Installing an inground or above-ground pool can be a great way to beat the heat during the dog days of summer, entertain guests, and relax after a long day of work. Building a pool is often an expensive proposition, however, as it’s one of the most costly home improvement projects that a homeowner can tackle. The average cost of an inground pool is $51,833, and prices could go even higher depending on the pool’s design, size, and materials.
With backyard pool costs rivaling the price of some luxury cars, this renovation project may seem like a pipe dream. But there are financing options available that can help homeowners shoulder these costs and build a pool to their specifications. The best pool loans offer large loan amounts, relatively quick funding time frames, competitive interest rates, and flexible repayment periods so borrowers can comfortably finance a pool installation.
The top loan providers in this space vary quite a bit in terms of the precise benefits they bring to the table. Depending on a homeowner’s circumstances and what they’re looking for in a pool loan, some lenders may stand out more than others. As such, it’s important to research the best pool loans available and decide which one makes the most sense for each person’s unique situation.
- BEST OVERALL: LightStream
- RUNNER-UP: Lyon Financial
- BEST FOR MILITARY MEMBERS: Viking Capital
- BEST MULTI-LOAN OPTIONS: SoFi
- ALSO CONSIDER: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Pool Loan Companies
The best pool loan companies have a lot to offer, but not every one will be the right choice for every household. As homeowners review their options and weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each lender, it’s important to know what features or capabilities to prioritize above other considerations. By taking some time to reflect on what matters most, homeowners can narrow down their options more quickly and find the right fit for their needs.
Maximum Loan Amount
As noted, installing a pool—particularly an inground pool—can come with a hefty price tag. Even fiberglass pool costs, which are often lower than the price of other pools, can run $29,178 on average. Borrowers may want to be sure that their loan amount will be large enough to cover the entire cost of installation, from site preparation and excavation to electrical work and lighting. Loan limits on pool loans can vary quite a bit because some lenders finance these home renovations through basic personal loans, while others have dedicated financing products tailored specifically to the requirements of a pool installation. Borrowers looking to build a more expensive pool with high-quality materials and luxurious amenities may want to start their search for the best pool loans by focusing on lenders with higher maximum loan amounts.
Minimum Credit Score
Before lenders extend a pool loan, they will first review the borrower’s financial status and ability to manage debt. Assessing an applicant’s credit history can help lenders minimize risk by weeding out potential customers who have struggled to keep up with debt in the past. With that in mind, a person’s credit score can be one of the most important criteria used to determine loan eligibility. Homeowners with higher credit scores are more likely to be approved for a pool loan and be offered better loan terms, such as lower interest rates.
Lenders may set minimum credit scores for borrowers to meet in order to qualify for a loan. Other loan providers may not have any credit score limitations at all, even offering pool loans for bad credit. Since a borrower’s credit score could impact the availability of different financing options, homeowners may want to consider lenders’ minimum credit score requirements early in the selection process.
Annual Percentage Rate
A loan’s annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the total cost that the borrower will pay, including interest, lender fees, and other potential expenses. Lenders may offer a wide range of pool loan rates that are subject to the borrower’s financial qualifications. Homeowners reviewing their pool loan options may also want to take into account that personal loans tend to have higher interest rates than many other types of loans. They may find that lenders using personal loans to finance pool installations have wider APR ranges and higher minimum APR options than lenders that specialize in pool loans. Because there is so much variance from lender to lender, it may be a good idea to check the APR range offered by each pool loan provider before making a final decision.
Funding Time Frame
Depending on how quickly a homeowner wants to get started on a pool installation, the time needed for funds to be disbursed could be a major concern. Lengthy funding time frames could delay the building process if contractors move on to other jobs because the funds needed for a deposit are not immediately available. In some cases, lenders may be able to support quick turnaround times, depositing funds into a borrower’s account within 24 hours of approval. Other companies may require several days to fund approved loans, so it’s good to know what their funding time frames look like beforehand. Homeowners may also want to consider how funds are disbursed. While many pool loan companies deposit funds directly into the borrower’s bank account, some will want to send funds directly to the contractor.
Because some lenders treat pool loans as a dedicated loan product and others provide pool installation funding through personal loans or home improvement loans, loan terms can vary quite a bit. In general, companies that specialize in pool loan financing offer much longer loan terms, with borrowers repaying their loan amount over the course of a decade or more. Companies that don’t treat pool financing as a dedicated loan product may require borrowers to pay back their loans in a much shorter time frame—as little as 2 years in some cases.
Loan length can have a major impact on a borrower’s monthly payment—for instance, a 10-year pool loan will be stretched out over more installments compared with a 3-year loan of the same loan amount, resulting in lower payments each month. When considering the best pool loans available, homeowners may want to reflect on their own preferences regarding loan length to find the right balance between low monthly payments and paying down debt in an expedient manner.
Some of the best pool loan providers offer discounts that help eligible customers lower the total cost of their loan and owe less on their monthly payments. One of the more common discounts homeowners might encounter while vetting pool loan companies is an autopay discount. In return for setting up automatic payments on their accounts, borrowers may be able to shave a certain amount off their APR, which would mean owing less interest over the life of the loan. Such discounts could be an important factor to consider when looking at each lender’s APR ranges, as eligible borrowers may be able to lower their rate and save some money on their pool financing.
When it comes time to apply for a pool loan, homeowners may prefer an application process that’s quick and easy to complete. Many pool loan providers support online applications, but response times could vary. Homeowners who are anxious to get started on their pool installation—if they have a contractor ready to begin work, for instance—may not want to wait too long to hear back about their application status. In addition, some lenders may require more information and records than others, which can make the application process more onerous to complete and negatively affect the customer experience even before the loan is approved.
Our Top Picks
As we researched the best pool loans, we focused on lenders offering competitive interest rates, flexible financing terms, generous discounts, and quick application and funding time frames.
Why It Made the Cut: LightStream offers eligible borrowers competitive APR options, potential rate discounts, and same-day funding opportunities—as well as a dedicated mobile app to manage their loan payments.
LightStream offers pool loans at very competitive rates, with eligible borrowers potentially receiving a relatively low APR on their loan. In fact, homeowners may receive the lowest pool loan rate possible using LightStream’s Rate Beat Program, which pledges to beat any competitor’s APR by 0.1 percentage points. Borrowers can further reduce their interest payments by taking advantage of the lender’s autopay discount, which can lower a loan’s APR by 0.5 percentage points if the customer enrolls in autopay. In some cases, borrowers may also be eligible for same-day funding, allowing them to access the funds needed to break ground on their new pool as quickly as possible.
LightStream is also a relatively digital-focused loan provider. Although its rate calculator can be a bit inaccurate due to certain baked-in criteria—users are assumed to have excellent credit, for instance—the tool gives borrowers a good idea of what their loan options look like and what amount they could owe each month throughout the life of the loan. The company also supports a dedicated mobile app that customers can use to manage their loans, including scheduling payments, updating account information, and checking the progress of their repayment schedule.
- Maximum loan amount: $100,000
- Funding time frame: Within 24 hours
- Loan length: 36 to 120 months
- NMLS Unique Identifier: 399803
- Relatively low minimum APR
- Lower interest rates via the Rate Beat Program
- Generous 0.5 percentage point autopay discount
- Same-day funding available
- User-friendly loan management via mobile app
- Somewhat misleading rate calculator
Why It Made the Cut: Lyon Financial specializes in pool loans, with low APR options and a wide range of lengthy loan terms, making this lender a good choice for homeowners who want to work with an experienced pool loan specialist.
While some companies provide pool financing through personal loans or home improvement loans, Lyon Financial extends dedicated loans for the express purpose of funding pool installations. This expertise is reflected in various aspects of the company’s loan options, which are geared toward the logistics of financing backyard pools. For instance, Lyon offers loan terms ranging from 12 years to 25 years, giving borrowers ample time to repay their loan amount—which can be as high as $200,000. Such lengthy loan terms can make it easier for borrowers to budget for their monthly payments and pay back their loan in full. Some borrowers may qualify for a low APR, which can help save them money on interest over the length of the loan.
Because financing a pool installation is such a large investment, Lyon requires homeowners to submit a scope of work before funds will be disbursed. Obtaining a scope of work may not be terribly difficult, though, since the lender can connect customers with experienced pool builders through its preferred contractor network. This way, homeowners can feel confident that their contractor has the expertise, background, and skills needed to build a structurally sound pool and stay on schedule. Taking advantage of this network can also help customers spend less time searching for one of the best pool installation companies.
- Maximum loan amount: $200,000
- Funding time frame: 48 to 72 hours
- Loan length: 12 to 25 years
- NMLS Unique Identifier: 42691
- Specialty in pool loans
- Relatively low minimum APR
- Flexible 12- to 25-year loan terms
- Preferred contractor network of highly experienced pool builders
- Scope of work information required for fund disbursement
Why It Made the Cut: As a lender that focuses on pool loans, Viking Capital can offer extremely high loan amounts to eligible borrowers—not to mention a user-friendly application process and rate discounts for service members.
Viking Capital is the rare lender that specializes in pool loans, which may appeal to homeowners who want to work with a company that understands which financing terms make the most sense for this type of home renovation project. For instance, eligible borrowers could qualify for a loan amount as high as $225,000, which is extremely high for this type of financing and would allow them to secure the funding for all but the most expensive pool installations.
Although Viking does charge some up-front lender fees—and those fees will vary from borrower to borrower—eligible service members may be able to lower their loan costs by taking advantage of the lender’s military rate discount. Homeowners who value a seamless online experience may be pleased to hear that the pool loan company supports an online application process that’s quick, intuitive, and easy to complete. This way, potential customers can quickly see if they qualify for a pool loan and, if so, what terms they may be eligible to receive.
- Maximum loan amount: $225,000
- Funding time frame: 24 hours or more
- Loan length: Up to 20 years
- NMLS Unique Identifier: 1282210
- Specialty in pool loans
- High $225,000 loan limit
- Generous rate discount for military service members
- Streamlined online application process
- Additional lender fees may be incurred
Why It Made the Cut: SoFi supports various financing options—such as same-day funding and payment deferment—for eligible borrowers. Customers can also explore a wide range of other loan products from this lender.
SoFi is a major player in the lending industry, supporting a wide variety of loan products for customers to choose from, including a home improvement loan for pool installations. Working with a single lender for all of their financing needs may be convenient for some homeowners who would prefer not to keep track of multiple loans with different lenders.
Prospective borrowers may want to be aware that SoFi’s rates can be somewhat high in some cases, depending on their credit score, existing debit, and other factors. SoFi does offer some flexibility for borrowers who fall on hard financial times, though. Unemployed borrowers can defer their monthly payment for 3-month intervals and up to 12 months total. This feature could provide some breathing room for customers who need a little time to sort out their finances and get back on their feet. SoFi can also provide same-day funding in some cases, helping many borrowers get their pool installation funds as quickly as possible.
- Maximum loan amount: $100,000
- Funding time frame: Within 24 hours
- Loan length: 24 to 84 months
- NMLS Unique Identifier: 1121636
- Same-day funding possible
- Payment deferment available for unemployed borrowers
- Wide variety of other loan types available
- Relatively high maximum APR
Why It Made the Cut: Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers perks for borrowers who consistently pay their monthly installment on time. Borrowers can also conveniently manage their loans through the lender’s dedicated mobile app.
Homeowners who do not need the large loan amounts offered by pool financing specialists may want to consider Marcus by Goldman Sachs as an alternative option. The lender provides pool installation funds through personal loans, so loan amounts are capped at $40,000. Funding times are a bit longer as well, with 5-day funding time frames being pretty typical with this lender. Once the loan is funded, though, borrowers who stay current with their repayment plan could receive some perks. For instance, after customers have paid 12 consecutive monthly installments without a single missed or late payment, they have the option to defer their payment for 1 month without accumulating any additional interest. This feature can help homeowners temporarily prioritize and allocate more money toward other financial obligations.
Customers can also manage their loan using the lender’s mobile app, scheduling payments, setting up autopay, and checking their payment history. Being able to check the status of their loan at any time and from any location can be convenient for some borrowers, making it easier to track the progress they’ve made repaying their loan.
- Maximum loan amount: $40,000
- Funding time frame: Within 5 days
- Loan length: 36 to 72 months
- NMLS Unique Identifier: 208156
- On-time payment reward available
- User-friendly loan management via mobile app
- Low $40,000 loan limit
- Long 5-day funding time frame
We gave our Best Overall award to LightStream due to its low starting APR, autopay discount, Rate Beat Program, and same-day funding option. The Runner-Up award goes to Lyon Financial because the lender specializes in this particular type of financing, offers low APR options, and provides lengthy loan terms.
How We Chose the Best Pool Loan Companies
When determining the best pool loan companies, we considered how much money homeowners might be able to borrow from each lender and if that amount would be enough to fund an inground pool. We also looked at factors that could impact a borrower’s eligibility—minimum credit score requirements, for instance. The total cost of a loan was an important consideration as well, which is why we weighed discounts and fees in addition to each lender’s annual percentage rate. We also considered the terms of the loans themselves, determining whether the funding time frames and loan lengths would fit the needs of homeowners looking to finance a pool installation or would potentially cause issues for them instead.
Before You Choose One of the Best Pool Loan Companies
Many of the best pool loans are unsecured loans—that is, they don’t use any assets as collateral. That can provide some peace of mind for homeowners who would rather not put up any of their possessions or assets as collateral to finance their pool installation. But some people might prefer to tap into their home equity rather than take out a dedicated pool loan. Homeowners may be able to finance a new pool with a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC), or even a second mortgage. These secured loans often have lower interest rates, but they will likely take much longer to approve and fund. If this option sounds more appealing than a dedicated pool loan, homeowners may want to review the best home improvement loan providers and see if there’s an option that’s right for them.
Banks and credit unions may offer financing options for pools as well, and some homeowners may prefer to work with a local branch rather than a nationwide lender. In that case, it may be worth looking into local banks that offer pool loans.
Cost of Taking Out a Loan With One of the Best Pool Loan Companies
Although some companies may charge lender fees like origination and application fees, the single largest expense borrowers will pay on a pool loan is interest. Checking lenders’ APR ranges can help customers avoid higher pool loan rates, but they may want to consider the impact their own credit history and financial status will have on the APR that they are ultimately offered.
It’s also important to weigh both the total cost of a pool loan and the monthly expense required to pay it back. A lower total cost may not make sense if the borrower will struggle to make loan payments each month. To that end, it may be worthwhile to explore how longer loan terms could lower monthly installments and make it easier to budget for those payments along with other recurring housing costs and financial obligations. Consulting a pool loan calculator could help homeowners determine how much a particular loan will cost when it’s all said and done.
The Advantages of Choosing One of the Best Pool Loan Companies
Installing one of the best above-ground pools is a major investment, and it would be difficult for many homeowners to afford such a large expense without the help of separate financing. Some lenders focus exclusively on pool loans, which can provide peace of mind to homeowners, knowing that their financing terms are geared toward pool installations. Whether they specialize in this type of financing or not, though, the best pool loan companies can provide numerous advantages to benefit borrowers, including:
- Quick funding time frames to give homeowners the money needed to pay for pool installations.
- Flexible and varied loan terms so borrowers can pay back their pool loan at a pace that feels right for them.
- Rate discounts to help lower the total cost of the loan and make pool financing more affordable.
Homeowners have a lot of options when it comes to financing a pool installation. With dedicated pool loans, personal loans, home improvement loans, and home equity loans all on the table, it can feel a little overwhelming at times. Pool loan reviews can provide some insight, but homeowners may want to vet the best pool loan companies themselves as well. Researching available pool loan options may take some time, but it could be worth the effort to find the right financing for a borrower’s specific circumstances.
Q. How can you finance a pool installation?
Some lenders offer specialized pool loans to finance installations, but borrowers may also be able to use personal loans for these renovation projects. In addition, homeowners with sufficient home equity may have the option to use funds from a home equity loan for pool installations. Once homeowners have decided which option is best for them, they can reach out to their lender of choice to see what the next steps are to get a home improvement loan for a pool.
Q. How long do pool loans run?
Depending on the lender and type of financing, a pool loan could run anywhere from 24 months to 25 years.
Q. What are typical terms and costs on a pool loan?
Borrowers with strong credit may qualify for an APR in the single digits, but pool loan rates can go much higher, especially for homeowners who are using a personal loan. Cheap pool loans usually combine low interest rates, generous discounts, and flexible repayment schedules to give borrowers the biggest bang for their buck.
Q. What credit score is needed for a pool loan?
Credit score requirements can vary from lender to lender—some lenders may not have any set minimum credit score at all.
Q. How many years can you finance a pool?
Generally speaking, pool loan specialists will offer longer loan terms. In some cases, homeowners may be able to obtain a 20-year pool loan—possibly even a 25-year loan.
Q. Can you finance a pool into a new mortgage?
There are some mortgage options available that could allow homeowners to build pool installation costs into their refinance. A cash-out refinance, for instance, could provide funds to pay for a new pool.
Q. Is it easy to get a pool loan?
Homeowners with strong credit scores and little debt will have more options to consider, but there are easy pool loans with minimal credit score requirements available for people with fair credit to qualify for as well.