Best Home Improvement Loans for 2020

Home improvements can take on many forms. Some, like a new roof, may be required maintenance. Others, like an additional bathroom or an in-ground pool, may add value for your family or attract potential buyers. 

Regardless of why you invest in a home improvement project, one thing is certain: It can be quite costly. The average roof replacement, for example, can cost anywhere from $4,707 to $10,460, and a new pool may run from $28,000 to $55,000, both according to HomeGuide. 

Home improvement loans can offer easy and flexible funding for your project, whatever it is. This guide will explain what you need to know to choose a home improvement loan as well as some of the best lenders based on your credit.

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Compare Home Improvement Loans


Loans from $5,000 to $100,000 – Rate Beat Program

  • Fixed rate loans from 4.99% APR
  • Whole-project funding with no fees, no home equity requirements

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6 best home improvement loans

Home improvement financing comes in a few forms, but the most popular method is a personal loan. Personal loans are typically unsecured (no collateral required), can be used for a variety of purposes, and often provide quick access to cash. 

You can find home improvement loans from a variety of lenders, including online lenders, local banks, and credit unions. But before you apply, you should compare several options to find the best deal for your unique situation.

The right lender can change based on your financial status, so we’ve rated the best personal loans for home improvement based on borrower credit scores:

If you have good credit

Review our top choices below, or check out our full list of personal loans for good credit.


APR Range

with AutoPay

Loan Amounts


For borrowers with good-to-excellent credit, LightStream has some of the best rates available. This arm of SunTrust Bank allows eligible applicants to borrow as much as lightstream-perl-43-amounthigh, making it a good option if you need to make expensive or large-scale home improvements. 

  • LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
  • Minimum credit score: lightstream-perl-43-mincreditscore
  • Loan amount: lightstream-perl-43-amountlowlightstream-perl-43-amounthigh
  • APRs: lightstream-perl-43-fixlow% – lightstream-perl-43-fixhigh% fixed
  • Origination Fee: lightstream-perl-43-origfee
  • Discounts: lightstream-perl-43-autopayreduc interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay
  • Full review: LightStream Personal Loans Review


APR Range

5.74% – 16.99%

Loan Amounts


SoFi is a good option if you are planning home repairs, want to take advantage of lower rates, and don’t need instant access to cash. Approval can take up to seven days, but its low rates could be worth the wait. Plus, SoFi offers repeat customer discounts.

  • LendEDU rating: 4.87 / 5.00
  • Minimum credit score: sofi-perl-36-mincreditscore
  • Loan amount: sofi-perl-36-amountlowsofi-perl-36-amounthigh
  • APRs: sofi-perl-36-fixlow% – sofi-perl-36-fixhigh% fixed
  • Origination Fee: sofi-perl-36-origfee
  • Discounts: sofi-perl-36-autopayreduc interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay 
  • Full review: SoFi Personal Loans Review


APR Range


Loan Amounts


Min. Credit Score

Not disclosed

PNC offers personal loans of as little as pnc-perl-1142-amountlow, so it’s a good option if you need to finance smaller home renovations. It’s also a good option if you already have a banking relationship with PNC and are looking for a streamlined funding process.  

PNC offers both secured and unsecured loans. We’ve rated its unsecured personal loan for home improvement:

  • LendEDU rating: 4.75 / 5.00
  • Minimum credit score: Not Disclosed
  • Loan amount: pnc-perl-1142-amountlowpnc-perl-1142-amounthigh
  • APRs: pnc-perl-1142-fixlowpnc-perl-1142-allhigh fixed
  • Origination fee: pnc-perl-1142-origfee
  • Discounts: pnc-perl-1142-autopayreduc interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay
  • Full review: PNC Personal Loans Review

If you have fair credit

Our top choices are below, but you can also review our full list of personal loans for fair credit.


APR Range


Loan Amounts


Min. Credit Score


Marcus, the online consumer banking arm of Goldman Sachs, offers a personal loan specifically for home improvements. You can use it for many projects, including a new roof, windows, home additions, plumbing updates, and even new appliances.

Loans are typically funded within five days. 

  • LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
  •  Minimum credit score: marcus-perl-56-mincreditscore
  • Loan amount: marcus-perl-56-amountlowmarcus-perl-56-amounthigh
  • APRs: marcus-perl-56-fixlow% – marcus-perl-56-fixhigh% fixed
  • Origination Fee: marcus-perl-56-origfee
  • Discounts: Not disclosed
  • Full review: Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans Review


APR Range


Loan Amounts


Min. Credit Score

Not Disclosed

FreedomPlus personal loans can be funded in as little as 48 hours, making the lender one of the best options if you need money quickly. However, this lender has a minimum loan requirement of freedomplus-perl-53-amountlow

  • LendEDU rating: 4.38 / 5.00
  • Minimum credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amount: freedomplus-perl-53-amountlowfreedomplus-perl-53-amounthigh
  • APRs: freedomplus-perl-53-fixlow% – freedomplus-perl-53-fixhigh% fixed
  • Origination Fee: freedomplus-perl-53-origfee
  • Discounts: Not disclosed
  • Full review: FreedomPlus Personal Loans Review

If you have bad credit

Don’t have perfect credit, but still need a loan? Our top picks are below, and you can review more bad credit loans here.

OneMain Financial

APR Range


Loan Amounts


Min. Credit Score

Not Disclosed

Aside from being good for borrowers with bad credit, OneMain Financial is a good option for small home improvement projects because of its low loan minimum of onemainfinancial-perl-51-amountlow. You can be approved in as little as one day and receive funds one to two days after approval. 

  • LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
  • Minimum credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amount: onemainfinancial-perl-51-amountlowonemainfinancial-perl-51-amounthigh
  • APRs: onemainfinancial-perl-51-fixlowonemainfinancial-perl-51-fixhigh fixed
  • Origination Fee: onemainfinancial-perl-51-origfee
  • Discounts: Not disclosed
  • Full review: OneMain Financial Personal Loans Review

How we rate home improvement loans

We rate personal loans based on the weighted average of several data points relative to other products in the same credit category: bad credit, fair credit, and good credit. You can read more about our methodology here.

Pros & cons of using a personal loan for home renovation

  • Quick access to funding.
  • Flexible funding you can use for pretty much anything.
  • Options for borrowers of all credit levels.
  • Unsecured, so there’s no collateral on the line.

  • Interest rates may be higher than other financing options.
  • No tax benefits to using a personal loan for home repairs.
  • Minimum loan amounts may be higher than the cost of small home improvements, putting you in more debt than you need.

Home improvement loan rates

Home improvement loan rates, like those associated with other types of financing, vary by lender and based on your creditworthiness. Interest rates can range from about 3.99% to 35.99%.

You may be able to find a lower rate if you finance your home improvements with a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. However, these come with their own drawbacks, including putting your home on the line. 

What can a home improvement loan be used for?

A personal loan isn’t the only way to finance home improvements, but it is one of the most flexible options. You can use the borrowed funds for just about anything. The only trick is finding a personal loan lender that offers large loan amounts.

The same may not be true for other types of home improvement financing options. For instance, if you take out a VA home improvement loan through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, qualifying renovations are limited. 

Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Bathroom expansions and remodels.
  • Kitchen remodel and appliance replacement.
  • New windows or doors.
  • Insulation for attics and crawl spaces.
  • Finished basements.
  • Repaving driveways and sidewalks.
  • Landscaping.
  • Swimming pools and hot tubs.
  • Room additions or enlargements.
  • Fireplace additions or inserts.
  • Heating and air conditioning installation.
  • Solar panels and other energy-efficiency upgrades.

Things to consider before taking out a home improvement loan

Many home renovations are considered great investments because they can improve your family’s quality of life and increase your home’s resale value. However, they can also be expensive, especially if your renovations result in unexpected costs. 

If you plan to finance your home improvements with a personal loan, consider these three things before you sign on the dotted line. 

Your remodeling goals

Without clearly defined goals, a home improvement project can quickly take up a considerable amount of time and money. Before you begin, set clear goals that account for your expectations as well as your short- and long-term plans. 

Also consider why you are making the improvements. Are you adding something based on your personal preference or trying to maximize your property value? If the latter, you’ll need to determine how much the renovation will cost and compare it to the potential value added. 

Your budget

A budget will force you to prioritize your home improvement wish list, and keep you from stressing over your finances or taking on too much debt. 

Because a personal loan comes in a lump sum of cash, it can decrease the risk that you’ll spend more than you intended. That’s not always the case with lines of credit or credit cards, which let you tap funds over an extended period of time. 

Your creditworthiness

If you’re taking out a home improvement loan, the lender will probably use your credit score and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to determine your interest rate as well as repayment term and loan amount.

You can find loans with a poor credit score or high DTI, but you may face higher interest rates. In that case, it may be better to postpone your plans, if possible, until you can improve your credit score and reduce your debt. 

Ask the Expert

Certified Financial Planner & Editor of CreditRepairExpert

Other home renovation loan options

Although personal loans are probably the simplest and most flexible way to finance your home improvements, you have a few other options. 

Home equity loans 

A home equity loan lets you borrow against the equity in your home and is secured by your home as collateral. This can make a home equity loan easier to qualify for than other loans. 

The interest on this type of home improvement loan might be tax-deductible. The downside is that you could potentially lose your home if you fail to make loan payments. 

  • Qualifying may be easier, even with poor credit.
  • Rates can be lower than other borrowing options.
  • Lets you take advantage of the value of your home.

  • Your home is on the line.
  • You need to have enough equity in your home (typically at least 15% to 20%).
  • Typically requires more paperwork and takes longer to fund than personal loans.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

Like a home equity loan, a HELOC lets you borrow against your home’s equity. The difference is that a HELOC acts like a credit card, giving you revolving access to funds up to your credit limit.

You can draw against it multiple times, and only repay the amount you borrow plus interest. 

  • You can use as much or as little as you need up to your credit limit.
  • Great for home improvement projects that take several months to complete. 
  • Can have lower rates than personal loans. 
  • May be easier to get than a personal loan.

  • Your home is on the line.
  • Rates may be higher than a home equity loan.
  • May be easy to go over budget.
  • Slower to fund than a personal loan.

Builder financing

If you’re working with a contractor to complete a home improvement project, you may be able to finance it directly with the company. Compare the rates and fees it offers with the rates you could get from other financing options. 

  • Convenient to avoid working with a third party.
  • Can be faster than other financing options.

  • The contractor typically relies on a third-party lender, so rates may be higher. 
  • The contractor would have more control over pricing and more bargaining power, so only use this option with trusted contractors. 

Cash-out refinance

If you qualify for a lower mortgage rate than you currently have, you could use a cash-out refinance to fund your home renovation project.

This type of refinancing will update your mortgage rate and loan term, plus give you cash in hand you can repay with your monthly payment.

  • Much slower process than other options and a bigger overall commitment.
  • Comes with higher origination fees and closing costs than home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Should only be used for large-scale renovations.

Ask the Expert

President of Fidelis Mortgage & Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional

Credit cards

If you can’t leverage the options above, a credit card could fund your home improvement as a last resort. It could make sense financially if:

  • Can earn points and other rewards.
  • Can help you save on interest if you leverage a 0% APR offer.
  • The cost of home improvement could help you hit bonus-offer spending requirements.

  • You’ll increase your credit utilization ratio, which can temporarily lower your credit score.
  • Interest rates are often higher than other borrowing options.
  • If interest accumulates, it can be hard to eliminate the debt.

Additional home improvement resources:

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