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How Much Is Auto Insurance?

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If you have a car, you need auto insurance to protect you from sudden, and possibly enormous, financial costs in case you’re involved in an accident. According to MyCarInsurance123.com, the national average monthly car insurance premium is $135. That works out to $1,625 per year.

While knowing how much car insurance costs on average can be insightful, it’s important to understand the factors insurers look at when setting rates. That way, you can figure out how to get the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget. 

We’ve researched the top U.S. auto insurance companies and provided our findings in our review of the best car insurance companies for 2020.

Fill out the form to get personalized quotes for auto insurance coverage and see how much it is for you:

How Auto Insurance Companies Set Their Premiums

Car insurance rates vary widely based on many factors related to a driver, vehicle, and location. Each company emphasizes some factors more than others, which means insurers may quote the same driver vastly different rates for the same coverage. That’s why it’s important to get multiple quotes before you purchase a policy.

Factors Related to the Driver

Factors Related to the Vehicle

Factors Related to Location

  • Age
  • Gender (except where prohibited by law)
  • Marital status
  • Driving history
  • Credit score (except where prohibited by law)
  • Gap in coverage
  • Frequency/amount of driving
  • Make/model
  • Speed and performance
  • Size
  • Safety features
  • Age
  • Severe weather/natural disasters
  • Population density/congestion
  • State laws on required coverage
  • No-fault state laws
 

Personal Factors That Can Affect Your Insurance Premiums

Insurers look at many factors to decide how much auto insurance costs. Some of those factors are beyond your control.

Age

Age has a significant effect on car insurance rates. Drivers 25 and under are generally considered riskier than middle-aged drivers because they don’t have much experience. Rates are highest for teen drivers, then they begin to fall in the early 20s as drivers gain more experience behind the wheel. Premiums tend to be lowest for drivers in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, then climb from the age of 70 onward.

A full-coverage policy for a 20-year-old with a clean driving record will cost about $3,000 per year. A 25-year-old with a good driving record can expect to pay around $2,000 in annual premiums for a full-coverage policy. Insurance rates for younger drivers can vary due to several other factors, such as the type of vehicle and zip code.

Gender

Young males usually pay higher insurance premiums than females of the same age. That’s not always the case, however, since California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Montana, and some parts of Michigan prohibit auto insurance companies from considering gender when setting premiums.

Marital Status

Your marital status can affect your insurance rates. Married people are statistically less likely to be involved in car accidents than single people. This may be because married drivers think about the safety and financial security of their family members more than single drivers and therefore tend to be more cautious. 

In addition, married couples typically enjoy lower premiums because they have car insurance policies that cover multiple vehicles and drivers. They also frequently bundle policies for auto, homeowners, and life insurance through the same company. All those actions can make customers eligible for discounts.

Credit Score

You may be surprised to learn that your credit score can affect the amount you pay for car insurance. Most insurers look at a driver’s credit score when setting premiums (except in California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, where the practice is illegal). Drivers with lower credit scores tend to file more insurance claims than drivers with better credit.

Driving History

Your accident history and any tickets you have received can affect your auto insurance rates. Multiple tickets or citations for serious offenses, such as reckless driving or DUI, can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. Yahoo! Finance cited a study by Insurance.com that found that a DUI caused insurance premiums to rise by 79 percent on average, while a ticket for reckless driving led to a 73-percent rate hike.

Gap In Coverage

If your car insurance coverage lapsed, your rates will most likely be higher when you get a new policy. You might not have to pay higher premiums, however, if your coverage lapsed because you were deployed for military service.

Driving Habits

How often and how far you drive your car can influence your insurance premiums. The more you drive, the greater the chance that you will get into an accident. Where you park your car is also important since your vehicle will be safer if it’s parked in a garage than it would be on the street or in a shared parking lot.

How Your Car Affects Your Insurance Costs

People who buy fast cars are more likely to get into accidents, so they pay higher auto insurance premiums. 

Sedans, minivans, and SUVs are considered more sensible vehicles, and people who drive them generally have more affordable insurance rates than owners of sports cars. 

Larger cars are safer in accidents since they absorb an impact better than smaller vehicles. 

Safety and security devices, such as anti-lock brakes and anti-theft systems, can lower insurance rates. 

Used cars cost less to insure than new ones. Take those factors into consideration if you’re thinking about buying a car in the near future.

How Your Location Influences Your Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance premiums vary by location. Here is a list of average auto insurance rates broken down by state. The table below shows the places with the highest and lowest average auto insurance premiums.

Most Expensive States to Insure a Car

Least Expensive States to Insure a Car

  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Maine
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
 

Some parts of the U.S. are more prone to severe weather and natural disasters. That means drivers in those locations are more likely to be involved in accidents than those who live in some other parts of the country. Accidents are more common in densely populated locations, so drivers in urban areas tend to pay higher premiums than those in more sparsely populated places. Lower-than-average income and a high percentage of uninsured motorists can raise average rates.

Required And Optional Insurance Coverage

The types of car insurance coverage that are required depend on the state where you live. New Hampshire and Virginia don’t require auto insurance. 

  • In New Hampshire, uninsured residents can be held responsible for up to $50,000 in liability and up to $25,000 in property damage for an accident or have their license and registration suspended. 
  • In Virginia, residents can pay the state $500 per year instead of purchasing car insurance, but that doesn’t provide any coverage if a driver causes an accident.

In states where auto insurance is required, laws require minimum amounts of coverage in specific categories. We want to stress that it’s usually not a good idea to just buy the bare minimum. That might save you money each month, but if a serious accident resulted in damage or injuries beyond your limits, you would be on the hook for the difference. That could put your other assets, such as your home, as well as your family’s financial security, at risk.

When it comes to optional coverage, you need to decide what makes sense for you. For example, personal injury protection (PIP) will cover medical bills for you and your family if you get injured in a car accident. It can also cover funeral costs and lost wages.

If you have a car loan or lease, you’re required to have collision and comprehensive coverage. 

  • Comprehensive covers theft, vandalism, and damage from other causes, excluding crashes.
  • Collision covers damage to your car as a result of a crash. 

If comprehensive and collision coverage aren’t required, it might not be a good idea to pay for them if you don’t drive your car often or if it isn’t worth much.

No-Fault States

In some states, known as no-fault states, each driver injured in an accident must file a claim with his or her own insurance company, regardless of which driver was at fault. In those states, PIP coverage is required.

Several variations on the no-fault model exist in different states. The right to sue for injuries and pain and suffering is restricted to varying degrees.

The following states and territory have no-fault insurance laws. In states marked with an asterisk (*), no-fault auto insurance is optional. That means drivers can choose a no-fault insurance policy or a traditional tort liability policy that allows parties injured in a car accident to sue the party found to be at fault.

Premiums for no-fault insurance coverage vary based on the characteristics of the driver, vehicle, and state. State laws have different minimum amounts of PIP coverage required. 

Michigan requires drivers to have unlimited PIP coverage and $1 million in property protection insurance. Michigan also has car insurance premiums that are much higher than the national average.

Ways To Save On Car Insurance

If you’re currently paying high car insurance premiums, there are several steps you can take to lower your bills:

Ask If You Qualify For Discounts

Car insurance companies offer various discounts to save customers money. You might qualify for lower premiums if you’re a safe driver, a homeowner, a good student, a military member or veteran, or a member of a particular organization. You could also get lower premiums by bundling multiple policies, such as auto, homeowners, and life insurance, through one company.

Buy A Safer And/Or Used Car

If you plan to buy a new car, look for one that is equipped with safety features. Avoid a sports car and consider buying a used vehicle.

Drive Safely And Limit Your Driving

Focus on driving safely. If you have a spotty driving history, you might want to choose an insurance company that will allow you to install a tracker in your vehicle that monitors your driving habits, so you can qualify for safe driving discounts.

Driving a lot puts you at higher risk for an accident. Using public transportation, carpooling, or moving closer to work could lower your premiums.

Improve Your Credit

If you have bad credit, focus on paying your bills on time and lowering your credit card balances. If you have high interest rates, a balance transfer card or debt consolidation loan could help you eliminate your debt faster.

Only Pay For Coverage You Need

Consider eliminating coverage you don’t need. Just don’t focus so much on saving money that you leave yourself underinsured.

Raise Your Deductible

The deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance company will give you money to settle a claim. Deductibles are typically $500 or $1,000, but they can be higher or lower. A higher deductible usually means lower monthly premiums. Raising your deductible might save you money each month, but you should only make that change if you have enough money in an emergency fund to cover the deductible if you get into an accident.

Compare Quotes From Several Insurers

All auto insurance companies consider a number of factors when setting premiums. Since each company assigns a different amount of importance to each of those factors, you could receive a wide range of quotes for the same coverage. This is why it’s important to get quotes from several companies before you choose a policy.

Should You And Your Spouse Combine Auto Insurance Coverage?

If both you and your spouse have good driving records, combining your coverage on one insurance policy could lower your premiums since many car insurance companies give multi-car discounts. 

Compare your existing policies and get quotes for a combined policy from several insurers. Some insurance companies allow domestic partners, as well as married couples, to have joint policies.

If one of you has a good driving record and the other has had several accidents or received multiple tickets, you should talk to insurers about whether you would be better off with a joint policy or two separate ones. In some cases, combining coverage would cost less, especially if you got a multi-car discount, while in other circumstances you’d save money with separate policies.

Note that even if you got two policies, insurers would consider both your driving records since one of you might drive the other’s car and get into an accident. The person with the better driving record might be able to exclude the other spouse from the policy to keep the rates down, but the policy wouldn’t pay for damage or injuries if the non-covered spouse drove the car and caused an accident.

Comparison of Top Insurance Providers

We’ve looked at many of the leading auto insurance companies in the U.S. and believe these are among the best. Contact individual companies to get specific quotes for your vehicle, location, and situation.

USAA

GEICO

Progressive

  • 5.0 stars overall
  • Best for current and former members of the military and their families
  • Lowest premiums in many states
  • 4.5 stars overall
  • Best for students and military
  • Known for competitive rates and discounts
  • 4.5 stars overall
  • Gives customers several ways to earn discounts
  • Convenient online policy management

State Farm

AAA

Nationwide

  • 4.5 stars overall
  • Best for students
  • Largest U.S. auto insurer
  • Offers apps that that customers earn discounts
  • 4.0 stars overall
  • Regional clubs
  • Insurance coverage available to customers with roadside assistance memberships
  • 4.0 stars overall
  • Best for senior citizens
  • Competitive rates
  • Several discounts available
 

In our opinion, USAA is the best car insurance company, but its coverage isn’t available to everyone. Policies are only issued to individuals who have served in the military and members of their families. USAA’s high customer satisfaction earned it an A++ rating from AM Best and the top spot on J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. In addition, USAA offers the lowest rates in many states, as well as discounts for safe drivers, good students, multi-vehicle policies, and other reasons.

GEICO is a top choice for many drivers because of its competitive prices. It also offers money-saving discounts for current members of the military and veterans, students, loyal customers, and good drivers, as well as drivers whose vehicles are equipped with anti-theft devices. GEICO received an A++ rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Progressive has earned an A+ rating from AM Best. It offers customers several ways to earn discounts. The deductible savings bank reduces the deductible by $50 for each six-month period without a claim. The company’s Snapshot app can monitor customers’ driving and reward safe drivers with lower rates. Customers who bundle policies can enjoy lower premiums.

State Farm is the largest U.S. car insurance company. It has four insurance apps that let customers earn discounts, manage their policies, and submit claims. State Farm also offers a variety of discounts to save customers money.

How To Find Affordable Auto Insurance

It’s difficult to give a straight answer to the question “How much is car insurance?” Insurance companies consider many factors related to a driver, a vehicle, and the location when setting premiums. Each insurer has its own policies and considers some factors more important than others. If you need car insurance, you should request quotes from several companies and compare them to figure out which insurer can provide you with the best coverage at the most affordable rate.

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Who Voted For Me? – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

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(WSVN) – He walked into a Broward precinct during early voting to cast his ballot and then was told, “You already voted today.” Of course, he had not and was not happy his right to vote was being taken from him, which is why he put in  a call to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

The right to vote is what separates a democracy from a dictatorship.

Matthew Bryant: “I’ve never missed an election. It’s fundamental to what it means to be an American.”

And last week, Matthew and his wife got in line for early voting, ready to cast their ballots in person.

Matthew Bryant: “My wife and I both felt that voting in person was the best way to ensure that our vote was truly actually counted.”

But when Matthew’s turn came at the Broward precinct, they scanned his driver’s license and told him, “You already voted.”

Matthew Bryant: “‘This can’t be right. I know I didn’t vote yet. What are you talking about?’”

A supervisor came over to confirm that the records showed Matthew had indeed cast his ballot that morning.

Matthew Bryant: “They verified then that Matthew Bryant at 6800 address had, in fact, voted already.”

Matthew was stunned, since state law requires the voter to have a valid ID.

Matthew Bryant: “Apparently, the person that morning must not have had a photo ID. My first question to them is who took away my right to vote?”

A vote Matthew was excited to cast for his candidate.

Matthew Bryant: “I voted for Trump.”

But now Matthew fears he lost his right to cast that ballot.

Matthew Bryant: “Certainly I am personally offended. This is my right. I’m an American citizen, I paid my taxes, you know. I’m a productive member of our society. I need to have a say.”

And if you cannot vote, you don’t have a say, so legally, Howard, what should Matthew do to get that other ballot tossed and his counted?

Howard Finkelstein: “First, Matthew should request what’s called a provisional ballot, which is a regular ballot he fills out that is sealed and put in a special envelope. Then the canvassing board can quickly determine if a crook cast an illegal ballot in Matthew’s name or it was a clerical error that can be easily fixed. Either way, Matthew’s vote will then count.”

Some confusion on evictions. The feds have blocked them if you fill out an affidavit saying you couldn’t pay because of COVID. A lot of viewers are getting served with eviction lawsuits and don’t know what to do with that affidavit.

Howard Finkelstein: “When you get served with the lawsuit, give that affidavit to your landlord. The eviction papers your landlord serves you with will tell you where to respond. Do that quickly and include your affidavit for the judge to read. They will either grant the eviction or allow you to stay in the rental until at least the end of the year.”

A fellow says a customer came into the job and used what turned out to be a bad credit card. His boss is now making him pay back the money that was stolen. Does he have to?

Howard Finkelstein: “Generally speaking, an employer cannot require you to pay back the money that came from a fraudulent credit card. Of course, if you refuse, they can fire you, so you have to decide whether to repay or not.”

Matthew Bryant: “There was another person with the same last name and the exact same date of birth at a different precinct.”

There was nothing criminal in Matthew’s case; it was a clerical error. A poll worker clicked on the wrong name at the polls. Broward corrected it, accepted Matthew’s vote and made him happy.

Matthew Bryant: “The system is trustworthy for in-person voting. Looks like it, yeah. My confidence in voting, in in-person voting, has been restored.”

When you vote in person and there’s a problem, you know right away. If you cast a mail-in ballot, you can go online to see if your vote has been counted, and if not, contact them to see what can be done to correct it.

And if you have a problem, a question you want us to answer, cast your lot with us. We would love to help you out.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

Important South Florida election sites:

Broward County
www.browardsoe.org/Voter-Information/Voter-Lookup-Free-Access-System

Miami Dade County
www.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser151187731708822

Monroe County
www.keys-elections.org/m/Voters/My-Registration-Status

Palm Beach County
www.pbcelections.org/Voters/My-Status

Florida
registration.elections.myflorida.com/en/CheckVoterStatus

Florida Election Information
dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/vote-by-mail

Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Swimming Pool Loans: Finance with a Personal Loan

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Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders, all opinions are our own.

The average cost of installing a pool in the U.S. is about $35,000, according to HomeGuide. If you’d like to get a pool but don’t have the cash, a personal loan could help you cover the cost.

Here’s what you should know about swimming pool loans:

Personal loans for swimming pools

A personal loan can be used for a wide variety of reasons — including swimming pool installation. Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer personal loans for swimming pools:

Avant

Avant offers personal loans for up to $35,000, as well as fast loan funding. If you have fair credit and would like to finance a pool installation, Avant could be a good choice.

  • Rates: 9.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000**
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, IA, LA, NV, NY, SC, VT, and WV
  • Min. income: $24,000
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes

Avant personal loans review

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Axos

Axos personal loans range from $5,000 to $35,000 and can be used for home improvement and more. Keep in mind that you’ll likely need very good credit to qualify for an Axos loan.

  • Rates: 9.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000**
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, IA, LA, NV, NY, SC, VT, and WV
  • Min. income: $24,000
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes

Avant personal loans review

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Best Egg

Best Egg offers personal loans up to $35,000, with highly competitive fixed interest rates. Just remember that you’ll need good credit to qualify for the lower end of these rates.

  • Rates: 5.99% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $5,000 – $35,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except DC, IA, VT, and WV
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 – 3 business days after successful verification
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Best Egg personal loans review

Discover

If you have good to excellent credit and are looking for a longer repayment term, a personal loan from Discover might be a good option. Discover offers loans ranging from $2,500 to $35,000, with terms from three to seven years.

  • Rates: 6.99% – 24.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $2,500 – $35,000
  • Fees: None as long as you pay on time
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Time to get funds: Funds can be sent as soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Loan uses: Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Discover personal loans review

LendingPoint

You don’t need excellent credit to get a loan from LendingPoint. If you’re looking for bad credit personal loans, LendingPoint might be a good option.

  • Rates: 15.49% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, MA, MD, NV, NY, VT, WV, and WY
  • Min. income: $35,000
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 585
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day
  • Loan uses: Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

LendingPoint personal loans review

LightStream

A division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream offers loans up to $100,000, plus repayment terms ranging from two to 12 years for home improvement. This gives you more time to pay off your pool compared to other personal loan lenders.

  • Rates: 3.99% – 19.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except RI and VT
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same business day
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

LightStream personal loans review

LightStream disclosure

Marcus

Marcus personal loans come with absolutely no fees — no origination fees, prepayment penalties, or even late fees. And if you make your payments on time and in full for a year, you have the option of skipping a payment with no interest accruing.

  • Rates: 6.99% – 19.99% APR1
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $3,500 to $40,0002
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MD
  • Min. income: $30,000
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 680
  • Time to get funds: Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as five days
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Marcus personal loans review

1Rate reduction available for AutoPay.

2You may be required to have some of your funds sent directly to pay off outstanding unsecured debt.

3After making 12 or more consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you have made all your prior payments in full and on time. Marcus will waive any interest incurred during the deferral and extend your loan by one month (you will pay interest during this extra month). Your payments resume as usual after your deferral. Advance notice is required. See loan agreement for details.

PenFed

If you only need to borrow a small amount, PenFed could be a good choice. With PenFed, you could get anywhere from a $600 up to $20,000 personal loan with loan terms from one to five years.

  • Rates: 6.49% – 17.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $600 to $20,000 (depending on loan term)
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Does not disclose
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. credit score: 650
  • Time to get funds: 2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

PenFed personal loans review

Prosper

Prosper is a lending marketplace where loans are funded by individual investors. Prosper loans come with three- or five-year terms and are available for up to $40,000.

  • Rates: 6.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA, ND, WV
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Time to get funds: On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Prosper personal loans review

SoFi

SoFi offers $5,000 up to $100,000 personal loans that come with no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties. SoFi also offers unemployment protection, free financial planning sessions, and career coaching.

  • Rates: 5.99% – 18.83% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MS
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: 3 business days
  • Loan uses: Solely for personal, family, or household uses

SoFi personal loans review

Upgrade

An Upgrade personal loan could be a good choice if you’re building credit or looking for fast loan approval. Upgrade offers loans up to $35,000.

  • Rates: 7.99% – 35.97% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $35,000 ($3,005 minimum in GA; $6,005 minimum in MA)
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except DC, IA, WV
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Time to get funds: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Upgrade personal loans review

Upstart

With Upstart, you could get a $1,000 up to a $50,000 personal loan. In addition to your credit, Upstart looks at over 1,000 non-traditional credit indicators to help get you approved for a personal loan — which means those with less-than-stellar credit might still qualify for a loan.

  • Rates: 8.13% – 35.99% APR4
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 5 years4
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,0005
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA and WV
  • Min. income: $12,000
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 600

    (in most states)
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 – 3 business days6
  • Loan uses: Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Upstart personal loans review

4The 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 15% and 36 monthly payments of $33 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.

5This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website.

6If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), loan funds will be sent to your designated bank account on the next business day, provided that such funds are not being used to directly pay off credit cards. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

See: What You Can Use a Personal Loan For

How to calculate the total cost of your swimming pool loan

How much you’ll need to borrow to cover your swimming pool will depend on the type of pool you choose.

Here are some common price points to consider before estimating the overall cost of a swimming pool loan:

  • Above-ground swimming pool: $1,500 to $16,000 on average
  • In-ground swimming pool: $3,000 to $100,000
Tip: The total cost of your loan will also be driven by the interest rate and any fees charged by the lender.

Having a good credit score could also help you qualify for a lower interest rate, so it’s a good idea to make sure your credit is as good as it can be before applying.

Before you borrow, estimate how much you’ll pay for a swimming pool loan using our personal loan calculator below:

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

Total Payment
$

Total Interest
$

Monthly Payment
$

With a
$
loan, you will pay
$
monthly and a total of
$
in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of
$
over the life of the
loan.


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HELOCs vs. personal loans for pools

In some cases, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) might be a good choice to pay for pool installation. Here are some pros and cons of both HELOCs and personal loans to help you decide:

  HELOCs Personal loans
Pros
  • Often have lower interest rates
  • Can use credit line multiple times
  • Quick application
  • Typically unsecured (doesn’t require collateral)
  • Few or no fees (depending on the lender)
Cons
  • If you stop payments, you could lose your collateral (i.e., your home)
  • Can come with upfront costs
  • Typically higher interest rates
  • Generally need very good credit to qualify
Best for
  • Borrowers with a good amount of equity in their home
  • Borrowers with good credit who qualify for lower rates

Learn More: How to Decide Between a Personal Loan and a Personal Line of Credit

Things you should know before building a pool

On top of paying for a pool, there are a few points to keep in mind before you take the plunge. Here’s what to consider first:

Pools won’t necessarily boost your home value

Unlike a bathroom addition or kitchen remodel, adding a new pool won’t necessarily add value to your home. If you move, you’ll be leaving it behind and likely won’t recoup the full cost — if any.

Also keep in mind that if you sell your home, buyers might not be thrilled with the added costs and safety risks that come with a home swimming pool.

The typical pool builder will recoup about $20,000 to $32,000 in value compared to an average $50,000 expense, according to HGTV.

In addition to paying for the pool, there may be additional monthly costs

Pool costs don’t stop after building and filling it up for the first time. There are a handful of common, ongoing costs related to owning a pool. The cost is around $3,000 to $5,000 per year, according to HomeAdvisor. These costs include:

  • Heating-related electricity costs
  • Pool chemicals
  • Cleaning services
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Winterizing
  • Filling and adding water
  • Additional home insurance costs

Learn More: Where to Get a $10,000 Personal Loan

Some pool dealers may offer their own financing — but you should compare your options

Some pool-building companies offer their own financing. However, it’s a good idea to compare this with other loan options you might qualify for since you might get a much lower interest rate with another lender.

If the pool dealer offers a better deal, it might be a good choice. Just remember that you’re under no obligation to finance through your pool company, especially if you can get better terms elsewhere.

If you decide to take out a personal loan to pay for your swimming pool, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

Ready to find your swimming pool loan?
Credible makes it easy to find the right personal loan for you.

  • Free to use, no hidden fees
  • One simple form, easy to fill out and your info is protected
  • More options, pick the loan option that best fits your personal needs
  • Here for you. Our team is here to help you reach your financial goals

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Keep Reading: Where to Get a Personal Loan

About the author

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a Credible expert on personal finance. His work has been featured at Business Insider, Investopedia, The Balance, The Huffington Post, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Mint.com and more.

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Bad Credit

The case of the ugly-credit customer

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Thea Dudley

Dear Thea,

I recently had a customer apply for credit, and their commercial credit report was UGLY. They owe everyone, and they’re past due 90+ days. They have a few big orders pending with us and I feel they have been shut off everywhere else, which is why they are pushing so hard to get our orders shipped. I called the president of the company and told him we were opening his account COD so the orders pending would need to be paid prior to shipping them out. He blew up. He said he didn’t care about the information on the DNB report and it did not relate to them. Then he screamed at me, asking if we were going to send the materials. I am not interested in acquiring another slow paying account, so I need your thoughts.

Signed, Miffed in Michigan

Dear Miffed,

Control freaks, abusers of credit, and manipulators of people don’t ever question themselves. They never ask themselves if the problem is actually them, and they always say the problem is someone else. Such is the life of the slow-paying/no-paying account.

Yes, Mr. Crappy Credit Report, it is completely everyone else’s fault that your credit payment history looks like a piece of Swiss cheese: full of holes and slightly smelly. In fact, the Secret Society of Credit Managers got together last week and selected your company as THE ONE we were going to target for the month to make your professional life a nightmare. It has nothing to do with your inability to pay your invoices in a timely fashion. You, as always, are an innocent my dear customer.

Let’s be real here: customers with negative or poor credit history ALWAYS know they have bad credit, but they always posture like it is brand new information, heard for the very first time. What? My credit is bad? No, who is reporting me that way? I want names, numbers, I dispute it. This is total BS! The list of objections goes on and on. One thing they do know, it is wrong, and you need to give them credit RIGHT NOW or they will take their business elsewhere (oh, the horror.)

Blowhards and bullies shout over the top of you and push their agenda because that’s what worked for them in the past. Their theory is “if you say it loud enough and angry enough with enough threats and forcefulness, it becomes true and others back down.”

Well, I like to throw caution to the wind and pet that kitty backwards. If you are going to come at me bro, don’t come empty-handed. You’re not the first guy to lose his stuffing at me. So, your credit report is junk. Ok, no problem. I will email you a copy and you can address it directly with the commercial credit bureau I pulled it from. Once you two have kissed and made up, I will pull a new one and if it is good, then welcome to the family!

In absence of that, let’s take a look at the trade references you listed on your credit application. I will personally call each and every one of them. Once I have made contact and have the information back, we can reevaluate. Just so we are on the same page, trade references are who you currently purchase like materials from. I do not want anyone you hire (so no sub-contractors, no contractors, no homeowners), no big box, no gas and sip, no personal testimonials.

How about some financials? I will take those. Show me what you have under the hood. Since this is a family publication, I cannot print what some of the reactions to those requests have been but most of you have pretty good imaginations and can fill in those blanks.

If someone truly believes their credit report is inaccurate, they have a normal conversation about it, in a normal tone. In this case the old adage, “the louder they are, the harder they fall” applies, so take heed.

With more than 30 years of credit management experience in the LBM industry, Thea Dudley consults with companies on a wide range of credit and financial management issues. Contact Thea at theadudley@charter.net.

 

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