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Best home improvement loans in June 2024

Updated Jun 06, 2024

What to know first: A home improvement loan is a personal loan designed to help you finance a home renovation or repair project. These loans can be used to improve just about any indoor or outdoor space within your property. Home improvement loan rates currently range from about 8 percent to about 36 percent.

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Lightstream: Bankrate 2024 awards winner for best personal loan for home improvement.

4.7

Est. APR
7.49- 20.99%
* with AutoPay
Loan term
3-12 yrs*
Loan amount
$5k- $100K
Min credit score
695
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Apply on partner site

PERSONAL LOANS

Upstart: Best for little or no credit history

4.8

Est. APR
7.80- 35.99%
Loan term
3-5 yrs
Loan amount
$1k- $50K
Min credit score
300
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Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Achieve: Best for quick approval

4.7

Est. APR
8.99- 35.99%
Loan term
2-5 yrs
Loan amount
$5k- $50K
Min credit score
620
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Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Citi: Best for no fees

4.6

Est. APR
11.49- 20.49%
Loan term
1-5 yrs
Loan amount
$2k- $30K
Min credit score
720
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Apply on partner site

PERSONAL LOANS

Best Egg: Best for fair credit

4.6

Est. APR
8.99- 35.99%
Loan term
3-5 yrs
Loan amount
$2k- $50K
Min credit score
600
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

LendingClub: Best for adding a co-borrower

4.5

Est. APR
8.98- 35.99%
Loan term
2-5 yrs
Loan amount
$1k- $40K
Min credit score
600
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Upgrade: Best for fast funding

4.7

Est. APR
8.49- 35.99%
with AutoPay
Loan term
2-7 yrs
Loan amount
$1k- $50K
Min credit score
600
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Prosper: BEST LENDER FOR ONLINE-ONLY EXPERIENCE

4.6

Est. APR
8.99- 35.99%
Loan term
2-5 yrs
Loan amount
$2k- $50K
Min credit score
640

PERSONAL LOANS

Discover: BEST FOR GOOD CREDIT AND FAST FUNDING

4.8

Est. APR
7.99- 24.99%
Loan term
3-7 yrs
Loan amount
$2.5k- $35K
Min credit score
660

Compare home improvement loan rates from Bankrate’s top picks

A side-by-side comparison can help you evaluate the most essential points for each lender. This table shows our top lenders in an easy-to-compare format so you can quickly narrow down your options.

LENDER BEST FOR EST. APR LOAN AMOUNT LOAN TERM MIN CREDIT SCORE
LightStream Best overall 7.49%-20.99%* (with AutoPay) $5,000-$100,000 3-12 years 695
Upstart Little or no credit history 7.80%-35.99% $1,000-$50,000 3 or 5 years No requirement
Achieve Quick approval 8.99%-35.99% $5,000-$50,000 2-5 years 620
Citi No fees 11.49%-20.49% $2,000-$30,000 1-5 years 720
Best Egg Fair credit 8.99%-35.99% $2,000-$50,000 3-5 years 600
LendingClub Adding a co-borrower 8.98%-35.99% $1,000-$40,000 2-5 years 600
Upgrade Fast funding 8.49%-35.99% $1,000-$50,000 2-7 years 600
Prosper Online-only experience 8.99%-35.99% $2,000-$50,000 2-5 years 640
Discover Good credit and fast funding 7.99%-24.99% $2,500-$40,000 3-7 years 660

A closer look at our top home improvement loan lenders

Here's a deeper dive into each of our top picks. We detail why each is the best in its category and specifically who would benefit most from borrowing from the lender. Look for lenders that excel in ways that line up with your needs.

Lightstream: Bankrate 2024 awards winner for best personal loan for home improvement

LightStream
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: LightStream is an online lender that's a branch of the commercial bank Truist. It caters to borrowers with good to excellent credit and touts a fast and easy online application process that can be completed through the website or on the mobile app.

Est. APR
7.49%–20.99%
Loan amount
$5k– $100k
Min credit score
695

Upstart: Best lender for little or no credit history

Upstart
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8

Overview: Upstart is an online lending marketplace that uses artificial intelligence to optimize its lending model and approval model rather than only using a borrower's credit score.

Est. APR
7.80%–35.99%
Loan amount
$1k– $50k
Min credit score
300

Achieve: Best lender for quick approval

Achieve
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: Achieve is a digital personal finance company that offers personal loans, home equity loans and debt management resources and tools. Over the past 20 years, the lender has served over a million people, giving it a trusted reputation in the lending industry.

Est. APR
8.99%–35.99%
Loan amount
$5k– $50k
Min credit score
620

Citi Personal Loan: Best lender for no fees

Citi® Personal Loan
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

Overview: Citi is a global bank that offers a complete hub of financial products and services. Its personal loans come with automatic payment discounts and zero fees. 

Est. APR
11.49%–20.49%
Loan amount
$2k– $30k
Min credit score
720

Best Egg: Best lender for fair credit

Best Egg
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

Overview: Best Egg is a well-known lender due to its ample benefits and unique member perks. Plus, those with fair credit may qualify.

Est. APR
8.99%–35.99%
Loan amount
$2k– $50k
Min credit score
600

LendingClub: Best lender for adding a co-borrower

LendingClub
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
4.5

Overview: Until 2021, LendingClub operated as a peer-to-peer lender but has since transitioned to a lending marketplace and bank. You can apply for a loan online and get a quote without a hard pull on your credit report.

Est. APR
8.98%–35.99%
Loan amount
$1k– $40k
Min credit score
600

Upgrade: Best for fast funding

Upgrade
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: In the past five years, Upgrade has made over $21 million in credit available to its customers. Headquartered in San Francisco, but with offices in Phoenix, Montreal and Atlanta, Upgrade offers multiple financial products and services, like credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts.

Est. APR
8.49%–35.99%
Loan amount
$1k– $50k
Min credit score
600

Prosper: Best lender for online-only experience

Prosper
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

Overview: Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender that matches borrowers with investors, rather than matching borrowers with banks or financial institutions. Established in 2005, the company has established over one million customers, earning itself a trusted reputation in the lending industry.

Est. APR
8.99%–35.99%
Loan amount
$2k– $50k
Min credit score
640

Discover: Best lender for good credit and fast funding

Discover
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8

Overview: Discover, headquartered in Illinois, is well-known for its credit cards and banking. Its personal loans offer low start rates and terms as long as seven years. 

Est. APR
7.99%–24.99%
Loan amount
$2.5k– $40k
Min credit score
660

What are home improvement loans and how do they work?

A home improvement loan is a loan used to pay for home remodeling and repairs. Personal loans for home improvement are typically unsecured and can range from $1,000 to $100,000. They usually have a fixed interest rate and stable monthly payment with repayment terms between one and seven years. 

Because these types of home improvement loans aren’t secured, you don’t risk losing your home if you can’t repay them. The approval and funding process is usually also much faster than home equity financing. The lender doesn’t need to verify your home’s value to qualify. 

When you're approved for a home improvement loan, you receive all funds upfront. Then, your repayment schedule starts. You'll make regular payments of principal and interest until the balance is paid in full. 

Home improvement loans vs. home equity refinancing 

Home improvement loans and home equity refinancing may sound similar, but there are a few differences to be aware of before jumping into the process. 

Home improvement loans

  • Approval is largely based on credit score and health. While bad credit home improvement loans exist, they may be smaller and costlier.
  • Collateral isn't always necessary. 
  • Borrowing amounts are determined by your credit and what the lender decides.
  • Doesn't offer tax benefits for the funds used on home improvement-related purchases.
  • Terms are usually one to seven years.
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Expert insight

"Choosing a personal loan for home improvement offers two distinct advantages over home equity financing. First, a home improvement loan isn’t secured by your home. You won’t tie up any equity with extra debt, which means you’ll make maximum profit if you plan to sell your home in the near future. Second, the personal loan approval process is much easier than home equity financing. Home equity loans require an appraisal process to verify your home’s value, which can take days to weeks to complete. Personal loans can often be funded in a matter of days, giving you a much faster path to home improvement cash."

- Denny Ceizyk, Senior Loans Writer

Home equity loans

  • Approval is based on your property value and the amount of equity you have in your home.
  • Your home or property will be used as collateral. 
  • Borrowing amounts are determined by how much home equity you've built up. 
  • Does offer tax benefits (an interest deduction) on funds used to improve your home.
  • Terms are typically 10 to 30 years.
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Expert insight

"The advertised advantages of home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for home improvement come with significant risks that homeowners may not be aware of. One common reason to choose a home equity loan over a home improvement personal loan is to get a longer repayment term of 15 to 30 years. While that does keep your payment low, you’ll usually end up paying much more interest over a 15 to 30 year term compared to a seven year personal loan term. Home equity loans are often marketed to homeowners when values are up, but home equity is a moving target — which means values can –– and do –– fall. Borrowing too much home equity could land you in a situation where you have little equity left if there’s a sudden drop in sales prices in your neighborhood."

- Denny Ceizyk, Senior Loans Writer

Can I borrow more on my mortgage for home improvement?


Senior Loans Writer

Yes, but the best option may be one you don’t hear a lot about — a renovation loan. Many mortgage lenders will suggest a cash-out refinance, which allows you to borrow more than you owe and pocket the cash difference to use towards your project. However, you can’t borrow more than 80 percent of your home’s current value, which may not be enough for a larger project. A renovation loan like the Fannie Mae Homestyle loan allows you to roll the cost of labor, materials and closing costs into one loan up to 97 percent of your home’s value. What’s even better: The loan is based on the estimated value of your home after renovations, giving you even more borrowing power. There are a few drawbacks. First, the lender will need to approve your project. Second, funds are disbursed in draws, rather than all at once.

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There are several options for borrowing more on your mortgage to pay for repairs and renovation. These include a cash-out refinance, a FHA 203(k) loan, a Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan and a Freddie Mac CHOICERenovation Mortgage. There are also Energy-Efficient Mortgages, or EEMs, that let you finance energy-efficient improvements to your home as part of an FHA or VA mortgage. Homeowners should compare the cost with obtaining a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), since those options may be less expensive or more flexible.

Types of home improvement loans and their uses

Not all home improvement loans are personal loans. These are some of the most common types of home improvement loans.

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Expert insight

"It’s important to understand the revolving credit feature of a HELOC only lasts for a set time – usually no more than 10 years. After that time, the entire balance is repaid on a fixed schedule for the remaining term of the loan. That can be a shock to people who made interest-only payments during the revolving period. The other drawback is HELOC rates are usually variable, which may make the payment unaffordable if the Fed is hiking rates on a regular basis."

- Denny Ceizyk, Senior Loans Writer

Pros and cons of home improvement loans

Consider a home improvement loan’s benefits and drawbacks to decide if it’s right for your renovation needs and goals. 

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • Most home improvement loans are unsecured, so you won’t lose your home if you default.
  • You have a fixed loan amount, so you are less likely to borrow more than you intended than with a HELOC.
  • Fixed interest rates give you a predictable monthly payment.
  • You will not have to pay closing costs, though the loan may still come with an origination fee.
  • You can usually get funds much faster than home equity loan products.
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Approval depends on your creditworthiness, not the equity in your home.
  • Home improvement loan APRs can be as high as 36 percent, which is much higher than comparable home equity loan APRs.
  • You’ll make fixed payments each month, compared to the interest-only payments during a HELOC’s draw period.
  • Shorter repayment term options, typically topping out at seven years, may make the payment unaffordable.
  • There is no interest-tax deduction if you use a personal loan for home improvement.

How to compare home improvement loan lenders

It's always best to get quotes from a few lenders before applying for a loan so you can determine which can give you the best offer. When comparing lenders, keep an eye on these factors.

  • Approval requirements: Every lender sets its own threshold for approving potential borrowers. They consider your income, credit score and debt-to-income ratio. If you have below-average credit, look for lenders that use other approval criteria. Some will consider your area of study or job history.
  • Interest rates and fees: The lowest advertised rate is never guaranteed, so compare your actual quotes. When comparing interest rates, make sure to factor in fees or penalties. Origination fees or application fees can significantly add to the overall cost of your loan.
  • Co-signers: Adding a co-signer may boost your odds of approval or getting low rates if you have fair or poor credit. But not all lenders offer this option.
  • Loan amounts: Your home project or repair’s scope sets how much you need to borrow. If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will likely need a larger loan than just replacing an appliance. Ensure the lender offers loan amounts as high or low as you need.
  • Repayment options: A good home improvement loan lender usually offers repayment terms ranging from 12 to 84 months. The longer the term, the lower the payment. 
  • Unique features: Keep an eye out for lenders with any unique perks (or restrictions). For example, some lenders offer discounts if you set up automatic payments from your bank account. Others may charge a fee if you pay the loan off before the full term.
  • Customer service: Check the company's business hours, particularly if you prefer in-person service to online. Check company reviews or its Better Business Bureau profile to see what consumers say about their experiences. 

How to get a home improvement loan 

For the best chances of approval, follow these steps to apply for a home improvement loan.

  • Research the types of home improvement loans: Compare the characteristics and drawbacks of each type of funding with your own needs and circumstances. For example, if you urgently need to replace your roof following a storm, you might need the fast timeline and larger amount a personal loan can provide.
  • Shop around for rates: After you’ve chosen a loan type, research lenders offering it. Make sure the lenders you are interested in serve borrowers with your credit profile and offer the loan amounts and term lengths you want.
  • Gather documentation: Lenders have similar documentation requirements. Most will want to see your photo ID, proof of income and proof of residence. You may also need to provide information on your housing payment and any current debts you have.
  • Get prequalified: If the lenders you’re considering offer prequalification, it’s a great way to compare possible rates and monthly payments without hurting your credit score. Prequalify for multiple lenders at once and look for the best deal.
  • Fill out your application: After you’ve chosen a lender, complete a full application. Check the information you provide thoroughly to avoid mistakes. Most lenders do a hard credit check when you complete a formal application, so if you’re applying to more than one, keep your applications within a 14-day period to limit damage to your credit score.

Where to get home improvement loans 

You can get home improvement loans from the same institutions as you would a personal loan. This includes most banks, online lenders, credit unions and peer-to-peer lenders

  • Bank or credit union: If you have good credit and a solid repayment history, then start with your bank to see what rate you're offered. Plus, banks often give pre-existing customers exclusive benefits for borrowing with them again, like extended grace periods or interest rate reductions. If the rates aren't ideal, turn to an online lender. 
  • Online lender: Online lenders offer lower interest rates than other lending options. The offers may also be easier to compare since the application process is completed online. The applications are typically completed within minutes, but this depends on the lender. However, if your credit isn't where you want it to be, then starting with a peer-to-peer lender may be better for you. 
  • Peer-to-peer lenders: Peer-to-peer lenders may offer lower rates than online lenders and are most likely to approve borrowers with a shaky credit profile. 

Alternatives to home improvement loans

If you’ve determined that a personal loan isn’t the best option for you, look into these alternatives instead.

Frequently asked questions about home improvement loans

How we made our picks for best home improvement loans

Bankrate's trusted home improvement loans industry expertise

57

years in business

30

lenders reviewed

20

loan features weighed

665

data points collected

To select the best home improvement loans, Bankrate’s team of experts evaluated over 30 lenders. Each lender was ranked using a meticulous 20-point system, focusing on four main categories:

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