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The Best Home Improvement Loans

Where Can You Get the Best Home Improvement Loans?

Need some extra cash to make some changes to your house? Home improvement loans are here to help you tackle those renovation projects. Whether you're planning to overhaul the kitchen with all-new cabinets and countertops, get rid of that 70s-style bathroom, or add curb appeal to your property, these loans provide the financial support you need to make it happen.

When it comes to applying for a home improvement loan, going online offers you a convenient and accessible option. It's no wonder that online home improvement loans have become so popular. With just a few clicks, you can explore a variety of lenders and loan terms from the comfort of your own home.

Thursday, July 18th

2024 Home Improvement Loan Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Upstart Review 5 Star Rating

Upstart

5 Star Rating
  • Home improvement loans between $1,000 and $50,000 (structured as personal loans)
  • Utilizes more than just your credit score to determine eligibility
  • Connects borrowers to a vast network of over 100 banks and credit unions
  • Most loans funded within 24 hours
  • Available in 48 states (excluding Iowa and West Virginia)
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Over 40,000 five-star reviews from clients
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

In the world of financing, securing a loan for home improvement projects can often feel like navigating a maze. However, with Upstart, the process becomes streamlined and accessible. Founded by former Google employees, Upstart takes a fresh approach to lending, considering factors beyond just your credit score.

Unique analysis

By evaluating your college degree, field of study, work history, and credit history, Upstart aims to provide fair and inclusive lending opportunities, particularly beneficial for recent graduates or individuals with limited credit history. With over 2.7 million customers and $34 billion in loan originations, Upstart has established itself as a leading platform in the financial industry.

Do you qualify?

To qualify for a home improvement loan through Upstart, there are some basic eligibility criteria to meet. A minimum FICO or Vantage score of at least 580 (or 620, depending on your state) is typically required, and applications with bankruptcies or delinquent accounts may not be eligible. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum annual income of $12,000, maintain a personal bank account at a US financial institution, and have stable employment or a regular source of income.

Quick application and rapid loan funding

One of the standout features of Upstart is the speed and efficiency of their application process. In just 5-10 minutes, applicants can enter basic details such as their name, address, income, employment, and educational background. Importantly, this process does not impact your credit score, as Upstart performs a "soft" credit check to verify your information. Within minutes of applying, you may receive loan offers, and upon acceptance of the terms, funds can be deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Your loan may not have origination fees

Upstart offers home improvement loans in 48 states, with loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. However, loan limits may vary depending on your state regulations. Typically, loan terms span three to five years, with APRs that are very competitive. As you review loan offers, consider any origination fees, which can range from 0% to 8%, depending on your state of residence, as well as any late payment or check-bouncing fees. Fortunately, Upstart welcomes early loan repayments and extra payments, so you can pay down your home improvement loan sooner when you get that bonus or tax refund.

Over 40K five-star ratings

With an "A+" BBB rating and accreditation, Upstart maintains a stellar reputation in the industry. Client reviews on platforms like Trustpilot reflect overwhelmingly positive experiences, with over 40,000 five-star ratings. While some negative comments exist, they often result from borrowers not thoroughly reviewing the loan terms and conditions. Many clients praise Upstart for their quick funding process and user-friendly interface, with some completing the entire borrowing process using their smartphones.

#1 pick for home improvement loans

Upstart comes in as our top pick among options for securing a home improvement loan. It's the easiest way to connect with lenders offering the best rates and terms, and it's hard to argue with tens of thousands of five-star client reviews. We love everything about Upstart and recommend it as the first site you visit when looking for financing on your home upgrades or repairs.

Credible Review 4.5 Star Rating

Credible

4.5 Star Rating
  • Loan amounts available from $600 to $200,000
  • Connect with up to 10 different lenders at once
  • Funds can be used for any type of home improvement project
  • Checking rates won't impact credit score
  • Best Rate Guarantee
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Thousands of five-star reviews
  • In business since 2012

In today's fast-paced world, convenience is key, especially when it comes to financing your home improvement projects. That's where Credible comes in. With over a decade of experience in the financial industry, Credible has made a name for itself by simplifying the borrowing process and connecting consumers with reputable lenders. Whether you're looking to remodel your kitchen, update your bathroom, or add a new deck to your backyard, Credible offers a hassle-free solution to securing the funds you need through lenders you can trust.

One application to match with many lenders

Credible's approach is simple yet effective. By filling out a single online form, you can apply to multiple lenders simultaneously, saving you time and effort. No more filling out endless applications or comparing rates from various lenders - Credible does the hard work for you. Plus, their platform is user-friendly, making it easy to navigate and understand the borrowing process.

Works with well-established financial institutions

But what sets Credible apart from other loan marketplaces? For starters, their broad network of lending partners includes some of the most reputable names in the industry, such as Discover, Zable, LightStream, and SoFi, among others. Each lender in Credible's network has its own set of criteria for approving home improvement loans, so that you're matched with lenders willing to work with you based on your unique situation.

Best Home Improvement Loans

All loan offers are prequalified

To begin the process, simply complete Credible's online form, providing details about your education, employment status, contact information, and Social Security number. This information is necessary for a "soft pull" of your credit, which won't impact your credit score. Shortly after, you'll receive a list of lenders that are tentatively offering you home improvement financing, pending your application completion and acceptance of the loan terms. But, you're prequalified with any lender you're matched with, so it should be easy-breezy to take the final few steps and get your loan funded.

Impressive rate guarantee

One of the standout features of Credible's service is their Best Rate Guarantee. If you find a better rate with another lender and close on that loan, you might qualify for a payment of up to $200. This guarantee gives Credible's borrowers peace of mind, knowing that they're getting the most competitive rates available on their home improvement loans.

You'll still need to take a few steps

Despite these impressive features, it's essential to remember that Credible is a loan marketplace, not a direct lender. While they streamline the initial application process and connect you with reputable lenders, you'll still need to complete the borrowing process with another company once connected through your Credible account. This means that your home improvement loan terms, rates, and fees will depend solely on the lending partners, requiring additional research once you're matched with them.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Fantastic reputation

In terms of reputation, Credible has maintained an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and received thousands of five-star reviews from satisfied customers. Clients praise the platform for delivering on its promise: a quick and easy way to compare loan offers from multiple lenders at once, resulting in a positive borrowing experience when loans are funded through partner companies. Any complaints typically relate to the lender itself rather than the reliability or usefulness of Credible.

Top pick among home improvement loan referral platforms

In conclusion, Credible is a convenient, trustworthy, and user-friendly option for securing funds for your home improvement projects. Whether you're looking to renovate your kitchen, update your bathroom, or add a new deck to your backyard, Credible's broad network of lending partners and Best Rate Guarantee make it a top choice for borrowers. Credible should be one of the first places you look when you're ready to make that home improvement project a done deal.

Discover Review 4.5 Star Rating

Discover

4.5 Star Rating
  • Loans ranging from $2,500 to $40,000, structured as personal loans
  • Terms ranging from 36 to 84 months
  • Next-day funding available after approval
  • No origination fees
  • No penalty for prepayment

Discover is more than just a credit card company. Did you know they could help you finance your home improvement projects, even if you're on a budget?

Competitive interest rates

Discover's "home improvement loans" are actually personal loans that can be used for anything you need. You can borrow from $2,500 to $40,000, with repayment terms spanning from 36 to 84 months. There's no minimum credit score required to apply, and you can check your rate without affecting your credit score.

Next-day funding on many loans

Once your loan is approved and accepted, you could have the money deposited into your bank account by the next business day (provided the loan is funded on a weekday). Of course, any errors on your application might cause a delay, so make sure to cross your "t" s and dot your "i" s as you fill in your details.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Hooray for no origination fees

Big plus for getting a home improvement loan here: Discover doesn't charge origination or prepayment fees. That alone can save you as much as 10%, compared with some of the lenders on our list. And, if you're able to pay off your loan early, there won't be any penalties.

5-star reviews from almost every borrower

Discover borrowers are extremely satisfied with their loans. With nearly 25,000 five-star reviews out of over 26,000 ratings for personal loans, customers praise Discover for offering better rates and terms than banks or credit unions, top-notch customer service, and a quick and easy approval process.

Surprisingly good option for home improvement loans

Who would have thought a credit card company could be a great choice for affordable home improvement loans? Whether you're renovating your kitchen or sprucing up your backyard, a personal loan from Discover could be the solution. Discover earns a well-deserved rating as a financing option for your home improvement projects.

LendingTree Review 4 Star Rating

LendingTree

4 Star Rating
  • Home improvement loans available up to $50,000
  • Referral service pairs you with up to five lending partners
  • Repayment terms range from 24 to 84+ months
  • Accredited with an "A+" rating by the Better Business Bureau
  • Operating for almost 30 years

Since its establishment in 1998, LendingTree has been a pioneer in the world of online financial referral services, matching people like you with everything from home improvement loans to credit cards and small business loans. Utilizing their fully-vetted network of partners, LendingTree matches you with up to five lenders who are willing to help you get that new bathroom you've been dreaming of (or to finally fix that hole in the roof).

Learn about lenders in advance

Unlike some platforms that offer limited options, LendingTree provides access to a vast network of financial institutions. They prioritize transparency, offering detailed information about each partner's background and customer reviews. This feature can help you feel some confidence, especially when considering lenders you may not be familiar with prior to the "introduction" by LendingTree.

Your rates and terms will vary by lender

Wondering about the loan amounts and interest rates available through LendingTree for home improvement projects? It largely depends on factors such as your credit history, income, and borrowing needs. Generally, LendingTree partners can fund loans up to $50,000, with interest rates determined by the individual lenders. LendingTree guarantees that no loans through their service will carry an APR higher than 35.99%, but you'll need to apply to receive personalized offers.

Confirm your identity

Getting started with LendingTree is straightforward. Indicate how much you'd like to borrow for your project and how quickly you need the money (from 48 hours to "just browsing rates" ). Provide details like your birthdate, credit score range, annual income, address, and so on. LendingTree will try to validate your identity with those details; if they're not able to do so, they'll ask for the last four digits of your SSN and do a soft pull on your credit.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Compare multiple offers

Once your info has been verified, you'll be able to see which lenders in the LendingTree network are interested in offering you a home improvement loan. You can then use the platform to compare offers and complete a full application with the financial institution of your choice.

Prepare for (un)solicited contact

With an "A+" BBB rating and thousands of five-star reviews on Trustpilot and elsewhere, LendingTree has a great reputation. However, some users have reported receiving spam communications after providing their contact information to LendingTree. While this issue isn't uncommon with referral platforms, it's worth noting that complaints regarding unwanted communications from LendingTree users are more widespread compared to some rival services.

Could live without the spam but still a good option

Despite the information-selling issue, LendingTree remains a solid resource for those seeking multiple options for home improvement loans. While it falls short of a higher rating due to this concern, we still consider LendingTree worthy of a solid rating for its comprehensive lending network and user-friendly platform.

SuperMoney Review 4 Star Rating

SuperMoney

4 Star Rating
  • Loan referral platform
  • Transparent about their partners
  • Excellent resource for evaluating loan providers
  • Plenty of reviews from other borrowers
  • Loans available up to $100,000
  • Operating since 2013

Since 2013, SuperMoney has been a trusted name in the world of financial service referrals. They're well-known for helping people connect with lenders to meet various financial needs, including finding the perfect loan for your home improvement projects.

Referral platform for loans

SuperMoney acts as a bridge between you and a wide network of lending partners. While they don't directly offer home improvement loans, they simplify the process of comparing offers from different lenders. This way, you can carefully consider your options and select the best loan for your home improvement project. It's like having a one-stop shop for all your loan needs, saving you time and hassle.

Privacy is protected

To explore what SuperMoney can do for you, you'll need to answer some questions about your loan preferences, credit score, and employment status. Providing this information helps SuperMoney match you with suitable lenders. We really appreciate that they prioritize your privacy, so you won't receive unwanted messages or calls from third parties.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Helpful info on network lenders

SuperMoney makes it easy for you to access information about their lending partners. On their Home Improvement page, you'll see familiar names like SoFi and LendingClub (who we've reviewed separately). And, even without being a SuperMoney client, you can read reviews from other customers on all of the lenders in their network before you even commit to the application process. This gives you valuable insights into the experiences of other borrowers and helps you make an informed decision, no strings attached.

Almost all 5-star ratings

Despite not being listed with the Better Business Bureau, SuperMoney can brag about having an outstanding reputation. With over 400 ratings on Trustpilot, they average an impressive 4.9 stars. Customers consistently praise SuperMoney for being a valuable resource in their search for lenders.

Solid option for browsing multiple lenders

When it comes to finding the right loan for your home improvement project, SuperMoney is a favorite choice for browsing multiple lenders. Their user-friendly platform, wealth of information, and commitment to customer privacy make them stand out from the competition. While the rates and terms of your home improvement loan will ultimately depend on the lender you choose, SuperMoney provides an excellent starting point for your search. Plus, their promise not to sell customers' information gives them an edge over many similar services.

SoFi<sup>®</sup> Review 4 Star Rating

SoFi®

4 Star Rating
  • Home improvement loans available from $5,000 to $100,000 (structured as a personal loan)
  • Flexible repayment terms spanning from 2 to 7 years
  • Most loans funded same or next day
  • Available in all states except Mississippi
  • Live customer support 7 days a week
  • "A+" BBB rating

Ready to tackle that home improvement project? SoFi might have the cash you need to get it done. With over two million members and an impressive $50 billion in funded loans, SoFi has established itself as a reliable player in the financial arena, providing a range of resources aimed at fostering financial independence.

Borrow up to $100K

SoFi can provide personal loans to be used for home improvements. These loans range from $5,000 to $100,000, with flexible repayment terms spanning from 2 to 7 years. Borrowers have ample time to pay off their loans without feeling overwhelmed. What's more, most loans are funded either on the same day or the next day, ensuring that you have access to the funds when you need them most.

Some APR discounts available

But what sets SoFi apart from other lenders? You can save a bit on your interest rate here. You'll typically get a 0.25% APR discount if you use autopay on your loan, and another half-percentage point if you set up direct deposit on your SoFi account.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Pay attention to origination fees

However, it's essential to note that SoFi's loans are structured as personal loans, meaning they're not specifically tailored to the home improvement industry. While this doesn't affect the loan process itself, it's something to keep in mind when considering your options. Additionally, while SoFi boasts competitive rates, it's essential to carefully review the terms and conditions, as some borrowers have reported being caught off guard by origination fees (disclosed in the fine print as ranging from 0% to 6%), despite the big-print areas in the site saying there wouldn't be any.

"A+" from the BBB

Despite these slight possible drawbacks, SoFi has established a solid reputation in the financial community. With an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and over 7,000 five-star ratings on Trustpilot, SoFi is generally regarded as a trustworthy and reliable lender. While there have been some complaints filed against SoFi, they've been appropriately addressed, and many were unrelated to loan products.

Worth considering for some unique benefits

SoFi could be a viable option for financing your home improvement projects, especially if you value convenience and flexibility. While they may not offer the absolute best rates and terms, their commitment to customer satisfaction and innovative features make them a contender worth considering. So, if you're in need of funds to transform your living space, it might be worth giving SoFi a closer look.

LendingClub Review 3.5 Star Rating

LendingClub

3.5 Star Rating
  • Loans available up to $40,000 (structured as personal loans)
  • Funded $90B+ in loans for over 4 million members since 2007
  • Origination fees of 3-8%
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Tens of thousands of 5-star reviews

You'll understand from the name that LendingClub started out as a peer-to-peer platform, where everyday people invested in other everyday people to fund their loans. That was the case back in 2007, but since then LendingClub has expanded to become its own bank, not relying on peer lending to get the job done anymore. It seems to be working: there have been 4 million people who have secured over $90 billion in funds through this platform.

Borrow up to $40K

Your home improvement loan via LendingClub will be structured as a personal loan, up to $40,000. You'll still put "Home Improvement" as the purpose, though. When you click on "check your rate" , you'll be asked to enter your name and email address to create an account. You'll also provide your address, birthdate, phone number, and total annual income, all to verify your identity and make you a loan offer. If LendingClub can't verify your identity that way, you'll be asked for your full SSN. Once your identity is confirmed, LendingClub will make you an offer.

No disclosure of rates until you get an offer

What will that offer look like? Of course, it will depend on how much you're trying to borrow, your overall credit profile, your income, and so forth. But, there are some monthly payment examples you can find on the Personal Loan Rates & Fees page if you're interested.

Pay attention to origination fees

You should be aware that LendingClub does charge origination fees on their home improvement loans. Your rate will depend on your credit score, but expect it to be somewhere between 3-8%.

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Good customer reviews

People can't say enough positive things about their experience with LendingClub. On Trustpilot alone, more than 4,500 people have taken the time to give this service a flawless 5-star score, many of whom are repeat customers that have benefited from these no-hassle loans. Common compliments include praise for how fast the loans are funded, how quick it is to apply, and how competitive the loan rates and terms are when compared with rivals' offers. The Better Business Bureau agrees, giving LendingClub a perfect "A+" rating and accreditation.

Earns points for transparency

And, even though LendingClub is willing to show you everything on their site (the good, the bad, and the ugly), the unfiltered and authentic reviews on their own platform still average out to an incredible 4.83/5 stars - over nearly 70,000 ratings. While scrolling through them reveals that most borrowers here are consolidating debt, we spotted a few that had "remodel" as their purpose too.

Worth considering on reputation alone

On the downside, LendingClub has some steep origination fees not changed by some of the higher-rated options on our list. But, it's impossible to ignore the tens of thousands of people who absolutely rave about how easy it is to get money quickly through this platform, and those repeat borrower testimonials are pretty compelling. In the end, LendingClub's good track record with its happy clients was enough to earn them a positive rating.

Prosper Review 3.5 Star Rating

Prosper

3.5 Star Rating
  • Personal loans up to $50,000
  • HELOCs and HELoans up to $500,000
  • Origination fees from 1%-7.99%
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 2005

Prosper takes a unique approach to funding home improvement loans. It's the only service on our list that works as a peer-to-peer lending platform (although there's one other company that used to operate that way too). Since 2005, Prosper has been connecting people through investments, serving as the middleman between those who want to invest in their neighbors (figuratively speaking) and those who want to borrow from them.

Choose between personal loan or HELOC

Prosper is one of the few options on our list to give you the choice between a home improvement loan structured as a personal loan OR a HELOC/HELoan. You'll want to consider those options carefully: the personal loan will let you borrow up to $50,000, while the HELOC/HELoan can make up to $500,000 available to you. Naturally, those are the maximum amounts and not every borrower will qualify to take out a loan for those amounts. And, of course, you need to remember that a personal loan doesn't use the home itself as collateral, which has its own pros and cons.

Be sure to indicate it's a home improvement loan

But, for simplicity's sake, and since most people applying for a home improvement loan aren't necessarily looking for a HELOC, let's just look at the $50K and under option at Prosper. You'll enter the amount you'd like to borrow (from $2,000 to $50,000), and click "check your rate" , and then select "Home Improvement" as the reason. This is more important at Prosper than at other lenders and platforms on our list. Why? Because it's a peer-to-peer platform: on the investors' side, they choose which loans to invest in, based on prospective borrowers' credit profiles and also what they're borrowing for. So, if you accidentally put in "Taxes" or "RV" as your reason for taking out a loan, you may be passed over by investors who aren't interested in funding those loan purposes.

Don't be surprised by origination fees

Origination fees? In a word, yes, you should expect them with Prosper. It'll depend on your overall borrower profile, but it'll range somewhere from 1%-7.99% and be deducted from your loan proceeds. And, good news: if you pay back your home improvement loan early, you could qualify for a refund of any unearned portion of that fee that's over 5% of the original principal amount.

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Funding may take longer

Once your application has been accepted, the wait begins. Prosper "may" get your loan funded as quickly as one business day, but you're at the mercy of the lenders who choose to invest in your loan. That's one reason for Prosper not ranking higher on our list: the peer-to-peer aspect introduces some delays that you might not experience somewhere else. Maybe that's not an issue if you're flexible on your renovation schedule, but it could be a problem if you have repairs that need to be made ASAP.

Decent feedback despite complaints

How about reputation? Prosper had an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau at the time of our evaluation, but also more than 450 complaints over the last three years. While we don't love seeing that many complaints, we're pleased to report that all of them received prompt, appropriate responses from Prosper reps. And, on another positive note, over 10,000 people took the time to leave a 5-star review for Prosper on Trustpilot. The process is described as streamlined, especially for repeat borrowers, and most people say that their loans are funded within a matter of days.

Good enough for many borrowers

Prosper comes in as solidly above average overall. It's a unique way to get a home improvement loan, though that novelty may come with some delays in funding (but nothing super-significant; you're not waiting for months). Prosper comes in lower in our rankings because of the origination fees, and because their interest rates aren't the most competitive. However, as a lender overall, there's nothing unreliable or not worthy of trust here.

Upgrade Review 3 Star Rating

Upgrade

3 Star Rating
  • Home improvement loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, structured as personal loans
  • Origination fees from 1.85% to 9.99%, deducted from the loan amount
  • Repayment terms from 24 to 84 months
  • Accredited with an "A+" rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Collaborates with two lending partners
  • Collaborates with two lending partners

Founded in 2017, Upgrade has emerged as a prominent player in the financial services sector, offering a wide array of products tailored to meet the needs of consumers, including home improvement loans, rewards checking, credit cards, and financial literacy resources. With its headquarters in San Francisco and additional offices in Phoenix, Atlanta, Orange County, and Montreal, Upgrade has earned the trust of over 2.5 million customers, facilitating loans exceeding $24 billion since its inception.

No surprises in the application process

Applying for a home improvement loan through Upgrade is straightforward. Begin by specifying the desired loan amount, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, and indicating the purpose of the loan. (Be aware that, regardless of the purpose, loans offered by Upgrade are all structured as personal loans.) Provide personal information for yourself and any co-applicants, and disclose annual income details, with specific guidelines outlined for self-employed individuals.

ID verification required

Finally, to access loan rate quotes, create an account with Upgrade using your email address and chosen password. Identity verification requires providing your full Social Security Number. In instances where Upgrade cannot locate your credit profile, you will be notified of the denial and that's as far as you'll be able to go.

Origination fees deducted from loan

You'll need to factor in origination fees, which can range from 1.85% to 9.99%. Failing to account for these fees could result in an unwelcome surprise when your funded amount is less than you expected (because the fees are taken from the proceeds prior to landing in your account), so use that knowledge when deciding how much money is needed for your home improvement project.

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A-B-C from the BBB

Upgrade collaborates with two financial partners, Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank, to facilitate home improvement loans. While Cross River Bank holds a "C-" rating from the BBB, Blue Ridge Bank enjoys a more favorable "B+" rating. Despite those varying partner ratings, Upgrade maintains an "A+" BBB rating, giving us some confidence in its overall service quality.

Lots of compliments from clients

With nearly 40,000 Trustpilot reviews, Upgrade maintains a strong reputation, with 92% of customers awarding the company a 4- or 5-star rating. Although some customers make reference to experiencing slightly longer processing times than anticipated, the majority offer praise for the quick, easy, and reliable loan application process. Notably, Upgrade's willingness to accommodate borrowers with credit scores below 600 resonates positively with customers, especially those who've been turned down for home improvement loans in other places.

Good but not quite great

Upgrade receives a modest rating from us. While it remains a reliable option when you need cash for a home improvement project, particularly if you have a lower credit score, steep origination fees and high interest rates keep Upgrade from being able to compete with our higher-ranking lenders.

Personal Loans Review 1 Star Rating

Personal Loans

1 Star Rating
  • Lender referral service
  • Connects you with lenders offering anywhere from $250 to $35,000
  • Parent company has an "A" rating from the BBB

From the get-go, Personal Loans will probably not be your favorite option to get funding for your home improvement projects. First off, the service is operated by a company called IT Media: not exactly what we would call a financial institution or lending powerhouse. In fact, Personal Loans is strictly a referral service, passing you along to partners who pay to receive your info. Is that always a bad thing? Not necessarily, but let's get a little deeper into how Personal Loans works and you can decide for yourself.

You'll get more than you bargained for

You'll start out by entering the amount you'd like to borrow, ranging from $250 to $35,000. Note the fine print: by putting in just that detail, you're consenting to receive marketing communications from companies not just offering loans, but also those who specialize in credit repair, banking, and credit monitoring.

No focus on home improvement loans

On the next page, you'll be asked for your zip code, last 4 digits of your SSN, and your date of birth. That's presumably for the purpose of running a soft credit check and identity verification, but Personal Loans doesn't come out and tell you that. As you work your way through the process, you'll also be asked what you plan to use the loan for - and, out of the long list of options, "home improvement" doesn't even make an appearance, so you'll have to decide if you want to classify it as "major purchase" or "other" .

Unchecking the box isn't really an option

The rest of the application gets extremely personal: employer contact information, full SSN, and so on. Not sure about you, but that makes us pretty uncomfortable, being asked for that level of detail on a website that doesn't tell you upfront what they can offer you or the specifics of where that information is going to be shared (or sold). We got excited when one of the last pages allowed us to opt out of "other credit-related offers" ...until we realized that when we unchecked that box, we were unable to continue with the online application. That's tricky and not cool, Personal Loans.

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Takes you to a third-party site

After we submitted our information (yes, fake, because at this point we didn't trust Personal Loans enough to give them the actual details), we were taken to a page that said some of their partners were interested in offering us a loan considerably lower than we had requested. We were then asked to provide our bank routing and account numbers. Finally, we landed on a completely different URL and were invited to start the borrowing process at one of five recommended lending partners.

Not transparent

All of that felt like a long, slow fall down the rabbit hole. Despite Personal Loans' parent company having an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, we have no confidence in this service. The site asks for far too much info from prospective borrowers, with no reassurances or disclosures regarding where that sensitive information will be shared. Plus, there's almost no current feedback from anyone using Personal Loans and being happy about it, "A" from the BBB aside.

Avoid using this site

By now, you've probably reached the same conclusion we did: Personal Loans is at the bottom of the list for home improvement loans. Lucky for all of us, there are options out there that make it easy to get the money we need for those big projects, and that do it in a way that feels comfortable and safe. Here's a hint: you'll find some of those options right at the top of our list. So, don't waste your time with Personal Loans and take a look at the higher-ranking home improvement loan providers in our review instead.

Upstart Disclosure

(1) Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

(3) The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 22.00% and 60 monthly payments of $25.03 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $15,018 including a $600 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no downpayment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

(4) If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Online applications streamline the process, eliminating the hassle of in-person appointments and extensive paperwork. Instead, you can submit your application quickly and easily, receiving loan offers and getting funds deposited - all without ever leaving your computer or smartphone.

Before you start filling out applications, it's important to understand that not all loans labeled as "home improvement loans" are structured the same way. Some are specifically tailored for home-related projects, while others, particularly those offered online, are often personal loans.

Personal loans provide you with a lump sum of money that you can use for various purposes, including home improvements. Unlike home equity loans or lines of credit (HELOCs), which are secured by the equity in your home, personal loans are unsecured and don't require collateral.

The distinction between personal loans and HELOCs is crucial for you to understand. HELOCs allow homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes, making them ideal for large-scale renovations or projects that require substantial funding. While HELOCs may offer lower interest rates and tax benefits, they also come with the risk of losing your home if you default on payments.

On the other hand, personal loans offer you flexibility and accessibility. They don't require equity in your home, making them accessible to homeowners with limited equity or those who don't want to put their homes at risk. Personal loans often come with fixed interest rates and repayment terms, simplifying budgeting and planning for you. Additionally, the application process is typically faster, with funds disbursed quickly - sometimes within a few days of approval.

So, with all of the options out there, how can you tell where to start your search for a home improvement loan? Here are some ideas for sifting through the various platforms and choosing the right one for you:

  • Referral service or direct lender. Do you want to compare loan offers from multiple financial institutions at once? Then choose a site that serves as a referral platform. But, if you'd prefer the peace of mind that comes from a single application with a lender you already know and trust, you've got solid options that way as well. It's a matter of personal preference.
  • Borrower qualifications. Does the lender or platform have any minimum criteria you'll need to meet, in order to be eligible for a home improvement loan? That could be a particular credit score, monthly income, or even a particular state of residence.
  • Maximum loan amount. If you've got a major home improvement project in mind, you may need more than a few thousand bucks to get it done. Some lenders cap their loans at $35,000 (or less), so check that out first.
  • Reputation. Have other homeowners successfully used the site to get the funding they needed? Were there any surprises during the application process or afterwards? Has the lender or the referral platform been rated by the BBB?

Ready for renovations? The experts at Top Consumer Reviews have reviewed and ranked some of today's most frequently-used sites for home improvement loans, so that you can turn your ho-hum house into something truly Insta-worthy in no time.

The Best Home Improvement Loans Compare Home Improvement Loans Compare Home Improvement Loan Reviews What are the best Home Improvement Loans Best Home Improvement Loan Reviews

Home Improvement Loan FAQ

In general, there are four types of financing for home improvement: home improvement loans, which don't depend on having any equity in your home, cash-out refinancing, home equity loans (HEL), and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). The loan that's right for you will be affected by several factors, such as current interest rates, the amount that you want to borrow, and your credit history.
Great question! Both types of loan assume that you've got some equity built up in your property, and you use that property to "secure" your loan. Home equity loans are more like a traditional loan: you get an upfront lump sum and make fixed payments over your repayment term. On the other hand, a home equity line of credit lets you borrow as needed, up to a predetermined limit: your interest rate may be variable, so your payments can increase or decrease over time.
Basically, yes. Your loan is rarely tied to any particular use. Maybe you thought you wanted a new kitchen, but now an in-ground pool sounds more fun. Or, perhaps you planned to upgrade your bathroom, and then all of your appliances died after a lightning strike. No problem! The money is yours to use as you see fit.
That depends. With a traditional home improvement loan, the amount you can borrow will largely be determined by your credit history, current amount of debt, and your income. If you're borrowing against the equity in your home, you may be able to get a loan for up to 85% of your equity. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and you've got $200,000 left to pay, then your equity is $100,000: you may be able to borrow up to $85,000.
If you need money fast, your best bet is a home improvement loan rather than a home equity loan. With a home improvmeent loan, you could get funds deposited within a day or two of being approved. Any lending tied to the equity in your home takes much longer, often including a (new) house inspection and underwriting. But, keep in mind that home improvement loans often have higher interest rates than home equity loans.
The home improvement loan process is much easier than an equity-based loan, and you'll receive your money much faster - but you're likely to get the best rates and terms with a cash-out refinance (if interest rates now are lower than when you obtained your current mortgage) or a home equity loan. Keep in mind, though, you can get your money with a home improvement loan in just a day or two, while an equity-based loan can take weeks.
It's not impossible. You're more likely to qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit, because your home's value can secure the loan. But, there are also some home improvement loan providers that work with individuals that have less-than-perfect credit.
You can... but unless you've got a 0% APR card with a high credit limit and you can pay it all off within the introductory no-interest period (usually 12-21 months), you're going to wind up paying a lot more in interest. A LOT more. Check out your other options, which are tailored for this type of project, before using a credit card to fund home improvements or repairs!
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