How to Save for Vacation When You Have Bad Credit

How to Save for Vacation When You Have Bad Credit
David Andrew
By: David Andrew
Posted: July 30, 2013's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Everyone needs the occasional break, especially people struggling with bad credit.

If you’re having financial problems, the stress can build up to the point where you can’t think straight and don’t make the decisions needed to fix your credit.

To get back on track, it helps to take a vacation. However, a bad credit score makes it more difficult to plan for a trip because you’ll have fewer ways to pay everything.

You can still go on your dream vacation. You just need to be smart about the planning.

There are a few strategies you can use to both save money and find financing to get you and your family on the holiday you deserve.

1. Set a savings goal and build to it each week.

Before you start saving for your vacation, decide how much money you’ll need, and then look at your weekly budget and estimate how much you think you can reasonably save.

Set this as your weekly vacation savings goal and use your holiday dream as motivation.

Every time you’re tempted to buy an unnecessary outfit or go out for an overly priced meal, think of how that will set back your vacation dream.

If you stay motivated, you’ll see your vacation savings start to grow quickly.

 2. Always make your minimum loan payments.

In your rush to save money, it might be tempting to skip a few payments on your credit cards and loans. After all, you can just pay for them when you get back right? Don’t fall into this trap!

Missing payments will further damage your score and wrack up more fees and penalties. This will make fixing your debt problems even worse after your vacation. This is not something you want waiting for you back at home.

“Think of how much easier it will be to

plan your next vacation with good credit.”

 3. Search online for deals.

The Internet makes it easier than ever to look for vacation deals.

There are multiple websites that help you compare cheap flights, hotel rooms and travel packages. These sites are always updating deals, so you should keep checking to see if any prices change.

In addition, it helps to be flexible about your plans. If you want a beach vacation, research a few different locations and see which one ends up being the cheapest.

 4. Consider a vacation loan.

While ideally you would pay for your vacation entirely with cash, this might not be possible right now. Instead of waiting forever to take your break, you can get there faster with a vacation loan.

Many lenders give short-term loans for vacations. They aren’t too expensive because they are typically at interest rates that are less than a credit card.

In addition, cruises, resorts and other vacation destinations often offer packages that include financing to help you afford your vacation sooner.

 5. Keep working on your credit score.

No matter how you pay for your vacation this time around, you need to keep working on your credit score. Continue paying down your account balances and make sure to never miss any monthly payments.

For motivation, think of how much easier it will be to plan your next vacation with good credit, especially once you can qualify for a rewards credit card. With a rewards credit card, all your purchases earn bonuses like free flights or hotel nights.

This means your good credit could eventually reward you with a free vacation. Now that’s something worth working toward!

Use these tips to get on your dream vacation as soon as possible. Hopefully the rest gives you the energy you need to start fixing your credit score.

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