BEST OF

5 Vacation Loans: Finance Your Travel

Vacation loans are one way to cover travel expenses. Compare loans plus other financing options.

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Vacation loans are unsecured personal loans you can use to pay for travel, whether you’re taking a cross-country road trip or flying to your dream destination.

An unsecured loan can be an expensive way to finance a vacation, so consider all your options before borrowing, including travel rewards cards, 0% interest credit cards and — the cheapest option — your savings.

Here are lenders that offer vacation loans. Learn about your other options and the pros and cons of getting a personal loan for a vacation.

Summary of Vacation Loans: Finance Your Travel

Our pick for

Vacation loans with low rates

BestEgg
Check rate

on Best Egg's website

Best Egg

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
BestEgg

Est. APR

5.99 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

640
Check rate

on Best Egg's website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

This lender favors good-credit borrowers but may extend a loan offer to someone with fair credit. Best Egg loans can be funded the day after you apply, and these loans have low rates compared to competitors.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Secured loan option for homeowners.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

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

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; borrower average is 700.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum income: No minimum income requirement; borrower average is $80,000. Borrower must have enough cash flow to cover current financial obligations.

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

  • Employment: Must provide proof of income; part-time employees are eligible.

  • Must provide valid U.S. address and Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%.

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

Disclaimer

*Trustpilot TrustScore as of June 2020. Best Egg personal loans, including the Best Egg Secured Loan, are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, a Nationally Chartered Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan”, “the Best Egg Secured Loan”, and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank or Blue Ridge 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. About half of our customers get their money the next day. After successful verification, your money can be deposited in your bank account within 1-3 business days. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000– $50,000. 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 4.99%–35.99%. 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. What this means for you: 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. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

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Our pick for

Co-signed and joint vacation 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 looks more closely at your debts and ability to pay the loan back than your credit score. The lender also lets you add a co-signer or co-borrower to help your chances of approval or getting a lower rate.

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.

  • Minimum annual income: $35,000; average borrower income is $87,000.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 2.

  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Varies between 55% and 65% including the loan you’re applying for and mortgage payments. To see your post-loan DTI, calculate your monthly payments on a personal loan, and then add them to your debt-to-income calculation.

  • Average loan amount is $10,000.

  • Average repayment term is 40 months.

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

Vacation loans for thin credit histories

Upstart
Check rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

6.76 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

580
Check rate

on Upstart's website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Upstart’s underwriting model helps young borrowers and those with thin credit histories qualify for a loan. Small minimum loan amounts may make an Upstart loan ideal for small trips.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with some debt consolidation loans.

  • Allows borrowers to choose and change payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No mobile app to manage the loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum credit history: None, this lending platform accepts borrowers with credit history too limited to produce a FICO score.

  • Minimum gross income: $12,000.

  • Employment: Full-time job, full-time job offer starting in 6 months, a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income.

  • Must have U.S. residential street address where borrower resides (unless military personnel on active duty).

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Valid email account required.

  • Personal bank account with U.S. routing number required.

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

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 24.4% and 36 monthly payments of $36 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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Our pick for

Vacation loans with help managing your finances

Lending Club
Check rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

7.04 - 35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $40,000

Min. Credit Score

600
Check rate

on LendingClub's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

LendingClub offers a tool to manage your budget and credit profile. The lender has a low minimum credit score requirement, but starting rates are high.

Pros

  • Offers co-signed and joint loan options.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Borrowers can only choose from two repayment term options.

  • Rates are high compared to other fair-credit lenders.

  • Charges an origination fee.

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: 1% to 6%.

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

Disclaimer

A representative example of loan payment terms is as follows: you receive a loan of $13,411 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 12.16% and a 5.30% origination fee of $711, for an APR of 15.99%. In this example, you will receive $12,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $446.46. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths are 36 months or 60 months. Some amounts and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. APR ranges from 7.04% to 35.89% and is determined at the time of application. Origination fee ranges from 3% to 6% of the loan amount. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of 7/1/21 and are subject to change without notice. Loans are made by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Loans are subject to credit approval and sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued. Certain information that we subsequently obtain as part of the application process (including but not limited to information in your consumer report, your income, the loan amount that your request, the purpose of your loan, and qualifying debt) will be considered and could affect your ability to obtain a loan from us. Loan closing is contingent on accepting all required agreements and disclosures at Lendingclub.com. “LendingClub” is a trademark of LendingClub Bank.

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Our pick for

Peer-to-peer vacation loans

Prosper
Check rate

on Prosper's website

Prosper

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Prosper

Est. APR

7.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $40,000

Min. Credit Score

600
Check rate

on Prosper's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Prosper accepts joint loan applications, which can help you qualify for a lower rate.

Pros

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Offers joint loan.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts. 


Cons

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Charges origination and late fees.

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 726.

  • Minimum credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income: No minimum income requirement; borrower average is $113,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage); borrower average is 18% with housing payment.

  • No bankruptcies filed within the past year.

  • At least three open accounts on credit report.

  • Fewer than five credit bureau inquiries in the last six months.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must provide Social Security number and a U.S. bank account.


Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.41 to 5%.

  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of unpaid amount (whichever is greater).

  • Insufficient funds fee: $15.

Disclaimer

For example, a three-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.74% and a 5.00% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 15.34% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $330.90. A five-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.99% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 14.27% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $222.39. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. Personal loan APRs through Prosper range from 7.95% to 35.99%, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for personal loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility for personal loans is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All personal loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC.

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What is a vacation loan and should you get one?

You can use a vacation loan to pay for almost anything you want, including flights, hotels or any other expenses. These loans don’t require collateral, and you usually repay them in fixed monthly installments.

Most financial experts advise against incurring debt for discretionary vacation spending. For urgent travel, and when a loan is your cheapest option, borrowing may make sense. Make sure the monthly payments fit into your budget, and commit to paying off the loan on time.

Here are the pros and cons of getting a vacation loan:

Pros

  • Rates: For well-qualified borrowers, which means those with credit scores above FICO 690 and strong income, personal loans can have lower annual percentage rates than credit cards.

  • Lump sum: You receive funds from a personal loan all at once, rather than over time as you spend money. Having a fixed amount can help you plan and stick to your vacation budget.

  • Predictable: Personal loans have fixed monthly payments over a set term, which means you can plan for repayments in your budget. Knowing when you’ll pay off the debt also helps you stay focused on your payments.

Cons

  • Risky debt: If you struggle to repay other debts, a vacation loan could add financial stress. Even one missed payment could cause a major hit to your credit score, plus you’ll incur late fees while still accruing interest, making your trip more expensive than you intended.

  • Long terms: Terms on personal loans can stretch to seven years — long after you’ve returned home. Carefully consider how long it makes sense to be paying for your travel.

How much would it cost?

Personal loan APRs range from 6% to 36%, and some online lenders may use the reason you get a loan to decide your rate and loan amount. For example, LightStream charges a lower minimum APR for kitchen remodel loans than it does for wedding loans.

The rate you ultimately get depends primarily on your credit score and the percent of your income that goes to other debts each month, also called your debt-to-income ratio. The higher your credit score and the lower your DTI, the more likely you are to get a low rate on a vacation loan.

For example, a two-year loan of $2,500 with an APR of 6% would cost about $111 in monthly payments and $2,659 overall.

That same loan with a 36% APR would require monthly payments of $148 and cost $3,543.

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 to finance 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 or excellent credit (690 or higher FICO), 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 12 to 18 months. That means if you can pay off your trip in that time, you can skip the interest altogether.

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 get a vacation loan

If you’ve decided it’s your best option, you can get a vacation loan in four simple steps:

  1. Check your credit report to see whether you’re putting your best foot forward. Address any delinquent accounts or errors before you apply.

  2. Compare lenders so you can see what each offers and decide which loan features are important to you (for example, fast funding, a mobile app to manage your loan, choice of payment date).

  3. Pre-qualify with multiple lenders to see which can offer you the lowest rates and repayment terms that fit your budget. Pre-qualifying doesn’t affect your credit score.

  4. Gather your documents — including W-2s or pay stubs, your Social Security number and bank account numbers — and submit your application.

» GET STARTED: Pre-qualify on NerdWallet to compare loan offers from multiple lenders at once.

Last updated on March 2, 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 Vacation Loans: Finance Your Travel

  • Best Egg: Best for Vacation loans with low rates
  • Upgrade: Best for Co-signed and joint vacation loans
  • Upstart: Best for Vacation loans for thin credit histories
  • LendingClub: Best for Vacation loans with help managing your finances
  • Prosper: Best for Peer-to-peer vacation loans

Frequently asked questions