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What Is An FHA Loan? – Forbes Advisor

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Editorial Note: Forbes may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are home mortgages that are issued by approved lenders across the country and insured by the FHA. These loans are designed to help low- and moderate-income borrowers qualify for financing on their primary residences. An FHA borrower can qualify with a lower credit score than conventional mortgages require and purchase a home with a smaller down payment than those required by other loan programs.

The FHA was created in 1934 in response to the Great Depression. Its goal was to make it easier for Americans to afford homeownership by lowering their down payment requirements and offering attractive interest rates. Today, it offers more than a dozen types of mortgage loans that do just that. The agency is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

FHA Loan Terms

FHA home loan terms vary by program, but they are relatively generous, allowing borrowers who qualify to finance large portions of their home purchases at relatively low rates relative to their qualification requirements.

  • Interest rates: Fluctuate over time and vary by program. Current 30-year fixed FHA loan rates are approximately 3.3%—about a quarter-point lower than conventional mortgages.
  • Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: 96.5% if your credit score is 580 or more; 90% if your score is under 580. Your LTV is a ratio calculated by dividing the amount borrowed by the home’s appraised value.
  • Maximum loan amount: Varies by property type and local cost of living; current FHA mortgage limits range from about $333,000 to about $1.15 million.
  • Loan duration: Vary by program; maximum of 30 years
  • Minimum credit score: 500

The terms available through FHA loan programs aren’t always the best option for all qualifying borrowers. However, they can be attractive to borrowers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford large down payments or even qualify for conventional mortgages.

FHA Mortgage Insurance

The FHA permits borrowers to finance such large portions of their home purchases because these loans require borrowers to pay mortgage insurance for certain lengths of time, which vary by LTV.

There are two mortgage insurance programs the FHA requires borrowers to pay into:

  • Upfront mortgage insurance premium. Borrowers must pay an upfront premium equal to 1.75% of their loan amount. This premium is paid at closing and can be added to the loan balance.
  • Annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP). This mortgage insurance premium is charged for a certain number of years and paid monthly. Annual premiums range from 0.45% to 1.05% of the loan amount, divided by 12 and paid monthly. Premiums vary by loan amount, duration and LTV.

The amount of time that annual premiums must be paid vary by loan term and LTV:

Term LTV (%) MIP Payments Required
15 years or fewer 78% or less 11 years
Over 15 years 78% or less 11 years
15 years or fewer 78.01% to 90% 11 years
Over 15 years 78.01% to 90% 11 years
15 years or fewer Over 90% For the duration of the loan term
Over 15 years Over 90% For the duration of the loan term

For example, if someone purchased a home for $300,000 using a 30-year FHA mortgage that required only a 3.5% down payment, their loan amount would be $289,500 ($300,000 x 96.5% LTV). Their upfront mortgage insurance premium would equal $5,066.25 ($289,500 x 1.75%) and their annual mortgage insurance premium would be between $1,158 and $3,039.75, depending on the specifics of the loan.

This mortgage insurance requirement also means that, while you may qualify for a lower interest rate through the FHA than you would for a conventional loan, the total cost of your loan may actually be higher over time.

Getting An FHA Loan

In order to get an FHA loan to buy your next house, it’s a good idea to first check your credit score. That way, you can see what your maximum LTV would be through the FHA and decide whether an FHA loan might be right for you.

Depending on which FHA lender you’re working with, it may also be a good idea to get pre-qualified for an FHA loan. This can help you establish how much you’ll likely be able to borrow and what your interest rate may be.

Application and Underwriting

Once you’ve identified a home you want to purchase and are ready to formally apply for your mortgage loan, you’ll need to choose an FHA-approved lender and work through its individual application and underwriting process. The application process will include completion of a Uniform Residential Loan Application.

As part of your application, you’ll also need to get an appraisal for the home you’re buying, so your lender can ensure your loan won’t violate FHA’s LTV limits. From there, you’ll need to work through your individual lender’s underwriting process, which will include showing proof of income, running credit checks and demonstrating that you can afford your down payment.

Some of the documentation you’ll likely need to supply for underwriting include:

  • A credit report
  • Employment history for two years
  • Income verification with recent pay stubs, bank statements and/or three years of tax returns
  • Proof that you are using the loan for a primary residence
  • An FHA-approved appraisal

After you complete your lender’s application process and underwriting, your lender can formally approve your loan and you can close on your home.

Who Should Consider FHA Loans

FHA loans don’t have stated income maximums or minimums, but are generally designed to benefit low- to moderate-income Americans who would have trouble qualifying for conventional financing or affording the down payment required by other loans.

Some potential cases when FHA loans can be particularly helpful include:

  • First-time homebuyers who can’t afford a large down payment
  • People who are rebuilding their credit
  • Seniors who need to convert equity in their homes to cash

Types Of FHA Loans

There are more than a dozen home loan programs available through the FHA. Many of these programs are ideal for different borrowers in a variety of circumstances, offering everything from 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to adjustable rates, improvement loans, refinancing solutions and even reverse mortgages.

Some of the most popular FHA loan programs are:

  • FHA Section 203(b) loan. The FHA’s most popular home loan program, offering fixed rates on properties from one to four units.
  • FHA Section 203(k) loan. FHA mortgages designed to help homebuyers finance up to $35,000 in improvements to their new homes.
  • FHA Section 245(a) loan. Loans with monthly payments that increase over time, ideal for borrowers who expect their incomes to be higher in the future.
  • FHA Section 251 loan. Adjustable-rate mortgage products with rates that reset three, five, seven, or 10 years into the loan.
  • FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). Loans to purchase or refinance homes and make energy-efficient improvements.
  • FHA Section 255 Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). A reverse mortgage product that allows seniors over age 62 to convert equity in their primary residence to cash, up to the lesser of:
  • The original sale price of the home
  • The appraised value of the home
  • $765,600
  • Streamline Refinancing. An option for existing FHA borrowers to refinance their loans with streamlined underwriting.

FHA Loans Vs. Conventional Mortgages

Most conventional mortgages require down payments of at least 20% of a home’s purchase price in order to avoid paying private mortgage insurance, along with minimum credit scores of 620 to 640 in order to qualify. With private mortgage insurance (PMI) that helps homeowners pay their mortgage if they lose their jobs, some lenders require lower down payments.

FHA loans have two types of built-in mortgage insurance that allow borrowers to buy homes with as little as 3.5% down—or 10% if they have bad credit. In addition, these loans allow homebuyers to qualify for lower interest rates than they would get with conventional mortgages, all because their loans are federally insured.

FHA Loan Conventional Mortgage
Minimum credit score 500 620
Minimum down payment 3.5% if your credit score is 580 or higher; 10% for scores under 580 20% to avoid mortgage insurance
Maximum loan term 30 years 30 years
Mortgage insurance requirement Two types of mortgage insurance required Required if down payment is under 20%

Pros of FHA Loans

  • High maximum loan-to-value
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Multiple programs available
  • Can qualify with bad credit
  • Closing costs are sometimes paid by lenders

Cons of FHA Loans

  • Mortgage insurance is required for extra cost
  • Only available for a primary residence
  • Must show proof of income
  • Debt-to-income ratio must be under 43% (slightly lower than a conventional loan requires)

Bottom Line

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created in the 1930s in response to the Great Depression to help Americans who couldn’t otherwise afford the dream of homeownership.

Today, the FHA continues to help Americans through more than a dozen loan programs that help Americans with low incomes or bad credit qualify for lower interest rates than they would otherwise get, and buy homes with much smaller down payments than those required by conventional lending tools. The FHA does this by working with approved lenders to insure loans across the country and by building two types of mortgage insurance into all of the loans that it insures.

So, if you have poor credit or are struggling to save for a down payment, you may want to consider using an FHA loan for your next home purchase.

Forbes adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

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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.


Need a personal loan?
Compare rates without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.

Check Out: How to Get a Personal Loan

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.

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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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