Best Home Improvement Loans in March 2024

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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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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Compare home improvement loan lenders

Written by Amanda Push | Edited by Katie Lowery and Pearly Huang | Reviewed February 28, 2024

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
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.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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.
LenderUser ratingsBest for...APR rangeLoan amountsLoan terms
Best Egg logo
(2,467)
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Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Secured loans8.99%-35.99%$2,000-$50,00036 to 60 monthsSee Personalized Results
Discover personal loans logo
(1,593)
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Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Good-credit borrowers7.99%-24.99%$2,500-$40,00036 to 84 monthsSee Personalized Results
LightStream logo
(246)
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Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Long-term loans7.99% - 20.99% (with autopay)$5,000-$100,00024 to 144 monthsSee Personalized Results
Navy Federal Credit Union logoUser ratings coming soonBorrowers with military connections8.99%-18.00%Not specifiedUp to 180 monthsSee Personalized Results
PenFed logo
(14)
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Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Short-term loans7.99%-17.99%$600-$50,00012 to 60 monthsSee Personalized Results
SoFi logo
(97)
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Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Same-day funding8.99%-29.99% (with discounts)$5,000-$100,00024 to 84 monthsSee Personalized Results
Upgrade logo
(2,184)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Joint loans8.49%-35.99% (with autopay)$1,000-$50,00024 to 84 monthsSee Personalized Results
Upstart logo
(16,291)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Fair- or bad- credit borrowers7.80%-35.99%$1,000-$50,00036 and 60 monthsSee Personalized Results

Read about how we chose our top lenders for home improvement loans.


Home improvement loans at a glance

Best Egg logo

Best Egg: Best for secured loans

  • Loan amounts: $2,000–$50,000
  • APR: 8.99%–35.99%
  • Terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 8.99%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 600
ProsCons

  No prepayment penalties

  Offers both secured and unsecured loans

  Low credit score requirement

  Lowest rates require high income

  Charges origination fee (0.99% - 8.99%)

  High maximum APR (35.99%)

See Your Personalized Results

Discover Personal Loans logo

Discover: Best for good-credit borrowers

  • Loan amounts: $2,500–$40,000
  • APR: 7.99%–24.99%
  • Terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Minimum credit requirement: 720
ProsCons

  No origination fees

  Long loan terms available

  Competitive interest rates

  Charges late fees

  No option for co-applicants

  Bad credit borrowers may not qualify

See Your Personalized Results

Consumers Credit Union

LightStream: Best for long-term loans

  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • APR: 7.99% – 20.99% (with autopay)
  • Terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Minimum credit requirement: Not specified
ProsCons

  Large maximum loan amounts

  Long loan terms

  Doesn’t charge any fees

  Borrowers with low credit may not qualify

  No option to prequalify

  High minimum borrowing amounts

See Your Personalized Results

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Loan amounts: Not specified
  • APR: 8.99%–18.00%
  • Terms: Up to 180 months
  • Origination fee: None
  • Minimum credit requirement: Not specified
ProsCons

  Same-day funding available

  No origination fees

  Long loan terms

  Must have military connection

  Minimum and maximum loan amounts not specified

See Your Personalized Results

PenFed logo

PenFed Credit Union: Best for short-term loans

  • Loan amounts: $600–$50,000
  • APR: 7.99%–17.99%
  • Terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: None
  • Minimum credit requirement: 700
ProsCons

  No origination fees

  Funding within one to two business days

  Flexible repayment terms

  Must be member to qualify

  Unclear criteria to qualify for loan

  Charges $29 late payment fees

See Your Personalized Results

SoFi logo

SoFi: Best for same-day funding

  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • APR: 8.99%–29.99% (with discounts)
  • Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 7.00%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 680
ProsCons

  Same-day funding available

  Offers large loan amounts

  Provide options for long loan terms

  No required fees

  High minimum loan amount

  Borrowers with low credit may not qualify

  May have to accept origination fee for lower rates

See Your Personalized Results

Upgrade logo

Upgrade: Best for joint loans

  • Loan amounts: $1,000–$50,000
  • APR: 8.49%–35.99% (with autopay)
  • Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Origination fee: 1.85% - 9.99%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 580
ProsCons

  Option to apply for joint loan

  Long repayment terms

  Low minimum credit score requirement (580)

  1.85% - 9.99% origination fee

  High maximum APR

  Charges late fees

See Your Personalized Results

Upstart logo

Upstart: Best for fair- and bad-credit borrowers

  • Loan amounts: $1,000–$50,000
  • APR: 7.80%–35.99%
  • Terms: 36 and 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 12.00%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 300
ProsCons

  Quick funding timeline (one business day)

  Flexible loan amounts

  Low minimum credit score

  Charges origination fees

  Limited loan terms

  No option for joint applications

See Your Personalized Results

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 averaged-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.