This is a “sponsored post.” LightStream compensated FOF with an advertising sponsorship to write it, and provides more information at LightStream.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be helpful for my readers. All insights and expressed opinions are my own. —Geri Brin
You’ve loved getting away with the family to (fill in the blank) for as long as you can remember, and now that the kids are grown, you can’t wait to make the great escape, just the two of you. You’re so comfortable there, and you’ve made so many friends over the years, it almost feels like home. You’re even thinking of buying a timeshare, so it actually can become home.
You’re not alone. The timeshare industry increased nearly 11 percent in 2013, to $7.6 billion, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). Over 190,000 units were available in about 1,500 timeshare resorts in the United States, with 29 percent more resorts planned for 2014; Europe has thousands more, not to mention the rest of the world. As the popularity of timeshares has grown, so too has the cost of a timeshare. The average sales price for U.S. timeshares in 2013 increased 9 percent, to $20,460.
Many people learn that they save money by owning a timeshare, because they can lock in future vacation accommodations at today’s prices, and have the option to rent their timeshare space or share it with family and friends. Timeshare owners have the flexibility of choosing where and when they wish to travel, the amount of vacation time they want to take, and the size of the unit. Timeshare owners often belong to an exchange, so they can “swap” their units yearly for other destinations worldwide.
You might be interested to know that you can possibly finance a timeshare at a low fixed interest rate, and pay off the loan agreement from your income. This will allow you to keep your assets intact.
As a matter of fact, LightStream is offering qualified customers unsecured timeshare loans at rates starting as low as 5.99% APR* with AutoPay. Visit the site for all the details.
LightStream doesn’t require you to complete complex paperwork for its approval process, and you don’t have to secure collateral as with other types of loans. Plus, if you have good-to-excellent credit, you can apply online for a timeshare loan in the morning and have the money in your checking account as soon as that same day** (As you’ll see below!)
FOF spoke with Julie Olian, vice president at LightStream, to learn more about its timeshare financing, so you can own a piece of a dream vacation home, and save oodles over the cost of hotel vacations, if you plan right.
FOF: DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU SHOULD SPEND ON A TIMESHARE?
LIGHTSTREAM: We would never encourage you to spend more than you can afford, on anything. But we believe that anyone who has good-to-excellent credit, proven over the years, is smart with her money and really knows how to manage her finances. LightStream is a great financing option for those who don’t want to liquidate high-performing assets to pay for a timeshare.
HOW HIGH DO YOUR TIMESHARE LOAN INTEREST RATES GO, AND WHAT DETERMINES THE RATE?
Though rates can change, our current fixed rates for timeshare financing (with AutoPay) start at 5.99% APR with AutoPay, depending on the size of the loan; the length of time for which it’s taken; and the borrower’s unique financial position. We look at every applicant individually.
HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW FOR THE TIMESHARE?
You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000.
LIGHTSTREAM PROVIDES UNSECURED PERSONAL LOANS. WHY DON’T YOU REQUIRE ANY COLLATERAL?
We lend to people because they have shown that they manage their finances responsibly. You might have a car that you’ve paid off; are up to date on your mortgage payments; don’t have a lot of credit card debt, and aren’t under water with things such as college loans. You’ve demonstrated, over time, that if you take out a loan, you pay it back.
We believe that if you’ve managed your finances well, you deserve a better loan experience.
ARE THERE ANY ‘HIDDEN’ FEES?
LightStream does not charge fees. Period. What you see is what you get. We don’t charge to apply nor do we add points (a percentage of the loan amount that’s tacked on to the loan itself), closing costs or account servicing charges. Also, the interest rate on your loan is fixed (and highly competitive!), so it won’t go up over time.
PLEASE SUMMARIZE THE PROCESS FOR GETTING TIMESHARE FINANCING.
Simply fill out and submit a brief application that you’ll find online at LightStream.com. During business hours, we’ll review your credit, savings and assets, and get back to you quickly. If you’re approved, you’ll receive an email, detailing a few short steps necessary to e-sign your loan agreement, set up monthly billing and choose a funding date to activate your loan. It’s a quick, straightforward process that can be done entirely online. (Although we do have an amazing customer service team that’s available to answer your questions.)
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE “GOOD” CREDIT?
You can find answers to this question, and others, on our website, but generally, someone has “good” credit if they have several years of credit history with a variety of accounts types, such as major credit cards, installment debt (a car loan, for example), and mortgage debt (if applicable). They also have few, if any payment delinquencies; have shown an ability to save; and have a sufficient income and assets to pay back current loan obligations, as well as the new loan from LightStream.
ONCE A TIMESHARE LOAN IS APPROVED, DO I HAVE TO ACCEPT IT RIGHT AWAY?
No, our offer is good for 30 days.
IF I ALREADY OWN A TIMESHARE, CAN I REFINANCE IT THROUGH LIGHTSTREAM?
Yes, if you already own a timeshare, you can possibly refinance it through LightStream for as low as a 5.99% APR with AutoPay.
* The APR listed is for an unsecured timeshare or fractional purchase loan between $10,000 and $25,000 with a term between 24 and 36 months, for applicants with excellent credit. Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay repayment option. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
** LightStream can fund your loan today if today is a banking business day, your application is approved, and you complete the following steps by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time: (1) review and electronically sign your loan agreement; (2) provide us with your funding preferences and relevant banking information; and (3) complete the final verification process.