Taking out a loan for summer spending may seem extravagant, but used correctly a bit of clever borrowing could be just the tonic.
But what could you use a loan for to make the most of summer? And how can you borrow smart to make your money go further?
Read on for a few ideas, but also carefully consider whether you can afford to keep up with payments, or even whether you need a loan at all. Failure to repay an unsecured loan can severely damage your credit rating, while not repaying a secured loan could even lead to you losing your home.
Before making any decision, get yourself informed – a good place to start is our loans guide hub.
Get some sun
You might be a thrillseeker hankering after an exciting, fun-packed getaway or in need of some serious R&R – either way, a few weeks of time-out will blow away the cobwebs and set you up for the rest of the year.
Top tip: many travel providers charge hefty fees for credit card use – do your sums and you might even find a loan is better value than a 0% credit card once you've factored in fees. Also consider the length of the loan – do you still want to be paying off those two sun-kissed weeks in Marbella in five years' time?
The open road
Whether it's on four wheels or two, getting out on the open road this summer could be a boon. Maybe you could combine it with learning a new skill and get your motorbike licence?
What about buying a new road bike and becoming the next Chris Froome or Sir Bradley Wiggins, right in time for the Tour de France.
Top tip: There are loads of options for car finance and it can be confusing – see our guide to untangle the jargon.
If you've decided to improve and not move this year, you might be looking at upgrading parts of your home.
A loan could be a good way to spread the cost of a new bathroom or kitchen, as long as you get a competitive interest rate and make sure you are able to meet the monthly repayments.
Top tip: For home improvements, a secured loan or even remortgaging might help you make the best use of the capital locked up in your property. Retailers often offer competitive finance options too, so make sure you've done all your sums.
Going to the chapel
If you're planning a summer of love you may want to look into a wedding loan. Paying for parts of your big day with a loan can help you dodge hefty credit card charges, while at the same time spreading the cost.
Look into different types of loans before settling on the right one for your needs – competitive interests rates should be within your reach if you have a good credit history, and you may want to avoid banks altogether and look into peer-to-peer lending.
Top tip: When you're spending big on your big day, consider wedding insurance to make sure you don't lose out financially if something goes wrong.
Spending time making your backyard resemble the Hanging Gardens of Babylon can cost some serious money.
If this summer is when you finally install that impressive water feature to annoy Brian next door with its interminable trickling, or if you want to erect that monolith of a pergola you've always fancied, maybe you need to look into ways to fund it.
Top tip: If you've got a healthy credit rating and can repay fairly quickly, you might be able to spread the cost for a year or two on a 0% credit card instead.
Whether it's going back to university or college part-time, learning a language in your spare time or doing a course online, self-improvement doesn't often come cheap.
Depending on the cost of the course, you might not need a loan at all. You could pay for the course using a 0% credit card and then pay it off over a few months. Just make sure you meet the monthly repayments. If you can't pay off the card before the 0% terms runs out, consider transferring the debt to a balance transfer card.
Top tip: Investigate the government-backed Professional and Career Development loan, as well as bursaries and scholarships that might help fund your studies.