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Major Expenses

What are Personal Loans For? Holiday Expenses

woman holding christmas gifts she just bought

Among the hustle and bustle of holiday planning, it can be easy to overlook your holiday budget. Whether you’ve saved a little or a lot, a personal loan for the holidays may be the answer.

A report from the National Retail Federation predicts that holiday shoppers will spend between 3.6 and 4 percent more this season than last season—that’s up to $682 billion. And that’s just what’s spent in stores on consumer goods, and holiday spending often reaches far beyond what goes under the tree or into a nicely wrapped package.

After planning for holiday spending, you may find that you’re short of what you need—or what you’d prefer. Once you have your ideal number in mind, applying for a personal loan could be next on your holiday to-do list. A personal loan would allow an approved applicant with good credit access to loans from about $2,500 to $35,000, and the money could be in your account within days.

If you’re considering a personal loan – or let’s call it a holiday loanthis season, make sure to adjust your loan amount to include any of these three common areas where folks allocate holiday budgets.

Gifts, Tips, Greetings & More

Gift giving is often the primary reason folks decide to secure a holiday loan.

Gifting isn’t the reason for the season, but it’s certainly a large part of it, and planning for it takes time and money.

It’s hard to forget to buy gifts for your immediate family—kids, grandkids, spouses, parents, grandparents. But what about aunts, uncles, and cousins? Girlfriends or boyfriends of older teens and young adults? Other unexpected party guests? How long is the holiday card list this year—and will a small gift be included in cards, such as cash or gift cards?

Holiday or Christmas loans can help pay for the gifts you know you need, and the gifts, tips, greetings, and related holiday costs you might not be thinking of, including:

  • Gifts for kids’ teachers and tutors
  • Tips for municipal service people
  • Tips for private service people you see regularly
  • Greeting cards and postage
  • Shipping costs for long-distance recipients
  • Gift wrap and packing costs

The Hidden Costs of Entertaining

Welcoming people into your home can be a joyous way to celebrate the holidays. Hosting parties, providing seated dinners, or organizing cocktail hours are common tasks for the hosting-inclined to take on during the holiday season. Hosts may even find themselves with house guests for a night or two—or more.

When you add up the costs of food, decorations, other refreshments, and increased utility usage thanks to lights and house guests, you can see the full scope of what a holiday meal at home means for the budget. With a little bit of menu planning and savvy shopping, and the added cushion of a holiday loan, hosting at home may not break the bank.

Holiday Travel

Whether you’re taking a road trip to see family in another town or state or jetting off somewhere exotic for a week or two, travel around the holiday season is costly. It’s a busy time, driving up costs for those who didn’t book early.

Oftentimes families find they have to purchase clothes for their trips, or even gear if it’s an activity-focused excursion such as skiing or SCUBA diving. Then there’s the cost of meals, drinks, tips—it adds up fast. But with a plan in place, it can be simple to absorb the costs of holiday travel using a holiday loan.

To ensure all possible incidentals are covered, consider applying for a bit more than you think you’ll need for the base costs of the trip, but not more than you can comfortably budget to pay back over the term of your loan.