Best Home Improvement Loans in July 2024

Checking rates won't affect your credit score

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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Written by Amanda Push | Edited by Katie Lowery and Pearly Huang | Reviewed July 19, 2024

Best For:
Secured loans
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Best For:
Good-credit borrowers
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Best For:
Long-term loans
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Best For:
Same-day funding
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Best For:
Short-term loans
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Best For:
Joint loans
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Best For:
Fair- or bad- credit
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Best For:
Military connections
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More Options

Home improvement loans at a glance

Best Egg: Best for secured loans

$2,000-$50,000

8.99%-35.99%

36 to 60 months

0.99% - 9.99%

600

Pros

  • No prepayment penalties
  • Offers both secured and unsecured loans
  • Low credit score requirement

Cons

  • Lowest rates require high income
  • Charges origination fee (0.99% - 9.99%)
  • High maximum APR (35.99%)

What to know

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Best Egg offers both secured and unsecured loans to its customers. A secured loan can help you access lower rates if you have bad credit since your loan is backed by collateral. If you want to qualify for this lender’s lowest rates, you’ll need a credit score of at least 700 and a minimum annual income of $100,000. While it can take up to three days to receive funding, about half of borrowers receive funds within one business day.

Eligibility requirements

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Best Egg looks for the following criteria when considering potential customers:

  • Minimum credit score of 600
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must not live in the following areas: Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, District of Columbia, U.S. territories

Discover: Best for good-credit borrowers

$2,500-$40,000

7.99%-24.99%

36 to 84 months

No origination fee

720

Pros

  • No origination fees
  • Long loan terms available
  • Competitive interest rates

Cons

  • Charges late fees
  • No option for co-applicants
  • Bad credit borrowers may not qualify

What to know

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If you have good to excellent credit, you may qualify for a Discover personal loan with low interest rates. On top of that, Discover doesn’t charge any fees as long as you pay on time. If your credit score is on the low side, you might have difficulty qualifying for a loan with Discover, especially since this lender doesn’t allow you to apply for a personal loan with a cosigner or co-borrower.

Eligibility requirements

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To get approved for a home improvement loan with Discover, you’ll need to fit the following criteria:

  • 720 minimum credit score
  • Minimum income of $40,000
  • Can’t use loan funds to pay secondary education expenses or to repay secured loans or Discover credit cards
  • Have a Social Security number

LightStream: Best for long-term loans

$5,000-$100,000

7.49% - 21.94% (with autopay)

24 to 84 months

No origination fee

Not specified

Pros

  • Large maximum loan amounts
  • Long loan terms
  • Doesn’t charge any fees

Cons

  • Borrowers with low credit may not qualify
  • No option to prequalify
  • High minimum borrowing amounts

What to know

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LightStream offers loan repayment terms ranging from 24 to 84 months — the longest terms on our list of home improvement lenders. This can provide you more time to repay a loan, especially if it’s a large one. Unfortunately, LightStream doesn’t offer the option for consumers to prequalify for a loan. This means that if you want to see the rates and terms you may qualify for, you’ll have to submit to a hard credit pull.

Eligibility requirements

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If you want a LightStream home improvement loan, you’ll need the following qualifications:

  • Good or excellent credit
  • Five years or more of credit history
  • Proof of assets
  • A good debt-to-income ratio
  • A consistent payment history

PenFed Credit Union: Best for short-term loans

$600-$50,000

8.99%-17.99%

12 to 60 months

None

Not specified

Pros

  • No origination fees
  • Funding within one to two business days
  • Flexible repayment terms

Cons

  • Must be member to qualify
  • Unclear criteria to qualify for loan
  • Charges $29 late payment fees

What to know

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If you’d like to pay off your home improvement loan quickly, PenFed Credit Union comes with repayment terms as short as 12 to 60 months. This can help you save money, as you won’t pay as much in interest with a short-term loan. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to become a PenFed Credit Union member in order to receive your loan and that any late payments may come with fees as high as $29.

Eligibility requirements

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PenFed Credit Union requires that you become a member before you receive your loan. To become a member, you’ll need to open a PenFed savings account with a $5 deposit.

SoFi: Best for same-day funding

$5,000-$100,000

8.99%-29.99% (with discounts)

Pricing Disclosure

Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors. Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

24 to 84 months

0.00% - 7.00% (optional)

680

Pros

  • Same-day funding available
  • Offers large loan amounts
  • Long loan terms
  • No required fees

Cons

  • High minimum loan amount
  • Borrowers with low credit may not qualify
  • May have to accept origination fee for lower rates

What to know

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While some lenders take several days to provide your loan, SoFi offers same-day funding. This may be a good fit for consumers who need funding quickly for their home improvement project. If you’re approved for a SoFi personal loan, you have the option to accept an origination fee in exchange for lower monthly payments. However, origination fees are not required by this lender.

Eligibility requirements

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If you want a home improvement loan with SoFi, you’ll need to check the following boxes:

  • Minimum credit score of 680
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or nonpermanent resident with current immigration status (including DACA recipients and asylum seekers)
  • Must be employed or have offer to start employment in 90 days
  • Must have consistent income from other sources if not employed

Upgrade: Best for joint loans

$1,000-$50,000

8.49%-35.99% (with autopay)

24 to 84 months

1.85% - 9.99%

580

Pros

  • Option to apply for joint loan
  • Long repayment terms
  • Low minimum credit score requirement (580)

Cons

  • 1.85% - 9.99% origination fee
  • High maximum APR
  • Charges late fees

What to know

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If you don’t have great credit, you can apply for a joint personal loan through Upgrade. With a joint loan, you can apply with a second person — such as a friend or family member — to get better rates. Keep in mind, you’ll both be responsible for repaying the loan. You’ll also need to budget for a one-time origination fee, which can range from 1.85% - 9.99% and is taken out of your loan amount.

Eligibility requirements

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Other than being at least 18 years old (19 in some states), you’ll need to meet the following criteria to qualify for a loan with this loan marketplace:

  • 580 minimum credit score
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a verifiable bank account
  • Have a valid email

Upstart: Best for fair- and bad-credit borrowers

$1,000-$50,000

7.80%-35.99%

36 or 60 months

0.00% - 12.00%

300

Pros

  • Quick funding timeline (one business day)
  • Flexible loan amounts
  • Low minimum credit score

Cons

  • Charges origination fees
  • Limited loan terms
  • No option for joint applications

What to know

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With a low credit score requirement, Upstart is an accessible loan option for borrowers looking for a bad-credit personal loan. Keep in mind that if you don’t have great credit, you won’t qualify for Upstart’s lowest APRs. Upstart also charges origination fees that range from 0.00% - 12.00%, the highest on our list. This lender’s loan terms are also limited to just two options — 36 or 60 months.

Eligibility requirements

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Upstart offers clear criteria when it comes to home improvement loans:

  • 300 minimum credit score
  • Have a verifiable identity and Social Security number
  • Must be employed, have employment offer to start in six months or have another source of consistent income
  • Have a U.S. address as your current residence
  • Have a personal bank account at U.S. financial institution
  • Have a valid email address

What is a home improvement loan?

Home improvement loans are a type of personal loan that are used to pay for home improvement costs. Personal loans are lump-sum, fixed-rate loans that are repaid in monthly installments over a set period of time.

Since personal loans typically don’t require collateral, they can be an alluring alternative for homeowners who don’t want to put their home on the line with a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). However, secured personal loans also exist, and they may be an affordable alternative for borrowers with fair or bad credit.

Home improvement loans vs. home equity financing

When deciding how to finance your home improvement projects, you may be considering a personal loan, home equity loan or HELOC. Each one comes with some stark differences that may influence which option is best for you. Generally, interest rates on home equity financing tend to be lower than on unsecured personal loans.

Home equity loan

A home equity loan can help you fund your home improvements by using the equity you’ve built up in your home. You can typically borrow up to 85% of your home’s equity and receive a lump sum of money that comes with fixed APRs.

This type of loan is secured by your home, meaning your house will serve as collateral. While this can help you access lower loan rates, if you don’t keep up with your payments, you could lose your home.

Home equity line of credit

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) works like a credit card that borrows against your home’s equity. You can borrow money as you need and only pay interest on the amount you take out. HELOC lenders generally allow you to take out up to 85% of your home’s equity.

HELOCs come with variable interest rates, so your monthly payments may vary.

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Home improvement loan pros and cons

Pros

  • No collateral needed. Unlike home equity loans or HELOCs, unsecured personal loans don’t require you to use your home as collateral. That means you don’t risk losing your home if you fall behind on loan payments.
  • APR and monthly payments are consistent. With a fixed APR, personal loans offer predictable monthly loan payments, making it easy to account for home improvement spending in your monthly budget.
  • Fast funding. Personal loan funding can take one to seven business days, which can be faster than alternatives like home equity loans, since they don’t require a home appraisal. Personal loans are lump sums deposited directly into your account and come with loan use flexibility.

Cons

  • Personal loans can come with high interest rates. Personal loan APRs can get as high as 36%, particularly for bad-credit borrowers. It may not be worth the return on investment if you can only qualify for a high APR.
  • There may be better financing options available. Depending on the equity you have in your home, a home equity loan or HELOC might be a better option for you. Since they’re secured loans, they’ll typically have lower APRs, which can reduce how much you pay overall.
  • You can’t take advantage of tax benefits. Personal loan interest isn’t tax deductible, but the interest on home equity loans and HELOCs may be.

How to compare home improvement loans

Not all personal loan lenders are the same. It’s important to do your research before you settle on a lender for your home improvement loan. When comparing loan offers, consider the following factors:

  • APRs: Your annual percentage rate (APR) measures the cost of your loan, including interest and fees. The better your credit score, the lower your APR and the lower your total cost of borrowing will be. Expect to pay higher interest rates if your credit history has some blemishes.
  • Amounts: Home improvement projects can be costly, so the amount you qualify to borrow is an important consideration. When comparing lenders, be sure that they offer amounts large enough to meet your needs.
  • Terms: Your loan term is the amount of time you have to repay your loan. A short-term loan gives you less time to pay off a loan but you won’t spend as much on interest. A long-term loan, on the other hand, gives you more time for repayment but will cost you more in interest.
  • Fees: While personal loans don’t come with many fees, some lenders charge origination fee, a one-time administrative fee that comes out of your loan funds at disbursement. If you want to avoid this fee, look for no-fee personal loans.

Home improvement loan rates

The rates you qualify for on your home improvement loan will depend heavily on your credit score and background, including factors like your payment history and credit utilization ratio.

Personal loan statistics by borrower credit score

Credit score rangeAverage APRAverage loan amount
720+16.01%$18,594
680-71925.78%$15,302
660-67937.57%$11,160
640-65951.61%$8,088
620-63971.55%$6,300
580-619112.28%$4,397
560-579152.35%$3,071
Less than 560175.16%$2,405

Source: LendingTree user data on closed personal loans for the fourth quarter of 2023.

How to get a home improvement loan

Financing your home remodel could be as simple as applying for a personal loan. Each lender has their own unique application process, but you’ll typically have to verify your personal information and income.

  1. Check your credit score: You can check your credit score for free with LendingTree. Your credit score is calculated based on your activity on your credit report. You can request a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  2. Determine how much you need to borrow: Estimate the cost of your home improvement project, accounting for the cost of materials and contractor fees. Be careful not to overborrow or you’ll end up paying interest unnecessarily.
  3. Shop around with different lenders: Many lenders let you prequalify for a personal loan with a soft credit inquiry, which won’t affect your credit score. This can help you determine eligibility and estimate loan terms.
  4. Compare APRs: Once you see what you prequalify for, compare your loan options. You’ll typically want to choose the loan with the lowest APR, since it’ll cost the least to borrow.
  5. Accept your loan agreement: When you decide on a lender, you’ll need to verify the information you provided and submit to a hard credit inquiry. This will bring your credit score down by a few points. After you sign your loan agreement, most lenders disburse loan funds within a week.

Average home improvement costs

Whether you’re remodeling a bathroom or adding a new addition, the cost of home renovations can add up fast. Your total cost is going to depend on details like the scope of the project, the size of your home and the materials you use.

Home improvement projectAverage price
Minor/major kitchen remodel$24,000/$69,000
Guest bathroom remodel$14,000 to $20,000
Master bathroom remodel$30,000 and up
Roof replacement$5,000 to $13,000
Exterior painting$1,800 to $3,800
Interior painting$2 to $5 per square foot
Deck addition$12 to $15 per square foot
Solar panel installation$25,000

Sources: Home Depot, Solar Energy Industries Association

Alternative financing options for home improvement

The best way to finance your home improvements may not be a personal loan, home equity loan or HELOC, depending on your financial and credit position. Here are some other options worth considering.

  Credit cards

Credit cards allow you to finance your home improvement projects with a line of credit instead of a lump sum of money. With this approach, you’ll likely have variable interest rates, so your monthly payments may differ.

To avoid paying interest, you can apply for a 0% introductory APR credit card. Credit card companies offer these promotional offers to new customers and the 0% intro APR can last as long as 21 months. Pay the entire balance before the 0% APR promotion ends and you won’t owe anything in interest.

  Government programs

When working on your home, be sure to research government programs to compare rates and details, especially if you’re making eco home improvements.

  • Title 1 loans are for low- to moderate-income borrowers who have lived in their home for at least 90 days. These loans are offered by private lenders but are insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Energy-efficient mortgages allow you to finance any eco-friendly home improvements using an FHA-insured mortgage.
  • If you want solar panels for your home, you may qualify for a 30% federal tax credit. An average-sized solar panel system can cost around $25,000, and the tax credit can make this project more affordable. This tax incentive is available until 2032.

  Cash-out refinancing

Cash-out refinancing happens when you replace your current mortgage with a new, larger mortgage and pocket the difference, which you can use toward improving your home. Generally, you’ll need at least 20% equity built up to qualify. Use a cash-out refinance calculator to see if this option is right for you.

How we chose the best home improvement loans

We reviewed more than 25 lenders that offer personal loans to determine the overall best eight home improvement lenders. To make our list, lenders must offer competitive APRs. From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

  • Accessibility: Lenders are ranked higher if their personal loans are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification and application processes.
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

LendingTree reviews and fact-checks our top picks on a monthly basis.

Frequently asked questions

A home improvement loan works like a traditional personal loan. If a lender approves you for a loan, it will deposit a lump sum of money into your bank account and you’ll repay it in monthly installments over a predetermined period of time. Since these are typically unsecured loans, you won’t need to provide collateral.

In general, a good debt-to-income ratio — your income versus the amount of debt you have — is below 43%, though many lenders prefer a DTI lower than 35%. Since home improvement loans are generally unsecured, lenders will heavily weigh your debt-to-income ratio and credit score to determine how likely you are to repay a loan.

The type of loan that’s best for you depends on a variety of factors, including your credit score, your budget and the amount of home equity you’ve built. If you have a lot of equity in your home, a home equity loan or HELOC may be a good fit since they commonly come with low interest rates. If you have a high credit score, a home improvement loan may be best since you can qualify for a lower APR and your home won’t be used as collateral.