BEST OF

6 Deck Loans: Finance Your Deck or Patio

Personal loans are a fast way to finance your new deck. Compare personal loans with equity financing, credit cards and contractor financing to choose the one that suits your plans.

Apr 19, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

A backyard deck or patio can serve as a change of scenery for a family dinner or a peaceful place to sip your morning coffee. If you’re planning a new deck or patio, the first step is to decide how you’ll pay for it.

Cash is the interest-free way to pay, but if you need deck financing, your options include a personal loan, home equity loan or line of credit, credit cards and contractor financing. Each choice has pros and cons.

A personal loan is among your fastest options — many lenders can fund a loan in a week or less. Compare lenders that offer personal loans for decks and patios, plus learn about other financing options and when each is best.

Deck Loans: Finance Your Deck or Patio

Our picks for

Personal loans for deck financing

SoFi
Get rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

6.99-22.28%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

680
Get rate

on SoFi's website


Min. credit score

680

Key facts

SoFi offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Offers co-sign loan options.

  • Offers 0.25 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers unemployment protection.

  • Provides mobile app to manage your loan.

Cons

  • No secured or joint loan option.

  • High minimum loan amount.

Qualifications

  • Must legally be an adult in your state.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.

  • Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 22.28% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 5/12/22 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. 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 above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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.

Read Full Review
Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

4.99-19.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on LightStream's website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that vary based on loan purpose.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers 0.5 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Special features including rate beat program and satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history.

  • Multiple account types within your credit history, like credit cards, a car loan or other installment loan and a mortgage.

  • Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.

  • Investments, retirement savings or other evidence of an ability to save money.

  • Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.

Available Term Lengths

7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Rates quoted are with AutoPay. Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $25,000 loan at 4.98% APR with a term of 20 years would result in 240 monthly payments of $164.71. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2022 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream, and the LightStream logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

Read Full Review
Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

5.44-35.47%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Upgrade's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

Upgrade offers personal loans plus credit-building tools; you'll need strong cash flow to qualify.

Pros

  • Allows secured and joint loans.

  • Offers a wide range of repayment terms.

  • Offers 0.5 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers significant rate discount for checking account customers.

  • Offers rate discount with direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No co-signed loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560; borrower average is 678.

  • Minimum annual income: None; borrower average is $78,000.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: Two accounts.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Less than or equal to 75%, including mortgage and calculating in your new personal loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.44%-35.47%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.

Read Full Review
Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.74-19.99%

Loan amount

$3,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Wells Fargo personal loans stand out thanks to a wide range of loan amounts and flexible terms, but borrowers can't pre-qualify.

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Able to fund loans on same or next business day.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Some features only available to existing customers.

Qualifications

  • Must provide personal and contact information.

  • Must provide employment and income information; documentation may be required to verify this information.

  • Must provide desired term and amount to borrow.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Read Full Review
Alliant Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Alliant Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.24-27.24%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Alliant Credit Union’s personal loans come in a wide range of amounts with same-day funding available in most cases.

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

  • Able to fund loans the same day.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • No co-sign or secured loan option.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • Approval is based on payment method, creditworthiness, ability to repay and term.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment fee: None.

  • Late fee: Varies.

Read Full Review
RocketLoans
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Est. APR

5.97-29.69%

Loan amount

$2,000-$45,000

Min. credit score

640
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

640

Key facts

Rocket Loans offers online personal loans to borrowers with fair credit and over two years of credit history.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • Offers a 0.3 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Able to fund loans the same day.

  • Offers small loans of $2,000.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No option to choose or change your payment date.

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 710.

  • Minimum credit history: Over two years.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrower average is $85,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 70% including mortgage; borrower average is 14%.

  • Must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska).

  • Must provide Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% to 6%.

  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.

Read Full Review

How to compare personal loans for deck and patio financing

  • Qualifications. The loan’s interest rate and the amount you receive are based primarily on your credit, income and existing debts. Lenders want to know that you can cover your regular monthly expenses, plus the additional loan payments. Some lenders cater to people with bad credit (629 or lower FICO), while others seek borrowers with good or excellent credit (690 and higher FICO).

  • APR. A personal loan’s annual percentage rate is the entire cost of the loan, including interest and any fees. The loan with the lowest APR is the least expensive one.

  • Loan terms. Loans with longer terms often cost more in total interest, though monthly payments will be lower. Choose the shortest repayment term with payments you can still afford in order to minimize interest costs.

  • Special features. Some lenders offer features like pre-qualification, which lets you see your rate with a soft credit pull before formally applying. Others may let you defer a payment after enough on-time payments or give a rate discount for setting up automatic payments.

Pre-qualify with NerdWallet to see loan offers from multiple lenders.

How much does it cost to build a deck or patio?

A new deck costs $4,091 to $11,376 on average, while a new patio can cost $1,922 to $5,468, according to home improvement website HomeAdvisor.

Factors that affect the cost include materials used to build the deck or patio and the cost of labor, if you hire a contractor. A deck’s height may also affect cost, according to HomeAdvisor, with decks on the second floor of the house costing double those on the first floor.

If you finance the project, you’ll pay interest, too. Personal loans have APRs from 6% to 36% and repayment terms of two to seven years.

A $7,000 personal loan with a 10% APR repaid over three years would require monthly payments of $226. You’d repay $8,131, including interest.

Here’s what interest rates on personal loans look like, on average:

How's your credit?

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850.

10.5%.

Good

690-719.

15.5%.

Fair

630-689.

20.8%.

Bad

300-629.

26.1%.

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from July 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender.

4 deck financing options

How you finance your deck depends on factors like how much home equity you have, your credit and income, and the cost of your project. Knowing how much your deck will cost can help you choose the right financing option.

1. Personal loans

An unsecured personal loan doesn’t require you to pledge your home as collateral, so the interest rate may be higher than with a home equity loan or line of credit.

When they’re best: Personal loans are best for financing your deck if you don’t have enough home equity to pay for the new outdoor area or you don’t want to use your home as collateral. They're also best when you need funds quickly.

Things to consider about personal loans

  • Fast funding. Many online lenders can fund a loan within a day or two of approval, while others usually take up to a week. In both cases, you’ll likely get funds faster with a personal loan than with home equity financing.

  • Unsecured. Getting an unsecured loan means if you fail to repay, the lender can’t take your house or car. On-time payments will build your credit, while missed payments will cause it to drop.

  • High credit and debt standards. Because lenders assess only your finances and creditworthiness, many have high credit standards and require a low debt-to-income ratio. You can apply for a joint or co-signed personal loan if you think you won’t qualify for a low rate on your own.

2. Home equity loans and lines of credit

Home equity loans and lines of credit have lower interest rates than other financing options because they’re secured by your home.

You get a home equity loan in a lump sum and repay it in fixed monthly installments, similar to a personal loan.

Home equity lines of credit give you the flexibility of borrowing as you need the money and repaying only the interest during the initial draw period. The repayment period can be 20 years, but rates are variable, meaning the monthly payment may fluctuate.

When they’re best: Equity financing works best if you’re comfortable using your home as collateral and you have enough equity to pay for the project.

Home equity loans are best if you have a firm cost estimate for the new deck or patio. You typically can't borrow more money from your equity once you’ve gotten a loan.

Home equity lines of credit are best if your project has an uncertain timeline or if you’re concerned about surprise expenses.

Things to consider about HELOCs and home equity loans

  • Tax benefits. When you use equity to pay for a home improvement, the interest is tax-deductible up to a limit. The tax rules are the same for both HELOCs and home equity loans.

  • Secured financing. Home equity options have lower rates than personal loans and credit cards partly because your home is used as collateral.

  • Long repayment terms. Both home equity loans and lines of credit can have repayment terms of over a decade, while personal loan repayment terms are shorter.

Get started: Compare home equity loans and lines of credit to decide which option is best for you. Then, compare lenders to find one that suits your project.

3. 0% APR credit cards

On average, credit cards have higher APRs than personal loans and home equity options. But if you qualify, a 0% APR credit card may be your cheapest option.

When they’re best: These cards are best when you qualify — meaning you have strong credit and little existing debt — and when you can pay the full balance by the end of the promotional period, which is usually 15 to 18 months.

Things to consider about credit cards

  • High credit standards. Cards with a 0% APR introductory period typically require good or excellent credit to qualify. You may be approved for the card, but not for the full amount you plan to spend on the new outdoor area. In that case, you can use the card for supplementary expenses or unexpected costs.

  • High rates after the promotional period. If you use a 0% APR credit card to finance a deck or patio and don’t pay off the balance, interest begins to accrue on the card when the promotional period ends. Check the card’s post-promotion APR and decide whether you'd be comfortable paying it.

  • Monthly payments. Cardholders should plan to make monthly payments. If you’re late with your minimum payment, the issuer can cancel the promotion, leaving you with the balance and the card’s regular interest rate.

Get started: Compare 0% APR cards to find the one with features and rates that fit your needs.

4. Contractor financing

Some contractors offer financing through a third-party lender, like GreenSky or Ally. These are usually unsecured loans that a contractor offers once you agree on a cost estimate.

When they’re best: This type of loan is best when it’s the least expensive option. Because the contractor offers this type of financing, it may be able to start on the deck or patio quickly if you use it.

Things to consider about contractor financing

  • Not all contractors offer it. Don’t expect every contractor that gives you a quote to provide financing.

  • It’s usually an unsecured loan. There’s usually no collateral for this type of loan, though if you don’t make payments while the contractor is working, it could stop. Missed payments will also hurt your credit.

  • Financing may be offered on the spot. Once you agree on an estimate, the contractor may pull up an application and ask you to submit it right away, similar to “buy now, pay later” loans. Even if it seems like a good offer, take time to review the rate and terms.

Get started: If a contractor offers deck financing, ask for a few days to compare other options. Pre-qualifying for a personal loan can show you what a fair offer looks like without affecting your credit. If the contractor’s financing is your best option, add the monthly payments to your budget and make a plan to pay on time.

Last updated on April 19, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Deck Loans: Finance Your Deck or Patio

Frequently asked questions