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Tiny House Financing: Personal Loans for Your Tiny Home

The market for tiny homes may be getting bigger, but financing options are limited to personal loans, builder financing and home equity loans.

Dec 1, 2022

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When buying a standard home, you’d typically get a mortgage. If you’re in the market for a tiny house — commonly defined as a home that’s less than 400 square feet — qualifying for a pint-size mortgage is unlikely.

The mortgage you need for a tiny home may be smaller than a traditional lender’s minimum loan amount, which can start at $50,000. Tiny homes can cost between $30,000 to $150,000. An additional challenge: The lender may require that your tiny home have a foundation on land you already own.

Here are options for financing a tiny home:

  • Personal loans from online lenders, banks and credit unions.

  • Financing through lenders partnered with tiny home builders.

  • Home equity loans, if you own a primary residence.

Tiny House Financing: Personal Loans for Your Tiny Home

Our pick for

Tiny house personal loans

Lending Club
Get rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

8.30-36.00%

Loan amount

$1,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on LendingClub's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

LendingClub allows borrowers to use funds toward a home purchase or other expenses. It also accepts joint loan applications.

Pros

  • Joint loan option.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Option to change your payment date.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • Late fee.

  • No mobile app to manage loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Maximum DTI: 60%; 40% for joint applicants.

  • Minimum credit history: 37 months and 2 accounts.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 3% to 6%.

  • Late fee: 5% of payment or $15 after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

Between April 2022 and June 2022, Personal Loans issued by LendingClub Bank were funded within 44 hours after loan approval, on average. The time it takes for a loan to be funded is not guaranteed and individual results vary based on multiple factors, including but not limited to investor demand. A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $16,980 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 13.49% and a 6.00% origination fee of $1,019, for an APR of 17.89%. In this example, the borrower will receive $15,961 and will make 36 monthly payments of $576. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths range from 24 months to 60 months. Some amounts, rates, and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. For Personal Loans, APR ranges from 8.30% to 36.00% and origination fee ranges from 3.00% to 6.00% of the loan amount. APRs and origination fees are determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of July 11, 2022 and are subject to change without notice. Loans are made by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. LendingClub Bank is not an affiliate of NerdWallet Compare, Inc. which is an unrelated third party (“third party”). LendingClub Bank is not responsible for any products and services provided by this third party and may receive compensation if you visit the third party’s websites or use any of its products or services. Credit eligibility is not guaranteed. Loans are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued. Certain information that LendingClub Bank subsequently obtains as part of the application process (including but not limited to information in your consumer report, your income, the loan amount that your request, the purpose of your loan, and qualifying debt) will be considered and could affect your ability to obtain a loan. Loan closing is contingent on accepting all required agreements and disclosures at Lendingclub.com. “LendingClub” is a trademark of LendingClub Bank.

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SoFi
Get rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

7.99-23.43%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on SoFi's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

SoFi offers large loan amounts and allows borrowers to apply for a joint loan. The lender also has member perks, like unemployment protection and free career advising.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Hardship program for borrowers in need.

  • Mobile app to manage loan.

Cons

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

  • 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 7.99% APR to 23.43% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/22/22 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.

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Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

6.99-22.49%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on LightStream's website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

LightStream personal loans can be used to purchase a tiny house or fund related expenses, such as land or a trailer. APRs for its tiny house loans range from 5.95% to 16.79%.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

  • Rate Beat program and Experience Guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

  • No 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

2 to 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.

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BestEgg
Get rate

on Best Egg's website

Best Egg

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
BestEgg

Est. APR

8.99-35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on Best Egg's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

Best Egg offers personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt and need cash fast.

Pros

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts.

  • Provides secured loan option for homeowners.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No rate discounts.

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; borrower average is 700.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum income requirement is $3,500; borrower average is $80,000. Borrower must have enough cash flow to cover current financial obligations.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including a mortgage; borrower average is 40%.

  • Employment: Must provide proof of income; part-time employees are eligible.

  • Must provide valid U.S. address and Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 8.99%.

  • Return fee: $15 if payments are not processed.

Disclaimer

*Trustpilot TrustScore as of June 2020. Best Egg personal loans, including the Best Egg Secured Loan, are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, a Nationally Chartered Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan”, “the Best Egg Secured Loan”, and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank or Blue Ridge Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. The term, amount, and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. About half of our customers get their money the next day. After successful verification, your money can be deposited in your bank account within 1-3 business days. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000– $50,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $100,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 8.99%–35.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–8.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. For example: a 5‐year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3‐year $5,000 loan with 7.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $155.12. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents. Best Egg products are not available if you live in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.

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Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

7.96-35.97%

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

  • Secured and joint loans.

  • Multiple rate discounts.

  • Mobile app to manage loan payments.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No option to choose your payment date.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 1 account.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including the loan you're applying for.

  • Minimum length of credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 8.99%.

  • Late Fee: $10.

  • Failed payment fee: $10.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 7.96%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8.99% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% 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 $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. 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 bank partners. Information on Upgrade's bank partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/bank-partners/.

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RocketLoans
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Est. APR

7.73-29.99%

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

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Fast funding.

  • Wide range of loan amounts.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

  • Only two repayment term options.

  • No co-sign or joint loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 750.

  • Minimum credit history: Over two years.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrower average is $110,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 70%; borrower average is 18%.

  • No bankruptcies in the last two years.

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.

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First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.70-18.00%

Loan amount

$500-$50,000

Min. credit score

660
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

First Tech’s personal loans are a sound option for members who want a customizable loan with fast funding.

Pros

  • Co-sign, joint and secured loan options.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Options to choose and change your payment date.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Exclusive to credit union members.

  • Reports payments to only one of the three major credit bureaus.

  • No rate discount.

Qualifications

  • Must be a member of First Tech Federal Credit Union.

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Must provide Social Security number and driver's license or other state-issued ID.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%.

  • Minimum monthly income: $700 if living with others; $1,000 if renting; $1,500 if you own your home.

  • Minimum credit history: At least two established accounts.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: Varies.

  • Returned check fee: $28.

Read Full Review

Personal loans for tiny homes

Online lenders offer personal loans that can be used to finance all or part of a tiny house purchase. Loan repayment terms are shorter than mortgages — usually up to seven years — which means you may pay off your tiny home faster, but monthly payments can be high.

Lenders use your credit score and income to determine if you’ll be approved for a personal loan and at what rate. Annual percentage rates on personal loans are from 6% to 36%; borrowers with excellent credit scores (720 and above) will qualify for rates at the low end of that range.

Personal loans are unsecured and don’t require collateral, so you won’t lose your tiny house or another asset if you can’t repay the loan (although your credit score will take a hit).

Use a home improvement loan calculator to determine your potential monthly payment and total interest on a tiny house loan.

Personal loans from a bank

Large national banks don’t usually advertise tiny house loans, but you may still be able to get one, especially if you bank locally and have a good relationship with your bank.

Bank loans have similar rates to online lenders, but some offer discounts or lower rates to existing customers. Banks prefer borrowers with good or excellent credit (690 or higher FICO).

Personal loans from credit unions

Credit unions can be a good source for an unsecured tiny house loan, and building a relationship with a credit union can increase your chances of approval.

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that serve members who live or work in a particular area. You have to meet the requirements and pay a membership fee to join before you can apply for a loan.

Two options are First Tech Federal Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union. Both offer unsecured personal loans up to $50,000 that can be used for any purpose.

Loans through a tiny house builder

Tiny houses may be financed through a lender that partners with a builder. These loans are either unsecured (based primarily on your credit score) or secured by the tiny house.

The potential benefits include low starting rates (typically under 10%) and longer loan terms (10 to 20 years or longer) than personal loans.

But this option may require a down payment of up to 20% of the purchase price, and if the loan is secured, you can lose the tiny house if you can’t make payments.

Tiny homes on wheels may qualify for RV loans, but only if the vehicle is certified as an RV by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.

Home equity loans

Home equity loans and lines of credit are available if you own a home and want to add a tiny house to the land as an accessory dwelling unit or buy a mobile tiny home.

Home equity loans usually have low rates and long repayment terms (typically more than 10 years), which allow lower monthly payments. But you’ll need equity to qualify, and you can lose your primary home if you can’t make payments.

Tiny house financial risks

The benefits of a tiny house may include lower housing expenses and less upkeep. But factor these costs into your budget:

  • Purchasing land or leasing a lot.

  • Parking fees at campgrounds and fuel if you take your tiny home on the road.

  • RV insurance, construction insurance or homeowner’s insurance, property taxes and permit fees.

  • Propane tanks for a tankless water heater.

  • New appliances that fit the home.

  • Typical housing maintenance and repairs.

Last updated on December 1, 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 Tiny House Financing: Personal Loans for Your Tiny Home