One of the first thoughts I ever had when considering Disney Vacation Club was, ‘How in the world am I ever going to be able to afford this’?
I would have to imagine that I’m not alone in my sentiment and that many first-time buyers feel this same way and are turned off by the large upfront price tag. Becoming a DVC Member isn’t cheap, but it is something that I believe is obtainable by many as long as they dig in and do a little bit of research.
Evaluate Your Finances
I’m not going to assume I have any clue what your financial situation looks like. What I can tell you, though, is that if you don’t have the money for Disney Vacation Club upfront, you’re going to need to crunch some numbers to figure out its value to your situation and how you will afford it.
The easiest way I’ve found to help plan for this purchase is to think of it as similar to your car payment. This is exactly what Amy and I did when purchasing our first DVC contract. With two functional cars that were paid off and running well, instead of rushing out to buy a new shiny Jeep (although I did eventually), we decided to take that money and allocate it each month towards DVC. This way, it was budgeted for, and we felt a lot more comfortable with the thought of becoming members.
With no significant member benefits currently available and the price to obtain these continuing to increase, any reason to buy Disney Vacation Club direct from Disney has vanished. Purchasing DVC via resale will save you tons of money upfront and over the life of your contract!
When evaluating how we would afford DVC, we wanted to ensure we got the most bang for our buck. To this point, I would tell any prospective buyer to be patient and not try to go after the first contract you see. There are many resale contracts out there for every resort. Depending on what price range you are looking for and how many points you need, it may take some time to find the perfect match, but the savings will be well worth the wait.
Finance Your Contract
Now I’m sure the purists will jump all over me on this one, but the truth of the matter is most DVC owners don’t have the upfront money available to purchase a contract. Yes, this will impact the overall value, but in the long run, you will still be saving money, staying in accommodations you never dreamed of, and ensuring countless years of memories for both you and your family.
When it comes to financing your Disney Vacation Club purchase, the decision comes down to who will give you the best rate and the most flexibility. Well before Amy and I worked for the World of DVC, we had turned to the experts at Monera Financial to finance our DVC resale contract purchases. Monera offers a credit-check and no-credit-check option for financing. They can also assist with low down-payment options if you don’t have much upfront money to put toward your purchase. Interest rates start at 9.9%, depending on the financing option you select, with terms of up to 12 years.
As I stated above, financing your Disney Vacation Club purchase may not give you as much value over the life of your contract, but for many, it is the only way they can realize the dream of becoming a DVC Member.
Look – I’m not sitting here trying to say Disney Vacation Club is for everyone. I wish I could say that, but it’s just not the reality. There are many cases in which it is not a good decision, whether for financial, family, or other reasons. However, if you were like me the first time you heard about it and ruled it out before you ever really gave it a chance, I’d encourage you to sit down and give it another look. I know I’m glad I did!
Would love to hear your thoughts! How did you afford your Disney Vacation Club contract? Did you finance? What other questions are you considering? Share with us in the comments!
8 thoughts on “How Can I Afford Disney Vacation Club?”
We purchased our first contract in 2011, along with my daughter and son-in-law. At that time, Saratoga Springs was being offered at $99 per point with a 100 point minimum purchase. Our two families each purchased 60 points for a total of 120. I just happened to have received a work bonus at the same time we were considering and that is how we were able to buy in without financing. Since then, we have purchased 35 more points direct and are in the process of purchasing another 100 points resale (at Copper Creek), for which we have been saving money for a couple of years.
My advice for all DVC prospective buyers is to purchase what you can afford at first. Even a 50 to 100 point contract might work for some families which can be as little as $5 to $10k on the resale market. Also a long contract is key as you have the flexibility to sell your contract after 10 or 15 years and get most of your upfront purchase back while enjoying priceless family memories for years!
We purchased our first contract this summer. We didn’t want to finance, so anything above 50 points was kind of out of the question. We purchased at 50 point BLT contract for around $7500 and are very happy with it. Initially, we thought we could borrow 100% of our future year points giving us 100 to use every two years, but with COVID, that has changed. We just boomed our first vacation next year for the 50th using only 74 points for 4 nights and hope to add a 5th night purchasing one time use points at the 7 month mark giving us a nice 5 night vaca on a 50 point contract. It can be done! 🙂
Agree with everyone’s above strategy of buying a smaller contract. If you go every year and DVC is only the every other year room, it can work.
We were travelling to Disney every other year and staying 5-6 nights. So we started with a 50 point BLT contract in 2010 to stay in a studio. Having the galley kitchen was nice as we could have breakfast a little easier and have some storage. I wanted to surprise my wife for our 25th anniv in 2013. I arranged a couple of point transfers and booked a one bedroom, theme park view for a week (and we flew instead of drove from Ohio). She was floored and we both loved the feel of the one bedroom. So as you can now guess, I purchased another 100 point contract in 2014 and we still go down about every other year. If we go more often or splurge (think a grand villa with grand daughters, daughter, son-in-law and his Mom), I’ll get a point transfer. This way I control the reservation.
Once you have that small first contract, I highly recommend keeping the same use year. The contracts them work as one.
I have been looking at DVC for just about a year when I decided to buy-in. I got a bonus at work that combined with some savings, I was pretty close to having a enough to buy a 100pt Aulani contract–so, in June I did. At closing I was about $3K short, so I called my credit union to see if they did timeshare mortgages–they don’t, but they did give me a personal line of credit at 6.78%. So as of September, I own Aulani and plan to pay that loan off by next Summer. The 100pts would give me enough to do a week in a 1-Bedroom every other year, which is what I could afford to do to fly there and such anyway. But, if it was too expensive for me to go to Aulani, I initially thought I might be able to use my points at Grand Cal at 7months; the DVC Show, DVC Fan, and DIS-Boards taught me otherwise–I guess I didn’t do all my homework when I bought Aulani. I am going to Aulani for the first time in July for my Birthday! After much more thought and spreadsheets, I realized I’d really want to be able to do a Disneyland trip in November regularly for the Christmas decorations, so I put in an offer for a 100pt Grand Cal October UY (Aulani is April). I am financing through Vacation Club Loans at 12.99% 7 Year with a $350 monthly payment. My plan is to pay the loan as aggressively as I can to try to get it half paid down in 2-3 years, and then go to my credit union at that time to see if they will extend me a line of credit to refinance the loan down to a 6-7% loan to save on the interest. Also, 100points at Grand Cal is about double what i really need for what want to do; I just want to do 3-4 days in a studio, so I will rent out the other half to help pay down the loan and dues. (Don’t forget to factor in annual dues when you buy.) Admittedly, I was skittish about financing DVC but thanks to the DVC Show and DVC Fan, I am more comfortable with it, and I’ve planned it out with in my annual budget by sacrificing some other things to fit it in. Thanks DVC Show and DVC Fan! BTW, I’m a Childless-Millennial, and I am a selfish churro-person–not a selfish pretzel-person. Thanks!
Good article. I wish I would have looked more into DVC years ago. I dismissed it as being unaffordable off the bat. Had I done my research and found out about resales and financing, we could’ve had years of Disney vacations that I dreamed of and didn’t take. Now I’m an owner and we’ll be going to Disney more than I thought we’d ever be able to. I have also financed with a company that my DVC Store rep recommended called Vacation Club Loans and I’m so happy with them.
I would think more than twice about financing a DVC purchase. It adds significantly to the cost, and pushes the break even point farther down the road. I would crunch the numbers, and investigate the cost of just renting points when you need them.
I used my HELOC to finance which had a much lower interest rate than DVC offered and the interest was tax deductible.
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