If you find a great job in another state or need to move quickly for personal reasons, you may not have the ready cash to pay for a move. If money is tight or you don’t want to wipe out your savings, exploring moving loans may be a good idea.
How much does it cost to move?
Moving costs can be as low as the cost of a few pizzas for your (very good!) friends or run into thousands to take a household cross-country professionally.
Although moving expenses can vary widely and depend on how far and how much you’re moving, the average cost of a local household move is $2,300 and the average cost of a long distance move is $4,300.
You can probably spring for a friendly Italian dinner with no problem, but a large, long haul could cost more than you have in ready cash. That’s where moving loans come in.
What are moving loans?
Moving loans are personal loans. Personal loans are unsecured, which means the lender relies on your promise to repay. There is no car or house to repossess if you don’t make your payments. They are installment loans, which means you make monthly payments until the balance is zero.
You can use a personal loan to pay for moving-related expenses. These expenses may include packing supplies, shipping your car to your new home, moving company fees, upfront costs such as security deposits and Internet installation and moving insurance.
If you take out a moving loan, you’ll fill out an application. Your approval and loan terms depend on your income and credit rating. While the details of your moving loan will depend on the lender, most moving loans range from $1,000 to $20,000 or more with one to five year terms. Fixed APRs for moving loans run typically between 5.99% and 29.99%.
Alternatives to moving loans
While a personal loan is one way to cover moving costs, there are a variety of alternative options that are important to consider.
- Reduce moving costs: You may be able to reduce moving costs and avoid the need for a loan by enlisting friends and family to help instead of hiring movers, selling some of your belongings, and moving during the middle of the week or in the winter
- Search for a job with relocation benefits: If you’d like to move for professional reasons, try to find a job that will help pay for some or all of your moving costs
- Delay a move and save: Delaying a move to save money for it may be a good idea if you’re flexible
- Put your move on a credit card: If you qualify for a card with a 0% introductory rate, put your moving costs on it and pay it down as fast as you can. It’s important to repay it before the higher regular rate kicks in. If you can’t retire the balance before the introductory period ends, you might want to erase it with a personal loan.
When do moving loans make sense?
A moving loan isn’t the right option for everyone. However, it may make sense if you find yourself in one of these situations.
- You don’t have other options.If you’ve tried to cut down on moving costs and considered alternative options yet still can’t come up with the funds to pay for your move, a moving loan may be your best bet. This is particularly true if you can secure a low APR and favorable terms
- You’re moving long-distance. It’s a lot more difficult to pay for a long-distance move than a local move. If you’re moving across the country or ocean for personal or professional reasons, a personal loan for moving expenses can be the ideal solution
- You need to move right away. Do you have to be in your new home as soon as possible? If so, you may not have time to save for a big move and in need of some quick cash to cover moving costs. A moving loan can eliminate some of the stress associated with a quick move
Pros and cons of moving loans
Before taking out a personal loan for moving expenses, it’s important to consider the advantages and drawbacks of moving loans.
- You can borrow enough money to cover your move. Because personal loan lenders are often willing to lend between $1,000 to $35,000 (or even more), you’ll likely be able to borrow enough to pay for your moving costs.
- You may be able to land lower rates. Personal loans usually offer lower interest rates than rates offered by credit cards and lines of credit (about 7% lower as of this writing).
- You can plan for your payments. Personal loans often come with fixed monthly payments so you can plan for them and don’t have to worry about your payments fluctuating as the market changes.
- You can use personal loans for almost anything. So you could use a single personal loan to consolidate credit cards, move and buy furniture for your new home.
- You may not qualify. Personal loan providers look at your credit score, income, and debts when you apply for a moving loan. If you have poor credit, a high deb load or minimal income, you may have trouble qualifying for moving loans.
- You may need to pay fees. There may be fees for origination, check processing, late payments, and prepayments. Consider all costs when comparing personal loans.
- You’ll take on debt. If you opt for a personal loan for moving expenses, you’ll be taking on debt. Experts recommend paying for short-term expenses as quickly as you can, so consider taking the loan with the shortest repayment period that you can afford
Using a personal loan for moving expenses can be a wise option. Before you go this route, however, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of doing so and explore other options for handling moving costs.