5 Best Loans for Moving or Relocating

Whether you decide it’s time for a change or have no choice and need to relocate, the costs of moving can be steep. Additionally, if it’s not something you were planning or saving for, you may also need extra cash to pay for movers, shipping costs, packing supplies and other related expenses. That’s why many people turn to relocation loans.

Depending on how far you’re going and how much stuff you’re taking along, costs can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. So whether you’ve just started planning or you’re packed and almost ready to go, here’s what you need to know.

[Read: Best Personal Loans.]

What Is a Moving Loan?

A moving or relocation loan is just a personal loan to pay for a move, says Michael Sullivan, personal finance consultant with Take Charge America, a nonprofit financial counseling agency..

Getting a personal loan is relatively easy, and there are many options available online and at local banks and credit unions. Your credit history and ability to repay the loan will determine your eligibility and interest rate.

Pros of Relocation Loans

You can get money quickly. Many online lenders have a quick application and approval process, with some able to transfer funds to you in a day or two — or possibly same day.

You have options. Personal loans for moving are available in a wide range of terms as short as one year and loan amounts as low as $1,000. Use a loan calculator to find the ideal monthly payment and term length that your budget can handle.

You can have less-than-perfect credit. Better credit will definitely help you score a more favorable interest rate, but you can still find a few lenders willing to provide you with a loan if your credit isn’t so hot. You may be able to get better terms if you can supply collateral or bring in a co-signer.

Cons of Relocation Loans

It might be expensive. If you have a less-than-stellar credit score and need to relocate quickly, you won’t have the time to increase your score to get a better rate. The most popular lenders offer moving loans with APRs that may be very high if you have a low credit score. For example, loan APRs from Upstart, Upgrade and LendingClub can go as high as 35.99%.

It can take time to recoup the expense. If you’re moving for a better job opportunity or lower cost of living, you won’t feel the relief until your loan is paid back. “If the pay raise is less than the monthly payment on the loan, the consumer may be worse off for some time,” says Sullivan.

Other options may cost less. “If the cost is modest and can be paid off in a few months, it might be easiest to put it on a credit card,” says Sullivan. In fact, if you can acquire a new credit card with a promotional 0% annual percentage rate, you might be able to avoid interest altogether, says Shane Cummings, certified financial planner, wealth advisor and director of technology and cybersecurity at Halbert Hargrove, a wealth management firm. “If all payments are made prior to the expiration of the teaser rate, you won’t pay interest on the principal,” he says.

[Read: Best 0% APR Credit Cards.]

How to Choose a Moving Loan

If you decide a loan is your best option, the goal is to keep the cost of borrowing as low as possible.

Start with a credit check. “If your credit score is below 650, you are likely to pay more for a loan to move than if it was 720,” says Sullivan. And since moving, changing jobs, changing banks and taking out loans can make you a less desirable borrower, it is crucial to consider credit issues before committing to a major move, he adds.

Estimate your costs. Call moving companies or truck rental firms for a quote, and price out any other supplies so you have a good idea of how much you need to borrow.

Get quotes. Sullivan says to look most closely at the interest rate and the length of the loan. “A long-term loan carries smaller payments but costs more in total, so consumers should try to find the lowest interest rate and borrow for the shortest time for which they can handle the payments,” he says.

The 5 Best Relocation Loans

1. Best for No Origination Fees: Discover

Discover personal loans offer fixed rates starting from 7.99% and no origination fees. If you have great credit

, it may be one of the cheapest options to cover the cost of your move. However, the APR can go up to 24.99% if you’re less creditworthy.

Loans start at $2,500 with terms that range from three to seven years.

2. Best for Fast Funding: Rocket Loans

If you need to get out of town fast, Rocket Loans offers same-day funding if your application process goes smoothly. You can start by getting prequalified so you’ll have a reasonable idea if you’re eligible. On the downside, you’ll pay an origination fee of up to 9%.

Interest rates range from 9.116% with autopay discount to 29.99%, with three or five-year terms.

3. Best for Smaller Loans: Upstart

If you aren’t moving too far or don’t have a lot of bulky furniture, you may not have a huge moving expense. Upstart moving loans start at $1,000, so you won’t have to take out more than you need. Once you’re approved, you can get funded in 24 hours or less.

Interest rates range from 7.8% to 35.99%, with three or five-year terms. You may have to pay an origination fee of up to 12%.

4. Best for Less-Than-Great Credit: Upgrade

You might feel that you’re in a bind if you need money to move but your credit is bad. Upgrade offers a secured personal loan option that may help you qualify for funding. You’ll have to put up a fully owned car as collateral

, however, which may not work for everyone.

Loan terms range from two to seven years, with minimum amounts starting at $1,000. Interest rates range from 8.49% to 35.99%. There is also an origination fee of 1.85% to 9.99%.

5. Best for Borrowing With a Partner: LendingClub

If you’re relocating with a partner or just need the help of a co-borrower

to get approved for a personal loan, LendingClub has a joint personal loan option. Having a second person on your loan may also help you qualify for a lower interest rate, which starts at 8.98% and goes up to 35.99%.

Loans start at $1,000 with terms from two to five years. There is an origination fee of 3% to 8%.

Keep Relocation Costs in Check

Moving is often required for someone needing the right opportunity, so it’s not always a choice — but do your best to minimize costs, says Sullivan.

If possible, the best scenario is to see if your employer will cover some of the relocation costs. The next best option is to use your cash reserves. But if borrowing is necessary, then exploring personal loans for moving can help you start your new life.

More from U.S. News

How to Get a $10,000 Personal Loan

When Does Paying Off a Personal Loan Early Make Sense?

Can I Borrow Money With a 500 Credit Score?

5 Best Loans for Moving or Relocating originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 07/01/24: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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