • Does not offer refinance options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680, but typically 700 or higher.

  • Minimum annual income: None; borrowers' average is over $100,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.53% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 18, 2020 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. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. 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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Lending Club
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

LendingClub

Lending Club

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

10.68 - 35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $40,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

LendingClub is a pioneer of peer-to-peer lending and a good option if you want to consolidate your debt.

Pros

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee and late fees.

  • Does not offer mobile app to manage your loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 600. LendingClub uses FICO 8 credit scoring model.

  • Minimum credit history of three years.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40% for single applications, 35% combined for joint applicants.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2% to 6%

  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

*All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long-term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: 595 Market St suite 200 San Francisco Ca 94105. **Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between Jan. 1, 2018, and July 20, 2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
Read Full Review
Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

5.49 - 24.49%

Loan Amount

$3,000 - $100,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

An option for existing Wells Fargo customers, offering rate discounts and a co-sign option.

Pros

  • Offers secured loan option.

  • Offers free credit score access.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Borrowers without existing Wells Fargo accounts required to apply in person.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; most borrowers have scores above 660.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
USAA Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

USAA Personal Loan

USAA Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

6.99 - 17.65%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $5,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Members of USAA can get competitive rates and terms on its unsecured personal loans.

Pros

  • Low rates.

  • No origination fee.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Hard credit pull.

  • Must be a USAA member.

Qualifications

  • No minimum qualifications disclosed.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: 5% of payment amount.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

7.49 - 18.00%

Loan Amount

$0 - $50,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Navy Federal is a good option for existing members, with low rates and no origination fee.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among credit unions.

  • No origination fee.

Cons

  • Must be a member of Navy Federal.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

Qualifications

  • No minimum qualification requirements.

  • Must meet membership requirements.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review

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.

Use the annual percentage rate, which includes the interest rate plus fees, to compare costs between loans.

Online lenders

LightStream provides loans for outdoor home improvement projects up to $100,000, including swimming pools. Its APRs start around 5% for well-qualified borrowers on loans between $10,000 to $24,999.

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).

LendingClub has loan amounts up to $40,000 and shorter repayment terms than LightStream and SoFi. This lender is a good option for those with good and fair credit. LendingClub 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 small rate discount. 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 $50,000 for nearly any purpose, including swimming pools. Borrowers must have excellent credit (above 719) to qualify for its lowest rates and repayment terms of more than five years.

Credit unions

Credit unions are nonprofit lenders that may provide low rates and flexible loan terms, especially for borrowers with bad or fair credit. Membership requirements typically involve living in a certain region, having family working in a certain industry or contributing to a particular cause.

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.

Financing your pool: Personal loan vs. home equity loan

Home equity loans and unsecured personal loans are two common ways to finance a new swimming pool. Personal loans are an option if you lack home equity or if you don’t want to risk your home.

Pros of personal loans

  • Fewer upfront fees: One fee that some lenders charge is an origination fee for processing the loan.

  • Faster time to funding: There’s less paperwork and no appraisal requirements, and you may get your money the same day if you’re quick to provide the required documents

  • Less risk: You won’t lose your home if you don’t repay a personal loan. (Though there are consequences if you default.)

Pros of home equity loans

  • Lower rates: Rates are generally lower than personal loans.

  • Tax benefits: 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 low rates and favorable loan terms.

Additional costs: Homeowners spend an average of $750 per month to maintain a pool during the summertime, according to Fixr. Other potential swimming pool costs include higher homeowners insurance and safety accessories, like a fence to protect children.

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. And unlike with a car, a house or a boat, if you run into trouble keeping up with the loan, you typically can't sell a swimming pool to help pay off the remaining debt.

Last updated on July 31, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Swimming Pool Loans: Financing Your Pool With a Personal Loan

Frequently asked questions