Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

The Best Home Improvement Loans

Where Can You Find the Best Home Improvement Loans?

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, October 20th

2021 Home Improvement Loan Reviews

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

Upstart

5 Star Rating
  • High loan amounts
  • Very competitive APR's
  • Terms range from 3 to 5 years
  • "A" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Origination fees disclosed at the time of loan offer
  • Over 95% of borrowers receive their funds very quickly once approved
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Upstart was founded by former Google employees, who use artificial intelligence (AI) to help people unlock borrowing opportunities through affordable credit. Through this platform they can offer high loan approval rates, which means you have a greater chance of being accepted for a home improvement loan.

Unique application process

Upstart starts out with a fairly standard application process. You first select the purpose of your loan, the amount you'd like to borrow, your contact information, and your birthdate. From there, the questions get a little more unique compared with other home improvement loan providers. What's your highest level of education? Where did you go to school, what did you study, and when did (or will) you graduate? How much money do you currently have in bank accounts and investments?

New methodology

Upstart asks these types of questions because they calculate risk differently from most lenders. They take your educational background and earning potential into account when determining your eligibility for a loan. Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart's rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan. As their About Us page states, "With a smarter credit model, lenders could approve almost twice as many borrowers, with fewer defaults." In other words, Upstart makes home improvement loans accessible to more people - and at a lower risk to the financial institutions that provide them.

Home improvement loan qualifications

You should have a minimum credit score of 580 in order to qualify for a home improvement loan from Upstart (although, if you don't have sufficient credit history to produce a score, Upstart will still let you qualify for a home improvement loan). You can't have any bankruptcies or accounts currently in collections, past due or delinquent, or that have been wholly charged-off in the last three years. You'll also be found ineligible for a loan if you have more than 6 inquiries on your credit report in the last 6 months - but that doesn't count any that are related to mortgages, vehicle loans, or student loans. Again, this is part of how Upstart measures risk, so that they can make home improvement loans available to more people.

Loans from $1,000 - $50,000

You could receive a loan offer anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. 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.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Competitive loan rates and terms

What rates and terms can you expect with a home improvement loan from Upstart? All loans funded through this service have repayment terms of either 3 or 5 years. They advertise a range of interest rates, and we found them to be very competitive with other lenders in the industry. Upstart's origination fee varies from 0-8% of the loan amount, and is deducted from the proceeds of your loan. In other words, if you request a $10,000 home improvement loan and you're charged an origination fee of 3%, you'll get $9,700 deposited to your bank account.

Get your money in 1 day

If your application is approved and you accept your loan terms, you could have your money deposited by the next business day. 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.

Fantastic customer satisfaction

Upstart sets the standard when it comes to customer satisfaction. The company has an "A" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but even more impressive is the fact that with over 8,500 client reviews, 99% of them gave Upstart a rating of 4 or 5 stars. Customers said that their experience was simple, easy, and straightforward, and many people expressed their delight at having loan funds deposited within a day.

Highest rating

There's a lot that we like about Upstart. It's refreshing to see a lender use new methodology that looks at your big picture as a borrower, including your education and employment potential, when determining if you're a good candidate for a home improvement loan. Plus, there's no arguing with Upstart's loyal base of happy clients. Combined with their innovative approach to broaden lending availability, and competitive loan terms, Upstart earns our highest rating.

LendingTree Review 4.5 Star Rating

LendingTree

4.5 Star Rating
  • Referral service that matches you with up to 5 lending partners
  • Loans available from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Good interest rates
  • Repayment terms between 61 days and 180 months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 24+ years in business

LendingTree is part of a large financial brand family that also includes Ovation Credit Services, Student Loan Hero, and QuoteWizard. Each brand focuses on specific financial services, and LendingTree gives you access to borrowing options for mortgages, auto loans, and, of course, home improvement loans.

Broad database of lenders

One of the reasons why we would choose LendingTree over other home improvement loan referral services is their extensive lender database. This site makes it extremely easy to learn about any lenders who make you a loan offer, from company history to hundreds (if not thousands) of client reviews. That's important, because LendingTree has financial partners you've probably never heard of - and reading through their detailed reviews can set your mind at ease that your home improvement loan is in good hands.

Basic application process

How do you get started with finding a home improvement loan through LendingTree? That's easy: first choose the purpose of your loan, such as paying off debt or making a major purchase, in the dropdown box. Then move the slider to the amount you're requesting, and indicate how quickly you need the money (anywhere from "within 48 hours" to "unsure, just browsing rates" ). From there, you'll be asked for your address, your credit score range, your birthdate (to verify your identity), pre-tax income, and several other basic questions.

Optional account benefits

In the last step of the account-creation process: you'll be asked if you want to include a free My LendingTree account, which comes with complimentary credit monitoring and monthly score reports, dark web monitoring, and more. Important - you'll automatically be enrolled into this service if you don't uncheck the box.

Best Home Improvement Loans

See up to five lender offers

The next screen will provide you with home improvement loans offered by LendingTree partners, assuming your information was verified. You then click on the loan offer that best meets your needs, complete any lender requirements, and you're on your way to getting your funds. If you aren't matched with any home improvement loans, expect to get recommendations for budgeting tools and money management advice.

Thousands of 5-star reviews

LendingTree has a positive reputation with more than two decades in operation, including accreditation and an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of nearly 10,000 independently-verified reviews, the company received over 7,600 perfect five-star ratings from clients.

Not all a bed of roses

You should be aware that LendingTree has its share of complaints, too. Many customers have reported a spam-like volume of calls, emails, and texts after completing the application process. Some customers report still receiving calls for weeks after applying for a loan through LendingTree. They should do a better job controlling their lending partners, especially when it comes to contacting their customers.

Great choice for getting multiple loan offers

If you want the most hassle-free way to compare a variety of home improvement loan offers from multiple financial institutions, LendingTree is a great choice. The service is easy to use and will very likely match you with a loan that fits your needs.

SoFi Review 4.5 Star Rating

SoFi

4.5 Star Rating
  • Fixed-rate loans from $5,000 to $100,000
  • Competitive APRs (especially with AutoPay discount)
  • Repayment terms from 2-7 years
  • No origination fees
  • Unemployment protection benefits on all loans
  • Available in all states except MS
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

SoFi wants people to be able to manage their money and reach financial independence so they can make ambitions a reality. With over two million customers and $50 billion in funded loans, this service is absolutely helping people like you accomplish just that. While you can definitely use SoFi just for a home improvement loan and nothing else, you may want to take advantage of their additional products and tools that can give you guidance for attacking your debt with a plan, building and maintaining a safety net, putting your money to work, and even saving for retirement or other goals.

Some unique application questions

To apply for a home improvement loan from SoFi, you enter your name, state of residence and email address to create an account on their site. Next, you put in the desired loan amount (from $5,000 to $100,000) and click on the category that matches your intended use of the funds. Their next question hints at SoFi's focus on healthy money management: "What monthly payment amount works with your budget?" You can enter any number between $150 and $500, or skip it altogether. The remaining questions help SoFi to verify your identity; otherwise, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number if they can't match your credit history to the details you provided.

Big perks you won't find elsewhere

SoFi has some huge perks compared with many financial institutions offering home improvement loans. Their interest rates are generally lower than what you'll find elsewhere, with an added deduction if you set your repayments to automatically come out of your bank account each month. Better yet, the APRs on SoFi home improvement loans have zero origination fees - good luck finding that with other lenders!

Best Home Improvement Loans

Unemployment protection benefit

Our favorite SoFi benefit, though, is their Unemployment Protection program. If you lose your job through no fault of your own and your home improvement loan is in good standing at that time, you can apply to have your loan repayments suspended for three months at a time, for a total of 12 months over the life of the loan. SoFi's Career Advisory Group will even help you look for a new job.

Disappointing downturn

However, we were disappointed to find out that in the time that has passed since our last evaluation, several of SoFi's rivals have done a better job of keeping clients happy. In fact, even though the BBB gives them an "A+" rating, Sofi's listing there says "this business receives a high volume of complaints" . That's not good. Looking at nearly 2,500 independently-verified reviews elsewhere, SoFi comes in with a disappointing 3.2 out of 5-star average, and less than 80% of their reviewers would give the service a perfect score. Ouch!

Customer service needs improvement

The biggest complaints we found described frustrating challenges getting ahold of anyone in SoFi's customer service department - and the resulting long timeframes for resolving issues. If you need funds quickly, or if you have any problems with your home improvement loan, you want to know you'll get a prompt, professional response. Unfortunately, SoFi has some work to do in that regard.

Still a strong option

SoFi has a lot to offer: you'll find low interest rates on your loan, and no other lender we found works with you so supportively if you lose your job. But you need to look at the whole picture, and their increase in customer complaints leave us feeling more than a little disappointed. We really hope to see an upswing in customer satisfaction in the near future, because SoFi has previously been a great option for loans.

Credible Review 4 Star Rating

Credible

4 Star Rating
  • Loans available from $1,000 to $100,000
  • Wide range of interest rates
  • Referral service that matches you with lending partners
  • Best Rate Guarantee (terms apply)
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Getting a home improvement loan can be a hassle, but it doesn't have to be. Credible simplifies the process by giving you access to more than a dozen lenders with a single application. Since 2012, this service has connected consumers with the loans they need, with fully-vetted partners that meet the highest criteria for transparency and fairness.

Loan referral service

So, to be clear, you can't get a home improvement loan from Credible. Instead, your application (which only takes a few minutes to complete) is used to give you a results list of lenders that meet your needs, with loans that can range from $1,000 to $100,000. During the application process, you'll provide critical details like your employment status and credit score range, educational background, and your Social Security number.

Soft credit pull

Credible performs a "soft pull" - which will not impact your credit score, as you may already know - and then matches you with lenders who are willing to give you a loan. It's up to you to determine which lender has the home improvement loan that is the best fit for your situation. Terms vary depending on which one you choose, and the interest rates they offer can vary widely.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Best Rate Guarantee - but read the terms

One perk that Credible offers is a Best Rate Guarantee. If you find better rates with another lender and close on a home improvement loan with that provider, you could be eligible for a $200 payment from Credible. We recommend that you read the terms and conditions (by clicking on the Learn More button in the Best Rate Guarantee pop-out), because there are certain criteria that have to be met (like submitting your request within 7 days of closing on your home improvement loan with someone else).

Good reputation

We were very happy to see that Credible has a strong, positive reputation. They've earned an "A+" and accreditation from the BBB, and more than 3,000 customers have given this service a flawless 5-star rating. Compliments include praise for Credible's reliability and easy-to-use website.

Worth consideration

Of course, with all that said, at the end of the day you'll still wind up having to get your home improvement loan from an actual lender. That means that even though Credible offers some time savings with a one-application-fits-all process, you'll still have to take the extra step of due diligence to ensure that the lender you ultimately select is giving you a loan that you can pay back on time and with interest rates you can afford.

Upgrade Review 4 Star Rating

Upgrade

4 Star Rating
  • Fixed-rate loans from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Two lending partners
  • Repayment terms from 24-84 months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Upgrade got its start in 2017, designed to offer exceptional value through combining rewards checking, affordable home improvement loans, credit cards and financial education. In its first four years, Upgrade saw more than 15 million people apply for a credit card or loan. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in Phoenix and Montreal.

No surprises in the application process

The quote process for getting a home improvement loan with Upgrade is simple. Start by entering your desired loan amount, from $1,000 to $50,000, as well as the loan purpose (consolidate debt, make a large purchase, and so on). From there, you'll need to indicate if your application is individual or joint, and provide the corresponding name, address and birthdate of anyone who will be included on the loan documents.

Read the details if you're self-employed

On the next page, you're asked to specify how much you make in a year and any additional annual income. Be sure to click on the FAQ in the text that pops up if you are self-employed: your documentation requirements will be a little different from those who get W2 income.

Verify identity to get loan offers

Finally, to get your personalized rate quotes, you'll need to create an Upgrade account with your email address and desired password, and then enter your full Social Security Number to verify your identity. If Upgrade can't locate your credit profile through TransUnion or another bureau, you'll get a message saying that they can't offer you a loan at this time, and a PDF with the notification of your loan request denial.

Origination fees taken out of loan proceeds

So, let's say you bite the bullet and provide all of the necessary verification info to get a home improvement loan quote through Upgrade. What can you expect? Generally speaking, all loans through this provider have fixed-rate APRs with repayment terms anywhere from 24-84 months. Those APRs include a one-time origination fee of 2.9-8%, which is deducted from the proceeds of your loan. In other words, if you request a $10,000 home improvement loan and you're charged an origination fee of 5%, you'll get $9,500 deposited to your bank account.

Best Home Improvement Loans

One-day turnaround for funds

Once your loan is approved, you should see the funds in your bank account within one business day, though it may take your financial institution a few more days to finalize the transaction. How does Upgrade get it done so quickly? Unlike many of the home improvement loan platforms in our review that operate as a referral service with lots of lenders in the network, Upgrade uses just two financial partners for all their funding: Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. Having a two-lender-only system means that you won't have to jump through any extra hoops of (re)applying after being matched with a financial institution (which is one of the downsides of using a referral platform for your home improvement loan).

A+ from the Better Business Bureau

At the time of this evaluation, Cross River bank had a "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau, while Blue Ridge had a more favorable "A" rating. Upgrade itself enjoys both accreditation and an "A+" from the BBB, making us confident that they're overseeing the home improvement loans made by their two lending partners, regardless of each bank's standing.

Clients love this service

And, Upgrade customers seem to agree: with more than 13,000 independently verified reviews, 94% of them give this lender a 4- or 5-star rating. While a handful of clients reported longer-than-average wait times (both for loan processing and for getting in touch with the customer service team to request help), the vast majority describe the home improvement loan process at Upgrade as quick, easy, and trustworthy.

New service building a good reputation

Upgrade is an all-around solid option for getting a home improvement loan. Although they're a little bit newer than some of their competitors who've been in the industry for a decade or two, that's no reason to worry that your home improvement loan isn't in good hands if you choose Upgrade. Thousands of clients have already used this lender to get the money they need, and we're sure you can too.

SuperMoney Review 3.5 Star Rating

SuperMoney

3.5 Star Rating
  • Loan referral service
  • 14 lender network
  • Loans up to $100,000
  • Competitive APR's
  • In operation since 2013

SuperMoney provides a comparison platform across a wide variety of financial services, from home improvement loans to banking. In business since 2013, this company has helped people make smart decisions with their money by providing objective and transparent information. SuperMoney has been featured by Huffpost, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, and many other publications.

Your information is kept private

One aspect of SuperMoney that we really like is their promise not to sell applicants' data off to the highest bidder. If you've applied for a loan through a referral platform before, you're already familiar with the endless number of solicitations that can follow: phone, text, email, even regular mail. The way SuperMoney avoids all of that is by integrating their site directly with their lending partners, letting you compare your options with full transparency and zero pressure.

Just over a dozen network lenders

Another big plus is that there's no guessing who SuperMoney includes in their financial network - most of the lenders are listed right on their main page. The full list of lending partners is available on SuperMoney's Loans-specific page, and you can read client reviews without even applying. They don't have as much borrower feedback as some of their rival referral services, but it's still a good resource.

Simple, standard application questions

Your process begins when you click on "Get Competing Offers" and choose the category that best fits the intended purpose of your loan, from everyday expenses to major life events and major purchases. Move the slider to indicate the amount you owe or would like to borrow (depending on the loan category you selected), then use the next slider to enter your credit score. You'll be asked questions about your employment status, whether you own or rent, name/address/birthdate, and finally your Social Security Number (all to verify your identity and do a soft pull of your credit history). Before you're taken to your offers page, you'll need to create an account with SuperMoney.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Still have to complete application with chosen lender

Once you've reached your loan offers, you're given the option to finalize the application process on the lender's website. That means you'll have to take a few more steps to complete your loan application, as opposed to going directly to one of those partners' sites, but the additional legwork might be worth it if it lets you compare your options first.

Limited - but positive overall - client feedback

We're not sure why SuperMoney couldn't be found in the listings at the Better Business Bureau, given how long the company has been around. We were able to find just over 200 reviews elsewhere, and an impressive 96% of those gave the service a perfect five-star rating. Granted, not all of those reviews were specific to home improvement loans, but it's a good sign that SuperMoney delivers what it promises.

Good for doing research, better options out there

You can use SuperMoney to research lending companies and offers before choosing a home improvement loan. You'll get valuable information that might help you pick a loan and a lender that's right for you. But, compared with other loan referral services, SuperMoney doesn't have a reputation that's as well-established. Plus, many of their lending partners are also referral platforms, which could have you jumping through all of the same hoops a second time. SuperMoney is good - but not quite great. We hope to see continued progress from them in the home improvement loan marketplace.

LendingClub Review 3 Star Rating

LendingClub

3 Star Rating
  • Fixed-rate loans from $1,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum loan amounts vary by state
  • APRs vary widely
  • Origination fees ranging from 3% to 6%
  • All loans have repayment terms of at least 36 months

LendingClub has experienced some big changes over the last few years. Originally created as a peer-to-peer platform, where individual and business investors could choose to fund consumer loans (hence the name LendingClub), this source of home improvement loans now operates like a traditional financial institution. All funding is provided by LendingClub's own bank by the same name, making the loan application extremely streamlined when compared with platforms that refer you to multiple lenders at once.

No surprises in the application process

To get a home improvement loan through LendingClub, start by entering your desired loan amount (between $1,000 and $40,000) and selecting the loan's purpose in the dropdown box, then click on "Check Your Rate" . Indicate whether you're applying alone or with a co-applicant, your date of birth, and your total annual income. Finally, enter your first and last name, plus your address, and LendingClub will try to verify your credit report. If it can't do so based on the information provided, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number.

Expect origination fees and just-average interest rates

What can you anticipate if you are matched with a loan? That largely depends on your details: how much you're trying to borrow, your credit history, your income, and so forth. All home improvement loans funded through LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of at least three years, giving you ample time to repay it. Interest rates here are fairly average, and you should expect origination fees that range from 3% to 6%. These are typically rolled into the total cost of the loan or deducted from the payout deposited to your bank account. LendingClub's fine print at the bottom of their loans page says that their average loan has an origination fee of 5% and an APR of 15.95%.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Still being re-evaluated by the BBB

How about LendingClub's reputation? Since their business model has changed so drastically, it's difficult to put their past history into perspective. However, a few items stand out and are worth keeping in mind. The company used to have an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but their listing during our most recent check with the BBB was simply "Not Rated" . That indicates that LendingClub's new structure is still under consideration. More reassuringly, their sole lender WebBank received both accreditation and an "A+" from the BBB: you shouldn't encounter any issues with fraud or other problems if you pursue a home improvement loan through the LendingClub website.

Plenty of recent, positive customer comments

We also followed the link on the LendingClub site to see some of the more than 57,000 independently-verified reviews posted there, so that we could see what their most recent comments indicated about the new service. Most of the clients gave LendingClub a rating of 4 or 5 stars, and we were pleased to see that a decent number of those came from repeat customers.

Wait and see

LendingClub appears to be on the right track, having made quite a few changes to their service that have received positive feedback from their borrowers. But until the company puts in more time with their new lending model, and has an actual rating from the BBB, we hesitate to give LendingClub a rating higher than average. Reputation matters, and while LendingClub seems to have fixed some of the issues that they had in the past, we'd like to see confirmation of that. You should be fine if you choose to take a home improvement loan here, but we encourage you to consider other options too.

Personal Loans Review 2 Star Rating

Personal Loans

2 Star Rating
  • Loans from $1,000 to $35,000
  • "A+" rating from the BBB
  • Home improvement loan referral service

Personal Loans works as a referral service for those looking to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $35,000. You submit your information through a short online form, and Personal Loans' lending partners decide whether or not to offer you funding. If you are offered a loan, you'll then have to complete an application with the lender itself.

A+ from the Better Business Bureau

The last time we evaluated Personal Loans, the company had no listing with the Better Business Bureau. More recently, however, we were able to see that this service has an "A+" rating there, with only two complaints filed in the 12 months prior to this review. While Personal Loans doesn't have accreditation with the BBB, parent company IT Media Solutions does. Those are all good signs!

No information provided about lenders

But, compared with other referral services for home improvement loans, we don't love this platform. Why? There's no information about the lenders that Personal Loans uses in its network, requiring you to provide a lot of financial details without knowing who is going to be receiving them. Most home improvement loan referral services tell you outright which lenders they partner with, long before you offer your credit score, employment details, or current banking situation. How can the average consumer know if they're getting the best possible loan offers - or just offers from lending partners that benefit Personal Loans the most? Unfortunately, they can't.

Lack of details is concerning

In fact, most of the information you'll get from Personal Loans is disappointingly vague. Do they offer loans in your state? Apply to find out. How much money can you get? Apply to find out. What will your rates be? You get the idea.

Standard questions in the online application

Still think you want to give Personal Loans a try? To get started, you'll choose the reason for your loan from the dropdown box; options include debt relief, auto purchase, education, emergency, vacation, and so on. You can use your funds however you like, but Personal Loans may be able to match you with a loan tailored to your specific financial needs. For example, you might get better rates and terms on a loan for debt consolidation than a basic home improvement loan for a special occasion.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Some conflicting details

On the next page, you'll have to decide if you want to provide your zip code, last four digits of your SSN and your date of birth, to allow Personal Loans to see if you have an account on file. If you already know you don't, you can click on "skip lookup" to continue. Then, you'll be asked for your first and last name; this page also has the disclaimer that Personal Loans may share your information with their marketing partners, not just their lending network. On the page that asked how much we'd like to borrow, we were surprised to see that we could enter a requested amount as low as $100: everywhere else we looked on the Personal Loans site, it referenced a minimum loan amount of $1,000.

No choice but to provide personal information

From there, expect to be asked for a lot of personal information: your employer's name and contact information, how often you get paid and when your next paycheck will be, and even your driver's license number and SSN. There were also two pages where we could theoretically opt out of having our information being given to "extended network partners" and receiving "other credit-related offers" , but unchecking the boxes led to a red flag saying they were required! So much for having a choice.

Waste of time

After entering information for a sample candidate, we were taken to a screen with "sponsored listings" from Personal Loan's partners and given the opportunity to click to search matching loan offers on those third-party sites...where we essentially had to start the entire process all over again. Why waste the time?

Better options out there for home improvement loan referrals

Generally speaking, referral services for home improvement loans are a good idea if you want to save some time and hassle, getting curated funding options tailored to your financial situation. However, Personal Loans doesn't have much to offer when compared with more transparent services out there. You'll have a better experience as a prospective client with one of the higher-ranked sources of home improvement loans in our review.

LifeLoans Review 1 Star Rating

LifeLoans

1 Star Rating
  • Loans from $100 to $40,000
  • Loan referral service
  • All credit scores welcome

LifeLoans is one of several referral services in our review. These platforms require you to fill in a short online form so that they can match you with partner lenders for a home improvement loan. For many reasons, LifeLoan earns its rock-bottom position in our rankings.

Nothing troublesome at first

At first, LifeLoans looks fairly similar to other home improvement loan referral providers. You start by selecting your desired loan amount in the dropdown box, as well as the reason for your loan, then entering your email, date of birth, and current amount of credit card debt. So far, so good. The next page goes into more detail: you get to enter your full name and address, how often you get paid and with what type of employment, as well as your phone number and full SSN. (Though, for reasons you'll soon understand, we recommend that you hold off on giving them accurate information there!) At the end of the form, there is a checkbox to consent to be contacted by phone/text; you can leave the box unchecked and still submit your information to be considered.

Exactly where does your personal information go?

When we did that, we were redirected to a third-party loan provider. Our details had carried over from the LifeLoans site, but we were still asked to confirm the last four digits of our SSN. Exactly how many lenders had been given our full Social Security Number? We had no idea. (Good thing we used a sample profile and not our actual details!) Could we trust the lender we were passed along to? Again, no idea: LifeLoans doesn't disclose any of the names of the partners in their network until you fill out the online application.

Best Home Improvement Loans

Many business names for the same poor service

LifeLoans doesn't have much in the way of a solid reputation. We couldn't find a listing with the Better Business Bureau under that name, but when we searched the BBB using the contact phone number listed on LifeLoans' website, voila: a listing for a completely separate business name (Next Day Personal Loan) at the same address. That business had an "F" rating and a handful of consumer complaints registered there. As a matter of fact, we found a surprising number of "businesses" all registered to that phone number and address: Lending For Bad Credit, 100 Lenders, Swift Funders, and Cash Corner, to name a few. None of them had anything but an "F" from the Better Business Bureau.

Questionable intentions

Looking at the fine print in the application process, we spotted the parent company name for all of these "lenders" : Search ROI LLC. Does that sound like a place to get a home improvement loan that's really going to work hard for you - or more like a way for someone else to make money when you provide your information? We think it definitely sounds like the latter, don't you?

Zero reason to use this site

Taking out a home improvement loan can be a sensitive transaction, and you want to ensure that your finances are in good hands. There's nothing about LifeLoans that gives us any indication that they're deserving of your trust. You'll be better off with a higher-rated source of home improvement loans.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Loan Amount. How much money can you borrow? Some lenders offer loans up to $100,000, while others cap their limit at $35,000 - or lower. Can you get all the money you need from the lender you choose?
  • Loan Terms. How much will you pay in interest for your home improvement loan? How long will you have to repay the total amount borrowed? Are there any origination fees, prepayment penalties, or other costs?
  • Transparency. How much does the company tell you upfront about their loans? Is it easy to get a quote without a credit check? Does the provider tell you how much you should expect to pay in fees, their average interest rates, and their minimum eligibility requirements?
  • Direct lender or referral service. Some home improvement loan companies offer you funding directly, while others have partnerships with lenders and let you compare offers. A referral service is an easy way to compare loans and terms, but you may be spammed for weeks with annoying emails and calls from lenders.
  • Reputation. What do other homeowners have to say about the experience of getting a home improvement loan through the service? Is help readily available from knowledgeable company reps? Has the Better Business Bureau given the provider a strong rating?

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!

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!
The Best Reviews of Home Improvement Loans