When people stumble into a timeshare presentation uninformed, the idea of the purchase can be riveting. But like many travel deals, there’s more that meets the eye. Once buyer’s realize it’s nothing like they imagined, they realize fractional ownership is actually a liability. Although the lackluster amenities and over-hyped possibilities are often disappointing, the cost itself is what inevitably knocks the wind out of consumers. So, in order to help consumers avoid grief, we decided to talk a little bit about timeshare financing and all it entails.
Borrowing money to buy something expensive that you know little about it extremely risky. At the same time, beating yourself up for swallowing the hook, line and sinker doesn’t do you any good. You’re not alone as thousands of people regret their decision. The problem is, unlike other expensive purchases, you can’t just submit a refund request or resell the property to recoup your losses. Aside from the mythical resale market, the timeshare system is set up to trap buyers in perpetuity. In order to escape, you’re going to have to jump through some hoops and put forth some serious effort.
So before we get deep into the topic of timeshare financing, ask yourself if continued payments is something that’s really worth your while. No matter what you do, understand that you’re not going to be able to negotiate a lower cost obligation with the resort. If you’ve already surpassed the rescission period, you’re pretty much locked in for a while.
Uninformed Signs Ups Can be Extremely Costly.
At some point in time, you’re going to have to realize that whatever you were promised during the timeshare presentation is questionable at best. To the timeshare, it never happened if you can’t prove it. You’ve signed an agreement and they’re going to do everything in their power to collect the payments you already acknowledged – whether you agree or not.
While you may not see the picture clearly yet, this blog series will most definitely open your eyes. Financing a timeshare purchase isn’t as straightforward as you think. Thousands of people have attempted to revise repayment options or use lines of credit to cover unexpected costs, only to find themselves in a financial pit of despair. One bad decision can be devastating.
So before you make a drastic decision to become an owner or relieve yourself of the burden, do everything you can to understand the purchase first. In case you’re unsure of where to start, here are some facts about timeshare financing that’ll make you think twice about your next move.
No Lender Will Mortgage Your Timeshare Property.
Most people attending timeshare presentations have no intent on making the purchase. They’re usually only interested in the free gifts (travel packages, tickets or other forms of entertainment) that lured them in. But timeshare companies know how to get their attention and usually drag out the pitch until the consumer finally agrees to try it out. The primary goal of the pitch is to sell the experience while avoiding disclosure.
Although numerous techniques are used to persuade attendees, the way salesmen counter concerns is what eventually closes the buyer. Crafty, premeditated answers normally eliminate the initial drawbacks people have once they’ve reviewed the agreement. One of the most common concerns are the high interest rates that expand the cost of the timeshare significantly – and rightfully so. Most people are relieved to hear a salesman tell them they can easily find another lender to mortgage the timeshare. It’s too bad this just simply isn’t true.
We’ve spoken to hundreds of owners that exhausted their quest for lower interest rates. Many of them tell us they never would have signed the contract if they would have known new timeshare financing wasn’t going to be available. Instead of temporarily enduring high interest rates, they were forced to cope with long term payments they couldn’t afford. If you know anything about mortgages, this can really add up over time.
What Does Timeshare Financing Really Cost Buyers?
On average, fractional ownership comes with a 17.9% interest rate and can be upwards of 20% when your credit score is mediocre. If you thought something like 5% was obtainable, then you’re talking about a big difference in payments. While the average cost of a weekly interval is roughly $20k, plenty of people spend more. If you happen to buy a $60k timeshare, then being locked in a high interest rate can be devastating over a 120 month term (average).
Keep in mind that the interest for timeshare financed loans is always front-loaded. Like most large purchases, when you’re making minimum payments, very little is applied to your principal balance. Since most buyers sign up for affordable repayment options (because they can’t really afford it), they end up paying more than double their original principal amount. Like we’ve mentioned before, $20k timeshares are actually $40k liabilities because of interest. This total doesn’t even include annual fees, taxes and other travel expenses required to vacation at the condo.
By the time buyers see the cold reality of the expense, there’s not much they can do to eliminate their obligation to pay the resort. Many aren’t sure how to approach the burden of timeshare financing when the resort is only interested in pointing to the contract they signed. Like we’ve described on many occasions, finding relief is a burden in itself. Since many owners are told timeshare cancellation isn’t even an option, they’re often at the mercy of the resort.
One of the ways timeshares continue handicapping buyers is by persuading them to use in-house “solutions” for relief. The problem is, owners are never actually relieved of the obligation. Even before they can transfer the purchase to another owner, the mortgage balance needs to be paid off. Even when you pay the contract in full, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll find a willing party. In fact, it’s highly uncommon that you will.
What’s even more troubling is that owners usually involve themselves in further timeshare financing just to satisfy their mortgage balance. It can be quite demoralizing to borrow even more with the hope of garnering a return, only to realize you’re unable to get out of the contract. Most buyers don’t know that a timeshare depreciates faster than any other purchase. If they knew it was worthless, then they probably would have never said “yes” – let alone pay more for nothing.
Undisclosed 3rd Party Timeshare Financing.
When it comes to financing a deeded timeshare or point memberships, the loan terms and repayment options aren’t the only borrowed elements worth noting. A majority of new owners don’t even know that additional lines of credit were opened under their name on the day of the signing. The reason they’re oblivious to this transaction is because the timeshare does not hold this finance note. It’s typically included in the paperwork as a conditional offer by a 3rd party.
For the most part, these undisclosed forms of timeshare financing are usually in the form of credit cards through Barclays or Comenity Bank. Without your actual consent, the timeshare company utilizes the unsecured line of credit for down payments as well as monthly and annual auto-debits. As you can probably guess, the borrowing rate for these compounding interest lines of credit aren’t low either. It’s highly unfavorable to pay off borrowed money with borrowed money.
When consumers aren’t conscious of the actual amounts their spending because fees are being paid without their knowledge, things can spiral out of control quickly. Many buyers don’t even know they’re going to be billed $1,200 for maintenance fees every year. So you can imagine their reaction when they receive an unknown credit card statement for costs they didn’t even know existed.
Sadly, far too many timeshare owners are forced to eat the costs in order to avoid penalty. Their contract essentially holds them hostage here. But because so many people could never really afford the $20k purchase to begin with, they can’t even pay the cards off. They have no choice but to continue using these 3rd party lines of credit to make payments. Especially when special assessment fees catch them off guard.
Before timeshare owners know it, they’re drowning in debt due to something they can’t even use the way they envisioned. It’s hard to look at timeshare financing as a whole and argue that the resort and it’s sales teams don’t know buyers are set up for failure. If you have cash on hand, they know you’re forced to use it. If you don’t, then you’re at the mercy of the resort. Either way, it’s a win for the timeshare industry and another reason why profits continue to climb.
Get Out of Timeshare Financing for Good with VOC.
If you haven’t noticed, timeshare travel isn’t exactly the affordable escape it’s said to be. While the baseline cost of the purchase can be appealing, the conditional expenses and add ons are what really set people back financially. Before even considering fractional ownership, you need to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
You can’t treat a timeshare like a used car that you bought and resold for a few hundred dollars less after you’ve driven it for a while. It’s not even like financing a new car and selling it for the depreciated value a few months later. While you may be able to own those mistakes and stomach their losses, a weekly interval can leave you with nothing to show but a lot of debt.
If you or someone you know is burdened by timeshare financing, there’s no need to continue digging a deeper hole. While the resort wants you to believe terminating your agreement isn’t feasible, we’re here to tell you it most certainly is. You just have to decide which is more worth it: canceling the contract or trying to keep up with payments at the expense of your quality of life. To learn more about our attorney based process, you can always schedule a free consultation or proceed with our qualification form below.