BEST OF

6 Deck Loans: Finance Your Deck or Patio

Personal loans are a fast way to finance your new deck. Compare rates and terms on personal loans, home equity options and credit cards to choose one that best fits your plans.

Annie MillerberndAugust 7, 2020
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A backyard deck or patio can serve as a change of scenery for a family dinner, a peaceful place to sip your morning coffee or an elevated garden. If you’re planning a new deck or patio, a first step is deciding how you’ll pay for it.

The average deck can cost $14,000 to $20,000, depending on what it’s made of, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report.

If you need to finance that cost, your options include a personal loan, home equity loan or line of credit and credit cards — and 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. Here are six lenders that offer personal loans for decks and patios, plus details about other financing options and when each is appropriate.

Summary of Deck Loans: Finance Your Deck or Patio

Our picks for

Personal loans for deck financing

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

690

Est. APR

4.49 - 20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

690

Key facts

LightStream offers personal loans for almost any purpose. High amounts make these loans ideal for large home improvement projects.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Rate discount for 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.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history; excellent-credit borrowers have at least five, according to LightStream.

  • 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

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. AutoPay discount of .50% points is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay will be higher. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 6.14% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.85. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2021 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.
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Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

6.94 - 35.97%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

on Upgrade's website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Upgrade caters to fair-credit borrowers and offers credit health tools. An Upgrade loan can help you build your credit and your deck at the same time.

Pros

  • Allows secured, co-signed and joint loans.

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

  • Rate discount for autopay.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges late fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum annual income: 35,000; average borrower income is $87,000.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 2.

  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Varies between 55% and 65% including the loan you’re applying for and mortgage payments. To see your post-loan DTI, calculate your monthly payments on a personal loan, and then add them to your debt-to-income calculation.

  • Average loan amount is $10,000.

  • Average repayment term is 40 months.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.94%-35.97%. 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.
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Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Marcus, the online lending arm of Goldman Sachs, has low rates and small loan amounts, making them ideal for less expensive renovations like deck additions.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.


Cons

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

  • Funding could take up to five days.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Must be 18 or over, 19 in Alabama and 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico.

  • Must have a valid U.S. bank account and Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. Number.

  • May need to provide proof of income, including recent pay stubs or bank statements.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 6 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans). Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.
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SoFi

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 18.85%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on SoFi's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

SoFi loans come with perks that make borrowers feel like members of an exclusive club. High loan amounts and low rates make SoFi loans attractive for borrowers with good and excellent credit.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Offers co-sign and joint loan options.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Offers unemployment protection.

  • Provides mobile app to manage your loan.

Cons

  • No secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Must legally be an adult in your state.

  • Must be a US 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 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of February 25, 2021 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. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. 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.
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Avant

on Avant's website

Avant

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Avant

Min. Credit Score

550

Est. APR

9.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $20,001

on Avant's website


Min. Credit Score

550

Key facts

Avant offers loans to borrowers with low credit scores. The online lender offers pre-qualification, and low loan amounts make it an ideal option for smaller renovation projects.

Pros

  • Able to fund loans the next business day.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Offers secured loan option.

Cons

  • Charge an origination fee.

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

  • No co-sign or joint loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 550.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Administrative fee: Up to 4.75%.

  • Late fee: $25 (most states).

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15 (most states).

Disclaimer

A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33. Minimum loan amounts may vary by state. If approved, the actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. An administration fee of up to 4.75% will be deducted from the loan proceeds. Avant branded credit products are issued by Webbank, member FDIC
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Prosper

on Prosper's website

Prosper

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Prosper

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

7.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $40,000

on Prosper's website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

Prosper advertises unsecured loans specifically for deck remodels and additions. This peer-to-peer lender accepts fair-credit borrowers and joint applications.

Pros

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Offers joint loan.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts. 


Cons

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Charges origination and late fees.

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 726.

  • Minimum credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income: No minimum income requirement; borrower average is $113,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage); borrower average is 18% with housing payment.

  • No bankruptcies filed within the past year.

  • At least three open accounts on credit report.

  • Fewer than five credit bureau inquiries in the last six months.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must provide Social Security number and a U.S. bank account.


Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.41 to 5%.

  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of unpaid amount (whichever is greater).

  • Insufficient funds fee: $15.

Disclaimer

For example, a three-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.74% and a 5.00% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 15.34% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $330.90. A five-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.99% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 14.27% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $222.39. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. Personal loan APRs through Prosper range from 7.95% to 35.99%, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for personal loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility for personal loans is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All personal loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC.
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3 ways to finance deck additions

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 inform which option to choose.

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 if you don’t have enough home equity to cover the project cost or you don’t want to use your home as collateral for the new deck.

A new or renovated deck may also be less expensive than other home improvements, which may mean it's not worth the closing costs and the effort of underwriting for a home equity option.

Things to consider about personal loans
  • Fast funding. Many online lenders can fund a loan within a day or two, while banks can take a few days to a week. In both cases, you’ll likely get your funds faster with a personal loan than with home equity financing.

  • Unsecured. Getting an unsecured loan means that if you fail to repay, the lender can’t take your house or car. They may, however, garnish your wages or take you to court. If you pay the loan on time, your credit will benefit; if you miss payments, your credit score will likely 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.

How to get started

Your first step to getting a personal loan should be to compare options. Pre-qualify with multiple online lenders on NerdWallet to see what rates lenders can offer, then begin the application process.

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.

Home equity loans have low fixed rates and let you borrow a specific amount in a lump sum. Your monthly payments — which are also fixed — go toward both interest and principal.

Home equity lines of credit have variable rates, but give you the flexibility of borrowing only what you need and repaying interest only on that amount. HELOCs have two phases: the draw period, when you borrow, and the repayment period.

When they’re best

Home equity options are best if you’re comfortable using your home as collateral and you have enough equity to finance the project.

Home equity loans are best if you know how much you’ll need for the project. You typically can't borrow more money from your equity once you’ve gotten a loan.

Home equity lines of credit are best if you think you might incur more expenses along the way. You should be comfortable with some variation in your interest rate with this option.

Things to consider about HELOCs and home equity loans
  • Tax benefits. When you use equity to pay for a home improvement, the interest you pay 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 often have repayment terms of over a decade, while personal loan repayment terms are shorter.

How to get started

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

3. 0% APR credit cards

Credit cards tend to have higher average APRs than personal loans and home equity options. However, if you can pay off the cost of your project in a year or so, a 0% APR credit card may be the cheapest option.

These cards come with promotional periods — typically 12 to 18 months — when purchases you make don’t accrue interest.

When they’re best

These cards are best when you can qualify — meaning you have strong credit and little existing debt — and when you can pay the balance in full by the end of the promotional period.

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 you may not be approved 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 evaluate whether you’re comfortable paying that on whatever balance is left over.

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

How to get started

Compare 0% APR cards to find the one with features and rates that fit your needs. Once you’ve found the one that works best for your plans, get ready to apply.

How to compare personal loans for deck and patio financing

  • Qualifications. The interest rate and loan amount you get are based primarily on your credit profile, income and existing debts. Lenders want to know that you can pay your 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. A lower APR means a cheaper loan.

  • Loan terms. Most lenders offer terms between three and five years, though terms can be as short as one year or as long as seven years. You may get a lower APR on a longer-term loan, but loans with longer terms often cost more in the end. Calculate your payments to see what you would pay overall.

  • 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 you a rate discount for setting up automatic payments.

Last updated on August 7, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Deck Loans: Finance Your Deck or Patio

  • LightStream: Best for Personal loans for deck financing
  • Upgrade: Best for Personal loans for deck financing
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Best for Personal loans for deck financing
  • SoFi: Best for Personal loans for deck financing
  • Avant: Best for Personal loans for deck financing
  • Prosper: Best for Personal loans for deck financing

Frequently asked questions