Relocating? Here’s How To Pay For Your Next Move

Moving is super stressful. All the moving boxes and packing tape and bubble wrap. (Why didn’t we label that box!?!) Yet if you’re moving to a new home because you landed a remote job, a better-paying gig, or simply want a better life somewhere else, you’re certainly not alone.
Right now, U.S. movers are trending toward larger homes in more affordable areas. The average long-distance mover relocated to an area where home values are almost $27,000 lower and 33 square feet larger on average than their previous location.
But oftentimes, moving costs $2,000 or more. You’ll need to factor in pricing for a truck rental and the hourly rate for hiring movers. You’ll save money if you rent your own moving truck for a local move. But the average cost for full-service moving companies to move a three-bedroom house cross country is $4,000-10,000+.
Then you’ll need to factor in additional costs like packing materials, storage, and the security deposit at your new place. Consult a moving checklist before you start making arrangements, get a moving quote (ask for a binding estimate to lock in that price), and look into valuation options to cover any possible damage to your belongings.

How to pay for a move

If you’re moving suddenly, you may not have time to save up for it. If that’s you, you’re in the right place. From employer or government funds to personal loans, learn the options on how to pay for your next move.

Employer relocation assistance

First, if you’re moving for work, ask your employer to foot the bill. Some will pay a lump sum to cover moving expenses, but usually, that needs to be negotiated as part of your contract. If you’re offered relocation assistance by your employer, be sure to note any payback clauses.

Government-funded relocation assistance

If your employer won’t foot the bill for moving, look into whether you qualify for any government-funded assistance through your local American Job Center (AJC). Although most funding is need-based, you might be eligible for relocation assistance based on funds availability if you’re moving for a job. If eligible, you could get reimbursed for mileage, storage, hotels, etc.

Cash, card, or crowdsourcing

If you can’t get access to employer or government funding, you should try to pay for your move with cash or a credit card (as long as you can pay off the balance without paying interest). You might even be able to convince friends and family to contribute via a crowdsourcing platform like GoFundMe.

Personal loans

The final option to consider is a personal loan. Personal loans are often quick solutions to get quick access to cash. They can be found online or at a local credit union, and they can take the form of an installment loan or a line of credit, depending on the lender. Don’t worry, more explanation is below.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is an unsecured loan used for a personal expense, like a move. Because it’s unsecured, you don’t need to provide any collateral or downpayment like you would for a mortgage or car loan. However, because the risk to the lender is higher, interest rates also tend to be higher. Loan amounts can be anywhere from $500 to $50,000 with a term of 6 months to 7 years.

Types of personal loans

Installment loans

The vast majority of personal loans are installment loans. That means you borrow a set amount and pay it back in monthly payments. That monthly amount will include the principal as well as interest. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate may be. And the lower your interest rate, the more money you save.

Line of credit loans

Some lenders might offer a personal line of credit. These flexible loans act kind of like a credit card. You would get an approved amount and then continuous access to cash up to that amount. You only pay interest on what you borrow, and as you make payments, you can continue to borrow up to your approved amount.

Credit union loans

Many credit unions offer personal loans. These are often advertised as great ways to pay for home repairs, weddings, and vacations. The first important thing to look for when considering a personal loan from a credit union is whether they offer loans to non-members or if you might qualify to become a member. Another consideration is how you could make payments to pay back the loan. Do they offer an online portal or automatic payments as a payment option?

Online loans

There are quite a few online personal loan options out there. But not all of them are cheap. Many online lenders cater to sub-prime or near-prime credit borrowers, which generally means that the APR will be higher than 36%. If you fall into this group, make sure that you can handle monthly payments before signing any loan documents.

Lenders that offer personal loans

Upstartup to $50k6.76% – 35.99%
LendingClubup to $40k8.05% – 35.89%
Peerform$4k – $25k5.99% – 29.99%
Prosper$2k – $40k6.95% – 35.99%
SoFi$5k – $100k5.99% – 18.85%


Upstart’s personal loans are great for getting quick access to cash from $1,000 to $50,000. They advertise an APR range of 6.76% to 35.99% and next-day funding.


Personal loans at LendingClub can be up to $40,000 with an APR that ranges from 8.05% to 35.89%. The nice thing is that you can choose from multiple loan offers to get the best rate and term for your situation.


Peerform is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers personal loans to borrowers from $4,000 to $25,000. Fixed APRs range from 5.99% to 29.99% and loans may be offered to those with fair or poor credit.


Another peer-to-peer lending platform, Prosper, offers personal loans from $2,000 to $40,000 with APRs that range from 6.95% to 35.99%. They also promise fast funding, as soon as the next business day.


SoFi is a techy option that caters to younger borrowers. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to a whopping $100,000. APR ranges from 5.99% to 18.85%. They also offer loads of other features like unemployment protection, no origination fees, and investment options.

PNC Bank

For anyone familiar with Simple or BBVA, that’s soon to be PNC Bank. Loan amounts start at $1,000, and APR starts at 5.99% (with autopay). The advantage of PNC Bank is it has some physical locations if you prefer in-person interaction.

Cost of getting a personal loan

Compared to paying in cash, a personal loan is an expensive way to pay for a move, although it is convenient because you don’t have to save up first. In the long run, you will save more money with a personal loan than if you carried a balance on a credit card. That’s due to the way interest compounds for credit cards vs. personal loans.
With credit cards, interest compounds daily (meaning the amount you owe grows quickly!) but personal loans generally charge simple interest. This means the interest is calculated and applied only once, then spread out over time in fixed monthly payments.
OptionAverage APRInterestFast access to cash
CashN/AN/ANo, must save first
Credit card15.56% - 22.87%Compounds dailyYes
Personal loan10.3% - 32%Simple interestYes

Pros & cons of using a personal loan to pay for a move

  • Fast access to cash. Generally, online lenders for personal loans offer quick funding options, as soon as the next day.
  • Cheaper than credit cards. While the APR doesn’t immediately look better, keep in mind that simple interest will be cheaper if you need to spread payments out over a couple of months or even years.
  • Improve your credit score. Personal loans can help you get a better credit mix, reduce credit utilization ratio, and build a positive payment history with on-time payments.
  • More expensive than alternatives. If you can save up the cash in advance or get an employer to pay, do that instead.
  • Creates more debt for you. If you plan to buy a house at your new location, having an existing personal loan payment can make it hard to afford a downpayment or qualify for a mortgage.
  • Makes it easy to spend more than you need. No one likes to pack and haul their own boxes, but if you get a personal loan to pay for moving expenses it can feel a little too easy to spend big on convenience.

The bottom line

Moving can seriously break the bank. From packaging to trucks and movers, storage and rental deposits, you’re lucky if you can pay for it all. If you don’t have the bucks in the bank to cover all expenses, and you don’t have access to other financial assistance (aka from your employer or family), you should consider a personal loan.
Typically, personal loans offer quick access to cash, which you can repay with fixed payments over time. Just remember to borrow responsibly and make your monthly payments on time so you don’t incur any extra fees or dings to your credit.

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