Why we like it: This lender offers a secured loan option for borrowers who may struggle to qualify for a low APR. Its lowest rates are reserved for those with a minimum income of $100,000 and a credit score of at least 700.
Overview: Best Egg offers loans ranging from $2,000 to $50,000. Keep in mind, however, you may only be able to access loans up to $35,000 depending on where you live and whether you receive a special offer code.
While it can take up to three days to receive funding from Best Egg, the lender states that about half of borrowers receive funds within one business day. When taking out a loan with Best Egg, you’ll also need to budget for a one-time origination fee that can range from 0.99% - 8.99%.
No prepayment penalties
Offers both secured and unsecured loans
Fast funding (one to three days)
Lowest rates require high income
Charges origination fee (0.99% - 8.99%)
High maximum APR (35.99%)
Eligibility requirements: Best Egg looks for the following criteria when considering potential customers:
Why we like it: While origination fees are common among personal loan lenders, Discover customers won’t have to worry about this administrative charge.
Overview: While this lender’s loan amount ceiling is considerably lower than some of its competitors, Discover makes up for it in other areas, such as offering a lower APR and lengthy loan term options.
If your credit score is on the low side, you might have difficulty qualifying for a loan with Discover, especially since this lender doesn’t allow you to apply with a second person.
No origination fees
Long loan terms available
Competitive interest rates
Low maximum loan amounts
No options for co-applicants
Borrowers with low credit scores may not qualify
Eligibility requirements: To get approved for a home improvement loan with Discover, you’ll need to fit the following criteria:
Why we like it: LightStream offers one of the longest loan repayment terms available on the market: up to 144 months.
Overview: LightStream offers a plethora of features that make it a competitive option for home improvement loans. Along with long loan terms and loan amounts up to $100,000, LightStream customers won’t have to pay any fees if they go with this lender.
Unfortunately, LightStream doesn’t offer the option for consumers to prequalify for a loan. This means that if applicants want to see the rates, amounts and terms they may be eligible for, they’ll have to submit to a hard-credit inquiry. These types of credit pulls can cause your credit score to go down, unlike prequalification.
High loan amounts
Long loan terms
Doesn’t charge fees
Borrowers with low credit may not qualify
No option to prequalify
High minimum loan amounts
Eligibility requirements: While LightStream doesn’t offer much specific criteria in what it’s looking for in potential borrowers, it does stipulate that it will only offer loans to those with good or excellent credit scores and strong credit profiles.
Why we like it: Navy Federal Credit Union focuses on serving members of the military and their families. In addition to competitive rates, NFCU allows you to repay your personal loan over an industry-leading 15 years (180 months).
Overview: Navy Federal Credit Union is only open to members of the U.S. military or their family members. Customers of this credit union will have access to perks such as same-day funding, no origination fees and repayment terms as long as 180 months.
However, beyond its military member specifications, Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t offer much clarity on other criteria it’s looking for. It’s also unclear what this lender’s maximum loan amount is.
Same-day funding available
No origination fees
Long loan terms (up to 180 months)
Must be military member to qualify
No maximum loan amount specified
Unclear minimum loan terms
Eligibility requirements: To get a loan with Navy Federal, you’ll need to become a member of the credit union. This lender requires that you must have ties to the following (or be a family member of someone involved):
Why we like it: At just $600, PenFed Credit Union offers one of the lowest minimum loan amounts on the personal loan marketplace.
Overview: If you’d like to finance your home improvement projects through a credit union, PenFed Credit Union comes with zero origination fees and funding that only takes one to two business days.
Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to become a PenFed Credit Union member in order to receive your loan and that any late payments may come with fees as high as $29.
No origination fees
Quick funding (one to two business days)
Competitive interest rates
Must be member to qualify
Unclear criteria to qualify for loan
Charges late payment fees ($29)
Eligibility requirements: PenFed Credit Union requires that you become a member before you receive your loan. To become a member, you’ll need to fill out an application with your personal information and open a savings account with a $5 deposit.
Why we like it: SoFi takes a fee-free approach to lending. Its personal loans don’t come with any required origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties.
Overview: SoFi doesn’t require fees of any kind — this includes late fees and origination fees that typically come with personal loans. This lender also offers repayment terms up to 84 months and loan amounts as large as $100,000. On top of that, SoFi’s APR is quite competitive, only going as high as 23.43% (which includes an autopay discount).
Unfortunately, if you are a borrower with low credit, it may be difficult to qualify for a home improvement loan. However, SoFi does offer the option to add a cosigner to your application, which may make it easier to qualify. To get a loan with SoFi, you’ll need a credit score of at least 680, which can give you access to all kinds of features that offer flexibility and can save you money.
Doesn’t charge any required fees
Offers large loan amounts
Provide options for long loan terms
High minimum loan amount
Borrowers with low credit may not qualify
No option to visit physical branch
Eligibility requirements: If you want a home improvement loan with SoFi, you’ll want to check the following boxes:
Why we like it: This lender has a low credit score requirement (300), which may make it ideal for those with fair credit scores looking for an opportunity to boost their scores.
Overview: With loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, Upstart offers borrowers flexibility when it comes to how much they want to take out. Upstart also has a lower credit score requirement, which can make a loan with this lender more accessible.
On the other hand, Upstart charges origination fees that can get as high as 10.00%. This lender’s loan terms are also limited to just two options — 36 or 60 months — and there isn’t an option to apply with a cosigner if you have a low credit score.
Quick funding timeline (one business day)
Flexible loan amounts
Low minimum credit score
Charges origination fee (0.00% - 10.00%)
Limited loan terms
No option for joint applications
Eligibility requirements: Upstart offers clear criteria when it comes to what it’s looking for when consumer apply for a home improvement loan:
Why we like it: With loans ranging from $3,000 to $100,000, Wells Fargo offers some of the most flexible home improvement loan amounts in the marketplace.
Overview: Wells Fargo allows its customers to skip most fees. That means no origination fees, closing fees or prepayment penalties, which can save you money over the life of your home improvement loan.
However, if you’re late on payments, Wells Fargo charges late fees. Also, if you don’t have a strong enough credit score, it may be challenging to qualify with this lender since it doesn’t allow for cosigners.
Doesn’t charge origination fees
Offers large loan amount options
Flexible range of loan terms
Must be existing customer to qualify
Charges late fees
Doesn’t allow for cosigners
Eligibility requirements: To get approved for a home improvement loan, Wells Fargo indicates that you’ll need to be an existing customer with the bank.
Home improvement loans are a type of personal loan that are used to pay for home improvement costs.
Personal loans are lump-sum, fixed-rate loans that are repaid in monthly installments over a set period of time, typically two to five years.
Unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, which makes them an alluring alternative for homeowners who don’t want to put their home on the line with a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). However, secured personal loans do exist, and they may offer an affordable alternative for borrowers with fair or worse credit.
Since personal loans are typically unsecured, personal loan lenders rely heavily on an applicant’s financial profile — such as their credit score and debt-to-income ratio — when determining eligibility.
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The lower your APR, the less you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Shopping around for the lowest possible APR can save you money. To compare APR without impacting your credit, check to see if the lenders you’re interested in allow you to prequalify for a loan.
Read the fine print before you borrow money. Some lenders charge a prepayment penalty, which means you’d be penalized for paying off your loan early, though this is rare among personal loan lenders. More commonly, lenders may charge an origination fee, a one-time administration fee that comes out of your total loan balance.
It can be overwhelming to decide which lender is right for you. Read lender reviews to gather perspective from borrowers who have been in your shoes. It may also be worth checking with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to see if a lender has had any recent complaints or lawsuits.
Financing your home remodel could be as simple as applying for a personal loan. Each lender has their own unique application process, but you’ll typically have to verify your personal information and income.
Home improvement loans are unsecured and are funded with a lump sum of money. Home improvement loan interest rates are typically fixed, so your monthly payment will be the same each month. Because these loans are unsecured, lenders rely heavily on your credit score and credit history.
The credit score needed to qualify for a home improvement loan depends on the lender. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rates you may qualify for.
Home improvement loan APRs commonly range anywhere from 6.99% to 36.00%. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have a high credit score and a robust credit profile in order for the lowest rates. In some cases, you may also have to earn above a certain income threshold.
The level of difficulty you’ll encounter when qualifying for a home improvement loan depends on the lender. For instance, LightStream only accepts consumers with good to excellent credit scores and a solid credit history. Others, like Upstart, have lower minimum credit score requirements.