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If you're looking to finally renovate that kitchen straight out of the 70's, or build on the extra bedroom you need, chances are good that you don't just have the cash sitting around to get it done. Most homeowners use a home improvement loan to access the funds required to turn their house into a "home sweet home" .
There are several types of financing that can be used to make improvements or repairs. These depend on a variety of factors: the amount of equity you have already built up in your property, your credit history, and the amount of money you need.
Wednesday, February 28th
Upstart utilizes an extensive artificial intelligence platform to improve credit access for borrowers of all types. Looking beyond your credit score makes it more likely you'll be approved for your loan. Thousands of people have used Upstart to get loans very quickly. For their creative approach to lending, competitive interest rates, and highly satisfied customers, Upstart earns our highest rating.
LendingTree is an online loan marketplace for every type of borrowing, from home improvement loans to credit cards and more. You can use this service to easily compare offers from up to five lenders at a time, helping you access good rates and terms for your home improvement loan. We love the detailed information provided on each lending partner, with thousands of client reviews to help determine which one is the best choice for your needs. LendingTree has a great reputation and is a trustworthy option if you want to use a referral service to research and secure a home improvement loan.
SoFi has some big benefits compared with other options for home improvement loans. They offer low fixed rates, and assistance (and forbearance) if you lose your job while repaying a loan. But an increase in the number of complaints from SoFi clients, which describe negative experiences specifically with the customer service department, gave us some cause for concern.
Upgrade is one of the newer options in the home improvement loans industry, but the company has already made a strong showing. With just two lenders in their partnership, Upgrade can typically offer a one business day turnaround once you've accepted a loan offer. The BBB gives this service the highest possible rating, and most consumers won't have trouble getting a good home improvement loan here.
SuperMoney offers "comparison shopping" for many financial products, including home improvement loans. They offer funding through just over a dozen partners, and you can see detailed information and reviews about each one before filling out your application. SuperMoney hasn't been around as long as some of the other referral platforms we evaluated and so there's not as much customer feedback yet. SuperMoney is a good way to gather information about home improvement loans you might be eligible for, but you'll still have to complete your application directly with the lender you choose.
If you'd like to compare rates across multiple lenders with a single application, Credible is a good resource for home improvement loans. While that kind of one-stop shopping saves you some time, you'll still need to research each lender and read your loan terms carefully. Still, Credible has a strong reputation and earns high marks in our review.
LendingClub used to crowdfund all of their home improvement loans through investors. But, after undergoing some changes, their lending is now structured more like a regular bank. They offer fixed-rate loans with repayment terms of at least 36 months, and recent customer feedback is very positive. You should have a good experience if you choose to get a home improvement loan here, but we're holding back a higher recommendation while they continue proving out their new structure.
With a name like Personal Loans, you'd think this referral service would be the best all-around choice for borrowing money. Not so much. You'll be asked to provide extremely detailed personal information, including your SSN and employer's contact information, only to be given a list of lenders you could choose to approach for a loan. Although Personal Loans' reputation has improved over the years, there are still much better options out there for getting the cash you need.
If you have little equity in your home - in other words, you haven't made many payments on your mortgage yet, and you didn't put down much money at closing - you'll most likely use a home improvement loan to fund your projects. These loans are based on your overall credit history; the higher your credit score and the lower your debts, the better rates and terms you'll get.
On the other hand, if you've built up equity in your home, you'll be able to access three other types of home improvement loans: cash-out refinancing, a home equity loan (HEL), and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Each type has its ins and outs, and not every loan type is appropriate for a particular borrowing need. For example, a cash-out refinance is great if you can reset your mortgage at a much lower interest rate - but it also comes with closing costs (which can sometimes be rolled back into the loan amount). HELOCs let you take money out as-needed, but interest rates can be higher than some home equity loans and are often adjustable: your payments may increase in the future.
As you can see, choosing a home improvement loan leaves you with some research to do. While considering your options, here are some guidelines to help clarify which service you should use:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for home improvement loans available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the money you need for your next big project!
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