Best of

Best Home Improvement Loans of July 2024

By
Annie Millerbernd
Jul 1, 2024

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Best Home Improvement Loans

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
Learn more
SoFi

SoFi Personal Loan

Get rateon SoFi's websiteon SoFi's website
Best for Joint loans

8.99-29.99%

$5,000-$100,000

None

Get rateon SoFi's websiteon SoFi's website
Lightstream

LightStream

Get rateon LightStream's websiteon LightStream's website
4.5
/5
Best for Long repayment terms

6.99-25.49%

$5,000-$100,000

660

Get rateon LightStream's websiteon LightStream's website
Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

Get rateon Discover's websiteon Discover's website
5.0
/5
Best for Excellent credit

7.99-24.99%

$2,500-$40,000

660

Get rateon Discover's websiteon Discover's website
Upgrade

Upgrade

Get rateon Upgrade's websiteon Upgrade's website
5.0
/5
Best for Credit-building tools

8.49-35.99%

$1,000-$50,000

560

Get rateon Upgrade's websiteon Upgrade's website
BestEgg

Best Egg

Get rateon Best Egg's websiteon Best Egg's website
4.5
/5
Best for Secured loans

8.99-35.99%

$2,000-$50,000

600

Get rateon Best Egg's websiteon Best Egg's website
RocketLoans

Rocket Loans

Get rateon Rocket Loans' websiteon Rocket Loans' website
4.0
/5
Best for Fast approval

9.12-29.99%

$2,000-$45,000

640

Get rateon Rocket Loans' websiteon Rocket Loans' website
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
4.5
/5
Best for Existing bank customers

7.49-23.74%

$3,000-$100,000

None

See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
5.0
/5
Best for Credit union members

7.49-18.00%

$250-$50,000

None

See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website

Our pick for

Long repayment terms

Lightstream
Get rateon LightStream's websiteon LightStream's website
Lightstream

LightStream

4.5
Est. APR

6.99-25.49%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660

Get rateon LightStream's websiteon LightStream's website
Key facts

LightStream offers no fees, low rates and terms up to 12 years on home improvement loans. Borrowers can apply for a joint loan, which may help them get a lower rate or higher loan amount.

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 with a soft credit check on its website.
  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • High minimum loan amount.
Qualifications
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Must have several years of credit history with multiple account types and few or no delinquencies.
  • Must have assets like retirement, investment and savings accounts.
Available Term Lengths2 to 7 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: None.
DisclaimerRates 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 $10,000 loan at 7.99% APR with a term of 5 years would result in 60 monthly payments of $202.72. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2024 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.

Our pick for

Joint loans

SoFi
Get rateon SoFi's websiteon SoFi's website
SoFi

SoFi Personal Loan

Est. APR

8.99-29.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None

Get rateon SoFi's websiteon SoFi's website
Key facts

SoFi is a strong option for good-credit consumers, offering low rates, no fees and flexible payments. Borrowers can add a co-signer or co-borrower to improve their chances of qualifying.

Pros
  • Joint loan option.
  • Multiple rate discounts.
  • 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 non-permanent resident with valid documentation.
  • Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within 90 days.
Available Term Lengths2 to 7 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: 0% to 7%.
  • Late fee: None.
DisclaimerFixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. 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 and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors. Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. Autopay: 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. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

Our pick for

Excellent credit

Discover
Get rateon Discover's websiteon Discover's website
Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

Est. APR

7.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$2,500-$40,000

Min. credit score

660

Get rateon Discover's websiteon Discover's website
Key facts

For good- to excellent-credit borrowers, Discover offers perks like a mobile app to manage your loan and a unique money-back guarantee.

Pros
  • No origination fee.
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Fast funding.
  • Mobile app to manage loan.
Cons
  • May charge late fee.
  • No co-sign or joint loan option.
  • No rate discount.
Qualifications
  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must have a valid U.S. Social Security number.
  • Minimum individual or household annual income of $25,000.
  • Must have an active email address.
Available Term Lengths3 to 7 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: $39.
DisclaimerThis is not a commitment to lend from Discover Personal Loans. Your APR will be between 7.99% and 24.99% based on creditworthiness at time of application for loan terms of 36-84 months. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 13.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you'll pay just $309 per month. You must have a minimum individual or household annual income of $25,000, be over 18 years of age, and have a valid US SSN to be considered for a Discover personal loan. Loan approval is subject to confirmation that your income, debt-to-income ratio, credit history and application information meet all requirements. Our lowest rates are available to consumers with the best credit. Many factors are used to determine your rate, such as your credit history, application information and the term you select. State restrictions may apply. A Discover personal loan is intended for personal use and cannot be used to pay for post-secondary education, to pay off a secured loan, or to directly pay off a Discover credit card. If your application is approved, we will send funds after you accept the loan. Your bank or creditor may take more days to process the funds. Discover makes loans without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status.

Our pick for

Credit-building tools

Upgrade
Get rateon Upgrade's websiteon Upgrade's website
Upgrade

Upgrade

Est. APR

8.49-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560

Get rateon Upgrade's websiteon Upgrade's website
Key facts

Upgrade lets borrowers add a co-signer or co-borrower to improve their chances of qualifying for a lower rate. It also has a mobile app to manage your loan.

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: One account.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including the loan you're applying for.
  • Minimum length of credit history: Two years.
  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.
Available Term Lengths3 to 7 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 9.99%.
  • Late Fee: $10.
  • Failed payment fee: $10.
DisclaimerPersonal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 8.49%-35.99%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 9.99% 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/.

Our pick for

Existing bank customers

Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.49-23.74%

Loan amount

$3,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None

See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
Key facts

Wells Fargo customers may be eligible for personal loan rate discounts and large loan amounts. Long terms and the lender's joint loan option help this loan stand out for home improvement projects.

Pros
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Wide variety of repayment term options.
  • Rate discount for autopay.
  • Options to choose and change your payment date.
  • Fast funding.
Cons
  • Must be an existing customer.
  • No co-sign or joint loan option.
  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
Qualifications
  • Must be an existing Wells Fargo customer.
  • Must provide personal information, including Social Security number or individual tax identification number.
  • Must provide employment and income information; documentation may be required to verify this information.
Available Term Lengths1 to 7 years
Fees
  • Late fee: $39.

Our pick for

Fast approval

RocketLoans
Get rateon Rocket Loans' websiteon Rocket Loans' website
RocketLoans

Rocket Loans

Est. APR

9.12-29.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$45,000

Min. credit score

640

Get rateon Rocket Loans' websiteon Rocket Loans' website
Key factsRocket Loans offers fast funding for online personal loans to borrowers with fair and good credit, but it lacks some key features.
Pros
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Rate discount for autopay.
  • Fast funding.
  • Wide range of loan amounts.
Cons
  • Charges origination fee.
  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation personal loans.
  • Only two repayment term options.
  • No co-sign or joint loan option.
Qualifications
  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Must be a U.S. resident.
  • Must be at least 18 years old in most states.
Available Term Lengths3 to 5 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: 2.98% to 9.34%.
  • Late fee: $15.
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.
DisclaimerAll 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. 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 www.RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.

Our pick for

Secured loans

BestEgg
Get rateon Best Egg's websiteon Best Egg's website
BestEgg

Best Egg

Est. APR

8.99-35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

600

Get rateon Best Egg's websiteon Best Egg's website
Key facts

Best Egg offers secured home improvement loans that use your home’s fixtures or vehicle as collateral.

Pros
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Wide range of loan amounts.
  • Unsecured and secured loan options.
  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • No late fees.
Cons
  • Origination fee.
  • No rate discounts.
  • No option to choose initial payment date.
  • No mobile app to manage loan.
Qualifications
  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Minimum credit history: 24 months and 1 account.
  • Minimum annual income: $3,500.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including mortgage.
Available Term Lengths3 to 5 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 9.99%.
Disclaimer*Trustpilot TrustScore as of December 2022. Best Egg loans are personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. The Best Egg Credit Card is issued exclusively by First Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, Brookings SD pursuant to a license by Visa International. Visa is a registered trademark, and the Visa logo design is a trademark of Visa International Incorporated. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Best Egg Technologies, LLC. Offers may be sent pursuant to a joint marketing agreement between Cross River Bank, Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. and/or First Bank & Trust and Marlette Marketing, LLC, a subsidiary of Best Egg, Inc. 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 ; Ohio, $5,001; and Georgia, $3,001. 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%– 9.99% 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. TO REPORT A PROBLEM OR COMPLAINT WITH THIS LENDER, YOU MAY WRITE OR CALL– Operations Manager, Email: [email protected], Address: P.O. Box 42912, Philadelphia, PA 19101, Phone: 1-855-282-6353. This lender is licensed and regulated by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Financial Institutions Division, P.O. Box 25101, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504. To report any unresolved problems or complaints, contact the division by telephone at (505) 476-4885 or visit the website https://www.rld.nm.gov/financial-institutions/

Our pick for

Credit union members

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.49-18.00%

Loan amount

$250-$50,000

Min. credit score

None

See my rateson NerdWallet's secure websiteon NerdWallet's secure website
Key factsNavy Federal personal loans may be a good fit for most members, thanks to flexible amounts, consumer-friendly features and quick funding time.
Pros
  • Wide range of loan amounts.
  • Fast funding.
  • Rate discount for some customers.
  • Co-sign, joint and secured loan options.
  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
Cons
  • Exclusive to credit union members.
  • No option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • No option to choose or change your payment date.
Qualifications
  • Must be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to apply.
  • No minimum credit score requirement.
  • Must provide personal information and contact details.
  • Must provide information on income and employment.
Available Term Lengths1 to 5 years
Fees
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: $29.
  • Returned payment fee: $29.
  • Federal Express fee: $5.65
  • Certified Mail fee: $5.83.

What is a home improvement loan?

A home improvement loan is an unsecured personal loan that you use to cover the costs of home upgrades or repairs. Lenders provide these loans for up to $100,000. A home improvement loan comes in a lump sum and you repay it in monthly installments, usually over two to 12 years.

How do home improvement loans work?

Unlike home equity financing, home improvement loans do not require collateral. Whether you qualify and the loan’s interest rate are based on information like your credit and income. Once approved, you may receive your loan within one to two days. Missed or late loan payments will negatively impact your credit, but you won’t risk losing your home.

» MORE: How do home improvement loans work

Home improvement loans vs. equity financing

A home improvement loan makes sense if you don’t have enough equity in your home or don’t want to use it as collateral. Equity is your home’s value minus what you owe.

If you have equity, you could get a lower monthly payment with a home equity loan or line of credit. This type of financing typically requires a home appraisal, which means a longer funding time.

Home equity loan

Home equity loans come in lump sums and have fixed interest rates, so monthly payments never change. You repay this loan in monthly installments over a term as long as 30 years.

Compare to personal loans: Home equity loans work similarly to personal loans, but they often have lower rates and longer repayment terms.

Home equity line of credit

A HELOC is an open credit line that you draw on as needed and pay interest only on what you borrow. This variable-rate option works best if you don’t know how much the home improvement will cost and are comfortable with a fluctuating monthly payment.

Compare to personal loans: A HELOC lets you borrow at any time for about 10 years, which can be ideal for long-term projects or unexpected expenses. A personal loan offers a one-time cash influx.

Ask NerdWallet: How do I choose the right home improvement financing option?

"Sometimes, the project itself will give one type of financing an edge. When I needed a new roof on my house, I went with a personal loan because that repair wouldn't wait, and borrowing against my home equity would have taken way too long. But if you're looking to borrow a larger amount for a major renovation or you want a longer time to pay back the loan, borrowing against your home equity may make more sense."

Kate Wood, lead writer at NerdWallet

Kate Wood, Home & Mortgage expert

Home improvement loan pros and cons

Here are the pros and cons of using personal loans for home improvement projects:

Pros

  • Payments are fixed. Personal loans have fixed monthly payments, so you can reliably budget for them.

  • Funding is fast. Online applications typically take a few minutes, and funds are often available within a day or two, while funds from a HELOC or home equity loan can take a few weeks to become available.

  • No collateral required. Unlike an auto or home loan, unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, so the lender can’t take your possessions if you don’t make the payments.

Cons

  • They can have high rates. Because the loan is unsecured, the interest rate may be higher than on a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, which typically have single-digit rates.

  • No tax benefits. You can’t claim a tax deduction on the interest paid on home improvement loans as you might be able to do with mortgage interest.

Pros

  • Payments are fixed.
  • Funding is fast.
  • No collateral required.

Cons

  • They can have high rates.
  • No tax benefits.

How to compare home improvement loans

Pre-qualify and compare offers from multiple lenders to find the right loan for your project. Here are important features to compare among home improvement loans:

  • Annual percentage rate: APRs represent the entire cost of the loan, including fees the lender may charge. If you’re a member of a credit union, that may be the best place to start. The maximum APR at federal credit unions is 18%.

  • Monthly payment: Even if you get a low rate, be sure the monthly payments fit into your budget. Use a home improvement loan calculator to see what loan amount, rate and repayment term you need to get an affordable monthly payment.

  • Loan amount: Some lenders cap amounts at $35,000 or $40,000. If you think your project will cost more than that, look for a lender that offers larger loans.

  • Loan term: A loan with a long repayment term may have low monthly payments, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of that loan than one with a shorter repayment term.

  • Ability to add a co-signer or co-borrower: Some lenders let you add a co-signer or co-borrower to your application. Adding someone with better credit or higher income to the loan application may reduce your APR or increase the amount you can borrow.

Home improvement loan rates

Home improvement loan annual percentage rates range from about 6% to 36%. Lenders decide your rate on a home improvement loan primarily by evaluating your credit score, credit history and debt-to-income ratio.

Here's what personal loan rates look like, on average:

Borrower credit rating

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850.

11.10%.

Good

690-719.

13.74%.

Fair

630-689.

17.51%.

Bad

300-629.

21.83%.

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified through NerdWallet from June 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender. The lowest credit scores — usually below 500 — are unlikely to qualify. Information in this table applies only to lenders with maximum APRs below 36%.

Where to get a personal loan for home improvements

Couple of hands typing on a laptop.
Online lender

Online lenders offer a convenient way to find and compare personal loans from anywhere.

A green bank.
Bank

Some national banks offer personal loans with competitive rates and in-person support.

A calculator with cash next to it.
Credit union

Credit unions may offer lower annual percentage rates and flexible terms for their members.

How to get a home improvement loan

  1. Get a firm cost estimate. Identify the size of your project and get quotes or estimates to determine how much you need to borrow. Knowing the total cost can help you decide which financing option is best.

  2. Compare options. Compare the best home improvement lenders against other financing options, like credit cards and home equity financing. You're looking for the one that costs the least in total interest, has affordable monthly payments and fits your project cost and timeline.

  3. Check your rate and monthly payments. Many online lenders and some banks let borrowers pre-qualify to see potential personal loan offers before applying. Pre-qualifying involves a soft credit pull that doesn’t impact your score.

  4. Prepare documents. Once you've chosen a lender, gather the documents you'll need to apply. This can include W-2s, pay stubs, proof of address and financial information.

  5. Apply. You may have to apply in person at smaller banks and credit unions, but larger ones and online lenders have online applications. Many lenders can give you a decision the same day you apply. After that, expect to see the funds in your bank account in less than a week.

How to use a home improvement loan

Unsecured loans can cover almost any purchase. How much you need varies based on your location, home size and how extensive your plans are.

Here are some common projects and how much you could pay for each, based on the most recent cost estimates available:

Project type

Estimated cost

$79,982.

$25,251.

$17,615.

$22,022.

$30,680.

$64,782.

$3,508.

Sources: Remodeling Magazine 2024 Cost vs Value Report, EnergySage, Angi.

Frequently asked questions

  • Home improvement loan amounts range from $1,000 to $100,000. You receive the loan all at once and repay it with interest over two to 12 years.

  • The best way to finance home improvements depends on factors such as your home equity, how much money you need to borrow and your credit score. Compare home improvement loans with home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, cash-out refinancing and federal programs.

  • Home improvement loan rates typically range from about 6% to 36%. The best personal loan rates typically go to borrowers with high credit scores and credit histories showing consistent on-time payments toward other loans and credit cards.

Other types of home improvement financing

Government assistance

Some government programs can help pay for a home renovation. The Federal Housing Administration has two programs: Title I loans and Energy Efficient Mortgages. You can search for a “Title I Property Improvement” lender in your state on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, or IRA, allows homeowners to get tax credits for energy-efficient updates, like new doors, windows, insulation, heat pumps and air conditioners. The Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit and Residential Clean Energy Credit are listed on the IRS website.

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center maintains a database that includes state and local incentives for eco-friendly home improvement projects.

When it’s best: Consider applying if your project and finances meet the criteria outlined by these programs. They can help make upgrades more affordable.

Cash-out refinancing

You can refinance your existing mortgage into a higher loan amount and use the difference to pay for your renovation.

When it’s best: Consider this option if mortgage rates are lower than the one you're paying now.

Credit card

Strategic use of a credit card can cover the cost of your upgrades. Home improvement store cards can earn cashback as you upgrade, while a card with a 0% introductory APR can cover short-term home renovations.

When it’s best: Use a credit card for projects small enough that you won’t max it out. You should typically aim to pay your full balance every month. You’ll need good or excellent credit (690 credit score or higher) to qualify for a zero-interest or rewards card.

Last updated on July 1, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. 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. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. 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.

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 Best Home Improvement Loans of July 2024

  • LightStream: Best for Long repayment terms
  • SoFi Personal Loan: Best for Joint loans
  • Discover® Personal Loans: Best for Excellent credit
  • Upgrade: Best for Credit-building tools
  • Wells Fargo Personal Loan: Best for Existing bank customers
  • Rocket Loans: Best for Fast approval
  • Best Egg: Best for Secured loans
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan: Best for Credit union members
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