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Can You Finance a Fence?

If the cost of that new fence is more than expected, you might be wondering…Can I finance a fence? The answer is yes. In this article, you’ll learn several fence financing options, from loans to credit cards and more.
Last updated June 14th, 2024

It finally happened.

The old tree in your backyard you’ve been worried about for months fell over and destroyed your fence.

Or maybe you recently got a dog with an insatiable curiosity about your neighbors’ yards.

Or maybe your fence is just old, worn out, and unsightly.

In any case, it’s time for a new fence. And like any home improvement project, it can be costly. Can you finance it?

We spoke to Rick Wilson, Director of Contractor Success at Acorn Finance, and the answer is yes: You can finance a fence.

How much does a new fence cost?

Wilson owned a fence company before joining Acorn Finance, so he’s the perfect expert to talk to about this. 

First things first: How much can you expect to pay for a new fence? “Anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000,” he tells us. 

Obviously, there are many variables: fence length, materials, and what’s going on in your part of the country. “We had some storms here in California,” Wilson offers by way of an example, “and the prices were all over the place because it depends on the type of wood, it depends if it’s got wrought iron—there are so many things that could be involved in it.”

We also spoke to Taylor Wick, Director of Marketing at Rick’s Custom Fencing & Decking in Hillsboro, Oregon. “For our Pacific Northwest region,” she tells us, “in the type of fences that we’re doing, an average replacement is probably going to be closer to $6,000 or $7,000 these days.”

Wick mentions cedar as a standard lower-cost option. “From there,” she continues, “we offer a lot of vinyl options in our area, and aluminum fencing, too.” 

On the higher end of fence costs is a powder-coated aluminum option. “The aluminum fencing has what they call a powder-coated finish,” Wick explains, “a baked-on paint finish that helps prevent rusting and anything that might happen with our aluminum over time.”

So you’re looking at thousands of dollars that you might not have on hand as cash. How can you pay for a new fence?

You have options ranging from taking out a loan, to using a credit card, to getting help from family, and more.

Personal loans

These are varied, versatile, and fast.

Personal loans tend to cap out around $40,000, which is plenty to cover an average fence replacement. They tend to be fixed-rate, so your payments won’t be subject to the ebbs and flows of the economic environment. 

Since a personal loan usually doesn’t use your house as collateral, you won’t lose your home if you can’t make your payments. The tradeoff: Interest rates can be high, around 10-20% if you have stronger credit.

“You’re going to pay a little higher rate,” Wick says, “but you’re going to have longer terms to be able to pay it off. So it offers some flexibility.”

A loan might have a payoff period of up to 15 years, and carving the loan into lots of small, monthly payments can make upgrades less intimidating. 

An example offer from Rick’s Fencing as of May, 2024: a 12-year loan, boiled down to “144 equal payments at $11.95 per $1,000 borrowed.”

Multiply that $1,000 by six, and that $6,000 fence ends up costing you $10,324.80 ($71.70 per month for 12 years). It’s a lot of interest in the long run, but the monthly payment of just over $70 isn’t too intimidating.

A personal loan through Acorn Finance

When you enter your fence financing needs into the Acorn Finance site, “you could get your approval in about 10 seconds, to see what your offer is,” Wilson tells us. 

If your new fence is an emergency, Wilson has good news: “Once you accept [the loan offer], it’s usually one to two business days before you get the money wired into your account.”

Acorn can introduce you to a network of lenders who compete to offer you loans at competitive interest rates. Those rates can go up if your credit isn’t as strong, though there will probably still be loans available to you. “We can help people all the way down to a 550 credit score,” Wilson says.

And what if your credit score is below 550?

“You’d probably want to talk to somebody to help you with it as a co-signer—somebody that has a little bit better credit.” Find a friend or relative willing to shoulder some of the risk the lender is taking, and that can bring this financing within reach.

Contractor-based personal loan

Rick’s Fencing offers personal loans underwritten by 1st Security Bank in Washington. They hover around 10% interest OAC (on approved credit). That rate increases or decreases with the length of your payback period.

Is there an advantage to a loan through your contractor?

“I would say the advantage would probably be that you have somebody in the middle to help facilitate,” says Wick. She says Rick’s Fencing is pretty hands-on in guiding a customer through the loan process. If your contractor is “somebody who’s experienced with the product that the bank is selling, that knows what your options are, they can advocate on your behalf.”

Wilson adds that familiarity and trust go a long way. “A lot of people go through their contractor because their contractors visit them at home.”

Finally, a contractor has to go through rigorous tests to prove their worthiness to offer loans on a bank’s behalf. So if the contractor offers financing, you might feel more confident using them.

Other personal loans

You can also apply for a personal loan at your bank or credit union. 

It’ll take some time and effort to compare multiple loans from multiple lenders on your own. But you might have a long and trusting history with a particular lender.

“If they say, ‘I think I could do better at my credit union,’ or somewhere that they have a relationship with,” Wilson explains, “they can go and get that loan.”

But he points out another advantage Acorn has over shopping around on your own: An Acorn application is “a soft pull on their credit. So it’s not going to harm their credit to see what those offers look like. Whereas if you go to a bank directly, their criteria might be different. It could be a hard hit on your credit to see what the offers look like.”

Personal loan pros: Fast, diverse, can allow long payback periods.

Cons: Pricey interest rates, shopping for one could affect credit.

Credit cards 

Credit cards are common, convenient, and easy to use. You probably have one at your fingertips right now. Wick mentions that a credit card “tends to be more popular” than a loan, especially if you can find one with an interest-free introductory period. “Any time you can get a no-interest option these days, they’re going to like that.” 

With a stronger credit score, you can find a card with a 0% introductory APR for the first year or two. If you’re confident that you can pay off the full cost of the fence within the introductory period, you could basically treat it as an interest-free loan.

In addition, many credit cards offer perks for using them, like airline miles or cashback points. A major purchase like a new fence can help you rake those in like a champ.

But if you don’t pay off your purchase during the 0% APR period, the honeymoon ends abruptly, and you’re on the hook for the remainder of your purchase, plus an average interest rate of around 28%.

Suddenly, it no longer resembles an interest-free loan. And all the airline miles in the world won’t make up for the financial burden.

Contractor-based credit card

In addition to the 1st Security Bank loans, Rick’s Fencing offers the Wells Fargo Outdoor Solutions credit card, intended specifically to be used for outdoor home improvements. Special offers are sometimes available through the card.

“Our standard rate is six months, no interest,” Wick tells us, “but every once in a while we’ll offer a special through that credit card of 12 or 15 months.”

The same advice applies: A credit card is a great option if you can pay off the fence during the promotion period. 

Note: The Wells Fargo credit card offer is “deferred interest,” meaning if you don’t pay off the whole fence in the no-interest timeframe, the card will charge you interest retroactively to the date of the purchase. Imagine buying a $6,000 fence and getting 12 interest-free months on a credit card, after which a deferred interest rate of 28.99% kicks in. If you pay off the fence on month 12 of the offer, you’ve paid $6,000. If you don’t pay it off until month 13, you’ll owe an extra $1,739.40 in interest: $7,739.40 for that $6,000 fence.

Timing is everything, so anticipate how “future you” will be able to pay.

Credit card pros: Convenience, 0% intro rates, rewards.

Cons: Interest rates skyrocket after intro.

Borrowing from friends or family

Money and friendship can make for awkward conversations when you’re splitting the bill at a restaurant. That awkwardness increases exponentially when we’re talking about thousands of dollars to help pay for a fence.

But if you’re professional and responsible about it, put everything in writing, and maintain clear expectations, you might get some financial help from people who already care about you.

Family borrowing pros: People who know you and care about you may be lenient and patient.

Cons: Awkward conversations, possibility of damaging relationships.

Hitting up your Californian neighbor

You’ve heard the expression “good fences make good neighbors”?

In some cases, good neighbors make good fences.

California has the Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013, which states that “adjoining landowners shall share equally in the responsibility for maintaining the boundaries and monuments between them.” In other words, since you and your neighbor both benefit from a fence on the border between your properties, you’re both responsible for financing it.

This will only be useful to you if the fence is on the actual property line — not entirely in your yard — and if you live in California or another location with such a law.

Good Neighbor Fence Act pros: Fairness of financial responsibility.

Cons: Only valid in California.

How can Acorn Finance help?

A fence provides your home’s privacy, security, and visual appeal. When it needs replacing, the quicker the better.

Share your financial needs on the Acorn site, and a network of high-quality lenders can line up with offers tailored to you. When you find one that fits your needs, picket! (Fence pun.) A simple application can get you pre-qualified in seconds.

Sources

acornfinance.com