Hot Tub Financing
A high-quality hot tub can be a major purchase so spreading the cost via a fixed monthly payment amount is definitely tempting. However, not all hot tub financing options are as good as they may seem on the surface. How do you know which deal is best for you?
Many factors affect the overall cost of financing a hot tub or swim spa purchase, aside from the actual prices of hot tubs themselves.
From credit scores to repayment terms and finance charges, my comprehensive guide below will show you exactly what customers need to look out for.
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How Much Does A Hot Tub Cost
The price you can expect to pay for a brand new hot tub/spa varies significantly between brands, as well as with the size of the hot tub, the number of jets, and other features.
Entry Level vs Premium Hot Tubs
Entry-level hot tub prices can be as low as $3000 when you shop at a big box store, while some inflatable versions with very basic controls can even come in at less than $1000.
Be careful though, these cheaper spas don't tend to last very long compared to a high-quality hot tub.
Premium hot tubs, however, can easily run into 5 figures, With larger 6-8 seater luxury hot tubs regularly costing around $15000-$18000.
If you need exercise and swim fitness capabilities (whether for training or therapy purposes), large swim spas, swim spa hot tub combos and pool alternatives can be significantly more expensive again due to their size and the powerful pumps required to generate high water flow. The price tag for large, versatile swim spa models with advanced features will generally be in the $30000+ range. The extra pumps also prevent them from being as energy-efficient, so expect higher running costs if you want one of these in your own backyard.
Local Price Variations
Local factors can also affect the price of hot tubs significantly. Most spa brands let each local dealer set actual prices for their products, as well as other fees including installation costs. It's worth making contact with more than one dealer to compare prices and check for special promotions which could bring down the overall cost (and/or the monthly payments).
The dealer you choose to go through may also offer extra services such as maintenance contracts, water care options, or extended warranties, which could increase the initial cost but reduce running expenses.
Other local factors are not under the control of the local dealer themselves. These are considered "destination charges" and include the shipping costs of getting the hot tub from the manufacturer to the dealer's location, which may be added onto either the price tag of the hot tub itself or the installation costs. With this in mind, you may find you get a better deal overall by focusing your search for the perfect hot tub deal on spas built relatively close to you.
Hot Tub Financing Options
Zero-Equity Personal Loan Hot Tub Financing
You may be able to get a personal/home improvement loan for your brand new hot tub without having to secure the finance agreement against the equity in your home. Some customers find this approach preferable to risking the use of valuable assets as security.
However, if you want to make large purchases like luxury hot tubs via this financing route, good credit is very important. Interest rates vary based on your credit score and an excellent credit rating is really the only way to get a low interest rate on an unsecured personal loan.
You can generally apply online, although the interest, monthly payment, and repayment term will only be finalized once they have verified your credit score and income details.
Home Equity Loan Hot Tub Financing
If you have sufficient equity in your home (or other property), you'll probably find a home equity loan gives you the lowest rate out of all the financing options available.
The advantage to the lender of having the loan secured against existing assets allows them to offer this "low risk" finance route with more attractive interest rates, lower fees, and often a longer repayment term (meaning lower monthly payments) than unsecured loans.
Your credit score will still have some effect on the loan terms, but less so than zero-equity financing.
Do be aware though, if you cannot meet the monthly payments and fall into arrears, you risk the finance company taking action to reclaim the full remaining balance from the assets you have staked as security. In some cases, this could even mean losing your property.
Credit Card Hot Tub Financing
Assuming your credit card has a sufficiently high credit limit to cover your new hot tub, you could make the purchase that way and repay via your monthly payment to the card company.
This is unlikely to be your cheapest option for financing a new spa under normal circumstances since credit card companies tend to have higher interest rates than most types of loans. Some card providers, however, have special promotions with low interest rates or even interest-free credit on new purchases for a set period. These can seriously reduce the finance charges involved in buying a brand new hot tub this way and make a credit card purchase more comparable to the other financing options overall.
Often the best deals aren't offered for existing customers but are ongoing promotions aimed at generating new business. It's worth making contact with a few providers and seeing what they can offer you if you decide to go down this route. Or click the button below to save time. We offer multiple quotes based on the area in which you reside. It's free and we bring quotes to you!
Hot Tub Financing With Bad Credit
If you have a poor credit score or simply don't want to undergo a credit check, there are still hot tub financing options available to you. Some lenders will be able to offer you a monthly payment schedule for your hot tub purchase by looking at employment history and salary information rather than requiring full, in-depth scrutiny of your credit history.
This type of finance is at the sole discretion of the lender and the deals they can offer may vary based on other factors such as the amount of upfront deposit you're willing to put down. It is important to note that you are unlikely to get a low interest rate if going down this route. If you're willing to wait a little while and take steps to build up your credit rating, you will get much better finance terms.
To avoid financing altogether, prospective spa owners could also choose to purchase pre-owned equipment from a private party. Hot Tub Blue Book contains all the details that buyers should know when selecting this option.
The Final Verdict - Is Financing A Hot Tub Worth It?
For many people, buying a hot tub or swim spa is not so much a luxury purchase as necessary for them to enjoy everyday life. The pain-relieving effect of warm water and spa jets on sore muscles can help people regain mobility and independence following an accident, while the stress relief aspect is invaluable for many people who suffer from chronic stress-related conditions. If that's the case, you will want to get your hot tub/swim spa asap and a loan is probably the best way to do so.
If you just want a hot tub/spa for relaxation purposes, it is generally cheaper to be patient and save up than to go down the monthly payment route. That way you can avoid having to pay interest on a loan. However, if you find a bargain on the hot tub price or can take advantage of ongoing promotions on the financing itself, hot tub financing may still be a good option for you.
Here at SwimCalc, we provide a unique service that matches shoppers with hot tub companies based on their preferences. You'll be able to compare several quotes, which could end up saving you a lot of money. Its free, so click the button below to get started today!
About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.