You’ve made the decision: you’re getting a swimming pool. Maybe you have just started the process and you have your favorite pool designs saved to your Pinterest board; maybe you have met with several designers and are narrowing down your pool company of choice. As you nail down the myriad of decisions to be made about pool details (i.e., size, shape, and color), another important question comes up: “How am I going to pay for this?”
If you’ve crossed “paying cash” or “refinance” off your financing options list, your best option to pay for your new backyard oasis may be to use a partner that specializes in financing swimming pools. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right finance facilitator to partner with:
1. Does the finance partner offer rates and terms that meet YOUR needs?
You’ll want to make sure that the pool finance option you pick is as personalized to your needs as your pool itself. Longer terms are great for payment-minded customers that want low monthly payments. Alternatively, low, fixed rates for short-term loans are great for those wanting to invest cash in the interim.
At Lyon Financial, we know that just like every pool, every customer is unique. That’s why we offer terms up to 25 years, as well as a short-term, 36-month loan with rates starting at 2.99%, both on approved credit.
2. Are there any prepayment penalties and when do payments start?
Also ask about prepayment penalties: can you pay your loan off earlier than scheduled with no fees? This is especially important, as paying off your loan earlier than scheduled will reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan, reducing the total amount of money paid for your pool project.
Unlike some finance facilitators, Lyon Financial charges no prepayment penalties on any of the loan options that we offer. Having the option to make a few extra payments each year or to pay off your loan with an annual bonus, for example, can keep thousands of dollars in your pocket. We know that every dollar matters.
Speaking of payments, remember to clarify when the first scheduled monthly payment is due. It’s frustrating to be making payments while you’re anxiously waiting for your pool project to start construction. At Lyon Financial, most of our options don’t require a payment until 30 days after your project begins.
3. What services does each partner offer and what is the loan process like?
Before you commit to a finance option, find out exactly what the finance partner has to offer you in terms of service. Do they give you the money directly, putting the responsibility on you to monitor your project and pay your contractor? Or, do they work with you and your contractor jointly?
Lyon Financial is unique, because we stay with you until your pool project is complete, monitoring construction progress closely. We work with you and your contractor to make sure that work is completed on schedule and that payments are released in a timely manner.
Remember to ask what the loan process itself will be like as well. Will the partner perform multiple credit inquiries? Do they sell your information? Some finance options will send your information to every lender they work with, resulting in multiple credit inquiries. Known as “shotgunning” credit, these multiple hits to your credit can reduce your score dramatically.
Lyon Financial never shops your credit profile or sells your information. When you apply, we will perform a soft credit pull to view your credit profile and narrow down the best possible loan options available to you. Then, one of our lenders will perform a hard inquiry to provide an accurate pre-approval. Our method of performing credit checks results in minimal inquiries while discovering the best fit for both your financial profile and the needs of your pool project.
4. What is the level of customer service you can expect?
When contacting finance partners, make sure to contact them via phone and email and note who responds to your inquiry the quickest. In addition to a speedy response, does the agent provide the information you’re requesting without aggressive “used car sales”-type tactics? Do they seem willing to help answer your questions and genuinely have your best interests at heart? Remember that this initial contact often sets the tone for how you will be treated throughout the loan process.
We have more than 40 years of experience assisting customers make their backyard dreams come true. While we whole-heartedly embrace technology, we also believe in providing old-fashioned customer service. That’s why you’ll always speak with a live, friendly, knowledgeable representative, ready to offer solutions.
5. Does the finance partner charge any hidden fees?
When researching financing partners, always, always, always ask about fees – especially hidden ones. There are some facilitators who charge upwards of 6% consulting fees and sneak the fee into the loan, meaning you will pay interest on the fee, too! Do the math: for a $60,000 loan, a 6% fee is $3,600. That’s the difference between a salt system and a chlorine system, or upgraded tile or finishes on your pool!
Double-check for hidden fees by analyzing the monthly payment you’ve been quoted. In the detailed breakdown of the payment, ensure that everything adds up, and that your APR matches the interest rate you were quoted.
While totally worth it, putting in a swimming pool is probably one of the most expensive additions you’ll ever make to your home. We don’t think it should be any pricier than it has to be. With Lyon Financial, there are no consulting fees and no hidden fees. We charge a flat, one-time $750 disbursement management fee in most states. This fee offsets the costs of our services of paying your contractor directly and partnering with you until completion.
Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves pools. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. After 42 years in business, why trust anyone but the experts?