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In-ground swimming pools cost around $55,000 to install, making them a significant investment in your home. Pool loans can help you build the lagoon of your dreams without tapping into your home’s equity or using your property as collateral. They’re unsecured and have fixed monthly payments that allow you to stretch the cost of a new pool over several years.
We reviewed pool loans with low interest rates, few fees, and a simple application process that can be completed online to bring you our top picks to help you dive into pool ownership.
Best Pool Loans of 2022
Best Overall : LightStream
- Time To Receive Loan: 0 Days*
- Loan Amount: $5,000 - $100,000
LightStream offers some of the lowest rates available on unsecured swimming pool loans and a wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms. With LightStream, you can borrow up to $100,000 and have as long as 12 years* to repay the loan. As an added benefit, LightStream doesn’t charge any fees, so you don’t have to worry about origination fees, late fees, or prepayment penalties.
Loan terms as long as 12 years*
High loan maximum
No pre-qualification tool available
Best rates only available to those who have good to excellent credit
No secured loan options
As our choice for the best overall lender for swimming pool loans, LightStream promises low interest rates for pool loans, starting at just 6.99% with a 0.50% autopay discount.
You can be confident that you’re getting a good deal since LightStream has a rate guarantee. If a lender approves you for a lower rate on a qualifying unsecured loan, LightStream will beat it by offering an interest rate that is 0.10 percentage points lower than the competing loan.
In addition to its high loan maximum and repayment options, another standout feature is LightStream’s quick processing time. If the lender approves your application, you can receive the funds as soon as the same day you apply.
One downfall is that LightStream has no credit score requirements disclosed on its site. However, it does note on the website that the best terms will only be offered to those with good to excellent credit.
And while many lenders have pre-qualification tools so you can check your eligibility without undergoing a hard credit check, LightStream doesn’t have that feature. It also doesn’t issue secured loans, an option that some lenders provide for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
You can apply for a LightStream loan entirely online, but you must have a valid credit card for verification purposes.
Best Repayment Terms : Discover
- APR Range: 6.99% - 24.99%
- Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
- Loan Amount: $2,500 - $35,000
With many unsecured personal loans, borrowers have to repay the debt in five years or less. Discover stands out because it offers more repayment options, giving borrowers up to seven years to repay their loans with no prepayment penalties.
No origination fees
Quick loan disbursement
Pre-qualification tool available
Doesn’t disclose required borrower criteria
Low loan maximum
No autopay or loyalty discounts
Discover customers can borrow from $2,500 to $35,000 with repayment terms ranging from 36 to 84 months. If your application is approved, Discover will disburse the money in as little as one business day.
Its rates range from 6.99% to 24.99%, and it doesn’t charge origination fees.
Discover is a highly rated company in terms of customer satisfaction. In the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study, Discover ranked fifth of 22 companies.
Discover’s personal loan maximum is relatively low, which means you need to be prepared to put more money down on expensive pools or look at different loan options that might tap into your home's equity.
You can apply for Discover's personal loans online or over the phone. You must be at least 18, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and earn at least $25,000 per year to qualify for a loan.
Although Discover doesn’t disclose all of its borrower requirements, such as its minimum credit score, it does have a pre-qualification tool you can use to check your eligibility without affecting your credit score.
Read our full review of Discover personal loans.
Best for Bad Credit : Upgrade
- APR Range: 7.46% - 35.97%
- Time To Receive Loan: 1 Day
- Loan Amount: $1,000 - $50,000
Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit can struggle to qualify for personal loans. But with Upgrade, borrowers with fair credit have a better chance of qualifying for a loan.
Secured loans available for some borrowers
Interest rate discounts for checking account holders
Potentially high origination fees
Loans issued by lending partners
Upgrade provides personal loan solutions to borrowers that have poor or fair credit by working with more than one banking partner. Specific minimum credit scores are not published, but multiple lending partners increase the likelihood of being approved. Still, the best rates still will be reserved for those with the best credit. Upgrade also allows co-applicants to boost your odds of approval.
And, some borrowers will be given the option of applying for a loan secured by a vehicle to improve their chances of getting approved or to get a discounted interest rate.
Upgrade’s loans are issued through third-party lenders: Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. Borrowers can apply for loans of $1,000 to $50,000.
If you have an existing Upgrade checking account, you may be eligible for additional discounts. Checking account holders can get up to 20% off on personal loans.
Its pool loan rates range from 7.46% to 35.97%. To put that in perspective, the Federal Reserve reported that the average APR for a personal loan with a 24-month term was 8.73% as of July 2022.
Its origination fees can also be high; fees range from 2.90% to 8.00%, and Upgrade deducts the fee from the loan at disbursement.
Compare the Best Pool Loans of 2022*APR ranges for some companies include a discount for automatic payments or existing bank customers.
When it comes to pool loans, LightStream stands out from other lenders due to its high loan maximums, low rates, and lengthy repayment terms. However, if you don’t have good or excellent credit, you may have to look elsewhere for a loan. If that’s the case, Discover and Upgrade have useful swimming pool financing options.
When comparing pool loans, take the APR, loan term, and monthly payment into consideration. You can use our personal loan calculator to estimate your total repayment cost with different loan options.
Guide for Choosing the Best Pool Loan
Do You Need a Pool Loan?
If you’re planning to install a pool, it’s important to research your swimming pool financing options. To pay for a new pool, you can tap into your savings, apply for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, or opt for an unsecured swimming pool loan.
When deciding which is best for you, begin by weighing the pros and cons of unsecured loans.
Potentially increase home value
No collateral required
Quick and easy application process
Higher APRs than secured loans
Shorter repayment terms
Doesn’t cover ongoing maintenance costs
Unsecured swimming pool loans can help you achieve the backyard oasis you imagine without risking your home or going through a lengthy application process. You can apply online quickly and, if approved, receive your money as soon as the same day.
Can a swimming pool loan be cost-effective when it comes to your property value? It depends. According to the National Association of Realtors, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of a pool on a house’s value was fairly nominal. A house with a pool would sell for approximately $16,137 more than a similar home without one. During the pandemic, demand for pools skyrocketed, and a house with a pool sold for $27,199 more, on average. How pools will affect home values after the pandemic is unclear, so increasing home values shouldn’t be your sole motivation for installing a swimming pool.
While a loan can help boost your home value, make sure you consider the loan’s APR, repayment terms, fees, and total repayment cost. And, keep in mind that swimming pool loans typically only cover the installation and setup costs. Ongoing materials and maintenance, including water, chemicals, heating, and filtration systems, can cost thousands of dollars every year.
Compare Pool Loan Lenders
There are many lenders that offer swimming pool loans. To find the best pool loans, consider the following factors:
- APR: You’ll find a wide range of rates for unsecured pool loans; our top providers offer APRs from 4.99% to 35.97%. The APR (which includes the interest rate and certain fees) is the single biggest factor affecting your total repayment cost, so shop around and compare offers to get the best rate.
- Available discounts: Some lenders offer special discounts for borrowers that are existing customers or that sign up for automatic payments. Taking advantage of those offers can help you save time and money.
- Co-applicants: If you don’t meet the lender’s requirements on your own, some lenders allow you to apply with a relative or friend to improve your odds of getting a loan.
- Fees: Some personal loan lenders charge high origination fees, application fees, and late fees, affecting your overall cost. Look for lenders that offer low or no fees. For example, neither LightStream or Discover charge origination fees.
- Repayment terms: Unlike home equity loans, which can have repayment terms as long as 30 years, pool loans tend to have shorter terms, so you’ll have a higher monthly payment. Our top loan providers offer unsecured swimming pool loans with repayment terms ranging from 24 moths to 20 years.
Applying for a Pool Loan
If you decide that an unsecured loan is the best swimming pool financing option for you, you can use lenders’ pre-qualification tools to get quotes and choose an affordable loan. Once you’re ready to move forward with the application, you can apply online through the lender’s website.
Lenders will ask for your personal information, including your Social Security number and employer. You’ll have to consent to a hard credit check, and may have to submit verification of your identity, such as a copy of your driver’s license.
Once approved, the lender will send you a finalized loan agreement that outlines the loan’s APR, repayment term, and total repayment cost. If you agree to the terms, sign the agreement and return it to the lender. The lender will disburse the funds, usually by depositing them directly into your bank account. Going forward, you can manage your account and make payments through the lender’s website or mobile app.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Pool Loans Work?
Swimming pool loans are unsecured personal loans specifically designed to pay for the purchase and installation of an above-ground or in-ground pool. They don’t require collateral; instead, the lender reviews your application and decides whether to approve you based on your credit score, credit history, and income.
Like other personal loans, swimming pool loans are installment loans with fixed monthly payments and a set payoff date.
Is It Difficult to Qualify for a Pool Loan?
Most lenders require borrowers to have good to excellent credit. However, there are some lenders, such as Upgrade, that are more likely to lend to borrowers with fair or poor credit. And some lenders allow you to apply with a co-signer to get a better rate.
What Types of Loans Can Be Used to Get a Pool?
When it comes to financing a new pool, there are four main types of loans:
- Home equity loan: A home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, allows you to borrow against the equity you’ve built in your home. The loan amount is based on the difference between your home’s current value and what you owe on your existing mortgage.
- HELOC: Like home equity loans, HELOCs enable you to tap into your home’s equity to finance your swimming pool installation. But rather than getting your money in a lump sum, HELOCs are a revolving line of credit, so you can use the line of credit again and again during the draw period.
- Cash-out refinance: With a cash-out refinance loan, you replace your existing mortgage with a new one with a larger amount than you owed, getting the difference in a lump sum.
- Personal loan: Unlike the other three options, personal loans are unsecured, so you don’t have to use any property as collateral. Personal loans tend to have higher interest rates than other types of financing, but you can get the money you need quickly without risking your home.
How Long Can Pool Loans Last?
Your pool loan’s repayment term is dependent on the type of loan you have but ranges from two to 30 years.
- Home equity loans: If you take out a home equity loan, you can choose a loan term ranging from five to 30 years, depending on which lender you select.
- HELOCs: With a HELOC, you have a draw period followed by a repayment period. The repayment period can range from 10 to 20 years in length.
- Cash-out refinance: With cash-out refinance, you usually have 15 to 30 years to repay the loan.
- Personal loans: Personal loans tend to have shorter repayment terms since they’re unsecured. Typically, you’ll have two to 12 years to repay your loan.
Are Pools Worth the Cost?
Whether a pool loan is worth the cost is dependent on several factors, including:
- Amount borrowed: Interest is calculated based on the amount you borrow. If you need to borrow a significant amount of money—and need several years to repay it—you may pay thousands more in interest than you initially borrowed.
- APR: If you have good to excellent credit, the best pool loan lenders offer fairly low rates. But if your credit is less than perfect, your APR could be in the double-digits, causing you to pay quite a lot in interest charges.
- Home value: Depending on where you live and your house, adding a pool could increase your home’s value and make it easier to sell.
A swimming pool is a substantial investment, so carefully consider the pros and cons of adding one to your property and taking out a pool loan before making a decision.
Our team evaluated 38 lenders and collected 1,520 data points before selecting our top choices. We weighed more than 20 criteria and gave a higher weight to those with a more significant impact to potential borrowers.
The top picks were selected based on factors like membership requirements (weighted 15%), average fixed APR (weighted 15%), and average origination fees (weighted 10%).
We also took into account the flexibility of repayment terms, helpful features like pre-qualification, and whether a co-signer or joint applications are permitted to ensure borrowers get the best possible experience. For further information about our selection criteria and process, our complete methodology is available.
*Lightstream Disclosure: Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $300.00.