At a Glance

A holiday loan is a loan that can finance various expenses over the holidays. The loan can be used to pay for travel expenses, presents for the family, or other expenses while in holiday mode. Holiday loans are available from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. The interest rates on holiday loans vary, but they are typically lower than the interest rates on credit cards.

To qualify for a holiday loan, you must have a good credit score and meet other eligibility requirements. You should shop for the best interest rates and terms if you want a holiday loan. You should also ensure you can repay the loan by the due date.

What are holiday loans?

Holiday loans are a type of personal loan used for expenses related to a holiday. They typically have very competitive interest rates and though they are sometimes called Christmas loans they can be used for most other holidays.

Holiday loans can be taken from banks and credit unions, or you can get online holiday loans from various online lenders, and the repayment terms vary depending on the lender.

Generally, you’ll have between one and five years to repay the loan, and you may be able to make early repayments without penalty. When shopping for holiday loans, comparing offers from multiple lenders is essential to find the best rate and terms for your needs.

How do holiday loans work?

Holiday loans are a type of short-term loan that can be used to cover the costs of expenses during the holidays. The loans are typically repaid within a few months and usually have relatively high interest rates. However, holiday loans can be a good option for people who need extra cash to cover holiday expenses but want to avoid putting their credit cards or other assets at risk.

You’ll typically need to provide basic information about your financial situation and repayment plans to get a holiday loan. Once approved for the loan, you’ll receive the cash up front, which you can use to cover your holiday expenses. Just be sure to repay the loan on time to avoid any costly late fees or damage to your credit score.

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What can holiday loans be used for?

In general, holiday loans can be used for any purpose related to the holidays, including gifts, decorations, travel, accommodations, hosting costs, food, or anything else you might need throughout the season.

Some lenders may have restrictions on how the loan can be used, so it is always best to check before you apply. And remember, when taking out a loan, only borrow what you can afford to repay.

Pros and cons of holiday loans


Pros Cons
Can help you spread the cost of the holidays over time You may borrow more money than you can afford to repay
Helps you avoid accruing interest on your credit card Some lenders may charge high interest rates on holiday loans, so shopping around for the best rate before you borrow is essential
Many lenders offer competitive rates on holiday loans, which can help you save money in the long run

Holiday loan requirements

If you’re planning on taking out a holiday loan, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Good credit score: This will give lenders confidence that you’ll be able to repay the loan promptly.
  • Steady source of income: This can be from employment, self-employment, investment income, or any other reliable source. Lenders will want to see that you can make regular payments on the loan.
  • Collateral: This could be in the form of property, savings, or another asset. Collateral gives lenders security in case you default on the loan. If you meet all these requirements, you should be able to secure a holiday loan.

How can you get a holiday loan?

If you’re looking to get a loan for holiday costs, there are several steps you can take. The first step is researching and comparing different lenders to find the best rates and terms. This can include looking at online reviews of various lenders, checking interest rates, comparing fees, and more. Once you’ve found a lender that offers favorable terms, you can apply for a loan directly on their website.

To complete the application process, you’ll typically need to provide basic information about yourself, such as your name, address, and income level. You may also be asked to provide documentation to verify this information. For example, if you are self-employed or have investment income, you may need to provide tax returns or other financial documents. Some lenders may also require collateral to secure the loan. You must have the necessary assets before applying for a holiday loan.

Once your application is approved, your funds should be available quickly. This typically involves electronically transferring the money from the lender’s account into yours. Getting a holiday loan can be simple if you research and prepare all necessary documentation in advance.

1. Check your credit score

One of the first steps to getting a holiday loan is checking your credit score. Your credit score reflects your credit history and overall financial health, and lenders use this information to determine whether you are likely to be able to repay the loan. A good credit score is typically considered 680 or higher, while a poor score is below 600.

You can check your credit score in several ways, including using a free online tool from major credit bureaus such as Equifax or Experian. If you find your credit score low, you may want to consider taking steps to boost it before applying for a holiday loan. This could include making on-time payments on existing loans or lines of credit, paying down debt, and more.

Another factor that lenders will consider when evaluating your application is your income level. Having a steady source of income can help reassure the lender that you can make regular loan payments. Therefore, it’s important to highlight your income in your application and provide relevant documentation such as pay stubs or tax returns.

2. Get pre-qualified

Another step you can take is to get pre-qualified for a holiday loan. This typically involves sharing basic information about yourself, including your income level and credit score, with a lender or broker. The lender will then use this information to determine whether you are likely to be approved for a loan and what the terms of the loan might be.

Getting pre-qualified before applying for a holiday loan has several benefits. First, it can help you narrow down your options and focus on lenders most likely to approve your application. Second, it can give you an idea of how much you may qualify for in terms of the loan amount and the interest rate. Finally, it allows you to lock in your interest rate and have peace of mind knowing that you won’t be subject to higher rates if you apply later.

If you are considering getting a holiday loan, it’s important to research and compare different lenders to find the best rates and terms for your situation. This can include looking at online reviews, checking annual percentage rates (APRs), comparing fees, and more.

3. Submit your loan application

Once you have done your research and feel ready to apply for a holiday loan, the next step is to submit your application. This typically involves filling out an online form or contacting the lender directly by phone or email. Depending on the lender and the type of loan you are applying for, additional steps or verification processes may also be involved.

One important thing to keep in mind when submitting your loan application is that it should be accurate and complete. Lenders will carefully review your information, including your credit score, income level, and assets. Therefore, it’s important to ensure all this information is correct before submitting your application. Additionally, if you are using collateral such as a home or car to secure your loan, you will likely need to provide documentation such as a title or appraisal.

Once you submit your loan application, the lender will review it and let you know whether your application has been approved or denied. If approved, you may need to sign any necessary paperwork or provide additional information before receiving your funds.

Cost of a holiday loan

The cost of a personal loan for holiday expenses will vary depending on several factors, including the lender you choose, the type of loan you apply for, and more. Some common fees associated with holiday loans include processing fees, origination fees, late payment fees, and prepayment penalties. Some lenders may charge higher interest rates or require collateral to qualify for a loan.

When considering the cost of a holiday loan, one thing to remember is that other options are often available if you need extra funds for your holiday expenses. For example, you can consider applying for a personal loan from your bank or credit union or using a cash advance from your credit card to cover your costs.

Alternatives to holiday loans

There are several alternatives to holiday loans that you may want to consider before applying for one. For example, you can use funds from a personal loan, home equity line of credit, or another type of loan to cover your holiday expenses. You can also use cash advances on your credit card, take out an advance on your paycheck or use money in an emergency savings account.

In addition to these options, another alternative to holiday loans is shopping around and comparing different lenders. This can allow you to find the best rates and terms for your situation while ensuring that you can still afford the payments.

1. Buy now, pay later

When it comes to holiday shopping, the temptation to buy now and pay later may be strong. However, this can lead to increased debt levels, especially if you rely on credit cards or loans to cover your expenses. A recent Credello survey conducted with BNPL holiday shoppers found that nearly 50% of them are worried that they would spend more with BNPL than they usually would.

One option that can help you manage holiday spending without increasing your debt is a buy now, pay later program. This payment plan allows you to take advantage of special offers and discounts by paying for your purchases over time. Some popular buy now, pay later options include Afterpay, Openpay, Zippay, Oxipay, and ZipMoney.

Related: BNPL Holiday Shopping Report

2. Credit cards

If you are planning on making many purchases during the upcoming holiday season, it may be tempting to use your credit card to help cover your costs. However, this can lead to increased debt levels and is not always the best option for managing holiday spending.

One way to ensure you can afford extra expenses is by creating a detailed budget before the holidays. This can help you plan and ensure that you have enough money each month to cover your expenses, including larger ones like gifts or travel. Additionally, if possible, it is a good idea to try and pay off any existing credit card debt before using your cards for additional purchases over the holidays.

Learn more: Credit Cards

3. Personal line of credit

Another alternative to holiday loans is a personal line of credit. This type of loan can provide extra funds when you need them while also helping to keep your debt manageable. When choosing a personal line of credit, some factors are the interest rate, repayment terms, and fees associated with the loan.

Learn more: What is a Line of Credit?


There is no simple answer to this question, as the appropriateness of holiday loans will depend on your situation and financial goals. Ultimately, whether a holiday loan is right for you will depend on factors such as your current debt levels, income, spending habits, and budgeting plans. However, if you are careful about choosing the right loan and using it responsibly, a holiday loan may be an effective way to cover your extra holiday expenses without putting too much strain on your finances.

Generally, getting a holiday loan will vary depending on the lender and your financial situation. Some factors that may impact your ability to get a holiday loan include your credit score, debt levels, income, and existing financial obligations. That said, with careful research and planning, it is possible to find a holiday loan that meets your needs and works within your budget.

Many lenders offer holiday loans to borrowers with bad credit. However, in most cases, you will likely need to pay a higher interest rate on a loan and may be subject to other restrictions. To get the best deal on a holiday loan, it is important to carefully compare different options and choose one that works best for your needs and financial situation.

Yes, many lenders offer emergency holiday loans, especially to borrowers with poor or no credit. However, you will typically need to meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify for an emergency holiday loan, such as a low credit score or high debt level. However, with careful research and planning, it is possible to find a suitable emergency holiday loan option that meets your needs.