6 Best Personal Loans for Home Improvement Projects

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Whether it’s laying down new pipes, upgrading your kitchen, or finally installing that pool, there comes a time in every homeowner’s life when renovations are necessary.

But even if you’ve figured out the costs and how much you need to borrow with the right home improvement loan, there’s still the tall task of finding the best lender.

That’s why we’ve laid the groundwork on how to choose the best personal loans for home improvement projects.

Plus, we’ve compiled a list of the best personal loan companies offering home improvement loans today. Find out if one of these lenders is right for you.

How to choose personal loans for home improvement

A home improvement loan might only be as good as the lender offering it. To find the right lender, consider these factors:

  • Loan type: You’ll want to study the differences between secured and unsecured personal loans. Unsecured personal loans rely on your credit history, while secured loans require you to put up collateral — such as your home — to borrow.
  • APR: Make sure you’re comparing lenders’ APRs — that is, the interest rate plus the origination fee for borrowing. To find the best possible rate, make sure your credit score is at its best before you apply. Also, you might see a lender offering a low promotional interest rate. But that promotional period will eventually end and, depending on your credit score, that low APR could climb to double digits.
  • Repayment term: Personal loans are typically known for one-, three-, and five-year repayment terms. But if you want a longer term, take the time to find a lender that offers it. Just remember that the longer your term, the more interest you’ll have to fork over. Consult our personal loan calculator to see the differences.
  • Other benefits: You might also prioritize a lender that allows you to use a cosigner’s better credit history to score a lower rate or look for a lender offering repayment protections. Whatever perk is important to you, don’t sign on the dotted line without getting it in writing.

You might also be considering personal loans for home improvement to drive up the value of your home.

Just be sure that the kitchen remodel or bathroom addition will actually add value. You wouldn’t want to borrow $10,000 for a project, for example, that only increases a house’s worth by $5,000. Consult a professional appraiser if you’re unsure about the impact of your project.

6 best companies offering personal loans for home improvement

If you’re certain about taking out personal loans for home improvement, check out these six online lenders. See which one offers the best option for you based on the following rates, terms, fees, and requirements.

1. LendingClub

  • LendingClub personal loan applicants can qualify with a minimum credit score of 600 and no minimum income
  • Choose from multiple offers using the online credit marketplace
  • Borrow between $1,000 and $40,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • If your payment is more than 15 days late, you might be charged a late payment fee of 5.00% of your unpaid payment or $15, whichever is greater. The fee is charged once for each late payment.
  • Origination fee between 1% and 6% of the loan balance
  • Three- and five-year repayment terms
  • LendingClub personal loan APRs range from 6.95% to 35.89%

2. Earnest

  • Earnest personal loan applicants can qualify with a minimum credit score of 660
  • Your education, spending habits, and work experience also determine your interest rate
  • Disburses funds within 48 hours of approval
  • Borrow between $2,000 and $50,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No origination fees
  • Repayment terms between one and three years
  • Earnest personal loan APRs range from 6.99% to 18.24%

3. Avant

  • Avant personal loan applicants can qualify with a minimum credit score of 580 and no minimum income
  • Borrow between $2,000 and $35,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Late fee of $25 if a scheduled payment is not paid in full within 10 days after its due date
  • Origination fee of up to 4.75% of the loan balance
  • Repayment terms between two and five years
  • Avant personal loan APRs range from 9.95% to 35.99%

4. SoFi

  • SoFi personal loan applicants need a $50,000 minimum income to qualify
  • Promises to reveal your rate in two minutes
  • Borrow between $5,000 and $100,000
  • Offers late-fee forgiveness after three consecutive on-time payments
  • Includes unemployment protection that allows you to pause your repayment
  • No prepayment penalties or origination fees
  • Repayment terms between three and seven years
  • SoFi personal loan APRs range from 6.26% to 14.87%

5. FreedomPlus

  • FreedomPlus personal loan applicants can qualify with a minimum credit score of 640 and no minimum income
  • Offers same-day approval and funds within 48 hours
  • Borrow between $10,000 and $35,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Origination fee between 0% and 5% of the loan balance
  • Repayment terms between two and five years
  • Choose your payment date
  • FreedomPlus personal loan APRs range from 4.99% to 29.99%

6. Upstart

  • Upstart personal loan applicants can qualify with a minimum credit score of 620 and $12,000 minimum income
  • Your education and work experience also determine your interest rate
  • Promises to reveal your rate in two minutes
  • Borrow between $1,000 and $50,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Origination fee between 0% and 8% of the loan balance
  • Three- and five-year repayment terms
  • Upstart personal loan APRs range from 7.73% to 29.99%

Other home improvement loan alternatives

You’ll benefit from comparing APRs on home improvement loans, but ensure you’re comparing these offers from different types of lenders.

A credit union, for example, might be able to offer you repayment protection should you become disabled. A traditional bank, on the other hand, could offer to beat the rates of any competitor.

Ensure that everything you want from a personal loan for home improvement is met by your lender.

The best use of personal loans for home improvement is when renovations are necessary for safety reasons. If you’re in that or a similar situation, consider these two alternatives to a personal loan before moving forward:

  • Home equity loan: This could help if you don’t have the credit (or cosigner) to score a low rate on a personal loan. It comes with the disadvantage, however, of putting up your home as collateral. If you default during repayment, you could lose the house.
  • Title I Home and Property Improvement loan: A federally insured loan could be more advantageous if you only need to borrow a smaller amount. You wouldn’t have to secure the loan with collateral unless you borrowed more than $7,500.

Ask yourself one more time if it’s necessary to borrow money for your home improvement project. If it’s a smaller fix that can be solved by some determined saving, a loan might not be necessary.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000

Visit FreedomPlus

5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.