What you need to know about financing a swimming pool

Material Average cost Fiberglass $375+ Concrete $2,750+ Vinyl $1,325+

In addition to the cost of the pool itself, factor in the cost of renovations around the pool. This could include fencing, a deck and a cover for the off-season.

You should also factor in labor costs if you intend to hire someone to install the pool. The average labor costs for building a pool are between $5,000 and $30,000 depending on the specifications of the project and the materials used. Installing the pool yourself could save you anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000. If you decide to install the pool yourself, make sure you do adequate research, have the tools and skills necessary and have all the necessary permits.

Once you have determined the overall cost of your pool installation, think about how you want to finance the project. Several financing options are available, including home equity loans and lines of credit, personal loans and swimming pool loans.

What is a pool loan, and how does it work?

Because installing a swimming pool is expensive, you may want to look into swimming pool loans. Once you figure out how much money you’ll need for your new swimming pool, you can shop around with a few lenders to find a personal loan that works best for you.

Once you are approved for the loan, you’ll typically receive all of your loan funds upfront and repay the loan over a number of years with interest. Your income and FICO credit score will be major factors in determining the interest rate and monthly payment of any loan you receive.

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4 ways to finance your new pool

Due to the high initial investment required for a new pool, many homeowners opt to borrow money for the project and pay it off over time. Here are some of the best ways to finance your new swimming pool if you don’t have the cash to pay for it upfront.

Home equity loan

A home equity loan lets you borrow against the value of your home and use it as collateral, thus helping you secure a competitive interest rate. Home equity loans work like personal loans — they come with a fixed interest rate, a fixed repayment timeline and a fixed monthly payment that will never change.

Using your home as collateral does present some added risk. For example, your home will be subject to foreclosure if you stop making your home equity loan payment, which is not the case with personal loans. You can typically only borrow up to 85 percent of your home’s value minus any mortgage payments, so this option will only work for consumers with a lot of untapped property equity.

HELOC

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is similar to a home equity loan. With a HELOC, however, you get access to a line of credit that you can borrow against as needed — typically with a variable interest rate. Because your rate may go up and down due to rate fluctuations in the market and the amount you borrow isn’t set in stone, your payment can also change throughout the life of the loan.

As with a home equity loan, using a HELOC to finance your swimming pool does come with a few disadvantages. A HELOC uses your home as collateral, meaning you risk foreclosure if you don’t make your payments. You are also subject to the same equity limits, meaning a HELOC is only a good option for borrowers with significant amounts of home equity.

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Personal loan

The most popular option among pool loans is the tried-and-true personal loan. A personal loan lets you borrow a lump sum at a fixed interest rate and with a fixed repayment period. This means you’ll be charged a regular monthly payment that will never change. Another benefit is that you’ll know exactly when you’ll become debt-free.

Personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put your home down as collateral to get approved. If you have very good or excellent credit — or any FICO score over 740 — you may even be able to qualify for a pool loan with a fixed interest rate as low as 5 percent. Personal loans also often come with low or no fees, making them an inexpensive option compared to other swimming pool loans.

Swimming pool loan through the dealer

Another option to finance your swimming pool may be a loan through the dealer you use to purchase it. If you do opt for dealer financing, carefully read the terms you’re agreeing to, and be prepared to pay higher rates. Still, if you’re not able to qualify for a personal loan or financing using your home’s equity, this may be the only option for financing your swimming pool.

Other considerations when financing a swimming pool

Before you apply for pool financing, make sure you are aware of these:

  • Monthly payment: Consider speaking with a few pool contractors to get a ballpark estimate of your final price, then play around with a pool loan calculator to see how much your monthly payment may be. If you want to pay your loan off quickly, you’ll need to pay more each month. If you plan to spread your payments out over the long haul instead, you may be able to pay a smaller monthly amount.
  • Repayment term: If you plan on selling your house in a few years, you’ll likely want to avoid a long loan term. You should also know that a home with a pool may be worth slightly more — but it may also appeal to a smaller group of buyers since not everyone wants a pool in their backyard.
  • Debt consolidation: If you already have several credit cards and bills, you may want to consider eventually getting a debt consolidation loan so everything can be under one payment. Consider how this future action may affect your current boat financing plans.
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Pros and cons of installing a swimming pool