Home Improvement Loan Options
Looking to remodel your kitchen, finish your basement, or plant a garden? A loan through CreditLief.com can help you upgrade your home without refinancing or using equity.
Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or replacing your roof, you have many options to pay for home improvements, including a home equity loan and credit cards. But if you don’t have a lot of equity in your home or you’d rather not rack up credit card debt, consider a home improvement loan. Your home is an investment, and home improvement loans can offer the funding you need to strengthen that investment with renovations, updates, and repairs. However, there are risks involved, and not all home improvement loans are the same.
A personal loan used for home improvement is like any unsecured personal loan: It’s not guaranteed by your home, the rate you receive depends on your creditworthiness, and it’s usually fixed, which means you can reliably schedule monthly payments into a budget. Consider a personal loan if you don’t have much equity in your home, the project is relatively small and you can pay off the loan within seven years. All lenders look at your credit, but some online lenders also consider other factors, such as education, income, and profession. Most lenders offer the same range of rates for their personal loans regardless of why you’re borrowing.
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Good job CreditLief. I don’t like to leave comments or testimonials on sites but in this case, I feel like I needed to. I will be returning here if I need to borrow again.
Mary E.Downey, CA
Improve your home, & the life you live there.
- Purchase new furniture
- Setup a home security system
- Upgrade kitchen appliances
- Finish your basement
- Plant a garden
Details about home improvement loans
You can use a personal loan for any purpose, whether it’s for a major home repair, a kitchen remodel or a smaller project. You control how you use the funds. Since the loan is unsecured, the interest rate may be higher than on a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Rates from online lenders range from 4% to 36%. Current rates for home equity loans and HELOCs are usually in the single digits. Online applications typically take a few minutes, and funds are available within a day or two at some lenders, although this may depend on how fast you complete the application and submit the necessary documents. You can’t claim a tax deduction on the interest as you can with mortgage payments.
Is this different from a home equity loan?
A home equity loan is when a borrower uses the value of his or her home as collateral. This means that if property values decline, banks may refuse to issue loans to previously eligible borrowers. Personal loans are issued based on a borrower’s creditworthiness and not the equity of their home. Funds are also directly deposited to your bank account so you can use the funds in a way that best suits your needs.
How much equity can you borrow?
Lenders usually limit total loans to 85 percent 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 percent.
For example, if you originally bought your home for $250,000 and have since paid $60,000 on your mortgage, you now have $60,000 in equity and a loan balance of $190,000, provided that your home’s value has remained the same. Combined with your first mortgage, a lender typically would allow you to borrow up to 85 percent of the value of your home, or $212,500. After subtracting what you still owe on your mortgage, you have $22,500 in available equity left to borrow. Like with any loan, the actual amount offered depends on additional factors, including your income and credit history.
More home improvement loan options
If you don’t qualify for an online personal loan or you want to try to get a lower rate, here are some other potential options.
Credit unions: Your local credit union may be the best place to get a personal loan, especially if your credit isn’t perfect. Credit unions offer lower rates than online lenders, and they try to make sure your loan is affordable. The maximum annual percentage rate at federal credit unions is 18%.
Federal programs: Some government programs can help pay for a home renovation. The Federal Housing Administration has two programs: Title I loans and Energy Efficient Mortgages.
Under Title I, the Department of Housing and Urban Development authorizes lenders in each state to make home renovation loans, with rates based on market rates and your creditworthiness. Look for a “Title I Home Improvement” lender in your state on the HUD website.
The Energy Efficient Mortgage program lets homeowners finance part of their energy efficiency improvements, such as solar panel roofing, wall insulation and furnace duct repairs.
Credit cards: If you have excellent credit and a small- to medium-sized home improvement project, you can apply for a 0% interest credit card to cover the expenses. If you qualify, you’ll pay no interest charges for a promotional period, typically 12 to 18 months.
However, as with any credit card, you may be tempted to overspend, and using too much of your available credit limit can hurt your credit score.
Home equity loans and HELOCs: If your credit isn’t great and you have equity in your home, you may be better off with a low-interest secured loan.
Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit are popular ways to finance a home renovation, and both are cheaper than personal loans, with longer repayment terms up to 20 years. Keep in mind that you can lose your home if you fail to repay the loan.