Timeshares can be expensive so you may have to borrow money to buy one. Timeshare salespeople often pitch lenders you can borrow from, but you could potentially qualify for a better timeshare loan by comparing lenders online.
Timeshares are a ubiquitous aspect of beach towns and vacation brunches. Many resorts will even offer you free perks if you listen to a timeshare pitch. Typically, these pitches involve a hard sale, during which you’re presented with a one-time opportunity to buy a time-share on the spot.
The problem is, timeshares aren’t cheap, and most would-be timeshare owners aren’t prepared to put down thousands of dollars at the end of a sales pitch. People selling timeshares often refer you to partner lenders to solve this problem, but these lenders don’t always offer good rates.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take out a timeshare loan from the lender the salesperson recommends. There are alternative ways to finance the purchase of a timeshare—or to refinance an existing timeshare loan—which we’ll explain in this guide.
In this guide:
- What is a Timeshare Loan?
- Pros & Cons of Timeshare Loans
- Alternatives and Refinancing Options
- 3 Lenders That Offer Timeshare Loans & Loan Refinancing
What is a Timeshare Loan?
A timeshare loan is any loan used to purchase a timeshare. The loan can come from the lender that the timeshare salesperson recommends, or from a third-party lender.
The loans provided by lenders that accompany timeshare sales teams often come with very high interest rates and long repayment terms.
Private loans, by contrast, can come with lower rates and more flexible terms—if you qualify. Personal loans can be used either to buy or refinance a timeshare.
So if you’ve decided you want to purchase a timeshare, you should research and compare a few personal loan lenders offering timeshare loans to make sure you don’t get stuck with a bad rate.
Pros & Cons of Timeshare Loans
- Timeshare salespeople work with lenders familiar with the timeshare purchase process who are willing to provide loans large enough to finance vacation ownership on the spot.
- You can apply for a timeshare loan directly from a lender associated with the sales team pitching the time share. This way, there’s no delay in securing timeshare financing and finalizing your purchase.
- A long repayment timeline generally means that monthly payments are affordable.
- Timeshare loans from the salesperson-preferred lender often have high interest rates.
- High interest rates and a long repayment timeline can cost you thousands of extra dollars over the life of the loan.
- Timeshares often aren’t the best investment—and they become even more costly if you take out an expensive loan.
Alternatives and Refinancing Options
Because timeshare loans can be very expensive, many people who want to buy timeshares would be better off looking for alternatives. Fortunately, there are a few financing options that may come with lower interest rates and fewer maintenance fees.
Personal loans and home equity loans are two good alternatives to a timeshare loan. If you already have an expensive timeshare loan, you can also refinance your timeshare loan to reduce your interest rate or monthly costs.
Unsecured Personal Loans
Unsecured personal loans do not require you to put down any collateral, so you aren’t putting any assets at risk. You do need to meet certain requirements in order to obtain an unsecured loan.
Loan requirements vary by lender, but typically you’ll need a credit score of at least 580 and will have a choice of many more lenders if your score is 640 or higher.
The amount you can borrow will also vary by lender, but is usually between around $5,000 and $40,000—although some allow you to borrow much more and others have lower minimums.
Check out our list of the best personal loan lenders to start comparing rates.
Home Equity Loans
Home equity loans are another alternative for buying or refinancing a timeshare. But you take a huge risk if you use a home equity loan since these loans are secured by a lien on your home. This lien helps you score lower rates, but you could lose your house if you can’t make payments.
Loan requirements for home equity loans also vary by lender, but you will usually need a credit score of at least 620. You can borrow larger amounts with home equity loans, with the maximum loan amount based on the value of your home.
Some lenders allow you to have combined loan balances with your first mortgage and home equity loan equaling 100% of your home’s value. Others have lower loan-to-value limits.
Check out our list of the best home equity loans to review your options.
3 Lenders That Offer Timeshare Loans & Loan Refinancing
Virtually any personal loan can be used as a timeshare loan. However, only a few specifically market their products for that purpose.
Here are three lenders offering timeshare loans and refinancing:
LightStream is on of our top-rated personal loan lenders, because they have a Rate Beat program that promises to beat competitor rates, and they also offer a $100 satisfaction guarantee to borrowers.
You need to be a well-qualified borrower to get a loan from LightStream, but they do offer dedicated timeshare loans.
Here’s what you need to know about personal loans from LightStream.
- APR: lightstream-perl-1567-alllow to lightstream-perl-1567-allhigh
- Loan Amounts: lightstream-perl-1567-termlengthrange_m
- Loan Terms: lightstream-perl-1567-termlengthrange_m
Full Review: LightStream Personal Loans Review
SoFi was founded in 2011 and now offers a huge variety of financial products, including personal loans with competitive rates. While they don’t have a dedicated timeshare loan, you can use personal loan funds for anything you’d like.
You can also prequalify and find out loan terms in about two minutes without your credit being affected.
Here’s what you need to know about personal loans from SoFi.
- APR: sofi-perl-36-alllow% to sofi-perl-36-allhigh%
- Loan Amounts: sofi-perl-36-amountlow to sofi-perl-36-amounthigh
- Loan Terms: sofi-perl-36-termlengthrange_y
Full Review: SoFi Personal Loans Review
VacationClubLoans is a company specifically dedicated to vacation property ownership. This lender promises fast loan approval and has already pre-approved 50 top timeshare and resort brands, so you can get funding faster.
You can also score special discounts for buying a timeshare from preferred partners, including Disney Vacation Club retail brokers.
Here’s what you need to know about timeshare loans from VacationClubLoans.
- APR: vacationclubloans-perl-1568-alllow to vacationclubloans-perl-1568-allhigh
- Loan Amounts: vacationclubloans-perl-1568-amountlow to vacationclubloans-perl-1568-amounthigh
- Loan Terms: vacationclubloans-perl-1568-termlengthrange_y
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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