Introduction to Timeshare Financing
Purchasing a timeshare under the current financial climate is undoubtedly a scary proposition. The devaluation of homes and restrictive lending practices has caused many people to stop spending their hard earned dollars. Of course this is not because of a lack of desire, but rather a lack of opportunities to fund a major purchase over a timeframe that makes the asset affordable. True, the current market will exclude borrowers with lower credit scores because of fear of non-payment, and rightly so. However, those with histories of on-time payments, diverse credit sources, and low debt to credit ratios will have superb options available to them. One such option is through First Again
FIRST AGAIN Brings an Innovative Loan Alternative To The Timeshare Industry
A new lender is offering borrowers with excellent credit an attractive option for financing or refinancing their timeshare purchase. FirstAgain, an online consumer lender focusing on individuals with excellent credit, is making waves in the timeshare industry by offering the AnythingLoan, a completely paperless, unsecured loan that can be used to finance any purchase or refinance any existing debt, including timeshares. FirstAgain offers fixed-interest rates starting as low as 5.99 percent on loans ranging from $7,500 to $100,000. Rates vary by loan purpose, term and amount, and timeshare loans feature interest rates starting at 7.49 percent, making them an appealing alternative to traditional timeshare loans. According to a recent ARDA-commisssioned PricewaterhouseCoopers study, the average interest rate on a timeshare currently stands at 14.1 percent, nearly 50-percent higher than the rates available from FirstAgain. “The lending industry in general has done little to reward borrowers for the diligence required to build excellent credit,” said Gary Miller, CEO and co-founder of FirstAgain. “With FirstAgain, timeshare owners now have the chance to save money by refinancing into a specially tailored loan that rewards them for their excellent credit with the low interest rates and great customer experiences they deserve.”
The AnythingLoan is the nation’s first 100-percent paperless loan. Credit applications are completed, submitted and reviewed online and the company emails applicants a decision within minutes. Customers can even sign loan documents with their computer mouse. Approved applicants can go online to set up their loan for funding immediately and funds can be transferred into the applicant’s bank account of choice as soon as the same day. There are no fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties, and because all of FirstAgain’s loans are unsecured, borrowers are not required to pledge their homes, timeshares or other assets. “My view is that for people with good credit, FirstAgain is the way to go,” said Gregg Amonette, senior vice president of business development for Ultimate Escapes, a leading luxury destination club. “Our clients who have used FirstAgain have had great things to say. It’s about combining great rates with ease and convenience more than anything else.” Pioneered by the founders of PeopleFirst, which became the largest online auto lender prior to its purchase by Capital One in 2001, FirstAgain is backed by Merrill Lynch and Arsenal Capital Partners. The company has more than $100 million in loan originations and has proved an asset for timeshare buyers such as Ronald Jones of Lake Mary, Fla.
Jones and his wife Karen turned to FirstAgain for financing when the seller of the Las Vegas timeshare he ultimately purchased offered him a loan with a 14-percent interest rate. Rather than settle, Jones financed his purchase using the AnythingLoan from FirstAgain and received a 7.75 percent interest rate. “It’s incredible how easily we were able to get a loan that we were comfortable with,” he said. The flexibility of the AnythingLoan allows borrowers to use it not just to finance a new timeshare purchase but to refinance an existing timeshare loan. For Jean and Bradford Cole of Monticello, Minn., that meant trading in the 10.5 percent interest rate on their developer-issued loan for a 7.75 percent interest rate on a loan from FirstAgain. ”The whole experience was so smooth,” said Jean Cole. “We gave a few pieces of information, all on the computer, and that was it. It was just as simple as can be.”
Refinancing with FirstAgain can be a potentially significant money-saver for timeshare owners. Consider the hypothetical example of a couple with $20,000 and 72 months remaining on their timeshare loan paying the industry average 14.1 percent interest rate. That couple would pay $29,749 over the remaining life of their loan. By refinancing at an interest rate of 7.99 percent through FirstAgain, they would pay just $25,241 over the remaining life of their loan. Refinancing with FirstAgain would save $4,500–more than 20 percent of the original cost of the timeshare. FirstAgain can also be an asset to timeshare resellers who have long been unable to offer financing to prospective buyers. ““Being able to refer potential buyers someplace where they can get a lower interest rate is going to give resellers a competitive advantage,” said Douglas Lupton, president of All Islands Timeshare Resales. “Historically, financing hasn’t been available from a resale perspective. Now that it is, FirstAgain really is the best option out there.” For more information or to apply for a loan, visit First Again