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6 Vacation Loans to Finance Your Travel in 2020

Narottam MedhoraMarch 16, 2020

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Vacation loans are personal loans that you use for travel expenses. Learn the pros and cons of vacation loans and compare loan options from online lenders.

Vacation loans work the same way as personal loans: You take out an unsecured loan, receive the funds in your bank account and use the money however you like, for flights and hotels, for example. Then, you pay back the loan in fixed payments that include interest over a period of time, generally two to five years.

Vacation loans, while marketed as easy ways to finance your dream escape, can be an expensive option, especially for consumers with low credit scores who take loans with high interest rates. NerdWallet recommends vacation loans only for emergency travel that can’t be covered with cheaper alternatives, including travel rewards, a 0% interest credit card, or — the cheapest option — your savings.

Whether you need a $1,000 loan or more than $3,500, always shop for a personal loan that features low rates and fees to minimize your costs. Here are seven lenders that offer loans in various amounts.

Summary of Vacation Loans to Finance Your Travel in 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Est. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Upstart

Upstart

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best for Vacation loans starting at $1,000

7.00 - 35.99%

600

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Lending Club

LendingClub

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best for Vacation loans starting at $1,000

10.68 - 35.89%

600

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

BestEgg

Best Egg

on Best Egg's website

Best for Vacation loans above $2,000

5.99 - 29.99%

640

on Best Egg's website

RocketLoans

Rocket Loans

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best for Vacation loans above $2,000

7.16 - 29.99%

580

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best for Vacation loans above $2,000

6.99 - 24.99%

660

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Best for Vacation loans above $3,500

6.99 - 19.99%

690

on Goldman Sachs's website

Our picks for

Vacation loans starting at $1,000

Upstart
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Upstart

Upstart

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

7.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Upstart is a good option for those who have short credit histories and promising financial futures.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.

  • No secured or co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 620.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.

  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

This offer is conditioned upon final approval from an Upstart Powered bank or licensed lender which is based on consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information provided in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into a contract for the extension of credit and who currently resides in the United States. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and your agreement to the terms and conditions of Upstart and a bank or a licensed lender partnered with Upstart. Loans are originated by Upstart Powered banks and licensed lenders on the Upstart platform. Loans in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Nebraska are made by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey state chartered commercial bank. Loan amounts from $1k-$50k* Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. APRs from X-Y, loan term (3 or 5 year loan terms), amount of monthly payment** **The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of X% and 36 monthly payments of $Y per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
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Lending Club
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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.
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Our picks for

Vacation loans above $2,000

BestEgg

on Best Egg's website

Best Egg

BestEgg

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

on Best Egg's website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

Best Egg offers personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt and need cash fast.

Pros

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change your payment date.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges $15 late fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; average is 700. This lender uses the FICO 8 credit score to evaluate borrowers.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.

  • Minimum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including a mortgage.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%.

  • Late fee: $15.

  • Return fee: $15 if payments are not processed.

Disclaimer

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan” and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. The term, amount and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000–$35,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $50,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 5.99%–29.99%.  The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–5.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.
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RocketLoans
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on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

RocketLoans

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

7.16 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $45,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Rocket Loans funds loans as fast as the next day. Its loans have low rates for borrowers with good credit.

Pros

  • Able to fund some loans the same day as approval.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

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

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580; borrowers’ average is 710. Rocket Loans uses the FICO 9 credit scoring model.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40%; borrowers’ average is 14%. This lender doesn’t include a mortgage in its debt-to-income calculation.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrowers’ average is $85,000.

  • Minimum credit history: Two years; borrowers’ average is 18 years.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% - 6%.

  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.
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Discover
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Discover® Personal Loans

Discover

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $35,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Discover is ideal for consumers with good to excellent credit who want to consolidate high-interest debt.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Option to directly pay creditors.

  • Flexible payment options.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.

  • No refinancing option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score required: 660; borrowers' average score is about 750.

  • Minimum gross income required: $25,000, but typically much higher.

  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Disclaimer

This is not a commitment to lend from Discover Personal Loans. Your approval for a loan is determined once you apply and is based on your application information and credit history. Your APR will be between 6.99-24.99% based upon creditworthiness at time of application. Not all applications will be approved.
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Our pick for

Vacation loans above $3,500

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Min. Credit Score

690

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

690

Key facts

Marcus loans stand out for low rates, no fees, and flexible loan terms and payment options.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • Rate discount with autopay.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.

  • No co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico).

  • Valid U.S. bank account, Social Security number or tax ID.

  • 660+ credit score.

  • For debt consolidation loans, you may be required to send part of the loan directly to your creditors.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 6 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.
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Pros and cons of vacation loans

Vacation loans can be a convenient solution if you must travel unexpectedly and need cash fast, but consider the pros and cons before you take a loan.

Pros

  • Lower rates: For well-qualified borrowers, personal loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards. The average rate for personal loans with two-year terms in the third quarter of 2019 was 10.07%, according to the Federal Reserve, while the average rate on credit card accounts that incurred interest was 16.97%. So if you planned to use a high-interest card and carry a balance, you may pay less with a vacation loan.

  • More predictable: Personal loans have fixed monthly payments, which means you can plan for repayments in your budget. This is particularly appealing if you find tracking revolving payments associated with credit cards a hassle. Knowing when you’ll pay off the debt also helps you stay focused.

Cons

  • Risky debt: Most financial experts discourage use of a loan, or even a credit card, for discretionary vacation spending. If you’re not comfortable managing credit or you have existing debt, a vacation loan can add financial stress. A missed payment means late fees and added interest that can quickly increase the cost of your trip, not to mention a hit to your credit.

  • Long terms: Terms on personal loans can stretch to five years — long after you’ve returned from your vacation. You’ll want to carefully consider how long it makes sense to be paying for your travel.

How much would it cost?

As with most credit products, the rate you receive on a personal loan depends a lot on your credit score. The better your score, the lower your rate and the less interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. The interest rate also affects your total monthly payment, as does the term length; a longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.

Use our personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments based on your credit score.

Alternatives to vacation loans

Before you take a loan, consider these alternatives for financing your trip.

Savings: If you have time, start saving. Create a dedicated travel savings account and put away some money each month. Find out how much your trip will cost by comparing prices of flights, hotel rooms and car rentals at travel websites like Expedia and Kayak.

Travel credit cards: If you travel frequently and have good to excellent credit, you may qualify for a travel credit card that offers a sign-up bonus and other perks that could help lower the cost of your trips in the long run.

0% credit card: If you have good credit, you may also qualify for a low-interest or 0% intro APR card that allows you to carry a balance interest-free for up to over a year. It’s an option if you want to avoid paying interest in the short term.

Point-of-sale travel financing: Some lenders such as UpLift and Affirm have partnered with major airlines and travel websites to include financing options for travelers when they book their tickets. These lenders target people with average credit who may not qualify for a travel card.

How to pre-qualify for a vacation loan

Taking the steps to pre-qualify for an online vacation loan lets you see potential loan terms, including the loan’s interest rate and monthly payments. You can pre-qualify on NerdWallet to compare loan offers from multiple lenders and find the lowest rate.

Last updated on March 16, 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 Vacation Loans to Finance Your Travel in 2020

Further reading.