Top Moving and Relocation Personal Loan Providers
What Is a Relocation Loan?
A relocation loan allows you to fund your move to a new city, state, or country without the need for immediate upfront payment. If you're in the process of relocating but lack the immediate funds to cover associated expenses, a relocation loan could be a viable solution to explore.
You can typically use a moving loan for things like:
- Fuel costs
- Renting a moving truck or paying for movers
- Shipping a vehicle overseas
- Professional cleaning fees for your old or new residence
- Painting services
- Landscaping or lawn care
- Moving supplies like boxes or packing materials
- Food, furniture, and other expenses that come with moving to a new place
- Parking fees
- Utility bills
- Hotel accommodations
- Storage unit costs
- Other common expenses related to moving
How do Relocation Loans Work?
Relocation loans work similarly to other personal loans. Once approved, you’ll typically receive the funds upfront in a lump sum. You’ll then be able to use the money for whatever moving-related expenses you need.
Typically, you’ll need to make fixed monthly payments on the borrowed amount until the repayment term ends. Repayment terms typically last anywhere from 12 to 60 months. As long as you don’t miss any payments, the loan will be repaid in full by the end of the term.
Relocation loans also have an annual percentage rate (APR). This is a percentage of the loan amount that the lender adds to your payments. It’s typically fixed, meaning it won’t change for the duration of your loan.
Having good credit and a steady income can qualify you for better terms, lower interest rates, and higher loan amounts. If you have poor credit or limited income, lenders may be less likely to approve your loan application. Or they might approve a loan with higher interest rates and shorter terms.
How to Get a Relocation Loan
The application process for a relocation loan can vary, but here’s how it generally works:
- Determine how much you need. Calculate how much you’ll need to cover your moving expenses before starting the process. This is important because the amount borrowed influences your monthly payments and how much you pay in interest. If you’re not sure, make a list of all the possible moving expenses and add them up.
- Check your credit reports. Your credit score has a major impact on the loan amount, terms, and rates. Get a free copy of your credit report and review it for any errors that might be bringing down your score. Your report will also give you a good idea of where your credit is, and what improvements you might need to make.
- Compare lenders. Every lender has its own terms, rates, fees, and requirements. Reviewing different offers before choosing one can ensure you get the best loan for your move. If you have limited credit but good income, look for a lender that emphasizes income over credit. Certain lenders also specialize in relocation loans, so consider choosing one of those for your financing needs.
- Consider prequalification. Some lenders have a prequalification process that lets you check your rates without affecting your credit score. This can give you a better idea of what you qualify for, as well as the total loan cost before applying.
- Collect your documents. You’ll need certain documents when applying for a relocation loan. This may include personal information like your SSN, driver’s license, or passport. It can also include proof of income like paystubs or W-2s, employment information, and contact information.
- Apply. After choosing a lender and gathering your documents, it’s time to apply. This process will typically involve a hard credit check, which will temporarily lower your credit score.
- Wait for the decision. The lender will either approve or reject your application, or they’ll request more information. If approved, the lender will disburse the funds to your account and you can start using them as intended.
Relocation Loans: What to Consider
Financing your move with a loan can be a great way to alleviate stress and make the entire process easier. Before going this route, here’s what to consider:
- Secured vs. unsecured: Most relocation loans are unsecured. This means you don’t need to put forth collateral to get the funds. Lenders will asset your ability to repay the loan based on your creditworthiness and income, though.
- Monthly payments: Your monthly payment amount depends on your loan amount, interest rate, and any other fees. Generally, a shorter repayment term means higher monthly payments.
- Lender fees: Some lenders tack on additional fees to their loans. A common fee is a prepayment penalty, which incurs if you pay back the loan early. Another common fee is an origination fee, which is a percentage of the amount you borrow. Other fees include application and late fees.
- Credit score impact: Getting a loan can affect your credit score. If you miss payments, it could also hurt your credit. Always pay on time to avoid late fees and damaged credit.
- Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Your DTI ratio is the percentage of your monthly gross income that goes toward your debts. Lenders typically prefer working with borrowers with a lower DTI ratio.
- Credit Utilization Ratio: This is the percentage of your available credit that you’re using. The lower your ratio is, the better your approval odds for a moving loan.
- Time to funding: This varies by lender. Some lenders will issue a loan within 24 to 72 hours of approval. Others will take a few weeks.
- Eligibility criteria: Certain lenders have stricter eligibility requirements than others. This is especially true when applying for a larger loan. Other lenders offer loans to borrowers with subprime credit, but the terms may be less ideal.
Pros and Cons of Relocation Loans
It is important to regard the main advantages and disadvantages of loans for relocation expenses. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
Relocation Loans Pros
- Offers necessary funding for moving expenses
- May offer lower rates than using your credit card
- May have better terms than alternative financing options
- Flexible loan usage
- Unsecured relocation loans don’t require collateral
- Can be used to build credit
- Simple application process
- Lightens the initial financial load when moving
- Some lenders work with borrowers with poor credit
Relocation Loans Cons
- Rates may be higher for subprime borrowers
- Lender fees can add up
- Failure to make payments could hurt your credit score
- Higher DTI and credit utilization ratios could limit your options or lead to higher rates
- Monthly payments can be high
Should You Get a Relocation Loan?
You may want to consider getting a moving loan if you:
- Are relocating and need help with the upfront costs
- Can reliably pay back what you borrow on schedule
- Are good at budgeting your monthly payments
- Have good credit or better to secure the best rates and terms
Compare Top Relocation Loan Providers
Relocation Loan Alternatives
There are a few alternatives to consider as well, including:
- Savings: If you’re not in a hurry, try saving up some money for your expenses. You can do this through a side gig or by setting aside a portion of your monthly paycheck. This can prevent interest or other fees.
- Friend or family loan: Asking a loved one for a cash loan is another good way to avoid fees or impact to your credit score. Consider asking someone with steady income. Make sure you’re both clear on the terms.
- 0% APR credit cards: Certain credit cards have a 0% APR introductory period. During this time, the card’s balance won’t incur interest charges. This is a good option if you can pay off the balance before the period ends.
- 401(k) loans: If you have a 401(k) plan, you may be able to take out a 401(k) loan to cover relocation expenses. This may lead to early withdrawal penalties, however. The loan amount is also limited based on your account balance.
Consider the terms, expenses, and benefits before choosing an option.
Average Relocation Loan Rates
Rates and terms vary by lender, but here are some examples of the relocation loans you could get:
*Rates subject to change
The Bottom Line
A relocation loan can provide invaluable financial assistance during a significant move, allowing you to manage upfront expenses with ease. Before committing to this option, it's crucial to carefully weigh the associated pros and cons, including factors like interest rates, monthly payments, and potential fees. Consider your creditworthiness and income stability, as these elements can significantly impact the terms of the loan. Furthermore, explore alternative funding options and evaluate their respective advantages. With thorough consideration, you can make an informed decision that aligns seamlessly with your relocation needs. Take the next step towards a smooth transition by exploring our curated selection of top relocation loan providers.