Can You Use a Personal Loan for Major Purchases?

Banner image
ByChristopher Boston
Edited byRae Osborn
ByChristopher Boston
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: February 14, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Personal loans offer a streamlined way to access funds for various needs, which are repaid over time with interest. They often have lower interest rates compared to credit cards, making them a cost-effective option for borrowing.

When it comes to making major purchases, personal loans stand out as a smart choice. Most of them offer the advantage of fixed interest rates and predictable repayment terms, making budgeting easier. This is especially useful for big-ticket items that might otherwise strain your savings. Personal loans can make significant purchases more manageable by spreading the cost over time, ensuring you don’t deplete your savings or resort to high-interest credit options.

When Is It a Good Idea to Use a Personal Loan for Major Purchases?

Personal loans can be a smart choice for funding major purchases. They provide a significant sum of money upfront, allowing you to manage big expenses without draining your savings. This flexibility makes personal loans a go-to option for various big-ticket items.


Personal loans stand out as a solid option for funding major life purchases. They allow you to enjoy the benefits of your investments immediately while providing a structured way to manage payments, ensuring these significant expenses align with your financial planning.

Pros and Cons of Using a Personal Loan for Major Purchases

Using a personal loan for significant purchases comes with its own pros and cons. It's crucial to carefully consider them to make a decision that aligns with your financial goals and situation, ensuring you choose the best option for your needs.

Advantages of Using a Personal Loan for Major Purchases

  • Quick Access to Funds: Personal loans often have a streamlined approval and disbursement process, unlike other loan types. This means you can receive the money swiftly, sometimes within a few days. This quick access is particularly beneficial for urgent or time-sensitive purchases, where waiting for funds could mean missing out.

  • Competitive Interest Rates: Personal loans frequently offer competitive interest rates, especially compared to credit cards. Lower interest rates mean you'll pay less over the life of the loan, making your major purchase more affordable in the long run. This is crucial for large purchases, as even a slightly lower rate can save you a significant amount of money.

  • Flexible Repayment Terms: Personal loans provide flexible repayment terms, which can be tailored to fit your financial situation. This allows you to choose a repayment plan that aligns with your budget, making it easier to manage large purchases without straining your finances. It also offers the possibility to adjust the loan term to shorten the repayment period or lower the monthly payments.

  • Flexible Usage: One of the biggest advantages of personal loans is their flexible usage. Unlike auto loans or mortgages, which must be used for specific purposes, personal loans can be used for various major purchases, from home appliances to weddings. This versatility allows you to address multiple financial needs with a single loan solution, streamlining your financial management.

Disadvantages of Using a Personal Loan for Major Purchases

  • High Rates for Bad Credit: If you have bad credit, the interest rates on personal loans can be significantly higher. This means for major purchases, the overall cost can become substantially more expensive than initially anticipated. High interest rates can escalate the total amount you'll pay back, making the loan less cost-effective.

  • Additional Fees: Personal loans often come with additional fees, such as origination fees, late payment fees or prepayment penalties. These extra costs can add up, increasing the total expense of your significant purchase. For larger loans, even small fees can translate into a considerable amount.

  • Small Loan Amounts: Depending on your creditworthiness and the lender's policies, you might not qualify for a large enough loan to cover your major purchase entirely. This limitation can be a significant disadvantage, especially if you want to finance a high-cost item. It means you may have to seek additional funding sources or scale back your purchase plans.

  • Risk of Debt Cycle: Relying on personal loans for major purchases can lead to a cycle of debt. If you're not careful with your budgeting and repayment plans, you might need additional loans to cover previous debts. This can create a challenging financial situation where you're constantly in debt.

How to Get a Personal Loan for Major Purchases

Navigating the application process for a personal loan to finance major purchases is a critical step in securing the funds you need. By understanding each step, you can make the journey toward your major purchase more straightforward and less stressful.


Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a crucial factor in determining your eligibility for a personal loan. Lenders use it to assess your creditworthiness and the risk involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can lead to better interest rates and terms, which is especially important for large purchases. Before applying, check your credit score to understand your standing and if necessary, take steps to improve it.


Shop Around for Lenders

Different lenders offer varying loan amounts, repayment terms and interest rates for personal loans. Shopping around allows you to compare these options and find the most favorable terms for your major purchase. Consider various lenders, including banks, credit unions and online lenders, to ensure you get the best deal available.


Get Prequalified

Prequalification gives you an idea of the loan amount, terms and interest rates you might qualify for. It typically involves a soft credit check, which doesn't impact your credit score. This step is important for major purchases as it helps in budgeting and planning, ensuring the loan aligns with your financial capabilities and the big-ticket item’s cost.


Gather the Necessary Documents

When applying for a personal loan, you'll need to provide various documents. These may include proof of income, identification and financial statements. Having these documents ready speeds up the application process. This preparation is key, especially for larger loans, as it demonstrates your reliability and readiness to proceed with the loan.


Submit the Application

Once you've chosen a lender and prepared your documents, the next step is to submit your loan application. This can usually be done online or in person. Ensure all the information you provide is accurate and complete to avoid delays. A timely and well-prepared application can mean quicker access to funds for major purchases.


Receive the Funds

After your application is approved, the loan amount will be disbursed to you. The disbursement process and time can vary by lender. Once you receive the funds, they can be used for your major purchase..

Alternatives to Personal Loans for Major Purchases

While personal loans are a popular choice for financing major purchases, there may be better options for some situations. Exploring various alternatives is key to finding a financial solution that aligns with your specific needs and circumstances.


Each alternative to personal loans presents unique opportunities and risks, making it important to align your choice with both your immediate financial needs and your long-term financial health. Thoroughly evaluating each option helps ensure that your approach to financing major purchases is as informed and beneficial as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans

MoneyGeek answered some frequently asked questions about personal loans for major purchases to provide clarity and assist you in making well-informed financial decisions.

How quickly can you get a personal loan for major purchases?
What is the minimum credit score for personal loans for major purchases?
What is the maximum loan amount for a personal loan for major purchases?
Are there restrictions on how you can use a personal loan for major purchases?
What are the risks of getting a personal loan for major purchases?

About Christopher Boston

Christopher Boston headshot

Christopher (Croix) Boston was the Head of Loans content at MoneyGeek, with over five years of experience researching higher education, mortgage and personal loans.

Boston has a bachelor's degree from the Seattle Pacific University. They pride themselves in using their skills and experience to create quality content that helps people save and spend efficiently.

Shield Insurance

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.