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Home improvement loans

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We want this to be a “win-win” situation. So we only want to get paid if we bring you value in the form of finding a personal finance option that works for you. Not by selling your data. Credible receives compensation by the lender if you finish the loan process and a loan is disbursed. The amount of our compensation does not impact how and where lenders appear on our site, and Credible charges you no fees of any sort. Some lenders may take traffic sources into account when offering credit terms.

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Why use a personal loan to renovate your home?

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Home improvement loans are unsecured, so you can keep the equity in your home.

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A home improvement loan is a type of personal loan offered by various lenders, including online lenders, banks, and credit unions. This kind of personal loan is geared toward covering the assorted costs that can come with home repairs, remodels, or updates — such as materials and labor.

Most personal loans are unsecured, so your property won’t be at risk if you can’t make payments — though missing payments will still damage your credit.

Other kinds of loans might also help you pay for home improvements — for example, you could tap into your home’s equity with a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Or you could consider a cash-out refinance. But keep in mind these types of loans are secured by your home, so you risk losing your house if you can’t make your payments.

A construction loan is another potential way to cover the cost of home improvements. Here’s how home improvement loans differ from construction loans, as well as some pros and cons of each to keep in mind:

Home improvement loans

You can use a personal loan for almost any personal expense — including home improvements. With a personal loan, you can typically borrow $600 to $100,000 or more and will have one to seven years to repay it, depending on the lender.

Additionally, most personal loans are unsecured, which means you don’t have to worry about collateral. But because this is riskier for lenders, you’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify.

Pros

  • Fixed rates: Personal loans come with fixed interest rates, which means your payments will stay the same throughout the life of the loan.

  • No down payment: Unlike other types of loans (such as construction loans), home improvement loans don’t require you to put any money down.

  • Variety of uses: In addition to home repairs, you can use a personal loan for a wide variety of expenses.

Cons

  • Fewer options for bad credit: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan — which means you might have a hard time qualifying if you have poor or fair credit.

  • Might come with fees: Some lenders charge fees on personal loans, such as origination fees or late fees. These could increase your overall loan cost. Keep in mind that if you take out a personal loan for home improvements with one of Credible’s partner lenders, you won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties for repaying your loan ahead of schedule.

  • Lump-sum payment: Lenders disburse personal loan funds as a lump sum to use how you wish. If you end up needing more money for your home improvements, you’ll have to apply for another loan.

Construction loans

Construction loans are typically available to potential homeowners who want to purchase land and immediately build a home on it. But you might also be able to use this kind of loan to fund the construction that could come with home improvements. This type of construction loan is often known as a renovation construction loan.

Unlike other types of loans, construction loans don’t have a specific maximum. Instead, how much you can borrow will depend on your expected construction costs, as well as other factors like your credit and income.

Pros

  • No set maximum: The maximum amount you can borrow with a construction loan will depend on the lender and your expected construction costs.

  • Interest-only payments during construction: Generally, you won’t begin making full principal and interest payments until the construction is complete. In the meantime, you’ll make interest-only payments, which could be helpful for your budget.

  • Will convert to traditional loan: A construction loan only lasts as long as the construction itself — usually 12 to 18 months. After that, it’ll convert to a traditional 15- or 30-year mortgage, which could provide more stability.

Cons

  • Variable rates: Construction loans come with variable interest rates, which means your rate could fluctuate according to market conditions.

  • Down payment: You’ll typically have to make a down payment with a construction loan — usually 10% to 20%, depending on the lender. This means you’ll have to save up money to cover the down payment before you can apply.

  • Must provide construction plans: If you decide to take out a construction loan, be prepared to provide the lender with a detailed plan for the construction, including schedule and budget projections. While this can help keep you on track, it also means less flexibility compared to a personal loan.

While eligibility requirements to get a personal loan can vary by lender, you’ll likely come across some common requirements, including:

  • Good credit: You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a home improvement loan. A good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. Several lenders offer personal loans for bad credit, but these generally come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.

  • Verifiable income: Some lenders have a minimum required income, while others don’t. But in either case, you’ll likely need to provide proof of income to show you can afford to repay the loan.

  • Low debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the amount you owe in debt payments each month compared to your income. To be eligible for a personal loan, you’ll generally need to have a DTI ratio of 40% or less — though some lenders might require you to have a lower ratio than this.

With Credible, you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders after filling out just a single form — this way, you won’t have to visit each lender’s site to see if you qualify. Additionally, checking your rates with Credible uses only a soft credit check, which means your credit won’t be affected.

Before you start your home renovation project, you may need to use some of these strategies to help you get the best possible home improvement loan rates:

  • Improve your credit. Your credit is one of the major factors that affects what rates you’re offered. In general, the better your credit, the lower your interest rate. A couple ways you might be able to build your credit and get more favorable rates include making on-time payments all your bills and paying down credit card balances.

  • Apply with a cosigner. Having a cosigner with good credit could help you qualify for better rates than you’d get on your own — even if you don’t need one to get approved. Anyone with good credit could potentially be a cosigner, such as a parent, other relative, or trusted friend.

  • Compare rates from multiple lenders. Be sure to spend some time researching and comparing personal loan interest rates from as many lenders as you can, as you might get a better rate from one lender over another.

You can typically borrow as little as $600 and up to $100,000 (or more) with a home improvement loan, depending on the lender. How much you’ll be able to borrow will also depend on other factors, such as your credit and income.

No matter how much you’re approved for, be sure to borrow only what you need to keep your repayment costs as low as possible.

Before you take out a home improvement loan, here are a few pros and cons to consider:

Pros

  • Fixed interest rates: Personal loans generally have fixed interest rates, which means your rate and payment will stay the same throughout the life of your loan.

  • No collateral required: Most personal loans are unsecured, so you won’t have to worry about providing collateral.

  • Long repayment terms: You could have one to 12 years to repay a personal loan for home improvement, depending on the lender you choose.

Cons

  • Fixed loan amounts: Personal loans are paid out in a lump sum. If you need more money, you’ll have to apply for another loan. This could be less than ideal if you’re not sure exactly how much your home improvements will cost — or if you end up needing more money than you expected.

  • Potentially higher interest rates: Because personal loans aren’t secured by collateral, they pose more of a risk to the lender. As such, they can come with higher interest rates compared to other options like home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Might come with fees: Some lenders charge fees for personal loans, such as origination or late fees. These can add to your overall loan cost.

Certain home improvements can add value to your home by:

  • Increasing the square footage: A room addition (or the addition of another floor) that increases the size of your home can increase its value.

  • Cutting your energy bill: Installing double-pane windows and insulation or adding rooftop solar panels can help cut your energy bill, which can add to your home's value.

  • Keeping it modern: A well-maintained home can command a higher asking price, so home repairs and modern remodeling can also be a good investment.

  • Boosting curb appeal: Updating your landscaping or home exterior can make your home more attractive to prospective buyers.

Because of this, you could consider a home improvement loan as a way to potentially raise your home’s value.

However, before you take out a home improvement loan, it’s important to consider how much that loan will cost you. This way, you can be prepared for any added expenses. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator.

FHA Title 1 Loans are property improvement loans offered by private lenders — but they’re insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD insures against default for up to 90% of the amount of the loan for up to 20 years. The borrower is required to pay an insurance premium of $1 per $100 of the amount advanced. This cost may be charged separately or be included in the interest charge.

You can use these fixed-rate loans for residential, nonresidential, or commercial property. FHA Title 1 loans may only be used to “protect or improve the basic livability or utility of the property.” This means luxury improvements, such as swimming pools or outdoor fireplaces, aren’t covered by this type of loan.

Here are the maximum loan amounts:

  • $25,000 for a single-family residence

  • $25,090 for a manufactured house (such as a trailer or modular home) on a permanent foundation

  • $7,500 for a manufactured house not on a permanent foundation

  • $12,000 per family unit for a multifamily structure, not to exceed a total of $60,000 for the structure

Loans for $7,500 or less are considered unsecured. But if you borrow more than $7,500, the property will be used as collateral via a lien.

Personal loan repayment terms generally range from one to seven years, depending on the lender. Some lenders offer longer terms specifically for home improvement loans — for example, you could have up to 12 years to repay a LightStream loan. Just keep in mind that if you choose a longer term, you’ll pay more in interest over time.

In comparison, home equity loan terms can range from five to 30 years, depending on the lender.

Whether a home equity loan or personal loan is better for renovations will depend on your unique financial situation. For example, if you’re a homeowner with plenty of equity in your home, then you might prefer to use a home equity loan so you can take advantage of lower interest rates.

Getting a personal loan could be a better choice in some situations:

  • You don’t want to put your home at risk. Because a home equity loan is secured by your house, you risk losing it if you can’t keep up with your payments. Personal loans, on the other hand, are typically unsecured — so while missing payments will damage your credit, you won’t lose your property.

  • You only need a small loan. If you only need a small amount of money to cover home improvements or repairs, a personal loan could be a simpler option compared to a home equity loan.

  • You want faster funding. The time to fund for personal loans is usually about one week — though with some lenders, you might get your money even faster. This is much faster compared to home equity loans, which could take up to a few weeks to process.

In some cases, you might be able to deduct points (also known as loan origination fees or discount points) paid on a loan that you use to substantially improve your home. However, on top of having to meet several tests, your loan must be secured by your primary home to be eligible — which means a personal loan for home improvements won’t qualify.

But if you decide to take out a loan secured by your home — such as a home equity loan — and pass the required tests, then you might be eligible for a tax deduction provided you make “substantial home improvements,” according to the IRS. For an improvement to be considered substantial, it must fall under one of the following categories:

  • Adds to the value of your home

  • Prolongs your home's useful life

  • Adapts your home to new uses

While many lenders require borrowers to have good to excellent credit, several lenders offer personal loans for bad credit. Just keep in mind that bad credit loans usually come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans — meaning you’ll pay more for the loan overall.

If you’re struggling to get approved for a home improvement loan, consider applying with a cosigner who has good credit. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than you’d get by applying alone.

Just remember that your cosigner will share responsibility for the loan — which means they’ll be on the hook if you can’t keep up with your payments.

The best lender for your home improvement loan depends on a number of factors, including your financial situation, credit score and history, home renovation plans, funding needs, preferred repayment terms, and the scope of your home improvement project. Only by comparing as many lenders as you can will you find the right loan for your situation.

When you compare lenders, don’t just focus on the interest rates. Make sure you also consider how repayment terms and fees might affect your loan costs.

Several Credible partner lenders provide loans specifically for home renovations:

  • Avant: Access $2,000 to $35,000 in home improvement loans from Avant for terms of two to five years at APRs ranging from 9.95%-35.99%.

  • Axos Bank: You can borrow between $10,000 and $50,000 from Axos to fund your home repairs. Terms range from three to six years and rates range from 7.29% to 17.99% APR.

  • Best Egg: Best Egg offers home improvement loans ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, terms of two to five years, and rates ranging between 4.99% and 35.99% APR.

  • LendingClub: Borrowers can access up to $40,000 for their home improvement project from LendingClub , with repayment terms of three or five years and rates ranging from 7.04% to 35.89% APR. LendingClub also allows cosigners, which could help you secure a lower interest rate.

  • LendingPoint: LendingPoint offers loans for home improvement projects ranging from $2,000 to $36,500s. Terms range from two to four years and rates range from 7.99% to 35.99% APR.

  • LightStream: If you need to finance a large home renovation project, LightStream may be the right lender for you. Its loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 with terms of two to 20 years (depending on your credit) at rates of 3.99% to 19.99% APR.

  • Marcus: Borrowers can access loans of $3,500 to $40,000 from Marcus, with terms ranging from three to six years and at rates ranging from 6.99% to 19.99% APR.

  • OneMain Financial: Home improvement loans from OneMain Financial are available in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $20,000 with terms from two to five years. Because the lender doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement its rates are fairly high, ranging from 18.0% to 35.99% APR.

  • PenFed: With PenFed, you can borrow up to $50,000 with terms from one to five years and rates ranging from 5.49% to 17.99% APR.

  • Prosper: Loans from Prosper work well for borrowers with home improvement projects. Loans range from $2,000 to $40,000 with three- or five-year terms and rates from 7.95% to 35.99% APR.

  • SoFi: You can access loans of $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms from two to seven years from SoFi, and can expect rates ranging from 6.99% to 22.28% APR.

  • Upgrade: It’s fitting that Upgrade offers home improvement loans to help you upgrade your property. You can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with two- to six-year terms and rates ranging from 5.94% to 35.97% APR.

  • Upstart: You can borrow up to $50,000 from Upstart for your home renovation project. Choose between a three- and five- year term, and expect rates from 4.37% to 35.99% APR.