What Is a Relocation Loan?

Quick Answer

A relocation loan is a personal loan you can use for moving expenses, such as hiring movers, truck rental fees and more. Shopping around to compare loan rates and origination fees can help you secure the most affordable financing option if you decide to borrow money for your next move.

A couple sits on the floor and high-five each other while being surrounded with boxes in their new home.

Moving from one place to the next can be hard on the wallet when you factor in the cost of renting a truck, hiring movers and more. A relocation loan is a personal loan you can use to pay off your moving expenses over time. But before you choose to take out a relocation loan, read on to learn what they can be used for and the factors to consider before borrowing.

What Is a Relocation Loan Used For?

Since lenders don't usually place many restrictions on how personal loans can be used, a relocation loan can be used for practically anything. Typically, however, these loans are used to cover certain common expenses that are encountered during a move. Here are some costs you might run into when moving that could be covered by a relocation loan:

  • Moving company fees
  • Moving insurance
  • Car shipping fees
  • Truck rental fees
  • Gas
  • Move-out cleaning fees

Pros and Cons of Using a Relocation Loan

Relocation loans are essentially personal loans that you can use for moving costs, so the same advantages and disadvantages of personal loans apply here.

Pros:

  • They're easy to apply for. Many lenders have online loan application processes that you can complete on your smartphone or desktop without stepping into a bank.
  • Low and fixed interest rates are available for qualified borrowers. If you have good credit, fixed-rate personal loans may offer a lower interest rate than what you might get on a credit card. Plus, with a fixed interest rate, payments stay the same throughout the loan term, so you'll have a set payoff date to mark on your calendar.
  • Get funding fast. Some lenders can approve your loan and deposit funds into your bank account within a week. This is especially helpful if you need to move quickly.

Cons:

  • Lenders may charge upfront fees. Depending on the lender, you may have to pay an origination fee for loan processing. This fee is usually deducted from the loan before you get cash in hand. For instance, if you borrow $8,000 and the fee is 5%, $400 is taken from your loan proceeds, and you'll get $7,600 deposited into your bank account.
  • Decent credit may be needed to qualify. While some lenders may work with borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit, good credit or better is usually necessary to qualify for the lowest interest rates lenders offer.
  • Monthly payments may be high. Before borrowing money, consider how the loan payment will fit into your budget. Your monthly payments could be high depending on how much you borrow and the loan term you choose.

Alternative Ways to Pay for Moving Costs

Personal loans are just one of many ways to pay for a move. Here are other options to consider:

Negotiate a Relocation Package

Employers who want you to relocate for a job could be willing to pay for related expenses. Relocation packages may include a lump-sum payout to cover your moving expenses or reimburse you for out-of-pocket moving costs.

Just be sure to understand the conditions of any relocation assistance a company offers. For example, the terms of the relocation package might require that you work for the company for a certain amount of time after the move. If you quit before the end of that time frame, you may have to pay back some or all of your relocation package.

Use a Credit Card

For less expensive moves that an employer won't pay for, using a credit card and paying off the balance within a few months could be an affordable way to relocate.

Credit cards might have higher interest rates than personal loans, but they typically don't have origination fees, so you don't have to worry about the upfront costs. Plus, if you qualify for an intro 0% APR offer on a credit card, you can avoid interest charges as long as you clear the balance on the card before the interest-free period is over.

Save Up Cash

It might take some time to save up for the move, but stashing away money and exploring ways to reduce moving costs could help you avoid having to pay off debt when you get to your new place. Even if you can't save up the full amount, saving up a portion could decrease the amount you need to borrow.

The Bottom Line

If you decide that taking out a relocation loan is the best way to finance your next move, doing some window shopping for loans is the next step. While moving is stressful, finding a loan to help you cover the cost doesn't have to be.

Experian CreditMatch™ can help connect you with personalized loan offers based on your credit profile so you can compare rates and terms in one place. All you have to do is fill out a short form that doesn't require a credit check.

Whether you're moving a few towns over or to the other side of the world, this is an exciting time, and exploring financing options could help you get where you need to go without breaking the bank.

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