73.7 F
Washington D.C.
Sunday, August 1, 2021
Advertisement

The Best Home Improvement Loans of 2021

Must Read


Home improvement loans help you finance renovations, updates and repairs that can add value and enjoyment to your home. Many homeowners are making alterations big and small and seeking home improvement financing for them as the coronavirus pandemic means needing space for work and school at home.

If you’re looking for a way to pay, you’ll first need to understand how home improvement loans work and compare financing options. This guide covers home improvement loan types, costs, qualification requirements and steps to choose the best home improvement loans.

If you’re ready to finance home improvements, start here. What you’ll learn:

  • What is a home improvement loan?
  • What type of home improvement loan is best?
  • How can you get a home improvement loan?
  • How can you choose the best home improvement lender?

What Are the Best Home Improvement Loans of 2021?

Best online bank for customer service

Ally Bank is a Detroit-based online bank. Ally offers traditional banking products and services, such as conventional mortgages, as well as refinance loans and jumbo home loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, ARM, home equity loans, refinancing, HomeReady for first-time homebuyers
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $4 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A program is available for first-time homebuyers.

  • Existing Ally customers can get a closing cost discount.

See full profile

Best for large loan amounts

Bank of America serves roughly 66 million customers in all 50 states. The lender offers conventional, Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and jumbo loans, as well as home equity lines of credit and mortgage refinancing.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, Affordable Loan Solution, FHA, VA, ARM, home equity line of credit, fixed-rate refinancing, FHA refinancing, VA refinancing, cash-out refinancing, adjustable-rate refinancing, jumbo
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $2.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Bank of America has a wide variety of mortgage products.

  • The lender offers origination fee discounts for qualifying Bank of America and Merrill Lynch clients.

  • Home equity lines of credit have no annual, application or cash advance fees or closing costs.

  • Bank of America offers a first-time homebuyer program.

See full profile

Best for low down payment

PNC Bank is one of the largest U.S. banks, serving more than 8 million customers in all 50 states. PNC offers most types of mortgages.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, FHA, VA, USDA, ARM, home equity line of credit, refinancing, medical professional mortgage program, jumbo, PNC Community
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Multiple types of mortgages are available.

  • Some mortgage options require no or low down payments.

  • PNC supplies an online home ownership cost tool.

See full profile

Best for no down payment

Alliant Credit Union is a nonprofit financial cooperative. The credit union serves customers in all 50 states. Mortgage products include conventional, jumbo and refinancing loans, and home equity lines of credit.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: Traditional, ARM, refinancing, home equity line of credit, Alliant Advantage Mortgage
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $2.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No-down-payment mortgages are available for first-time homebuyers with excellent credit.

  • Mortgages are available to borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 620.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

Flagstar offers banking and lending products in every state. Borrowers can select from conventional or government-backed mortgages, such as FHA, VA and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, and opt for adjustable-rate mortgages. Other choices include home equity loans and lines of credit.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, VA, ARM, FHA, USDA, jumbo, refinance, home equity
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Flagstar Bank provides a broad selection of mortgages and home equity loans.

  • Some mortgages require no or a low down payment.

  • Borrowers can apply for loans online.

See full profile

Best for conventional mortgage

Citizens Bank is a regional bank based in Providence, Rhode Island. It offers traditional banking services and products, including home loans and mortgage refinance loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, ARM, refinance, HELOC, jumbo, fixed rate
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Citizens Bank provides a homebuying service with rewards for borrowers in select states.

  • Homebuyers can get an interest rate discount for qualifying automatic payments.

  • Borrowers can apply online.

See full profile

Best for low APR

New American Funding is a national mortgage lender with a variety of home loan options. The lender has processed more than $27 billion in mortgages.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: ARM, cash-out refinance, conventional, FHA, HELOCs, jumbo, reverse, USDA and VA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Provides multiple mortgage options, including low and no down-payment loans

  • Offers fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages

See full profile

Best for low down payment

Spring EQ is a Philadelphia-based home equity lender. Home equity loans are available in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia, and Spring EQ has plans to expand into more.

Highlights

  • Mortgage types offered: Home Equity
  • Minimum FICO score: N/A
  • Max LTV: 100%
  • Max DTI: N/A
  • Closing costs: N/A
  • Equity required: N/A
  • J.D. Power satisfaction rating: N/A

Best Features

  • Loan limits ranging from $20,000 to $250,000.

  • Reduced fees for loans more than $80,000.

  • Loan funding in as little 14 days.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

Guaranteed Rate has served millions of Americans since 2000 with more than $150 billion in loan volume. This lender has no minimum loan amount.

Highlights:

  • Minimum FICO score: 580 (FHA)
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: N/A
  • Loan amounts: No minimum
  • Total closing costs: Varies
  • J.D. Power overall satisfaction rating: Two out of five

Best Features

  • Provides qualifying borrowers with a 10-minute closing process.

See full profile

The Best Personal Loans for Home Improvement

LightStream

2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Upstart

8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Payoff

5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Rocket Loans

7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Avant

9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

SoFi

5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Best Egg

4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

LendingClub

10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Peerform

5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Upgrade

7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Discover

6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Axos Bank

6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

FreedomPlus

7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Prosper

7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

U.S. Bank

6.49% to 16.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.49% to 16.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

2.49% to 19.99% $100,000 660

6.49% to 17.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

8.69% to 35.99% $50,000 620

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 640

7.16% to 29.99% $45,000 Not disclosed

9.95% to 35.95% $35,000 550

6.99% to 19.99% $40,000 660

5.99% to 18.28% $100,000 680

4.99% to 29.99% $50,000 640

10.68% to 35.89% $40,000 600

5.99% to 29.99% $25,000 600

7.99% to 35.97% $50,000 Not disclosed

9.99% to 35.99% $25,000 600

6.99% to 24.99% $35,000 660

6.49% to 29.99% $35,000 720

7.99% to 29.99% $40,000 620

7.95% to 35.99% $40,000 640

6.49% to 16.99% $25,000 680

Best for low interest

LightStream is the national online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which in 2019 became Truist after merging with BB&T. The key feature of LightStream’s online personal loans is that they can be up to $100,000 and used for nearly any reason, outside of refinancing existing LightStream loans. Personal loans are available to borrowers with good to excellent credit in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A variety of loan uses are available.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

See full profile

Best for low minimum loan amounts

PenFed Credit Union serves members of the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, military associations, eligible veterans and retirees, and their families. However, military association is not required to apply for a loan or become a credit union member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members and eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Terms of up to 60 months.

  • There are no origination fees.

  • Borrowers can get access to funds as early as the day after approval.

See full profile

Best for customer service

Upstart is an online marketplace lender that connects borrowers and investors to originate personal loans. It offers loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair to excellent credit nationwide, with the exception of Iowa and West Virginia residents. Since it was established in 2012, more than $7 billion in loans have been originated. Many loan decisions made through the platform are automated and use artificial intelligence.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Upstart may accept applicants with fair credit or even those with no credit history, using artificial intelligence to quantify risk.

  • Upstart loans as low as $1,000 are available in most states.

  • The lender’s credit dashboard allows borrowers to see the impact of loan repayments and to modify payment dates.

See full profile

Best for debt consolidation

Payoff offers personal loans designed to consolidate credit card and other high-interest debt. It operates in most states and provides loans of up to $40,000.

Payoff is not a bank; instead, it works with lending partners that originate loans. The company, which considers itself a financial wellness firm, is based in California.

In 2017, Payoff launched a sister company called Happy Money, which takes a psychological approach to money matters. Today, Payoff is a service under the Happy Money umbrella.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers don’t face prepayment or late fees.

  • Borrowers can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may be eligible.

See full profile

Best for digital customer care

Rocket Loans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa, West Virginia and Nevada. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available in some cases.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

See full profile

Best for risky borrowers

Since 2012, Avant has provided access to personal loans to more than 800,000 borrowers nationwide. Borrowers may qualify with fair to excellent credit and can borrow from $2,000 to $35,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Loans as low as $2,000 are available.

  • Funding can happen as early as the next business day after approval.

See full profile

Best for no origination fee

Marcus is the consumer bank and lending arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Established in 2016, the lender offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Marcus does not charge any fees on its personal loans.

  • Borrowers can adjust their payment due date.

See full profile

Best for loans of up to $100,000 with no fees

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The lender operates nationwide, but does not offer personal loans in Mississippi, and is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, student loan refinancing, home loans and small business financing.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • SoFi offers no-fee loans, including no late fees.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

  • Co-borrowers are accepted.

See full profile

Best for bad credit

Best Egg is a national online lender offering personal loans starting at $2,000 for a variety of purposes. Loans can be funded in as little as one business day.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funding typically takes one to three business days upon approval.

  • The minimum loan amount is $2,000 in most states.

  • Borrowers incur no prepayment penalty.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors through its network of lending partners. LendingClub initially launched on Facebook and has evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender. Borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa and U.S. territories who have fair to excellent credit can get $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: not rated

Best Features

  • Loans of $1,000 or more are available.

  • Joint applications are accepted.

  • Borrowers can qualify with fair to excellent credit.

See full profile

What Is a Home Improvement Loan?

A home improvement loan is financing you use to pay for home remodeling or repairs. When you get a home improvement loan, you use the loan funds to pay your contractor or buy supplies to complete the work, then pay the loan off over time. A home improvement loan is helpful if you don’t have cash to pay upfront for home improvement expenses.

Home equity loans and personal loans are the most common types of home improvement loans, but there are other options, such as cash-out refinancing. Banks, credit unions and online lenders may offer home improvement loans.

What Type of Home Improvement Loan Is Best?

The type of loan you choose will depend in large part on the scale of your home improvement project. For minor projects like painting, a short-term personal loan or even using a credit card might be the best option. For major projects like a roof or room addition, you may need to tap into your home’s equity by securing a home equity loan.

A home equity loan is a second mortgage offered by banks, credit unions and other lenders that is secured by the equity in your home. You have two options for a home equity loan: a traditional home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.

With a home equity loan, you repay the balance with equal monthly payments over a fixed term, just like your original mortgage. A HELOC works more like a credit card, allowing you to use your home equity line during the draw period and repay it over time. With either option, if you don’t repay the loan as agreed, your lender can foreclose on your home.

Another option for tapping equity is a cash-out refinance. However, instead of taking out a second mortgage as you would with a home equity loan, a cash-out refinance replaces your original mortgage. You’ll access your equity to get cash at closing, which you can use to make home improvements. Your refinanced home loan will have a new balance, payment, interest rate and repayment terms.

How much equity can you borrow?

Lenders usually limit total loans to 85% of the value of your home. This is the total loan-to-value ratio. However, some offer home equity loans that bring your total mortgaged value up to 100%.

As with any loan, the actual amount offered depends on additional factors, including your annual income and credit history.

Typically, home equity loans have fixed interest rates. The rates stay the same over the life of the loan, so your monthly payments never change.

HELOC interest rates are generally variable, which means they can go up or down according to a benchmark rate.

Home equity loan interest rates are typically slightly higher than mortgage rates. Your home improvement loan rate will depend on your home’s value, loan terms and amount, your credit history and score, income, and mortgage balance.

The annual percentage rate determines how much interest and additional costs, such as fees, you’ll pay to the lender over the life of the loan. The lower the home improvement loan rate, the less the loan will cost you overall, so search for the most competitive rate you can qualify for.

Fees can include closing costs, late fees and processing fees. Lenders may roll fees, closing costs and other costs, such as the origination fee, appraisal, title search and credit report fee, into the loan balance so you don’t have to pay these costs at closing.

Home Equity Loan Advantages

  • Lower interest rates. Home equity loans typically have much lower interest rates than unsecured loans, like an unsecured personal loan. There is less risk for the lender because your loan is secured by your home, and lower risk translates to lower interest rates.
  • Potentially larger loan amount. Home equity loans are generally limited to 85% of the value of your home minus what you still owe on your current mortgage. That may offer a larger maximum loan amount than a personal loan.
  • Tax deduction. You can deduct home improvement loan interest on a home equity loan if you’re making capital improvements to your home and your combined first and second mortgage debt does not exceed $750,000.

Home Equity Loan Disadvantages

  • Reduction of equity. When you draw on your home equity, it’s not equity anymore. Any amount that you borrow takes away from the equity you’ve built.
  • Risk of foreclosure. The lender can foreclose on your home if you fail to repay the loan, as your home improvement loan is secured by your home.
  • Long-term payments. Small or short-term home improvement projects aren’t well- suited for home equity loans. Using a long-term loan for a short-term expense may cost more in interest than a comparatively shorter-term personal loan.
  • Greater liability. You’ll have to pay off all mortgages, including your home equity loan, if you sell your home. While home renovations can increase your home’s value, they do not typically offer a 100% return on investment, so don’t count on being able to cover your home equity loan balance with a higher sales price.
  • Qualification. Home equity requirements for credit score, loan-to-value ratio and income can be strict. You might not need excellent credit, but good credit and enough equity in your property are typically required. You’re not likely to be approved for a home equity loan with fair credit or bad credit.

Using a personal loan for home improvement is like any unsecured loan. It’s not secured by your home, and your home improvement loan rate depends on your creditworthiness. Personal loans usually have a fixed interest rate, which means you can reliably schedule monthly payments into your budget.

The payback period on personal loans, typically two to five years, is shorter than on home equity loans, which can be up to 30 years.

Personal loans generally have loan amounts between $1,000 and $100,000.

Personal loan rates have an APR that includes interest rates, fees and other costs. Although personal loans are usually offered at fixed interest rates, some lenders offer variable-rate personal loans.

Personal loan rates may vary based on your credit and other factors, ranging from about 4% to 36%. Unsecured personal loans will typically have a higher interest rate than a home equity loan, but you might qualify for a lower interest rate if you have excellent credit and high income, which lessen the risk for the lender that you will repay the loan.

Application or origination fee. The application or origination fee is what you pay the lender to process the loan. It’s common for lenders to roll the origination fee into the loan balance rather than as a closing cost. Personal loan origination fees are usually between 1% and 6%.

Late fee. Expect a late fee if your payment is not on time. Lenders may offer a grace period of 10 to 15 days, after which a late fee applies. These fees typically range from $15 to 5% of the payment due.

Other fees. Some lenders charge additional fees, including returned payment or check processing fees.

  • You don’t need equity. Personal loans don’t draw on your home’s equity, so you can qualify even if you don’t have significant equity in your home. Mindy Jensen, real estate investment community manager at BiggerPockets, a real estate investing information and resource company, recommends taking out a personal loan if you don’t have significant equity in your home.
  • You can borrow smaller loan amounts. Personal loans are available for as little as $1,000, but home equity loans often have a minimum of at least $10,000.
  • Easier access to funding. While home equity loans require extensive documentation and closing, a personal loan is much simpler to obtain. You can apply online and may receive funds as soon as the next business day. And personal loan eligibility requirements may be looser than those of home equity loans.

Personal Loan Disadvantages

  • Higher interest rates. Typically, personal loans have higher interest rates than home equity loans, so you’ll pay more to borrow with a personal loan.
  • Shorter repayment periods. Personal loans usually have a repayment period of two to five years, while most home equity loans have repayment terms of up to 30 years. A shorter repayment period can be good for quickly paying off small amounts, but if you’re financing an expensive home improvement project on a short repayment period, the monthly payments may be too large for your budget.

How Can You Get a Home Improvement Loan?

Before you apply for a home improvement loan, determine the best home improvement loan options for you. Understand how much you need to borrow, the terms that work for you, and what you should do to find the best home improvement loan rates.

Know when to get a home improvement loan.

Apply for a home improvement loan well before you plan to start improvements, advises Charles Nilsen, executive vice president and national director of residential and personal lending at Boston Private wealth management company. He advises borrowers to start the process at least 30 days in advance to allow time for loan processing.

Determine how much you need.

Consider your home improvement project amount and leave room for error. Jensen cautions against taking out a property improvement loan that strains your finances to make cosmetic improvements. It isn’t worth going into foreclosure just to have a nicer kitchen, she says.

Determine your preferred loan term.

Consider your budget and how quickly you can pay off the loan. A long-term home equity loan makes sense for some long-term improvements, such as a room addition or new roof. But you shouldn’t get a 30-year loan for minor home renovations that will be replaced before you’re done paying for them, such as flooring.

Get prequalified with lenders to compare home improvement loan rates and terms. You can get prequalified with multiple lenders by sharing your Social Security number and other basic information, but you should verify they are only performing a soft credit check, as multiple hard inquiries can ding your credit rating.

Consider your eligibility.

Before you apply, consider how qualified you are for the loan. Your credit history and credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio are important factors in approval and qualifying for the best rates.

Home improvement lenders typically have minimum credit score requirements to be approved for a home improvement loan. Generally, you’ll need at least a 620 FICO credit score to be approved for a home improvement loan. Review your credit report to check for errors and work on paying down debt, especially on any delinquent accounts, before you apply for a home improvement loan.

How Can You Choose the Best Home Improvement Lender?

Compare home improvement lenders to find the loan that aligns with your needs. The best lender for you offers a loan that you can qualify for at the right amount with the lowest APR.

Focus on these four key areas when choosing a home improvement lender: eligibility requirements, loan amounts, APR and customer service.

Don’t waste time and money applying for a loan you won’t be approved for. Find out a lender’s minimum qualifications and get prequalified with the lenders most likely to grant you the loan.

All home equity loans have maximum loan-to-value amounts. Some have minimum and maximum loan amounts as well, regardless of your needs or your home’s equity. You don’t want to choose a lender that requires you to take out a loan larger than you need, and you don’t want to pick one that won’t lend you enough for your purposes.

Compare home improvement rates by getting prequalified rate quotes. Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples when you consider a loan’s APR and fees. A lender may have no closing costs and a higher APR that could cost you more in the long run than a lender with some closing costs that offers lower interest.

View More Best Personal Loans for Home Improvement

Best for peer-to-peer loans of up to $25,000

Peerform is a marketplace lending platform that connects borrowers nationwide with investors. Borrowers with a credit score of 600 or higher may qualify for loans of up to $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans and lines of credits nationwide. Borrowers can qualify for up to $50,000 in financing.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans and lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for FICO scores between 580 and 669

LendingPoint, which specializes in loans for borrowers with fair credit, has offered online personal loans since 2014. The lender, operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia, provides loans as large as $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are available as soon as one day after approval.

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Discover is a digital bank and payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The lender boasts no fees as long as you pay on time.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Discover has no fees other than a late fee.

  • Customizable loan terms from 36 to 84 months.

  • Borrowers get free access to their FICO credit score.

See full profile

Best for flexible loan terms

Axos Bank launched in 2000 and is owned by San Diego-based Axos Financial. You won’t find any brick-and-mortar branches, but the bank has offices throughout the country. Aside from personal loans, Axos Bank offers CDs, plus checking, savings, money market and retirement accounts.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 720
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • The loan application process is completely digital because Axos Bank is online only.

  • Flexible loan terms are one to five years.

  • You can borrow between $5,000 and $35,000.

See full profile

Best for below-average credit

FreedomPlus is an online lender offering personal loans ranging from $7,500 to $40,000. Loans are available to qualified borrowers with a minimum FICO credit score of 620.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify for a loan.

  • Loans of up to $40,000 are available.

  • Same-day approval is available, with loans funded in as little as 48 hours.

See full profile

Best for post-sales support

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows borrowers to apply online for fixed-rate, fixed-term loans. Prosper matches borrowers with partner investors including Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Credit Suisse Fund. Since its founding in 2005, Prosper has expedited more than $18 billion in loans. Prosper lends to borrowers with fair to excellent credit with a minimum 640 FICO score.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Prosper offers preapproval with a soft credit check.

  • Small-dollar loans of $2,000 or more are available.

  • Joint personal loans are available.

See full profile

Best for short-term loans

U.S. Bank offers both short- and long-term personal loans with fixed interest rates.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: three to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are paid out relatively quickly.

  • U.S. Bank doesn’t charge an origination fee.

See full profile

Advertising Disclosure: Some of the loan offers on this site are from companies
who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact
where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions,
such as which loan products we write about and how we evaluate them. This site
does not include all loan companies or all loan offers available in the marketplace.

- Advertisement -spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest News

Covid Cases Are Rising. This Is What Americans Think We Should Do.

Cases of COVID-19 are surging in the U.S., largely due to the spread of the delta variant. Earlier...
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img
Translate »