Travel credits: varieties and features of the choice

There are three main ways to get a vacation finance loan. Which one is the most profitable and how to choose the best loan terms?..

Кредиты на поездку: разновидности и особенности выбора

Vacation on credit

According to Russian banks, the number of vacation loans in 2023 doubled compared to the previous year. Most of the borrowed money for tourist needs (up to 60%) is withdrawn from credit limits. Many citizens take loans from banks to pay for tours as such. The average amount of consumer credit for tourism needs in 2023 exceeded 220 thousand rubles, which is twice as much as a year earlier. Thus, Russians are ready to spend even borrowed money on vacation, and for many the question of the benefits of a loan is relevant.

A fairly common way of lending holidays is through joint programs of tour operators and banks. After choosing a tour, the client applies for a loan directly at the office of the travel company. After registration, it is sent to the bank and usually a response is received within half an hour. If it is positive, an agreement is signed and the voucher is purchased on borrowed funds. In fact, we are talking about obtaining a targeted loan for a pre–agreed purchase, in this case, a tour.

The second type of loan for tourist purposes is the own products of Russian banks. They are originally designed for vacationers, so they are called: “Vacation loan” or “Travel money”. Such loans can only be issued at the bank itself, so the loan application is made independently. If the bank approves the loan, the client chooses a travel agency from the proposed list or at his own discretion (depending on the terms of the program). Such a loan is also included in the target category.

The third way to pay for a vacation with borrowed money is a standard (non-targeted) loan. Often, the interest on such loans is even lower than in the framework of tourist credit products. The latter are created for marketing purposes, but in fact we are talking about POS-lending. Special products are actively advertised and attract many customers, so banks find it possible to charge an increased percentage for using money. So often a non-targeted loan turns out to be more profitable than a special product.

Experts in the field of finance, and ordinary consumers recommend choosing the first loan option. As a rule, joint programs of banks and travel agencies assume a minimum percentage. In addition, the loan is issued almost instantly. This is an especially important advantage when a tourist wants to pay for a so-called hot tour, the price of which is reduced. Such offers are limited to a few days, and a short period may simply not be enough to get a targeted or standard loan. A loan under a joint program is approved (or disapproved) directly at the tour operator’s office and you can also buy a hot ticket here.

Otherwise, choosing a vacation loan is not much different from finding the best deal with conventional lending. It is necessary to carefully study the terms of the loan, paying attention to the interest at which the money is given, the repayment period, the possibility of issuing credit holidays and penalties provided for in case of violation by the client of the terms of the agreement. If the loan payment is divided, for example, into a year, it is worth finding out what size the monthly payment will be. The standard rule is that if, in combination with payments on other loans, it exceeds 40% of monthly income, it is better to refrain from borrowing.

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