Here’s what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Featured

Written by:

April Showers bring May flowers and all the rest of the beauty that longer days have to offer. As spring enters full swing and slowly makes way for summer, many of us may be spearheading some new projects ourselves — projects that might cost more upfront than we have to spare.

While an unsecured personal loan offers a flexible way to fund a variety of expensive ventures, it’s still a form of debt, which means it’s worth taking some extra time to think about. Personal loans can be a financial boon or a financial burden, depending on what you’re using them for. Here are our best tips for making smart money choices when it comes to personal loans this April. 

Image Credit: DragonImages / Getty.

1. Using a personal loan to redo your landscaping

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Now that Jack Frost will permit at least some of us to dig into the recently-thawed Earth, you may be considering an upgrade to your front lawn or backyard flower beds. While pulling weeds and planting flowers on your own time might not cost too much, changes on a grander scale may require a significantly greener thumb. Unfortunately, a landscaping project could easily cost you a few thousand dollars. 

However, if you’re considering selling your house in the near future, a well-kept yard could help get it off the market faster. Even if you’re staying put, upgrading your home’s outdoor areas can help expand your living space and, as we’ve all learned this past year, offer new opportunities for socializing. 

If you do make the decision to go into debt to revamp your front or backyard, opting for a small personal loan could be a great option. By taking out only as much as you need to get the job done, you’ll get out of debt quicker and avoid paying more interest over time. Plus, you won’t be tempted to continue spending your way into more debt, as is so easy with credit cards.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

2. Using a personal loan for major spring cleaning

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Fixing up the outside of your home is one thing, but the interior needs love, too. And since spring officially began a few weeks ago, there’s no better time to take on a deep tidying and reorganization project in the name of spring cleaning.

Depending on the size and contents of your home — and your general level of Type A personality throughout the rest of the year — spring cleaning may be as simple as taking a weekend to clean out your closet and pull the knick-knacks off the shelves to give everything a thorough wiping down. But given that the average home size in America is about 2,500 square feet, you might have a more time-consuming endeavor on your hands, and possibly even one that requires professional help.

For example, say you decide to KonMari your entire household and end up with a garage full of stuff you simply don’t need (and that isn’t in good enough shape to be salvaged or donated). You might hire a junk removal service to come by and gather those trash bags into their truck, but you’ll be charged by volume, which can easily cost several hundred dollars. If you’re going to have professional cleaners come to steam your carpets or descale your kitchen appliances of grime, you’ll have to pay for their time, too. 

A personal loan of $1,000 or so could likely pay for the entire project and give you an opportunity to “start fresh” and maintain a tidier lifestyle going forward. However, you could also avoid the need to go into debt entirely by using some elbow grease of your own.

Image Credit: oscarhdez/istockphoto.

3. Using a personal loan to get out of town

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

While personal loans are often used for less-than-fun purposes, like unexpected expenses or emergency medical bills, people take them out for leisure expenses, too. In fact, in some states, more than 10% of residents take out personal loans to go on vacation. 

And after a long year of quarantine (or some level thereof), many of us are eager to pack up and get out of town. Perhaps you’re already daydreaming about your summer travels, or maybe you’ve decided this is the year you’ll experience Earth Day in a National Park.

Using a personal loan to take a vacation might seem foolish, but it’s likely to be less expensive overall than relying on credit cards, with average interest rates hovering around 20% APR. Plus, with a personal loan, you can give yourself a set amount of money — the loan total — to spend on your vacation, as opposed to the open-ended spending credit cards can allow. 

If you’re traveling internationally, however, be sure to bring a credit card along for the trip that allows you to make foreign transactions without incurring foreign transaction fees. Having backup funding available is always a good idea when you’re far from home. 

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

4. Using a personal loan to consolidate your debt

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Although Q1 has come to a close, some of us are still financially reeling from the holidays — not to mention the uncertain work landscape this last year has offered. With brighter days on the way, it might be a good time to sit down with your records and figure out what comes next, money-wise.

Credit card debt actually dropped in 2020, generally speaking, but there are still plenty of us with balances to tackle. The average consumer holds $5,313 in credit card debt, according to the most recent data from Experian, and compound interest means they’ll likely pay much more than that as they work to dial it down.

Using a personal loan to consolidate your credit card debt is often a smart way to simplify your monthly bill-paying regimen while also saving money on interest. It might also even improve your overall credit score by lowering your credit utilization ratio.

Image Credit: designer491 / iStock.

5. Using personal loans to get your car road-ready

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Did you know that April is National Car Care Month? It might sound arbitrary, but hear us out: many of us are planning to do a lot more driving over the summer than we did in winter. All those snowy days of sitting around may not have left your car in top shape, so now’s the time to catch up with any necessary repairs and preventive maintenance.

Of course, anyone who’s ever been to a mechanic knows that the experience can be a pricey one, even for what seem like relatively simple services. A personal loan could be helpful if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the car doctor, and if it’s a matter of personal safety, the interest may very well be worth it. 

That said, it’s still worth educating yourself to make sure you’re not being taken for a ride (pun totally intended). And certain car maintenance to-dos, such as airing up your tires and changing your air filters, are fairly DIY-able, which might save you a penny or two. 

Key findings:

  • Personal loan usage for business-related expenditures in Washington DC was double that of 67% of the country. 

  • Northern states, like Connecticut, Vermont and Maine spent the least on medical expenses

  • The Sun Belt spent considerably less on debt consolidation than the rest of the country, specifically Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Comparatively, on average, the US spends 40% of personal loans on debt solutions, like credit card refinancing and debt consolidation. 

Here’s how people in every state are using their personal loans:

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Alabama

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 34%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 9%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: James Deitsch.

Alaska

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 33%

Major Purchase 8%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 4%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 28%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Arizona

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Arkansas

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 31%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 26%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

California

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: mlauffen.

Colorado

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 20%

Image Credit: Postoak at English Wikipedia.

Connecticut

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 47%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 20%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Delaware

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 22%

Image Credit: mdgmorris.

Florida

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Georgia

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto.

Hawaii

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 47%

Major Purchase 4%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 7%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: Art Wager.

Idaho

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: knowlesgallery.

Illinois

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: venemama / iStock.

Indiana

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 35%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 24%

Image Credit: Pixabay.com.

Iowa

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Kansas

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto.

Kentucky

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 33%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 25%

Image Credit: Thomas Kelley.

Louisiana

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 30%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 9%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Maine

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 43%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 9%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Maryland

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 43%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: James_Lane.

Massachusetts

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 46%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: Rolf_52.

Michigan

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 37%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: csterken.

Minnesota

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 40%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: JoeChristensen/istockphoto.

Mississippi

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 30%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 9%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 14%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: stevegeer.

Missouri

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: eyecrave.

Montana

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 14%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: David Butler.

Nebraska

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 37%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Nevada

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: AlizadaStudios.

New Hampshire

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 51%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 19%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

New Jersey

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 46%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 19%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

New Mexico

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 34%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 25%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

New York

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 43%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: iStock/Hsa_Htaw.

North Carolina

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 37%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: ” Darwin Brandis”.

North Dakota

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 1%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 26%

Image Credit: sequential5.

Ohio

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: iStock.

Oklahoma

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 25%

Image Credit: Tiago_Fernandez.

Oregon

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Pennsylvania

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 9%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: AppalachianViews.

Rhode Island

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 48%

Major Purchase 4%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 21%

Image Credit: iStock.

South Carolina

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

South Dakota

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 4%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 27%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Tennessee

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: NathanMerrill.

Texas

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Utah

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 23%

Image Credit: AndreyKrav.

Vermont

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 43%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 1%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 2%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 25%

Image Credit: ” DonLand”.

Virginia

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: WilliamSherman.

Washington

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: 4nadia.

Washington DC

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 4%

Business Expenses 9%

Home & Auto Financing 7%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: Sean Pavone.

West Virginia

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 33%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 10%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 15%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 25%

Image Credit: ” Chayanisa Puttamata”.

Wisconsin

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Wyoming

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 24%

Image Credit: AnujSahaiPhotography.

Methodology

Here's what Americans are buying with borrowed money

The percentage of people seeking personal loans for selected purposes was calculated for each state for the current month and for the same month in 2020. The inquiries are limited to those received through organic search and offline advertising, as changes in online marketing strategies can alter the number and types of inquiries irrespective of organic interest in this product from the general public.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

AlertMe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.