smart spending

Big-ticket items at low-interest financing

Low-interest loans for rest and relaxation
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Yes, it would be better to save up all year for a family cruise or ski trip rather than take out loans. But for many Americans, that simply isn't in the cards.

Goldwasser doesn't advocate financing a vacation. If you're going to do it, avoid putting it on a high-interest credit card, she says. Taking out a personal loan may be a better choice because the interest rates on those loans aren't as high as they are on credit cards, says Goldwasser. The rate will vary based on your credit score and the lender, so it's best to shop around.

An alternative is to join a membership club. These clubs give members access to interest-free loans to use on the club's vacation packages. Players Vacation Club, a travel company in San Diego, offers financing of up to 80 percent for members who pay at least a 20 percent deposit and keep up with monthly membership fees. To qualify for up to a $3,000 line of credit you have to be 18 years old and a U.S. resident, and be employed for six months, have a valid checking account for six months and make a household income of at least $2,200 per month.




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