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- Seeing your rates won’t affect your credit score
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- No obligation to get a loan
- Best for AC projects up to $35,000
- Rates from 5.99% to 35.89% – availability and rates depend on credit score and other factors
It’s tempting to postpone calling the repairman if you’re having trouble with your air conditioner, especially if you’re not sure how to pay for any necessary repairs. And if you need a whole new air conditioner, you’re looking at a pretty big financial hit.
If you have bad credit, it’s easy to get discouraged. But the fact is, there are options for air conditioning financing even if you don’t have a squeaky clean credit score. Here are some tips for diagnosing the problem, when to call a pro, and what you should know about your options for financing a new air conditioning system or repair when your credit score isn’t where you want it to be.
When should I call an air conditioning repairman?
If your air conditioner isn’t working properly, there are a few things you can do yourself before making an expensive service call:
If your air conditioner stops working completely, your thermostat may be at fault. Try replacing the thermostat batteries and see if the unit works properly again. You should also check the electrical panel to see if you’ve tripped a breaker.
If the air conditioner is working, but the air isn’t very cold or your home is cooling unevenly, simply changing the air filter and cleaning your vents may solve the problem.
If you notice strange sounds, almost like a playing card snapping against a bicycle spoke, you may have a branch or other debris in the blower blades or housing surrounding the blades. See if cleaning the area resolves the problem.
On the other hand, there are certain situations when you shouldn’t attempt a DIY fix and should call a professional right away:
If any of the above troubleshooting steps fail to solve the problem, definitely make a service call.
If there is water leaking in or around the air conditioning unit, or the unit is icy or frosty, you’ll need an HVAC repairman.
Thumping, squealing, or screeching sounds are typically signs of a more serious problem.
Unusual smells from cooled air may indicate a problem with mold or mildew that could cause health issues for you and your family.
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.
Can I postpone repairing my air conditioner?
Putting off a needed repair now usually leads to a much more expensive repair later. Some minor issues left unattended can cause major damage—if your unit overheats, for example, it may need to be replaced entirely.
A malfunctioning air conditioner is also an inefficient one; don’t be surprised if your utility bills skyrocket when you postpone necessary repairs.
In general, if you need to use your air conditioner, it’s best to get financing and make the repairs right away.
How can I finance air conditioning repair or replacement if I have bad credit?
The best answer 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.
When should I use a home improvement loan for air conditioning financing?
Zero-equity home improvement loans are best for major AC repairs or entire replacements because most lenders require a minimum loan of $1,000 or more.
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 580. 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 application process connects you with a wide array of lenders 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.
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.
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