A swimming pool provides endless entertainment, it enhances your backyard living area, and it can help you live a healthier lifestyle. It’s no wonder so many people build them, but how much will it cost you?
According to Cost Helper, estimated costs for an in-ground pool vary depending on the materials used to build it. A vinyl pool ranges from $7,000 to $16,000, a fiberglass pool from $15,000 to $25,000, and one made of concrete or gunite from $17,000 to $45,000.
To foot the bill, many people look to borrow against their home equity, but what if you don’t have any? Can you still get the pool you want? Yes, you likely can, and here are three ways you can do it.
1) Personal loans
Your best option is probably going to be a personal loan. Personal loans are unsecured, which means approval is based on your credit score. There is a wide range of companies who provide them, from banks to credit unions to online lenders. Click here to get no obligation preapproved offers from leading lenders like Lightstream and LendingClub.
Getting approved with a bank or credit union can be a challenge. The selection of online lenders available makes the process much more convenient and accessible. Prosper, for example, is a marketplace lending platform that has funded over nine billion dollars in loans. It connects borrowers who need money with investors who fund the loans. Prosper services the loan on behalf of the borrowers and investors. Its main goal is to make loans simple. You can apply online in minutes, get an answer, and, if approved, you’ll have the money in your account within one business day.
SoFi is another example. It also functions as a marketplace and focuses on providing low-cost loans. Once again, you can apply within a few minutes, get your answer, and get funds in your account shortly after.
Each company has its own requirements, borrowing costs, and limitations. For example, some lenders provide loans up to $100,000, while others only provide them up to $35,000. Furthermore, some focus on borrowers with good credit, while others cater more to those with fair credit.
It can take quite a bit of time to research all of the available lenders and figure out which option will be best for your situation. To speed things up, you can use Supermoney's loan prequalification tool which asks you a few questions and generates offers from a list of lenders without hurting your credit score.
Then, you can compare apples to apples and pick the best one within minutes. Check your best rate.
If you aren’t able to qualify with any lender, you may want to look into getting a co-signer who can help you get approved.
2) Credit cards
Credit cards are another option. They typically have higher interest rates than loans, along with lower amounts of credit available. However, a credit card can be helpful to pay for part of the cost if you get a loan that doesn’t cover the full project. You can also use multiple credit cards to cover the cost.
If you go this route, consider cards with an introductory promotional period in which interest is not charged. This can be helpful in cutting down on your costs. However, at some point, the interest rate will go up to normal, and it can be expensive if you don’t repay the loan before the intro rate expires.
It’s best to try to pay off the balance before the introductory period ends or have a backup plan in place, such as consolidating credit card debt into a personal loan with lower interest.
3) Federal loan programs
There are also federal loan programs you can look into. One option is the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Title 1 Home and Property loan program. HUD insures home improvement loans, which are provided to homeowners through approved intermediary lenders. For single-family homes, the loan amount cap is set to $25,000.
A second option provided by HUD is 203(k) insurance. Through this program, HUD insures mortgages, which include the cost of the house along with the cost of improvements. Once the loan is approved and processed, the money for improvements is placed in an escrow account and released as the project is completed.
The benefit of government-insured loans is that lenders face less risk, so they are more likely to approve you. The downside is that the application process can be time-consuming and tedious.
Get your dream pool
No equity? No problem. You still have options to get the pool of your dreams now. Personal loans are a good place to start as there are many lenders out there competing for your business. Be sure to shop around and compare offers, so you get the best deal possible on your new pool.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.