Machu Picchu landscape

4 Creative Ways to Use Personal Loans

People often think of a personal loan as being a lifeline for emergencies. Be it an unexpected trip to the hospital, a leaking roof that needs to be replaced as soon as possible, or that squealing sound your brakes are making before a long road trip, personal loans can certainly come in handy when you need them.

But can you use a personal loan for everything? What people don’t know is that personal loans are so much more than an emergency backup plan.

Simply put, an unsecured personal loan is a set amount of money you borrow from a lender for personal use that is paid back over a set term via monthly installments plus interest. Yes, that can mean using personal loans for necessities, or even for paying off high-interest credit card debt, but it can also mean taking that dream vacation, finally being able to afford that perfect wedding venue, or financial assistance when you’re ready to have a child.

Of course, a personal loan isn’t the only way to go. You want to be making responsible purchases, so if you’re going to use a personal loan, you need to make sure you’ll be able to afford your monthly payments on it. (You may even want to set a goal of paying your personal loan off early—and with SoFi there are no prepayment penalties on personal loans.) You could also do it the old-fashioned way and save up for the purchase before spending the cash. You can always save up for a year or two before moving forward with any of these ideas.

But if you don’t want to wait, a personal loan can help. So with that said, let’s look at four creative personal loan uses you’ve never even thought of.

Making Your Home a Greener Place

If you’re looking to make your home more environmentally friendly, a personal loan can help. And while there are multiple options like energy saving light bulbs and refrigerators, one good bet is solar paneling. Taking out a personal loan to purchase solar panels for your house can do wonders for both the environment and your wallet.

According to the Center for Sustainable Energy , an average residential solar panel system can cost between $3 and $5 per watt, or $15,000 to $25,000 before tax credits and incentives. Fortunately, taking out a personal loan may cover the cost. Moreover, solar energy is one investment that could end up saving you money in the long run.

Moving Across Town … or Across the Country

It’s likely that at some point in your life, you’ll be relocating. And that does not come cheap. According to Home Advisor , the average cost of an interstate household move (moving from one state to another) is between $2,000 and $5,000. The average cost of an intrastate move (moving from one town to another in the same state) is about $80 to $100 an hour, which adds up quickly.

That amount of cash up front can cause sticker shock, and it doesn’t even touch on other moving costs like a security deposit, first and last month’s rent, new furniture, travel costs, and more. Fortunately, a relocation assistance loan can help cover everything you need to move into your brand new home regardless of how far you’re going, and help cover every item you forgot you needed along the way.

Kickstarting Your Wanderlust

The desire to travel—that sand in our shoes feeling—lives in all of us, but sometimes the cost of getting to a dream destination can be prohibitively expensive. According to a 2017 analysis by TripAdvisor , the cost of the top 10 most popular life-changing adventures, on average, is somewhere around $5,000 for two travelers.

If walking along the Great Wall of China (which can set you back about $3,990), going on a safari in South Africa ($4,332), or trekking to Machu Picchu (upwards of $5,890) are on your travel bucket list, taking out a personal loan can help get you there. It can even help cover the cost of a new backpack, hiking shoes, camera and passport application fees … as well as souvenirs you may pick up along the way.

Starting a Family

Having a baby is a joyous event, but it can be an expensive one too, especially if you’re considering alternative methods like in-vitro fertilization or adoption. According to data collected by IVF Worldwide , the average cost of just one IVF cycle can run between $12,000 and $15,000, with the average woman or femme needing between three to nine cycles to successfully become pregnant.

Adopting is also an expensive proposition. Adoptive Families Magazine estimates that adopting a newborn through an agency cost an average of $43,329 in the United States.

These are not easy numbers to swing by any means. But if a child is in your future and these are either your only options or your heart is set on adoption, then a personal loan may be your answer.

These are by no means extensive options of the ways to use personal loans—there are home renovations, big purchases, you name it. And you still may want to use that personal loan for an emergency situation or debt consolidation.

Regardless, if you are still thinking about a personal loan, you will need to take a few steps to get approved. A good place to start is to figure out exactly how much you want to borrow. From there, you might want to check your credit score, compare lenders, and then apply with the lender that works best for you. SoFi personal loans program streamlines these steps and makes them easy, so you can apply for the personal loan you need to help make your dreams—big or small—a reality.

Looking to do something great with your money? Check out SoFi personal loans and you could start living your dreams sooner.

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The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s Website on credit .

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