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Deciding how to finance your air conditioning project is a big decision.
You need the HVAC project done now, but if you make the wrong financing decision, you could end up paying thousands of dollars more than you have to. And if you don't have a squeaky clean credit score, it's easy to get discouraged. After all, many financing programs focus solely on AC financing for good credit.
That's why we're here.
While there's no silver bullet to finding a great AC financing option if you have bad credit, we may be able to help you find options.
Here are some tips for financing a new air conditioning system or repair when your credit score isn’t where you want it to be. Soon, you’ll be on your way to getting air conditioner financing options and repairing or replacing your current AC unit.
How much does air conditioning repair usually cost?
The good news is that most common air conditioning repairs are relatively inexpensive. The national average for repair costs is between about $160 and $520, although some fixes cost considerably more.
Here are a few common repairs and estimated repair costs:
Refrigerant leak repair: $500 to $1,500
Recharge coolant: $200 to $400
Replace compressor: $1,300 to $1,800
Evaporator coil replacement: $600 to $1,200
Thermostat replacement: $60 to $250
Circuit board replacement: $150 to $500
You can expect to pay around $100 or so for a troubleshooting call, more during peak seasons.
If your unit is beyond repair, or you want to install a new air conditioning unit, you can expect to pay $5,000 and up for central air conditioning. If you find yourself in that situation, you’ll likely need to consider your financing options.
How can I finance my air conditioning repair or replacement?
The best answer for any HVAC project is always to save up and pay cash if you can, because your borrowing costs will be higher than for homeowners with good credit. If you’re near summer’s end and you can turn off the unit and survive with fans until cooler weather comes, you’ll have five or six months to put away cash and do the work in the spring.
But that’s not always possible, especially if you live in a year-round warm climate or you have young children living at home. For urgent repairs, you can choose between a personal home improvement loan and a home improvement credit card to finance your air conditioning repair or replacement.
Look for lending partners that work with a wide range of credit scores -- for example, Hearth is able to provide loan options to homeowners with credit scores as low as 500. You can apply for air conditioner financing and view your options without affecting your credit score.
When should I use a home improvement loan for air conditioning financing?
Personal loans for home improvement are best for major AC repairs or entire replacements because most lending partners have a minimum amount of $1,000. You can receive central air financing options, even with a sub-par credit score.
Longer repayment term, usually between 3 and 7 years, help keep your payments manageable.
Fixed monthly payments so you can responsibly budget for your air conditioning repairs.
Streamlined application process means you can be approved in as little as 24 hours and have your money within a day or two.
There are no hidden fees; you pay a single loan origination fee when you complete the application process with your lender.
No prepayment penalties mean you can double up on payments when you have extra cash and pay your loan off early.
Most lenders require a credit score of 640 or more to qualify–although you may be able to qualify if your credit is above 500. If your credit isn’t quite up to par, you may have to pay significantly higher interest rates than those with better credit, and you may have fewer lending options.
When should I use a home improvement credit card for air conditioning financing?
If you have urgent but relatively minor repairs of less than $1,000, you may be able to qualify for a home improvement credit card for those with bad credit. Credit cards are one of the most flexible and convenient ways to pay for air conditioning repairs—if you need a new thermostat, for example, and you’re handy with tools, you can simply pick up a new one at your local home improvement store and save on service costs.
Credit cards work best when you need a smaller amount of cash for a shorter period of time for urgent repairs that you can’t postpone; if you can pay off your loan in a year or less, they can be an excellent choice.
Streamlined application process and no loan origination fees, although you may pay an annual fee for opening and maintaining the account.
Quick funding—once you’re approved, you’ll usually receive your card in 10 days or less.
You can use your card for other air conditioning or home improvement expenses as they come up (up to your credit limit, of course).
Credit cards typically have the highest interest rate of your air conditioning financing options. If your credit isn’t great, you could have an interest rate of 20% or more.
Some air conditioning contractors charge a fee of as much as 5% for credit card transactions, driving up the cost of your repairs.
How Hearth can help with air conditioning financing if you have bad credit
Hearth works with many different lending partners to offer you the most options for your air conditioning financing—our simple process connects you with a wide array of lending partners offering solutions for those with less than perfect credit scores. There’s no cost to apply and your application won’t affect your credit score. Hearth provides much-needed financing assistance for air conditioning systems.
Ready to see your options?
Review your options and choose the one that works best with your budget and air conditioning finance needs.
Complete the application process with the lender you select and receive your credit card or loan funds, usually within one to 10 days, depending on the option you choose.
Even if you have bad credit, Hearth can help you get the air conditioning financing you need to stay cool and comfortable.
Ready to start your AC project?
Compare AC financing options without affecting your credit score.
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We’ll send you useful tips and tricks to help you make informed financial decisions during your home improvement project.