My family and I live in the south- like, the real south. Alabama to be specific. You have probably heard some jokes about a lot of things down here, but one thing everyone who lives here or has visited here in the summer agrees on is that summertime is hot. And it is extraordinarily humid. Air conditioners are a necessity, not a luxury. So are bags of ice and gallons of water.
Don’t get me wrong- the summers here can be awesome. Getting out on the river in your boat, riding jet skis, taking your kids to the community water splash pad, turning the water hoses on and soaking each other, or having water balloon or water gun fights are just some of the joys. However, try getting through the summers without some cool water to play in, it will be an uncomfortable misery like you have never known.
That is why two years ago, I splurged to by my family a decently sized pool. We had some other ways to get wet, but I longed to submerge myself in water. I ordered it online and we anxiously awaited the delivery. When it finally arrived, I was probably more excited than my kids.
Unfortunately, about two weeks prior to delivery, I had literally ripped a muscle apart in my back and was in the process of recuperating, so my husband refused to let me help move the box or set the pool up. And in a crazy turn of events, he slipped a disc in his back while moving the box. Here the two of us are limping around and unable to do anything more than stare at the pool just waiting to be assembled.
About a month later, we decided that we were recuperated enough to make another attempt at putting the thing together with the help of our teenage son. We get all of the parts laid out, suffer through the dreadful mosquito bites, and after hours of agony, we had it together. In went the hose pipe and we filled it up, then put all the necessary cleaning stuff in and, voila! We had our pool but we had to wait 24 hours for the chemicals to settle.
I dreamed of that pool that night, and the kids and I were so excited that we wanted to jump in before even eating breakfast. So imagine my utter dismay when we awoke the next morning to find this huge pool empty. After all of the injury, pain and suffering, the crazy thing had a hole in it. And because we had taken it out of the box and put it together, the retailer would not exchange it.
I cannot begin to express the emotional anguish we all felt. For days, we sat around feeling angry, and hot, of course- very hot. We were so desperate to cool off that I nearly went to the very expensive pool place down the road and finance four times the cost of our original pool for these guys to deliver it AND set it up. I stopped myself just in time, but it did cause me to consider getting a pool loan, so I want to share what I learned about them.
What Exactly is a Pool Loan?
A pool loan is simply a personal loan for a pool. Personal loans can be used for virtually anything, and that includes pools. If you are considering a personal loan for a pool, there are a few things you should think about first.
What Kind of Pool Do I Want?
There are many different types of pools from little tiny baby pools to enormous in-ground pools, and those in-ground pools can be made very elaborately. So what kind are you looking to get? One factor when deciding this is estimating how long you think you will be at your current home, and whether or not you own that property.
While I would love to have nice in-ground pool, I plan to sell my house before too long and move into something better suited for my large family. Due to this, I would not have even considered an in-ground pool for my current home. If you are renting, do not invest in a permanent pool. Just get something to play around in for now.
You must also consider that in-ground pools are pretty expensive. You can get a pretty large above-ground pool for a few hundred dollars. Then again, I have seen some amazing videos on YouTube of people who have built their own very nice in-ground pools. If you have the skills and patience, you might be better off buying the supplies and doing it yourself. This is all really up to you but you should know what type you are willing to pay for before looking into pool loans.
Can I Afford to Repay a Pool Loan?
Be truthful with yourself. Can you afford another payment? If you are currently struggling to pay your utilities, or have nothing left over after you do, a pool loan is probably not a good idea. If you are willing to pick up a second job to pay for the loan, it might be okay. At the same time, though, if you are spending all of your time at work, will you even get to enjoy the pool? If not, you might consider taking that second job and saving up until the following summer, buy one outright, and then spend that whole summer enjoying your hard work while soaking up some rays.
Will It Interfere With Other Things?
So what stopped me from running down the road and financing that pool? I knew just how much that loan would hurt my family. We have certain goals, some of which include clearing up our credit and saving for a house, saving for our four children to go to college, buying a new car that runs right, buying our teenager a car before he graduates, and a few other things like those. We also want to put our children into some activities they have been asking to join, build my business, and just be free enough to grab a couple of pizzas once a month and enjoy a movie.
Had I gotten that loan, I would have put many of those goals on hold and most likely would have had to be away from my family even more to work extra. Weighing out the pros and cons, it just was not worth the consequences- as desperate and as sweaty as we were. Our other goals held much higher priority in our hearts.
What about you? Will getting a personal loan for a new pool interfere with anything else you are trying to do? If so, is it worth putting your other goals on hold? You should really think this through carefully before making a decision. For some people, a pool is a bigger priority, and that is okay. It may be the one way you can get all of your kids away from their tech without acting like they cannot live. You may want to have friends over more often. Maybe it is a way to improve your health. And it may just be something you want bad enough to put above other things at the moment. It is a personal choice but it should still be carefully thought through.
Is There Another Way to Pay for the Pool or Beat the Heat?
Even though we chose not to get a long, we were still sitting at home sweltering. It was so hot that we did not want to move, we just wanted to sleep all day. Inside our house was even worse than outside in the shade. Somehow, I had to get us and keep us cool.
One of the best things about growing up in the country, and without a lot of money, is how creative you learn to be. I remember wanting a Slip-N-Slide as a kid, but we could not afford it. What we did have was an old pool liner, a hose pipe, and a huge yard- all of which added up to a homemade water slide. We also had freezing cold creeks and summer rain.
I saw no reason not to get creative with my own kids. We, too, made a water slide and a small pool made from some wood and a tarp that I saw on Pinterest. We had water gun fights, ice fights, and water balloon fights. When it rained, we would play in it. We started working on a pool savings that we started funding through yard sales and a few car washes.
How about your situation?
Are there other ways to stay cool while you save for a pool? There are many gyms that have pools available for members. While this is an additional monthly charge, it is probably less than many pool loan payments, and there is the added benefit of exercise equipment and not worrying with the maintenance of the pool, which is costly in and of itself.
Maybe you know someone that has a pool, and you can exchange some yard work or pool cleaning for a swim a couple times a week. Do you have any rivers or creeks nearby? I will say that this is not my favorite option as I am quite germaphobic since having children, but my children still love it. About 30 minutes away is a man-made beach near the local dam. I took my children once, and they have begged to go back ever since. If you are unsure of activities or places, social media will likely have some answers for you.
Is a Pool Loan a Good Idea for Me?
After considering all of the following factors, you must decide if you want to get a personal loan for a pool. Only you can decide if a pool loan is a good idea for you. If you feel you might be too hot and desperate to make a good decision, talk it out with a friend or coworker. Or go old school and write out a pros and cons list- those still work very well. If you choose not to get a pool loan, make a savings plan and find an alternative means of staying cool. For those who decide to get a personal loan for a pool, keep reading for some additional information and tips.
How Do I Know If I Will Qualify for a Pool Loan?
Though it is not possible to know for certain if you will be approved for a personal loan for a pool until you actually get approved, you can use a loan checker to determine whether or not you are eligible for a personal loan. There are, of course, certain things that lenders look for before approving you. One of the biggest factors is whether or not you can afford to repay the loan. By looking at your income and your outgoing, they get a good idea of your ability to pay. Most will also look into your credit history to get an idea of how responsible you are with debt.
While requirements will often vary from lender to lender, be prepared when you apply for a personal loan for a pool with your personal and income information. You might also consider having some collateral in mind just in case you can only qualify for a secured loan. Using a personal loan checker can usually give you a good idea of what you might qualify for and, most likely, lenders that might approve you. It might also tell you what kind of interest you are looking at paying. Again, until you are approved and your lender tells you the terms and interest, there is no certainty. However, using a loan eligibility checker can give you some information to work with.
Where to Get a Loan and What Type of Personal Loan for a Pool to Consider
For those who have applied for a loan before, you are aware of the overwhelming number of loans that are available as well as the vast amount of loan places both online and offline. For those who are unaware, brace yourself. It is what is known as a saturated market. However, even with all of the loans and lenders available, it is still a very useful market because almost everyone has needed some type of financial help before. The key is in finding the best loan and lender for you. First read the entire article so you would get an idea what you’re looking for. Then, you can get back here and take a look at the form below. If you fill it out, Loanry connects you with reputable lenders and you can get offers within seconds.
The more you know about them before shopping for a pool loan, the better, so let’s learn a little. As far as a personal loan for a pool, there are really only a couple that make sense. Here is why: some charge high interest and need to be paid back quickly while others charge lower interest and give you a longer repayment period. Here’s the breakdown:
Not Ideal for Large Purchases
Let me speak openly here- title loans should be a last resort in case of emergency. It makes no sense to use them for large purchases. You put your vehicle title up as collateral. Logically speaking, your interest level should be pretty low since the lender is assuming so little risk. However, that is not the case. The interest I have seen is anywhere from 25% to 36%. That is huge- hundreds in interest a month. So, it is unwise to take out such a high interest loan for something like a pool when you will likely end up paying four times more for the pool at least by the time you are through paying it off. Unless you are getting something big like a tax refund check in the next few weeks, this is not a good option.
Payday loans are basically the same as title loans in terms of cost, but you usually do not get as big of a loan. In fact, most people do not get enough on the first loan to pay for more than one of those small easy-set pools. And by the time you pay the interest on the payday loan two times, you could have paid for that same pool outright. This is also not ideal for a personal loan for a new pool.
Secured Loans with High Cash Collateral:
Secured loans can be okay as a personal loan for a new pool, but not if you have to deposit the same amount that the pool costs. What I mean by this is that some secured loans and secured credit cards require you to put down a cash deposit. At times, it is a small percentage of the loan amount. However, for some with low or no credit, they require the full loan as a cash deposit. If you want to build your credit while buying the pool, this might be a good option. However, let me point out the fact that if you can afford to deposit the full amount of the loan, you do not need the loan to pay for the pool.
More Ideal for Large Purchases
Personal Installment Loans for Good Credit:
I may sound biased- and I might be a little bit- but I believe that installment loans with good credit are the best option when looking for a personal loan for a pool, and just about everything else. That is because the interest and payments tend to be much lower- some even below 10%- and repayment terms are often very doable. I advise looking into these first if you qualify.
Personal Line of Credit:
A personal line of credit is similar to a personal loan online in that a line of credit is often much more favorable than other high interest loans, credit cards and title loans. The differences a line of credit and a personal loan usually has fixed interest while a line of credit has variable interest, and a line of credit is revolving while a personal installment loan is not. Still, with a personal line of credit, you can take the amount you need out and make smaller payments than with a high interest personal loan for a pool.
Secured Loans with Low or No Cash Collateral:
I spoke a moment ago of secured loans that require high deposits. Now, let’s talk about those that do not. There are secured loans that require a small portion of the amount of the loan as a deposit. For instance, a $500 secured loan might require as low as a $25 deposit. This would be helpful as a personal loan for a new pool since you are receiving more than you are depositing. Also, some require no cash deposit but another form of collateral, like a piece of property. This would also be helpful as you are putting down no cash at all.
In some cases, the retailer selling you the pool with provide financing. This is just a personal loan for a pool through that retailers credit partners. While not always, this can be the best way to go sometimes if you catch the promotions. During sales, they offer things like “0% Interest for 24 Months” or something similar. I have seen 0% interest for up to five years. If you can qualify for this financing, you can make a plan to pay off your new pool during the no interest time and save a ton of money.
Where to Find a Personal Loan for a Pool
All of the aforementioned loans can be found both online and offline, even the retailer financing. While everyone has their preference, I would much rather apply online. I do not have to leave home to do it and through platforms like Loanry, I can search multiple lenders at once. Trust me when I say that this is much simpler than doing so in person or one at a time. However, if I had a good relationship with a credit union, I would also consider applying there since they usually charge lower interest than many lenders and have favorable repayment terms. The choice is yours but the more time you can save yourself, the better- at least in my opinion.
What to Do Next
Many people I know who get a personal loan go through all that they need to get approved, purchase or pay the item they got the loan for. And more often than not they forget that the loan will be coming due. Suddenly, they are struggling to pay a payment that should not be a surprise at all. Let’s try to prevent that with you. If you get a personal loan for a pool, take the following steps to stay on top of it:
- Be sure that you know and understand your payment, payment date, interest rate, whether there are any early payoff penalties, and who to contact in case the worst happens.
- Write the payment date on a visible calendar and add an alarm on your phone so there is no way it sneaks up on you.
- Budget the payment in. Do not think that it will magically take care of itself because it will not. Add the payment to your budget and figure out if you need any extra cash to make the monthly payment. If so, start working on that quickly.
One more thing: enjoy your new pool.
Yes, you need to pay for it but, honestly, if you are not enjoying it, what is the use of being in debt for it. My biggest rule when it comes to debt is that I am not going into debt for something that I or my loved ones will not benefit from. Enjoy it as often as you can, especially if your summers are short. In Alabama, we can usually get away with swimming from the end of April until sometimes November. One year, I was sweating on Christmas Eve (it’s very strange weather around here). However, some people do not have that many warm days, so swim as much as you can.
In the end, a pool loan is just like any other personal loan. You borrow the money and you have to pay it back. If you do not, it can mess up your credit that you will likely need again in the future. One way to do this is to personal loan shop for a new pool. Look for the lowest interest rate and best repayment period you qualify for. Then, be responsible and diligent in making your payments.
Brandy Woodfolk is an educator, home business owner, project manager, and lifelong learner. After a less than stellar financial upbringing, Brandy dedicated her schooling and independent studies to financial literacy. She quickly became the go-to among family, friends, and acquaintances for everything finance. Her inner circle loves to joke that she is an expert at “budgeting to the penny”. Brandy dedicates a large portion of her time to teaching parents how to succeed financially without sacrificing time with their little ones. She also teaches classes to homeschooled teenagers about finances and other life skills they need to succeed as adults.
Brandy writes about smart money management and wealth building in simple and relatable ways so all who wish to can understand the world of finance.