Best Home Improvement Loans Home improvement loans can help you finance repairs, renovations and additions to your home. Compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best rates and terms.
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An unsecured home improvement loan can help you pay for renovations and repairs. You can use this type of personal loan to upgrade your kitchen, install a swimming pool or repair your roof.
Home improvement loans let you finance a renovation without using your home as collateral. They’re also usually funded more quickly than other financing options. Compare offers from multiple lenders to find a loan that suits the size of your project and your budget.
Best home improvement loans:
- Best for joint loans with low rates: SoFi.
- Best for low rates and long repayment terms: LightStream.
- Best for credit-building tools: Upgrade.
- Best for low rates and midsize loans: Marcus.
- Best for excellent-credit borrowers: Discover.
- Best for existing bank customers: Wells Fargo.
- Best for fast approval: Rocket Loans.
- Best for secured loans: Best Egg.
- Best for credit union members: Navy Federal.
What is a home improvement loan?
A home improvement loan is an unsecured personal loan that you use to cover the costs of upgrades or repairs. Lenders provide these loans for up to $100,000. A home improvement loan comes in a lump sum, and you repay it in monthly installments, usually over two to 12 years.
Because you don’t use the house as collateral for this type of loan, the interest rate is based on information like your credit and income. If you can’t repay a home improvement loan, your credit will take a hit. Best Home Improvement Loans Best Home Improvement Loans
Home improvement loans vs. equity financing
A home improvement loan makes sense if you don’t have enough equity in the home or don’t want to use it as collateral. Equity is the difference between the home’s value and the amount owed on your mortgage.
If you have equity, you could get a lower monthly payment on a home equity loan or line of credit, but the lender may require an appraisal before approval.
Home equity loan
Home equity loans come in lump sums and have fixed interest rates, so monthly payments never change. You repay this loan in monthly installments on a term of up to 15 years.
Compare to personal loans: Home equity loans work similarly to personal loans, but they often have lower rates and longer repayment terms.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s best home equity loans
Home equity line of credit
A HELOC is an open credit line that you draw on as needed during a renovation and only pay interest on what you borrow. This is a variable-rate option that works best if you don’t mind a fluctuating monthly payment and need more borrowing flexibility.
Compare to personal loans: A HELOC lets you borrow at any time over a period of about 10 years, which can be ideal for long-term projects or unexpected expenses. A personal loan offers a one-time cash influx. Best Home Improvement Loans
» MORE: NerdWallet’s best HELOC lenders
Home improvement loan pros and cons
Here are the pros and cons of using personal loans for home improvement projects. Best Home Improvement Loans
- Payments are fixed. Personal loans have fixed monthly payments, so you can reliably budget for them.
- Funding is fast. Online applications typically take a few minutes, and funds are often available within a day or two, while funds from a HELOC or home equity loan can take a few weeks.
- No collateral required. Unlike an auto or home loan, unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, so the lender can’t take your possessions if you don’t make the payments.
- They can have high rates. Since the loan is unsecured, the interest rate may be higher than on a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, which typically have rates in the single digits.
- No tax benefits. You can’t claim a tax deduction on the interest on personal loans as you might be able to do with mortgage interest.
- Best Home Improvement Loans
- Best Home Improvement Loans Best Home Improvement Loans
How to compare home improvement loans
Shopping around and pre-qualifying can help you find the loan with the best rate and features. These are a few important features to compare among home improvement loans:
- Annual percentage rates: APRs represent the entire cost of the loan, including any fees the lender may charge. If you’re a member of a credit union, that may be the best place to start. The maximum APR at federal credit unions is 18%.
- Loan amount: Some lenders cap amounts at $35,000 or $40,000. If you think your project will cost more than that, look for a lender that offers higher loan amounts.
- Loan term: A loan with a long repayment term may have low monthly payments, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of that loan than one with a shorter repayment term. You can use a home improvement loan calculator to see estimated payments on loans with different terms.
- Ability to add a co-signer or co-borrower: Some lenders let you add a co-signer or co-borrower to your loan application. Adding someone with better credit or higher income to the loan application may help reduce your APR or increase the amount you can borrow.
Home improvement loan rates
Current home improvement loan rates are between 4.99% and 35.99%. Lenders decide your rate on a home improvement loan primarily by using your credit score, credit history and debt-to-income ratio. Best Home Improvement Loans