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Personal Loans

Best Personal Loans for Home Improvement

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From renovating a bathroom to building your dream kitchen, home improvement projects can offer a dual benefit of making your home more pleasant while increasing its value. Projects can also be expensive, leading many homeowners to finance the work by taking out an installment loan—which gives you all the money upfront and lets you pay off the loan over time.

Financing Your Home Improvement: Home Equity vs. Personal Loan

Home equity loans or lines of credit and personal loans are popular ways to finance a home improvement project.

  • If you've built equity in your home, you may be able to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). These are second mortgages that use the home as collateral, which can make it easier to qualify for a large loan amount at a low rate. A cash-out refinance, which replaces your existing mortgage with a new, larger loan, is also an option. These loans may offer a long repayment term and low monthly payments.
  • Alternatively, you could consider taking out an unsecured personal loan. With these loans, you don't have to risk your home by putting it up as collateral, and you may qualify even if you haven't built a lot of equity in the home. However, you may need good credit to qualify for a low rate or large loan amount, and the monthly payment could be high if there's a short repayment term.

Equity and credit aside, the type of project you're taking on could also influence your decision.

The interest on a home equity loan, HELOC or cash-out refinance may be tax-deductible if you use the proceeds to substantially improve your home. For example, the interest may be deductible if you use the money to build a room addition, but it won't be if you're doing repairs that simply maintain your home's condition.

There are limits on how much interest you can deduct. And, even if your project qualifies, most homeowners don't benefit from the deduction because they use the standard deduction, and mortgage interest is an itemizable deduction. If you do itemize your deductions, keep this in mind as it can impact your overall cost.

Finding the Best Personal Loan

Using a personal loan for a home improvement project could be the best option for some homeowners: An Experian survey found that 17% of personal loan borrowers used their loan this way.

You can get personal loans from a variety of lenders, including credit unions, banks and online lenders. With your project and personal finances in mind, you'll want to consider the lenders' ranges for loan amounts, interest rates, fees and repayment terms.

Here are some of the best options from Experian's partners:

Avant

Apply

on Avant's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Fair - Very Good

Est. APR

9.95 - 35.99%

Term

24

Amount

Available loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000

Estimated monthly payment: $91 to $2,048

Grace period: 10 days

Application fee: $0

Loan Details
  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $35,0001 entirely online
  • Checking your loan options will not affect your credit score
  • Funding as soon as next business day2
  • No collateral needed and customer support available 7 days a week
Disclosure

If you have fair to good credit (a score in the 600s could be high enough), look into a loan from Avant. This lender offers fixed-rate personal loans from $2,000 to $35,000 with repayment terms ranging from 24 to 60 months. When the loan is issued, Avant charges an administrative fee, similar to an origination fee, of up to 4.75% of the loan amount. There's no fee for prepayment (paying off the loan early).

LendingPoint

Apply

on LendingPoint's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Fair - Good

Est. APR

15.49 - 35.99%

Term

24

Amount

Available loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000

Estimated monthly payment: $97 to $1,463

Grace period: 0 days

Application fee: $0

Loan Details
  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $25,000
  • Rates from 15.49% to 35.99% APR with no prepayment penalties
  • Check your rate for free without impacting your credit score
  • Qualified customers receive offers in three simple steps, and funds in as little as 24 hours if approved
  • Simple and Secure - quick online application
  • LendingPoint's customer success representatives are available online or by phone 24/7, just call 888-969-0959
  • Terms from 24 - 48 months
Disclosure

LendingPoint is another option for those who don't have great credit, including people with credit scores in the high 500s. You can borrow $2,000 to $25,000 with 24- to 48-month repayment terms. The origination fee can range from 0% to 6% depending on your creditworthiness and where you live, and there's no prepayment fee.

Prosper

Apply

on Prosper's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

Est. APR

7.95 - 35.99%

Term

36

Amount

Available loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000

Estimated monthly payment: $61 to $1,720

Grace period: 0 days

Application fee: $0

Loan Details
  • 640 minimum FICO® Score
  • More than $16 billion loans funded
  • Consolidate debt, finance a home improvement project, or pay off medical expenses
  • 9 out of 10 customers would recommend Prosper to friends or family**
  • Co-borrower option available. Applying with a co-borrower could help improve your rates.
  • Get your money in as few as 3 days - your monthly payment stays the same
Disclosure

Borrowers who have good credit (a score in the mid-600s or higher) may qualify to borrow $2,000 to $40,000 from Prosper. This peer-to-peer lending platform can connect you with fixed-rate personal loans with no prepayment fees and payment terms of either 36 or 60 months. There is an origination fee of 2.4% to 5% depending on your creditworthiness.

Upgrade

Apply

on Upgrade's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Fair - Exceptional

Est. APR

7.99 - 35.97%

Term

36

Amount

Available loan amounts: $1,000 to $35,000

Estimated monthly payment: $30 to $1,467

Grace period: 15 days

Application fee: $0

Loan Details
  • Affordable loans from $1,000 - $35,000 with low fixed rates that will never change, affordable monthly payments, and no prepayment penalties
  • Quick online application -- get pre-approved in just minutes
  • Checking your rate won't impact your credit score
  • Review multiple loan options so you can pick the amount and term that fits your budget and timeline
  • With automatic payments and a customizable due date, managing your account is easy and you'll be able to circle the date on your calendar when you'll be debt free
Disclosure

Another option for borrowers with good credit, Upgrade offers $1,000 to $35,000 fixed-rate personal loans with either a 36- or 60-month term. There is no prepayment fee, but Upgrade's origination fee ranges from 2.9% to 8%. The potentially high fee could make it an expensive option for some borrowers. Upgrade also offers the Upgrade Card, which is essentially a line of credit that charges no fees and could be a better option for some.

SoFi

Apply

on SoFi's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

Est. APR

5.99 - 17%

Term

24

Amount

Available loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

Estimated monthly payment: $219 to $4,944

Grace period: 10 days

Application fee: $0

Loan Details
  • Personal Loans at fixed rates from 5.99% APR (with autopay)
  • Borrow up to $100,000
  • No Origination Fees, No Prepayment Penalties, and No Late or Overdraft Fees
  • Simple online application with live support 7 days a week
  • Apply Now
Disclosure

You may need good to excellent credit to qualify, but SoFi is one of the few online lenders that doesn't charge any origination, late or prepayment fees on its personal loans. You can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with either a fixed or variable rate, and choose from repayment terms of 24 to 84 months.

Get Matched With a Loan

Most online personal loan lenders let you check your estimated loan amount and terms with a soft credit pull—the type that doesn't hurt your credit. When you do, compare different offers' annual percentage rate (APR), which takes the loan's interest rate, repayment terms and fees into account.

You can also use Experian CreditMatchTM to quickly get matched with loan offers from Experian's partners, including the lenders above. Your matches may vary depending on the lenders' requirements and offers, such as which state you live in and how much you want to borrow.

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