Sooner or later, you’ll decide it’s time to make some renovations to your home. Whether you put in the elbow grease and do it yourself or hire a contractor to cover the dirty work, any remodeling venture can be pricey. Finding the best way to finance a home improvement project can be tricky, and the ideal choice varies according to your financial situation.
A credit card with an introductory 0 % APR is hands down one of the best deals in consumer finance today. If you qualify for the offer it is a great fit for  home improvement purchases . Use it wisely and you can pay for large purchases such as home improvement  over time with low, interest-free monthly payments. The trick in taking advantage of these credit card offers successfully is to remember the promotional time period and make every attempt to pay the balance in full before it expires. You can continue to make payments after the 0% period expires but this is where you will start paying interest. If you are faced with carrying a balance after the promotional period we recommend that you find another 0% offer and transfer the balance to the new card and starting a new 0% time line. In summary, a 0% card is usually the best option for large purchases such as home improvement if you can get approved.
You might be eligible for a Title I Home Improvement Loan. A Title I loan is a great option because it's guaranteed by the FHA in the event that you default, so it's a low-risk loan from the standpoint of the lender. Also, it might be your best bet if you have limited equity in your house because Title I loans under $7,500 don't require any pledge of equity.[3]
There are several types of loans that can be used for house remodeling. Many homeowners take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) for that purpose. The home is collateral for the loan. Because of this, rates are typically lower. One could even use credit cards for home improvements, but the cost likely would be prohibitive. Each loan has advantages and disadvantages.
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There is a catch, however. Unlike other lenders like SoFi or Marcus, LightStream does not offer pre-qualification. This can be problematic if you want to see what your interest rate will be, but don’t want the hard pull to show up on your credit history. That aside, if you have an established credit history, it’s hard to pass up the competitive and flexible terms LightStream offers.
The Chase Home Equity Line of Credit features variable rates based on the Prime Rate (as published in The Wall Street Journal), which as of 12/20/2019, range from 5.00% APR to 7.64% APR for line amounts of $50,000 to $99,999, from 5.00% APR to 6.89% APR for line amounts of $100,000 to $149,999, from 5.00% APR to 6.89% APR for line amounts of $150,000 to $249,999, and from 5.00% APR to 6.89% APR for line amounts of $250,000 to $500,000. Rates vary depending upon credit line amount, lien position, and collateral location; please inquire about available rates in your area, and about rates for line amounts less than $50,000.
You may also consider refinancing your home in order to finance a home improvement project. Many banks offer refinancing and renovation options that allow you to roll home improvement costs into your mortgage, even if you don’t have a lot of equity in your home. By basing the mortgage on the home’s renovated value rather than the current value, you’ll be able to finance everything with one loan. If you’re a do-it-yourself type, however, you’re out of luck: Many banks require you to hire a professional contractor to perform the work as part of a refinancing and renovation package.

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Advertising Disclosure: TheSimpleDollar.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page. However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. The Simple Dollar does not include all card/financial services companies or all card/financial services offers available in the marketplace. For more information, please check out our full Advertising Disclosure. TheSimpleDollar.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product's website. All products are presented without warranty.
Interest rates on personal loans generally range from about 6% to 36%. As with most credit products, the rate you receive depends a lot on your credit score. The better your score, the lower your rate and the less interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. The interest rate also affects your total monthly payment, as does the term length; a longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.
Still, there are several other factors to consider. The first is that Marcus caps home improvement loans at $40,000, so if you need more to fund an extensive project, Marcus may not be the right lender for you. It can also take Marcus five business days to fund your loan, which means you’re in for a longer wait than you will be with lenders like Earnest.
There is a catch, however. Unlike other lenders like SoFi or Marcus, LightStream does not offer pre-qualification. This can be problematic if you want to see what your interest rate will be, but don’t want the hard pull to show up on your credit history. That aside, if you have an established credit history, it’s hard to pass up the competitive and flexible terms LightStream offers.
Remember, building a home takes a long time and the process has lot of moving parts, so you must select your financing with care. “Some lenders do an outstanding job of managing borrower and builder expectations,” Faries says. He recommends looking for an experienced construction lender who can lead you through the process with minimal frustration.

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*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
Chase customers who secure a new Chase home equity line of credit can save 0.25% off the standard variable home equity line of credit rate with qualifying personal deposit accounts including Chase personal checking and savings accounts, CDs, certain Chase Retirement CDs, or certain Chase Retirement Money Market Accounts. Qualifying personal investments include investment and annuity products offered by JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and agencies. Balances in Chase Money Purchase Pension and Profit Sharing Plans don't qualify.
NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.
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