Should You Use a Personal Loan to Finance a Lawn Mower Purchase?
If you have a big yard, you might dread going out to mow the lawn. It can be a long and difficult chore, especially during the summer months. If you have an old lawnmower that’s breaking down, it can make the job that much harder.
Buying a new lawnmower can make mowing your lawn much easier to do.
Unfortunately, lawn mowers can be very expensive. Ride-on lawn mowers can easily cost thousands of dollars.
You might want or need a new lawnmower, but you won’t always have the money around to buy one. When that happens, you might be tempted to finance the purchase of the lawnmower.
Taking out a loan to purchase a lawnmower will increase the overall cost of the machine, but it will let you get the machine sooner.
If you’re considering financing the purchase of a lawnmower, find out if a personal loan might be the right type of financing for you.
What to Know When Purchasing a Lawnmower
Before you buy a lawnmower, there are a few things you need to know.
First, you need to think about how large your lawn is so you can determine the size of the lawnmower that you need.
Do you need a basic push mower, or a large, expensive ride-on lawnmower? Getting the right size and type of mower makes mowing much easier.
How hilly your lawn is and what type of grass you have will also play into the type of lawnmower you want.
Next, consider what type of power system you want for your lawnmower.
Manual mowers are cheaper and don’t require power. Gas-powered mowers are more powerful, but you need to pay for gas to keep their tanks full. Electric mowers plug into a wall outlet to charge, so you’ll pay for electricity, but not gas.
Finally, consider what accessories, if any, you’ll need. You might want a mulching attachment or another accessory. Think about how that will add to the lawnmower’s cost.
Typical Financing Strategies
Typically, people who purchase a lawnmower have two options if they want to finance the purchase.
Many retailers will offer to finance the purchase of expensive machinery such as a lawnmower.
Whether the retailer’s financing is a good deal is very dependent on the individual financing deal.
Some dealers will give you a very good deal on financing to encourage you to make a purchase.
Others will cut you a great deal on the machine, only to make up their profit by getting you on an expensive financing plan.
Look closely at the fine print on the retailer’s financing offer to see if it’s a good deal. Also, remember that everything is negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal.
Lawnmowers are expensive, but they aren’t expensive in the same way that a car is, so you also have the option to put the purchase on a credit card. This can be a good idea in two situations.
One situation is when you plan to pay the card off in full when you receive the statement. That lets you avoid paying interest and earn credit card rewards. If you’re looking for financing, this isn’t an option.
The other situation where you might want to put your lawnmower purchase on a credit card is when you have a promotional interest rate.
Many cards offer a limited time of 0% interest as an incentive for opening the card. So long as you pay the lawnmower off before that period ends, you can avoid interest costs.
Using a card to make the purchase and paying interest on the card is a very bad idea. Credit cards can charge interest rates upward of 20%. Nearly any other financing plan will cost significantly less.
When to Consider a Personal Loan to Finance a Lawnmower
If you’re planning to finance the purchase of a lawnmower, you might want to consider using a personal loan to do so.
When you purchase a lawnmower, you should always look into the retailer’s financing option.
Many retailers can give you a good deal on financing, or a deal on the lawnmower if you agree to their financing plan. Read the offer carefully to make sure everything is as it seems.
If you aren’t able to get a good deal on retailer financing, then you should look elsewhere.
If you have good credit and can pay the balance off in 12-24 months, a 0% interest credit card might be a good option, if you don’t mind opening a new card.
If neither of those options pans out for you, then you should look into personal loans.
You can take out a personal loan for nearly any reason, including to purchase a lawnmower. They’re much cheaper than credit card debt is, and there are so many lenders that offer them that it’s easy to shop around.
What to Consider When Comparing Personal Loans
If you’ve decided to take on a personal loan to pay for a lawnmower, compare these factors when comparing loans.
Possibly the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re comparing personal loans is the interest rate.
The interest rate on a loan can be seen as the price you pay for the privilege of borrowing money. It determines how much you’ll pay each month and the total cost of the loan.
A higher interest rate will result in larger monthly payments and a higher cost. Lower interest rates result in lower costs.
The interest rate on your loan will vary according to a number of factors.
If you have good credit, you’ll get a lower interest rate than someone with bad credit would. That’s because lenders charge more when they feel that they are taking on more risk. Different lenders also just charge different rates, so look for the lender that offers lower rates.
You can also reduce the interest rate you pay by option for a variable rate loan.
With a variable rate, your interest rate can change over the life of the loan. If rates go up, you’ll wind up paying more as time goes on, but if they go down or hold steady, you’ll pay less than you would have for a fixed-rate loan.
Option for a secured personal loan will also result in a lower interest rate. You’ll need to offer some form of collateral, but this can help you save some money.
Another thing that can impact the cost of a loan is the fees.
Many personal loans charge an origination fee. This fee is usually charged as a percentage of the amount you borrow. So, if you take out a $10,000 personal loan with a 5% origination fee, your loan’s starting balance will be $10,500.
These fees are intended to compensate the lender for the cost of going through the lending process. No matter what the intent is, the result is that you pay more overall.
Some lenders will also charge an early repayment fee. If you pay your personal loan off ahead of schedule, you’ll be charged this fee.
Lenders charge this fee to make up for the fact that you’ll pay less interest if you pay the loan off early. If you hope to pay your personal loan off ahead of schedule, look for loans that don’t charge this fee.
Common Personal Loan Fees
|Type of fee||Typical cost|
|Application fee||$25 to $50|
|Origination fee||1% to 6% of the loan amount|
|Prepayment penalty||2% to 5% of the loan amount|
|Late payment fee||$25 to $50 or 3% to 5% of monthly payment|
|Returned check fee||$20 to $50|
|Payment protection insurance||1% of the loan amount|
Finally, look at the repayment terms offered by each lender. Some lenders specialize in short-term loans while others will let you borrow money for five years or more.
Longer-term loans will cost more overall, but the monthly payment will be much lower. Try to strike a balance between affordable monthly payments and low total costs for the loan.
If Buying for Your Business, Make Sure to Follow the Proper Process
If you own a landscaping business, and you’re buying the loan for your business, make sure to follow the correct process.
If your business has an Employer Identification Number, make sure to use your EIN when applying for the loan. If it’s an LLC or some type of corporation, make sure to make that clear when applying for the loan.
It can affect the type of loans your eligible for and the terms of those loans.
Another reason that it’s so important to fill out the paperwork properly is it will ensure you’re eligible for tax benefits.
As a business, you might be able to write off certain expenses that are involved in purchasing equipment for your business. You could be able to write off interest costs.
You can also depreciate the value of the mower over its life so you can reduce the taxes that you owe.
If you’re running a business, consulting a tax professional can help you get all the tax benefits that you’re entitled to.
Lawnmowers can be expensive, but a new one can make mowing your lawn a much easier task.
If you need to finance the purchase of a lawnmower, consider using a personal loan.
Use our personal loan calculator to see how much a personal loan might cost you: