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Imagine going on your dream trip around the world. Would it include sunbathing in Hawaii? Sampling gourmet wine in Paris? Eating at an Outback Steakhouse in Australia? Sounds amazing, right? With a personal loan, you could make that dream come true. But should you? Memories of your world tour might be priceless, but personal loans most definitely aren’t.

Dearest reader, welcome to a very special presentation on how not (we repeat: not) to use a personal loan. Sure, it’s tempting to borrow money now and worry about paying it back later, but keep in mind, there’s always a later.

Your dream vacation

Most Americans will fall into one of two camps—those who travel annually and those who can recite their entire Netflix queue on command. Folks in the traveling camp spend an annual average of $4,700 on vacation expenses.[1] And while that average includes international jet setters (and not just families who drove five hours to visit Grandma), we still cannot recommend taking out a personal loan to cover travel expenses.

If you think about your dream vacation and calculate a budget that includes transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment, the total cost should be less than four percent of your annual income—and that’s only if you aren’t in debt.[2] Travel smart (you can also indulge in a staycation)! You don’t need a personal loan to see the sights. Deposit a set percentage of your income into a savings account every month. As long as you don’t touch that money, you’ll have next year’s travel budget ready to go. Bon voyage!

Your home theater

Ah, movie night at home. Unwinding, cuddling with popcorn and bae, and … panoramic digital surround sound, a 1080p projector, and chairs that auto adjust to your body weight and temperature? [YOU SHALL NOT PASS!] We know that having a movie theater in your home or apartment would be a dream come true, but this could be the worst excuse to take out a personal loan ever. Average costs of a media room or home theater really run the gamut in 2016. If you’re an audiophile, you’ll pay top dollar for sound; if you’re a gamer, you’ll want the latest consoles; movie lovers seek awesome picture resolution—you get the idea. You could pay as little as $800 for a decent projector or you could drop $40K for a company to convert an entire room into a private cinema.[3] The choice is yours, but we strongly recommend saving (and then saving some more) if this is your dream.

Skip the personal loan for a home theater installation and go out to the movies instead. Sure, the floors will probably be sticky and someone will chew their popcorn too loudly, but isn’t that just charming tradition at this point?

Your new pool(?!)

Home repairs are one thing, but a new home luxury like a pool, jacuzzi, or waterslide isn’t worth going into debt for (well, maybe that waterslide).

Depending on the type and size of pool you’re considering installing or building (above ground, in-ground, fiberglass, waterfall installation, etc.), private home swimming pools can cost anywhere from $6K to $22K in initial build costs alone. Factor in the cost of monthly maintenance and, well, you’re looking at one of the most expensive ways to chill during the summer months. We would never advise anyone to take out a personal loan to install a luxury home item. It’s just not a great investment. And we mean that literally: a backyard pool doesn’t exactly convert to increased property value either.[4] Looking for a more affordable option? You really can’t go wrong with laying under a lawn sprinkler, which will run you about $12.98 for a decent model.

Your fairytale wedding

Depending on what state you and your betrothed live in, weddings these days cost an average of $30K.[5] That’s outrageously expensive for a single day—even if it’s a day of blissful fun and love. This is why we recommend not using a personal loan to pay for a wedding. Instead, simply use saving strategies and a strict budget in the months (and/or years) leading up to your big day.

Even using a small personal loan to hire that photographer or DJ you want at the reception is not a wise investment, as you’ll be adding new debt to a brand new marriage.

Lucky for you, DIY is totally in right now; and it can save you hundreds on everything from floral arrangements to table centerpieces. You’ll encounter plenty of challenges as a newlywed couple without having to spend your first five years of marriage paying off one fairytale day.


But what if you actually need a personal loan? Forget the fancy vacation or the new swimming pool; what if you just need money to pay an unexpected car repair or hospital bill? We’re not talking about a bride freaking out over a change of venue, we’re talking about a genuine cash flow emergency.

Well, that’s when you can turn to OppLoans. Our personal installment loans can be a real life saver when it comes to covering unforeseen expenses! Apply today and you can have funds in your account as soon as the next business day. Our loans aren’t a shortcut to your dream trip around the world, but they can help keep your life working.


  1. Webber, Rebecca. “Average Cost of a Vacation.” Value Penguin. Accessed July 28, 2016. https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-vacation
  2. Luciw, Roma. “How much is too much to spend on a yearly vacation?” The Globe and Mail. Accessed July 28, 2016. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/how-much-is-too-much-to-spend-on-a-yearly-vacation/article1360225/
  3. “How Much Does a Home Theater Cost?” Elegant Home Theatre Systems. Accessed July 28, 2016. Elegant Home Theater Systems. https://eleganthometheatersystems.com/how-much-does-a-home-theater-cost”
  4. “Build Swimming Pool Cost”. Fixr. Accessed July 29, 2016. https://www.fixr.com/costs/build-swimming-pool
  5. Taylor, Susan Johnston. “The Real Cost of Owning a Swimming Pool&rdquo.” U.S. News: Money. Accessed July 29, 2016. https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/05/19/the-real-cost-of-owning-a-swimming-pool”
  6. Quinn, Brian. “Average Cost of a Wedding (2016)” Value Penguin. Accessed July 28, 2016. https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-of-wedding”

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