Having your hot tub can be a dream come true. Whether it’s to soothe aching muscles, entertain parties, or relax with your significant other, you can have it all right outside your door.
Hot tubs don’t come cheap, though. Depending on the type and quality of your hot tub, HomeAdvisor estimates you could spend anywhere between $3,000 and $20,000 for your hot tub installation. Read this article for an in-depth analysis of how much it costs to install a hot tub.
The different types of hot tubs fit a range of spaces, lifestyles, and budget. There are small tubs that fit only two to three people; then there are the large eight-person tubs with all the bells and whistles.
Depending on the one you choose and how much cash you have on hand, you have four options to pay for your hot tub.
1. Buy with cash
This is the most cost-effective way to pay for your hot tub. You don’t need to worry about paying interest or monthly payment. And if you’re generally debt-averse, paying with cash can help you avoid the stress of having your credit and financial future on the line.
The main drawback of using cash to finance your hot tub is that the cash is no longer available for other financial goals. If you can get a low enough interest rate on loan, you’ll have more flexibility to spread your cash.
2. Hot tub financing with a home equity loan
Since adding a hot tub can increase the value of your home, it may make sense to get a home equity loan or use a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Since the loan correlates to your house, it is possible to qualify for rock-bottom interest rates.
Loan funds can also be used for installation, landscaping, or anything else related to their hot tub installation such as a platform/deck, enclosure, surround sound, and lighting.”
Before you do this, though, make sure you have enough equity in your house to cover the hot tub. Equity is defined by how much the house is worth minus the outstanding loan amount. So, if you get your house appraised at $300,000 and you have $245,000 left on your mortgage, you have $55,000 in equity.
The biggest drawback to this option is that your home is collateral on loan. This means that, if you default, you could lose not only your new hot tub but also your house.
Home equity loans and HELOCs also come with high fees. Therefore, it may not be worth it unless you think the lower interest rate will balance it out.
3. Hot tub financing with a personal loan
With an unsecured loan, you won’t have to put up your hot tub or anything else as collateral in case you default on the payments. With good credit, you’ll most likely qualify for a low-interest rate, which can be in the single digits.
Depending on how much you can afford, you can also choose a short or long repayment term. Just keep in mind that quicker repayment terms typically come with lower interest rates.
The main drawback to a personal loan is that you may not get a low enough interest rate to compete with a hot tub-specific loan. What’s more, the lender may require a shorter repayment period, forcing you into higher monthly payments.
Hot tub loan
There are very few lenders who specialize in hot tub financing, and LightStream is one of them. Lenders like LightStream understand hot tubs a little better than general lenders, so they can give you some tips as you’re searching for the right one.
“[Loan] funds can also be used for installation, landscaping, or anything else related to their hot tub installation such as a platform/deck, enclosure, surround sound, and lighting,” says Todd Nelson, business development officer at LightStream.
The lender can also offer lower interest rates on its hot tub loan than you’d get with a traditional personal loan. Plus, you’ll get a discount on your rate if you set up autopay through your checking account.
When you get approved for a LightStream hot tub loan, you can have the loan funds in your bank account as soon as the same day. “With funds in your bank account, you can purchase your hot tub as a cash buyer,” says Nelson,” putting you in a position to possibly negotiate a better deal.”
4. Finance your hot tub with credit cards
Most credit card companies offer cards that come with a 0% APR promotion. Depending on the card, you could get up to 21 months to pay off a large purchase with no interest. Some credit cards with slightly shorter 0% APR promotional periods may provide rewards on your big purchase.
Because your credit limit on a 0% APR credit card may be limited, using one is a great solution if your hot tub is on the cheaper end. Be sure to compare top credit card options to find out which is best for you.
As you’re searching for the right hot tub, be sure to compare multiple contractors and hot tub brands to find the best fit. HomeAdvisor ProFinder makes it easy to search and compare reliable contractors.
When it comes to the hot tub, you don’t necessarily need to pay more for a high-end brand. Similar models with the same features are often available for a lower cost, with installation included. So, be sure to compare several options before deciding on one.
When it comes time to finance your new hot tub, carefully review each option to find the best one for you. Before you choose, consider using SuperMoney’s loan offer engine to see what kind of offers you can get. The engine allows you to check what rates and terms you prequalify for without hurting your credit.
And don’t forget to compare the rates and terms from all the top lenders. Soon, you’ll be on your way to getting the hot tub of your dreams.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance writer and a credit cards expert who loves helping consumers and business owners make better financial decisions. His work has been featured in Time, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC, Success Magazine, USA Today, The Huffington Post and many more.