Personal Loans

Finding the Best Loan to Pay for a Swimming Pool

You have several options when financing a pool, but which way is best? Learn about personal loans and other ways to pay for swimming pools.
A family enjoys their backyard pool as they throw a beach ball around in the water
Written by:
Rob Sabo
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified

A pool brings the sound of kids laughing and splashing away countless summer hours, along with the near-unbeatable feeling of a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day.

Built-in pool installations are expensive, though, especially when you factor in the additional cost of new poolside furniture, landscaping, or perimeter fencing to complete your backyard pool transformation.

Depending on the customization, complexity, size, and similar factors, inground pools can range in cost from $50 to $125 per square foot.

The average pool costs around $35,000, but exotic luxury pools can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Figuring out how to pay for a pool may leave you feeling all wet, so let’s look at some common ways homeowners can tap into funding to pay for a pool.

We’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of each method of financing and compare financing terms.

After analyzing the data, you may find that taking out a personal loan may be the most beneficial financing option for your backyard transformation.

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How to Pay for a Pool

Creating your dream backyard pool starts with funding your project. 

Here are six common financing options homeowners can pursue to help realize their dreams of building a backyard oasis built around a new swimming pool.

Unsecured Personal Loan

There are many reasons why taking out a personal loan might be the easiest financing option.

Unlike other forms of consumer borrowing, you don’t have to use any collateral to back the loan – that’s why it’s called an unsecured loan.

Your credit score, credit history, and income will largely determine your creditworthiness. Interest rates and loan terms for unsecured loans are more favorable for well-qualified borrowers.

Pros and Cons of Paying for a Swimming Pool with a Personal Loan

Who this financing works best for

  • Homeowners who can afford to add a sizable payment to their monthly expenditures
  • Borrowers with exceptional credit scores since they will receive the most favorable personal loan terms

Home Equity Loan

This loan is a second mortgage on your home.

Your first mortgage was funded to cover the balance of the cost of purchasing your home less your down payment, so you never really saw those funds.

A home equity loan, however, is disbursed to you in a one-time installment that you can use to fund the construction of a pool.

Pros and Cons of Paying for a Swimming Pool with a Home Equity Loan

Who this financing works best for

  • Cost-conscious borrowers with equity in their homes can comfortably manage the additional leverage a second mortgage brings.
  • Homeowners who have enough equity in their homes to pay for a pool.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A HELOC differs slightly from a home equity loan.

Instead of receiving a lump sum payment, you’ll receive a line of revolving credit you can draw upon as needed to pay for pool construction costs.

You have a predetermined length of time, called the draw period, to use the HELOC funds. The draw period is often as long as 10 years. 

Pros and Cons of Paying for a Swimming Pool with a Home Equity Line of Credit

 Who this financing works best for

  • Borrowers who have substantial equity in their homes and can afford to quickly pay back any of the revolving funds they access through their HELOC
  • Homeowners who plan to stay in their home for a long time since they have a decade to complete construction efforts on the pool

Cash-Out Refinancing

A cash-out refinance allows you to convert some of the equity you’ve built up in your home into cash that you can use to fund the construction of a swimming pool.

Once your cash-out closes, you’ll get a new mortgage that has a higher monthly payment.

The increase in mortgage payments is determined by the interest rate of your new mortgage and by how much cash you took since that amount will be tacked onto your existing mortgage debt and a new loan issued for the combined amount.

Pros and Cons of Paying for a Swimming Pool with a Credit Card

Who this financing works best for

  • Homeowners who can adhere to predetermined borrowing limits
  • Borrowers who have strong credit and verifiable monthly income to help speed up the qualification and underwriting processes

Credit Card

Using a high-interest credit card to finance a swimming pool should be considered a last alternative since 20% or higher interest could add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of your pool project.

Credit cards could be used to pay for construction costs, such as concrete, depending on how your contract with your pool contractor is structured.

Pros and Cons of Paying for a Swimming Pool with a Credit Card

Who this financing works best for

  • Homeowners seeking affordable above-ground pools costing under $10,000
  • Borrowers who have the financial ability to pay off high card balances in a timely manner

Pool Company Financing

Many online and alternative financial institutions offer pool loans.

Some of these institutions may work directly with pool builders to provide consumer funding, much like corporate-branded credit cards do since national sporting goods retailers and big box retailers aren’t banks.

Loan terms, type, and fees vary by lender and also are determined by your credit history and funding needs.

Pros and Cons of Paying for a Swimming Pool with a Pool Company Financing

Who this financing works best for

Borrowers who want to move fast, since loan turnaround times can be a matter of days rather than weeks or months.

It’s also an option if one of the options listed above doesn’t match up with your pool budget.

Find and compare unsecured loans, check APYs, and find the best loan terms for your swimming pool plans.

Best Unsecured Loans for a Swimming Pool

You’ll find several top-tier lenders on AmONE that can provide you with a personal loan tailor-made for you and your needs. Here are just a few to consider when you’re planning on getting a personal loan to install a swimming pool.


LightStream offers personal loans of up to $100,000 for the best-qualified borrowers and interest rates start a bit lower than some of its competitors, but the credit score requirements are also higher than some of its competitors.


SoFi personal loans doesn’t publish its credit score requirements, so you may have more wiggle room there.

It also lends loans of up to $100,000, which could give you some of the bells and whistles you want for your backyard oasis.

On the other hand, the lowest APYs offered by SoFi may still be slightly higher than some of its competitors.


Borrowers with Upgrade can have a bit lower of a credit score, but it only gives loans up to $50,000, which would pay for a pool without a lot of bells and whistles.

How to Compare Your Financing Options

Certain aspects of your pool loan will determine how much you’ll pay in interest, the amount of time you’ll have to pay it back, and how much the loan will cost upfront.

Here are six things to look for when comparing pool loans from multiple lenders.


The annual Percentage Rate is important to your pool loan because the higher the number, the more you’ll be paying in interest. APR determines how much the funds you borrow will cost over the course of a year, including fees.


Loan terms spell out all the details of your loan. In addition to APR, you’ll want to pay close attention to loan length, monthly payments, fees and penalties, and any special terms or conditions. Different loan types will have varying loan terms, so be sure to read everything carefully.


This is what you’ll pay each month. Any pool loan installments should be able to be comfortably absorbed in the household budget. If one avenue of borrowing comes with an unserviceable monthly payment, consider alternatives.


Common fees when borrowing using a home equity line of credit, home equity loan, or cash-out refinance include loan origination and closing costs, credit reporting fees, title insurance, and rate lock fees.

Some personal loan lenders charge fees as well.

Getting Qualified

Prequalifying with multiple personal loan lenders can help ensure you don’t take out a loan with unfavorable terms.

Getting prequalified also lets you know exactly how much pool a lender is willing to fund – you may have to alter your plans or extend your development timeline to gather more funding if there are limits on your borrowing capacity.

Special Features

You’ll want to carefully review any special features of the pool loan.

Your lender could be asking for collateral, for instance. You’ll also want to note if there’s an early repayment penalty.

8 Tips for Financing Your Swimming Pool With an Unsecured Loan

Maximize your purchasing power by following these eight tips for using an unsecured loan to finance a swimming pool.

Know Your Credit Score

With a secured loan, you put up collateral to back the loan.

Lenders have recourse in the event of a default, so they typically offer lower interest rates.

Unsecured loans don’t require collateral, so interest rates tend to be higher to compensate for the lender’s additional risk.

Know your credit score, since it’s one of the main factors used to determine your qualifications for an unsecured loan and also will determine your loan terms.

Be Ready

Make sure you are prepared to begin your pool project promptly since a personal loan can be funded in as little as one day. You don’t want to have the funds sitting idle – or getting used elsewhere.

Stick to a Limit

A creditworthy borrower will likely be able to borrow significantly more money than is actually needed to build a pool. Resist the urge to do so.

Taking out more money than you need increases your overall debt load and leads to a higher monthly loan payment.

Shop Around

Personal loan terms are determined in large part by your credit score, but every lender is different.

Comparing terms with a handful of lenders can lead to slightly more favorable loan terms.

Just make sure each lender is only doing a soft pull on your credit since multiple hard credit inquiries will negatively affect your credit score.

Consider Alternatives

Pool costs are determined by size, depth, materials, and construction costs.

In-ground pools typically cost between $28,000 to $55,000.

Above-ground pools, however, typically cost between $3,000 to $7,000.

You may invest several thousand more dollars into your pool project if you need to build decking and install landscaping around your above-ground pool.

Allowing for some flexibility in your dream pool may be the only way it fits within a manageable budget.

Budget for Maintenance and Additional Costs

Pools require regular maintenance.

Running the filter and any heating equipment for colder months will increase your power bill as well, and you may have to purchase a pool cover.

When you take out a personal loan, you can borrow additional slush funds to cover maintenance setup, ongoing maintenance costs, and other pool-related expenses.

Search for Low Interest Rates

Unsecured loans are riskier, so lenders set interest rates higher to compensate for that increased risk.

Interest rates vary but may range from under 10% to more than 20%.

Interest rates determine the size of your payment and how much you’ll pay in interest until the loan matures.

Borrowing $20,000 for 5 years at 10% interest will cost you $5,500 in interest. Borrowing that same amount at 20% will cost $11,800 over the same time frame.

Compare Repayment Length

Repayment length is another factor that determines the size of your monthly installment payment.

Using the same $20,000 borrowed in the example above, your monthly payment at 10% interest for five years would be $425.

If you stretch that payment out for 10 years, though, your payment drops to $264. Although the payment is more affordable, you’ll end up paying more than double the amount of interest during the life of the loan – $11,716 rather than $5,500 for a five-year loan repayment length.

Bottom Line

Taking out a large personal loan to finance a pool can bring endless hours of relaxation, enjoyment, and comfort.

Your dream backyard is a serious financial commitment, though.

If you have to borrow to pay for a pool installation, keep the project to a manageable budget, and be flexible in your objectives since costs for a lavish in-ground pool may be out of your financial reach.

Lastly, while it may be easiest for credit-worthy borrowers to obtain a personal loan, homeowners should consider all forms of borrowing to ensure they choose the most favorable method of financing.