Calculating Hot Tub & Spa Financing Cost Per Month

Learn how to calculate the cost per month to finance a new hot tub or spa. Make sure that you can afford the purchase and avoid falling behind on payments in the future.

Your first step should be to explore the different types of financing programs available. Unsecured personal loans have different pros and cons compared to secured contracts such as home equity arrangements or rent-to-own leases.

Your second step should be to estimate the amount to finance, which could include the purchase prices, installation charges, and operating costs. Finally, the contract terms bring the estimate together.

Hot Tub Financing Programs

Hot tub and spa financing programs can spread the purchase and installation costs out over time, resulting in monthly payments that are more affordable than paying cash upfront. Applicants can choose between unsecured personal loans, and secured loans or leases. Each has unique pros and cons.

  1. Start a request for an unsecured personal loan here. (Sponsored Link) Unsecured means that the lender relies on your signature promise to repay the money according to terms. You do not pledge any collateral that the lender can repossess in the event of default, and there is no need to fund a deposit upfront.
  2. Secured contracts require you to pledge collateral such as the equity in your home, or the spa you are leasing. Keep in mind that the lender can force foreclosure on your house or repossess your hot tub if you fall behind on payments.

Bad Credit

Financing a hot tub when you have bad credit is often not a very good idea. Relaxing in your spa after a hard day of work is an indulgence – not a necessity. Please do not stretch payments beyond what you can afford for an item you do not need.

However, bad credit history remains on consumer reports for seven years. Many people recover from a previous monetary hardship only to find the negative record following them like a shadow. The adverse notation makes it challenging to find a willing lender, and more expensive when they do – even after returning to a solid fiscal footing.

  • Rare approvals and common declinations
  • Heftier origination fees and higher interest rates

People with weak borrowing credentials often find greater success working with online lenders rather than the local brick-and-mortar bank or credit union. Online companies specialize in working with marginal applicants, whereas banks and credit unions target people with excellent records.

No Credit Check

Hot tub financing without a credit check appeals to homeowners with a poor record and to young adults yet to establish a history. However, online companies advertising “no credit check” work differently than many people think.

The “no credit check” companies often choose not to perform any of the following underwriting steps.

  • Pull a copy of your consumer report from one of the big three bureaus
  • Log a hard inquiry on the files at Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
  • Consider your traditional credit score from FICO or Vantage.

The “no credit check” companies could perform many of these loan evaluation steps.

  • Focus more on income, employment, and affordability
  • Pull reports from second-tier bureaus that use alternative data
  • Log hard inquiries on the file of these other data furnishers
    • Innovis
    • SageStream
    • LexisNexis
    • Microbuilt/PRBC
  • Utilize substitute credit scores optimized for the alternative information

Rent to Own

Rent-to-own hot tubs are a fancy name for secured financing where you pledge the spa as collateral rather than your home equity. Secured contracts are the preferred option because the lender can quickly repossess any portable unit after emptying it of water and disconnecting the electricity.

  • Approval rates are higher when the company can recoup losses after default
  • Financing charges (origination fees and interest rates) are lower to reflect smaller risks
  • Homeowners can live without the luxury item if taken back
  • People stop soaking in boiling water after the thrill is gone

Rent-to-own hot tub contracts often include a down payment, extended warranties to minimize future repair charges, options for trading up to higher-end models, and full ownership after making all monthly payments.

Average Cost of Hot Tub Ownership

Estimating the average cost of a hot tub or ownership is a critical step in calculating the expense per month with financing. Please make sure that you can afford every component of the monthly payments before committing to buy an extravagant item that could wind up being used as much as that old exercise equipment collecting dust.

Also, be sure to obtain several quotes from reliable dealers as the recommendations, configurations, and package deals can vary quite a bit.

Purchase Price

The purchase price of your new hot tub is the most significant variable affecting the cost per month with financing. Prices range widely depending on dimensions, features, engineering, quality, and design. The industry breaks the investment level into four tiers for portable units.

  1. Entry Level ($3,000 to $5,000) for rotationally molded or inflatable plug and play units
  2. Value ($4,000 to $8,000) added features or higher quality parts
  3. Premium ($6,000 to $10,000) robust features and advanced engineering
  4. Luxury ($9,000 to $16,000 +) leading-edge design and top-notch quality

Also, expect to budget for a variety of accessory items such as upgraded heating elements, covers, handrails, safety steps, side tray caddies, weather coveralls, side umbrellas, L.E.D. lighting, and more.

Installation Charges

Many people choose to roll their hot tub installation charges into the financing program, which of course, then adds to the projected monthly costs. Have each dealer provide a written estimate that includes set up fees, after a representative performs a home inspection – as the configuration of your residence can affect these expenses.[1]

  • Adding a flat surface to support a portable spa
    • Wooden decks: $4,000 to $10,000
    • Concrete pads: $2,500
  • Wiring of 50 Amp 4 wire electrical outlet: $200
  • Plumbing for new water line and drainage: $600 to $5,000
  • Delivery and transportation: $100 to $300
  • Building permits if needed: $1,000

Of course, the installation fees for built-in or in-ground pools and spas run much higher as the dealer must excavate dirt from the yard, and run underground wiring and plumbing.

Contract Terms

The financing contract terms are the final piece to the puzzle in your hot tub cost per month calculation. The purchase price and installation charges provide a starting point for the principal amount you might need to borrow. Four additional factors go into the formula to compute the final monthly payment estimate.

  1. Deposit paid upfront on any secured contracts such as rent to own
  2. Origination fees associated with unsecured personal loans
  3. The annual interest rate charged by the lender (varies by credit score)
  4. Term of the contract determines the number of monthly payments

Long-term contracts have the lowest monthly payments because you are dividing the principal owed by a bigger number. However, the interest has more time to accrue, which adds to the overall borrowing costs.

Operating Costs

Do not forget to include at least $50 for hot tub operating expenses when estimating the monthly financing cost. Keeping your spa up and running is a big part of the equation. You do not want to fall behind on payments because you failed to budget for these ongoing fees.[2]

  • The monthly cost of electricity averages about $30 but can vary based on the climate where you live, your usage patterns, the temperature settings you choose, and the energy efficiency of your spa. Efficiency features include the insulation on the cabinet, a dedicated circulation pump to avoid running jets while idle, tight-fitting thick cover, and L.E.D. lighting.
  • The maintenance costs involve the use of supplies such as filters and chemicals to keep the spa water germ-free to avoid folliculitis and rashes. Budget at least $20 per month for basic water care. Estimate more for a combination of Ozone, Silver and MPS, or automated saltwater systems.
  • Repair costs can crop up at any time the spa breaks down – usually at the most inconvenient time. Purchasing an extended warranty adds to the monthly spend, but avoids unpleasant surprise charges to fix the unit.


[1] HomeAdvisor

[2] HotSpring