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Personal Loans Review

Monday, October 25th

2021 Home Improvement Loan Reviews

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.

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.

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!
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 Reviews of Home Improvement Loans