Holiday Loans

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, updated on October 4th, 2023       

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What is a holiday loan and how does it work?

A holiday loan falls under the bracket of unsecured personal loans and is intended to help you out with financing a holiday. Each lender will have different policies and criteria for holiday loans, but they will typically function in the same way as any other unsecured personal loan.

Borrowers will generally be able to receive anywhere between $2,000 and $75,000 to be paid back over a period of one to seven years. Holiday loans will look slightly different to each borrower depending on your loan preferences and the scope and cost of the holiday.

Are there different types of holiday finance to compare?

Yes – not only are there different types of holiday loans, but there are a variety of factors to choose from when it comes to optimising your plan. Term loans are the most common type of loan which are paid over a fixed term duration established at the beginning of the process. Most standard personal loans will fall in line with this type. Borrowers also have the choice of whether to go with fixed or variable interest rate holiday loans. Fixed rate loans maintain the same interest rate over the life of the loan, while variable rate loans are subject to fluctuation. This option is used generally for larger holidays where borrowing of $5,000 or more is required.

Credit cards can be used for travel instead of a loan for smaller amounts, with certain types of cards designed for travel on offer to holiday-goers. They can provide great flexibility and money on demand, as well as garnering frequent flyer points which can provide a discount on future flights. Credit cards can be dangerous for the uninitiated, though, as failing to pay off a loan within the 30 days of a credit card payment cycle will incur higher interest rates and fees. As such, they’re probably a more sensible option for smaller cash injections up to $2,000. Users could also be slugged with a high cash advance rate or foreign exchange fees on a credit card if used overseas.

A line of credit can also be a viable option for those looking for a smaller cash boost, as borrowers can withdraw funds as they need them to provide greater flexibility. A line of credit is a pre-defined amount of money that is accessible when required and able to be paid back immediately or over a length of time that you establish with your financial institution. They tend to carry a lower average annual percentage rate (APR) than credit cards but will still usually have a monthly fee regardless of whether you have drawn down on funds.

How do I apply for a holiday loan?

Applying for a holiday loan is similar in many respects to applying for any other personal loan, with the requirements for qualifying as a potential borrower fairly straight forward. Eligibility criteria will differ slightly between lenders, such as age and minimum income, but there will be common points that you have to meet before approval. Producing documentation like proof of identity, record of income and current assets and debts will be required to progress the application.

Prospective borrowers should aim to enter the application process with a positive credit score and minimal debt, as these will help you appear more attractive to lenders. If you’re looking to apply for a holiday loan, it’s worth checking out a wide variety of lenders to compare their criteria and policies to see if one in particular suits you above the rest. You’ll be able to compare lenders in our comparison table, side by side, and enquire on each lender’s website if you want to find out more.

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Pros and cons of applying for a holiday loan


Bringing the impossible within your reach

holiday loans can help you book a holiday you may not otherwise be able to pay for by saving up over time, with repayments over a longer period lessening the financial blow.

Lower rates

some lenders may offer holiday loans at a lower interest rate than other personal loans, which would make repayments more palatable particularly over a longer period of time.


Paying more for your holiday

interest rates and other potential expenses mean you’ll likely end up spending a fair amount more than your overall holiday outlay.

Repayment uncertainty

if you apply for a variable rate holiday loan, budgeting for your travel and beyond may lack certainty given that your repayments have the capacity to vary on a monthly basis.

Did you have any more holiday loan questions?

Can I fully refund my loan if my holiday is cancelled?

You probably won’t be able to per se, but don’t stress too much. If you’re yet to spend the money lent to you, you’ll typically be able to hand it back to the lender and cancel your loan.

Will I be able to pay my holiday loan off early or make additional repayments?

This will depend on the terms of your loan as agreed with the lender. Many lenders will apply potential added costs to personal loans relating to early repayments, as they’d lose out on some of the interest that you were due to pay over the life of the loan. To try to avoid this, you may wish to seek out a lender which offers no early repayment fees. If not, you can calculate a cost-benefit analysis to see whether taking a hit on the fee is more viable than paying back more interest in the long term.

Can I get a secured holiday loan?

Most holiday loans will be unsecured, but some lenders offer a secured holiday loan as an alternative option. Secured personal loans tend to come with lower interest rates and are easier to successfully apply for, given the perceived lower risk from the lender. The fact that you have to put up a piece of collateral, such as a car, to secure your personal loan may put borrowers off and is a condition that unsecured loans do not share.

Should I supplement the loan amount with my savings?

This can be a smart way of saving yourself money in the long run. The reality is that the less money you borrow, the less you’ll have to pay back in fees. In the long run, a shorter period of time paying interest on a loan could make a massive difference to your finances. It is important to not overreach financially in this respect; assess your finances and decide what setup works for you.

Should I apply for a fixed or variable rate holiday loan?

Both types carry positives and negatives, so you may find that either or both options suit you. Fixed rate personal loans are pinned down to the same interest rate throughout the entirety of a loan, meaning that potential rate rises will be avoided, while variable rate personal loans are subject to fluctuation in rates throughout their terms, so any fall in rates over the life of the loan will be available to the borrower.

Are there restrictions on how I can use my holiday loan?

No – provided you’ve agreed to your desired uses with your lender. You’ll typically have to set out your intended uses of the lender’s funds during the personal loan application process, as that will increase your chances of having your application approved. If you’re applying for a holiday loan you would probably be looking to cover costs such as flights, accommodation, food and spending money.

Helpful personal loan guides

Still looking for the right personal loan?

Personal loans come in all shapes and sizes, so read more about the ways you can use them, as well as how they might work for you.