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Best Holiday Financing of 2024

A holiday loan can be a great alternative to financing gifts and everything else with your credit card.

Author
By Melanie Lockert

Written by

Melanie Lockert

Writer

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and the founder of the blog and author of the book, “Dear Debt.” Through her blog, she chronicled her journey out of $81,000 in student loan debt. Her work has appeared on Allure, Business Insider, Credit Karma, Fortune, and more.

Edited by Jared Hughes

Written by

Jared Hughes

Editor

Jared Hughes is a personal loan editor for Credible and Fox Money, and has been producing digital content for more than six years.

Updated July 17, 2024

Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

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While the holiday season can bring lots of joy, there’s no denying that the costs can add up. You might be traveling, buying gifts, or preparing for festivities and parties. All of that means more spending.

In fact, from November 2022 to December 2022, retail sales increased 5.3% from the year prior to a staggering $936.3 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. If you don’t quite have the cash on hand to spend this season the way you’d like, you may want to consider holiday financing.

Compare holiday loan rates of 2024

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4.24.2

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

6.99% - 25.49%

Loan Amounts

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

700

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

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3.93.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

7.80% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

620

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

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4.44.4

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

-

Loan Amounts

$2500 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.54.5

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.49% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

44

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.98% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.94.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.99% - 29.99%1

Loan Amounts

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

44

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.99% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$2000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

3.93.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

9.95% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$2000 to $35000

Min. Credit Score

550

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.34.3

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

-

Loan Amounts

$5000 to $35000

Min. Credit Score

700

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.34.3

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

11.69% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

560

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

44

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

-

Loan Amounts

$20000 to $200000

Min. Credit Score

660

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

3.93.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

12.45% - 17.99%

Loan Amounts

$5000 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

640

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

3.73.7

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

14.30% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$3500 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

640

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

3.93.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

18.00% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1500 to $20000

Min. Credit Score

540

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | SoFi Disclosures | Read more about Rates and Terms

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Best holiday financing

Holiday financing refers to covering expenses related to the holiday season, from using a credit card to taking out an unsecured personal loan. Personal loans often offer financing at lower rates than credit cards, according Federal Reserve data, and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

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Good to know

The average rate for a credit card was 21.51%, while the average rate for a 24-month personal loan was 11.92%, according to the Federal Reserve.

Compare personal loan rates to your credit card's rate before you run up a balance. The money could be in your account as soon as the same day you apply, and it’s quick to check customized rates without a hit to your credit. Just note that if you decide to move forward, an application will show up as a hard inquiry on your report and could temporarily ding your score.

Best overall

SoFi

4.9

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.99 - 29.99%1

Loan Amount

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros and cons

More details

Best for fair credit

Upgrade

4.5

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.49 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

Pros and cons

More details

Best for no origination fees (and low rates)

Discover Personal Loans

4.4

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

-

Loan Amount

$2500 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

Pros and cons

More details

Best for high close rates if pre-approved

Best Egg

4

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.99 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

Pros and cons

More details

Best bad credit personal loans

OneMain Financial

3.9

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1500 to $20000

Min. Credit Score

540

Pros and cons

More details

Best fast personal loans for all credit types

Upstart

3.9

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

7.80 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

620

Pros and cons

More details

Methodology

Credible evaluated the best holiday financing based on factors such as customer experience, minimum fixed rate, maximum loan amount, funding time, loan terms, fees, discounts, and whether cosigners are accepted. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service department, directly from our partners, and via email support. Each data point was verified by a third party to make sure it was accurate and up to date.

How to compare holiday financing lenders

Compare options from numerous lenders to find the best holiday loan for you. By prequalifying, you can see the annual percentage rates (APRs) you could get with a personal loan without any impact to your credit score. (Prequalification is not an offer of credit, and your final rate could be different once you apply.)

When comparing personal loan lenders, consider the following.

  • Loan amounts: How much money do you need to borrow? Many personal loan lenders offer amounts ranging from $600 to $100,000 or more. Though the amount you'll qualify to borrow depends on your income, credit history, and other debt.
  • Repayment term: The repayment term is the amount of time you have to pay your loan. Many lenders offer repayment terms from 1 to 7 years. The term you choose affects the size of your monthly payments. Shorter terms result in higher monthly payments, while longer terms result in lower monthly payments, but also more interest. No matter what repayment term you choose, make sure you can comfortably afford the payment for that span of time.
  • APR: Your APR is the total cost of borrowing, which includes the interest rate and upfront fees. A lower APR will save you interest in the long run, while a higher APR will cost you more over the life of the loan.
  • Fees: You can expect origination fees, late fees, or insufficient funds fees, depending on the lender. Note that origination fees are upfront and can reduce the loan amount you receive.
  • Eligibility requirements: Review each lender’s eligibility requirements to ensure you qualify. Is your credit score higher than the lender's minimum? Is your annual income higher than the lender's minimum? You'll also need to have a low-enough debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which generally means under 36%. You can calculate DTI by dividing your minimum monthly payments by your gross monthly income.
  • Customer reviews: When comparing holiday loans, look at customer satisfaction ratings and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot.
  • Customer service accessibility: If you prefer to manage your accounts via app, make sure the lender has one and that it has positive reviews. If you want the optio to talk to a live person, look for live chat either in-app or on the lender's website. If you want to pick up the phone to talk, make sure the lender's number doesn't route you through an interminable phone tree.

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What is a tax refund holiday loan?

A tax refund holiday loan is a type of loan that can be used for holiday financing, and is typically offered by a tax preparation service. Taxpayers who expect to get a tax refund can get a portion of the cash upfront using a tax refund holiday loan.

So instead of waiting for the IRS to process your tax return, you can get an advance earlier and use the money to buy gifts, to buy a tree, to entertain, or whatever you'd like. The loan is automatically paid back along with any charges or fees when your tax refund arrives.

Tax preparation service Jackson Hewitt offers a tax refund holiday loan starting in December. Its tax refund loan has no fees and 0% interest as long as you file your taxes with Jackson Hewitt from January 2 through February 19.

How to apply for holiday financing

If you’re interested in getting a holiday loan, here’s how:

  1. Determine how much you need: Like with any loan, you only want to borrow what you need. So come up with a budget for your holiday-related expenses to determine the loan amount. Check your regular budget to know what monthly payment you can afford. 
  2. Check your credit score: Using your financial institution, credit card, or credit monitoring app, you can typically check your credit score. See where your score stands so that you can meet any eligibility requirements and get a competitive rate.
  3. Compare holiday loan lenders: Prequalify with at least five lenders, and compare loan amounts, APRs, repayment terms, monthly payments, and fees to start, along with customer satisfaction ratings, and customer service accessibility once you've found a few contenders. Choose a repayment term that gives you an affordable monthly payment.
  4. Submit application: After narrowing down your options and choosing a holiday loan lender, gather your information and documents like pay stubs and ID to submit your application.
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Good to know

Note that holiday loans are only available for a limited time at some credit unions during the holiday season (November to January).

Learn More: How To Get Approved for a Personal Loan

Holiday financing FAQ

Where can I get holiday financing?

In addition to using your credit card, you can get longer-term and lower-rate holiday financing from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Several companies also offer buy-no-pay-later financing which may be no-interest, but due within a short period of time, such as one to two months.  

Can I get holiday financing with bad credit?

Some lenders offer loans for bad credit and no credit. If your score is low, you may be able to qualify with a higher interest rate, or you may need a cosigner or co-borrower for your application to be considered. For small holiday loans, you might consider a payday alternative loan with a credit union or a cash advance app. With cash advance apps, avoid expediting the money for a fee and limit tips, as either can drive the APR into triple digits.

Do I qualify for holiday financing?

To qualify for holiday financing, you typically need to meet certain eligibility requirements and have a minimum FICO credit score of 670. You must demonstrate to the lender that you can repay the loan, which means providing proof of income and employment, and having a low debt-to-income ratio, usually under 36%.

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Meet the expert:
Melanie Lockert

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and the founder of the blog and author of the book, “Dear Debt.” Through her blog, she chronicled her journey out of $81,000 in student loan debt. Her work has appeared on Allure, Business Insider, Credit Karma, Fortune, and more.