How Can I Get a Vacation Loan with Bad Credit?

We all dream of days lounging in the sun with sand between our toes. Or maybe going skiing in the mountains or sightseeing in Europe. Perhaps you need to go on a vacation because of a family emergency, wedding, or funeral. No matter the destination, it sounds great to get away from work, traffic, annoying neighbors, and everyday life. Now, if only vacations were cheap. Financing travel can be tricky, but a travel loan with bad credit is possible.

Vacation Loans for Bad Credit

You won’t be able to walk into any old bank and get a vacation loan with bad credit. The only exception is if you can bring along someone willing to co-sign. Some credit unions may be a bit more lenient and work with you. An option is to search online for a lender. An online lender is the easiest way for a travel loan with bad credit. However, you really need to be diligent in your research.

Know that the interest rate will be high and know that there will be a lot of fine print. Make sure you read and understand all of the terms. This vacation loan with bad credit needs to be taken seriously. If you can do a good job of making payments on time, it can help your credit. If you are unable to pay on time, it can further hurt your credit. There is much to consider when it comes to vacation loans bad credit. One question you need to ask yourself is should I really be taking out a loan for this?

Happy young woman tourist in asian hat on the boat at lake.

Average Cost of a Vacation

It is tricky to come up with a one size fits all number for the average cost of a vacation. There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to travel finance with bad credit. Will you be going to Spain or grandma’s house in Wisconsin? Will it be Disney Land or a state park that is three hours away? According to a survey done by American Express, the average family spends $1,145 per person for a vacation. That comes out to $4,580 for a four person family. That is a good chunk of change!

Calculating the cost of a vacation is not as simple as figuring out how much it costs to get somewhere. There are accommodations, rental cars, dining costs, and fees for activities. Plus there is the cost of having someone watch your dog or check on your pet goldfish. Don’t forget the additional fees and taxes. When that airfare pops up on the screen after a search, don’t be fooled! The fees and taxes will add up and make the rate even higher. These costs can be especially frightening if you have bad credit and need a loan to take a vacation.

What is Considered Bad Credit?

Your credit score comes in somewhere between 0 and 850. Above 700 is pretty good and between 650 and 700 is fair. A score below 650 is considered bad and a score under 560 is very bad. You are in pretty good shape for getting a loan with good or fair credit. Most lenders will see a score that is bad as high risk. Yet there is surely a place out there that will take on that risk. It might just take a little more shopping around.

Late payments are usually the cause of low credit. Bad credit makes it really tough to get a big loan for a home or car. It can also be tricky to get an apartment. Yet, how can you ever get back on the right track if you can’t rebuild your credit score? There are a few options out there for vacation loans with bad credit that usually work well. These are short-term loans, secured credit cards, and small personal loans. Luckily, types of loans with bad credit can work out perfectly for travel finance.

Credit score scale

Should You Take out a Vacation Loan with Bad Credit?

There are many services out there to help with a vacation loan with bad credit. There are many more options than just credit cards like the old days. Paying for travel in installments can certainly help ease the burden of the cost. There are instances where a vacation loan with bad credit can actually save you money. For example, say you know you need to take a trip three months from now.

Chances are, the airfare is much cheaper buying it this far in advance. Therefore, it might make sense take out a loan or find a service that allows you to pay in installments. You may end up paying less than if you saved up your money and waited until the last minute to buy your ticket.

Just keep in mind that no matter what, you will end up paying more than if you had cash. The fees and interest will cost you extra money. So, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it? Think about the pros and cons. Could it cost less by purchasing the ticket now instead of waiting? Could paying off this loan on time help my credit score? Should I really be spending this money that I do not have? Should I save my money for a while and go next year instead?

How to Get a Vacation Loan with Bad Credit

Vacations are a great use of our time and money. They relieve stress, help us to learn more about our beautiful world, and provide lasting memories. Experiences are better than stuff, right? We do not need more things crammed into our houses. Give the gift of making memories. It is sometimes just a little tricky to figure out travel finance with bad credit.

You have done everything you could think of…even cut out the morning latte, started walking the neighbor’s dog, and canceled cable. You have been watching for a deal on airfare, will stay at a hostel, and are going to live on sandwiches. However, you still do not quite have enough money to make this vacation happen.

This is when you look into a travel loan with bad credit. It’s really just a personal loan for travel, but it is money that you can use for travel. The process is actually pretty simple. There are many lenders online that will work with varying credit scores. Just be sure to do very extensive research on the terms. Know what you are agreeing to before you go through with a personal loan.

You Will Have to Provide Some Information

They will need some information from you, like your income, name, address, and phone number. Once you have answered all of the questions and submit the form, they will let you know if you have been approved. If you are approved, the money will show up in your bank account pretty quickly. You can then continue planning your vacation and be thankful for vacation loans bad credit.

Just don’t get too caught up in your vacation plans that you forget about paying back the loan. Repay the loan as quickly as possible. This is very important for improving your credit score.

What to do Before Taking out a Loan for a Vacation

Taking out a travel loan with bad credit should really be a last resort. Many of us get sucked into an illusion these days with the rise of social media. We see our friends relaxing at the beach. We think that we need to do that too. However, that vacation likely added another $10,000 to their already $130,000 debt. They just don’t add that fun fact to their social media post.

One option to break up the cost of a trip without taking out a vacation loan with bad credit is to look into a layaway plan. Pay off the vacation before you even go. This makes the vacation stress free. You won’t have to think about paying it off while dipping your toes in the ocean. Also before getting a loan for travel, sit down and figure out how much the trip will likely cost. Then find ways to shave it off of your budget. There are so many ways to do this.

How to Save for a Vacation with Bad Credit

Start a Vacation Fund

Stop buying a coffee on the way to work and make it at home. Cancel cable for a few months until your trip. Stop eating lunch out and take a sandwich. Go a few months without a manicure or pedicure. Stop going to movies. Look for free days at the zoo, go hiking, or participate in other free activities. Lower your utility bills by turning down the heat and turning off the lights. Take five-minute showers and only wash a full load of laundry. Buy generic products at the store instead of the name brand.

Smart Money Tip!
Cancel that gym membership you never use. Find someone to carpool with or use public transportation. Consider getting a roommate. Housing costs make up a huge part of our budgets. These small changes will really add up! Put any travel money saved into your travel finance fund.

Sell Some of Your Stuff

Have a yard sale or post your unused belongings online. Go through your closet, your attic, and your garage. Get rid of that stuff you never use. Reduce your clutter, lighten your load in life, and line your pockets with cash.

Get a Part-Time Job

Deliver food or groceries, babysit a few evenings a week, or do some handyman work. Walk your neighbor’s dog, tutor, or drive for a ride-sharing service. There are many opportunities to make a little extra money these days. Doing this for a few months to save up for a vacation can really be worth it.

How to Plan a Vacation with Bad Credit

In addition to saving extra money, there are many ways to cut costs on the actual vacation. Take the time to plan everything out carefully. This will make your money go farther. When money goes farther, you can make more out of your vacation. Our time off is limited, do everything you can to make the most of it. Cutting vacation costs should mean needing to borrow a lower amount of money or maybe none at all. Utilize these tips to help plan an affordable vacation as inexpensive as possible.

Don’t pounce on the first price you see. Check airfare, hotel or resort costs often to get a feel for the range. Once you get a good idea of the average cost, jump on a good deal when you see one.

Especially if planning a trip on your own, costs can be significantly cut by traveling with someone. This means that you could share transportation and lodging costs. If traveling with your family, consider combining your trip with another family. Perhaps you could rent a house together instead of staying in a hotel. This could also make it easier to cook meals instead of eating out.

Eating out is super expensive. Preparing your own food as much as possible will definitely help cut costs. This is especially easy for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Pack whatever food you can or stop into a local grocery store upon arrival. Grab granola bars, fruits and veggies, ingredients for sandwiches, and pastries. If you do need to eat out, stick to local joints, and stay away from alcohol. Most restaurants that cater to tourists are more expensive and alcoholic drinks are always marked up.

This pertains not only to food but also to entertainment. Choosing to visit the places that the local’s visit has many benefits. It will not only save you money but also make your experience more authentic.

You don’t have to succumb to social pressures to visit all of the “cool” places. The bigger the tourist destination, the higher the price tag. Experience the natural beauty of your destination. Visit beaches and parks, and go hiking. Ask around to find more local suggestions. Maybe a museum has a free day or a factory has a free tour. Be creative and think out of the box.

Packing smart can save you money. Bring along a reusable water bottle. Just fill it up from a faucet or drinking fountain when it gets empty. This will save lots of money on bottled beverages. Plan out the expected cost of your trip and only take along that much in cash or traveler’s cheques. Resist the urge to put everything on the credit card.

It is probably smart to bring it along in case of an emergency, but don’t use it for everything. Wear your comfortable shoes. Walk everywhere you can to cut transportation costs. Purchase as many advance deals and tickets as you can and bring them. Attractions are often cheaper if tickets are bought in advance. Take the time to plan out your activities in advance. Don’t forget your camera. Resist the urge to buy souvenirs and remember your trip from the amazing photos.

It is a very bad feeling to get home from a trip and receive a huge cell phone bill. Make sure to check on roaming charges or other fees with your company before vacation. The same goes for credit cards, especially if traveling internationally. Check to see if there are conversion fees or other potential charges.

It sure seems like there is a theme here, plan in advance! When you start winging it, things get more expensive. Think things through, shop around, and have a stress free vacation.


Phew, going on vacation takes a lot of work, but oh is it worth it! Even with bad credit, an amazing vacation is possible. Envision yourself now exploring Paris, relaxing in the mountains, or eating grandma’s pie. Some time off work sounds great, doesn’t it? By taking the time to make sure the trip is properly planned and financed, it should be low stress.

It would be grand if we could go on lavish vacations whenever we want. Unfortunately, that is not the case and we have real life to deal with. Financing travel takes work. Thankfully there are loan programs out there to help, but it is best to minimize borrowing. Do yourself that favor to really work hard to cut costs and save in advance. Take on extra work, cut out extravagancies, and save money. Also, be smart in planning your vacation. There are many ways to cut costs and make vacations affordable without losing out on experiences.


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