5 Top Lenders You Should Consider for Tiny House Financing

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Joining the tiny house movement is a popular strategy to dedicate more money toward your existing debt.

But what if buying a tiny house adds to your debt?

That’s the question Brooke Genn and her husband faced. Their diminutive dream home came with a price tag of $136,000, so they resorted to tiny house financing.

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What is tiny house financing?

Genn and her husband designed a 39-foot-long house that will be completely solar-powered and include a claw foot bathtub when it’s built.

If you estimate how much house you can afford, you might consider even tinier or simpler homes. Tiny houses, by definition, are typically 100 to 400 square feet and built on wheels or purchased land.

But small isn’t free. The average humble abode costs $23,000 to build, according to iTRaC. Already-built models are typically available for less than $75,000.

Unless you have the cash on hand for your tiny home, you might consider borrowing. Your options include:

  1. Home equity line of credit (HELOC): If you’re looking at making a tiny home your second home, you could borrow against your existing mortgage. The downside of a HELOC is that it’s a secured loan, meaning your home acts as the collateral and could be seized if you default.
  2. Home mortgage: If your tiny home is big enough to comply with local building codes and rests on a permanent foundation, it could qualify for a traditional mortgage. But you’d also have to borrow a larger amount of money.
  3. Recreational vehicle (RV) loan: If you’re looking for your tiny home to have tiny wheels, you could look to banks and credit unions for RV loans. SunTrust Bank, for example, works with tiny home builders and sellers to offer financing. Just ensure your home will be certified by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association to be eligible.
  4. Personal loan: Like RV loans, unsecured personal loans won’t require you to post any collateral to guarantee the debt. Instead, you’re judged on your creditworthiness. The better your credit, the lower the rate you could receive. Personal loans also come with more flexibility, as many lenders place few restrictions on how you use the money, whether your mini mansion is set on wheels or planted on the ground. You could even use personal loans to buy a piece of land for your tiny home to rest.

To afford their more luxurious choice, the Genns borrowed $75,000 using a personal loan from a bank but only after exhausting their initial option.

“In our experience, obtaining a personal loan was significantly simpler than obtaining an RV loan,” Genn said via email. “The banks we spoke with regarding RV loans were happy with our credit scores but skittish about our thin credit history.”

5 personal loan companies offering tiny house financing

If you’re like the Genns, a personal loan might be the best way to finance your pocket-sized pad.

Below are five top personal loan lenders we’ve vetted for quality that offer lending services for major purchases, such as a tiny house. Each lender features an easy online application.

1. Upstart

  • Upstart personal loans come with an APR range of 7.73% to 29.99%
  • Borrow between $1,000 and $50,000
  • Repayment terms of three or five years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 620 or better
  • Your APR will be determined in part by factors such as your education and career
  • No prepayment penalties if you plan on paying down your debt early
  • Origination fee of 0% to 8% of your loan balance

Visit Upstart

2. LendingClub

  • LendingClub personal loans come with an APR range of 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Borrow between $1,000 and $40,000
  • Repayment terms of three or five years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 600 or better
  • Compare offers using the peer-to-peer lending platform
  • No prepayment penalties if you plan on paying down your debt early
  • Origination fee of 1% to 6% of your loan balance

Visit LendingClub

3. Citizens Bank

  • Citizens Bank personal loans come with an APR range of 5.99% to 18.99%
  • Borrow between $5,000 and $50,000
  • Repayment terms of three, four, five, six, or seven years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 680 or better
  • No prepayment penalties if you plan on paying down your debt early
  • No origination or administrative fees

Visit Citizens Bank

4. FreedomPlus

  • FreedomPlus personal loans come with an APR range of 4.99% to 29.99%
  • Borrow between $10,000 and $35,000
  • Repayment terms of two, three, four, or five years
  • Qualify with a credit score of 640 or better
  • No prepayment penalties if you plan on paying down your debt early
  • Origination fee of 0% to 5% of your loan balance

Visit FreedomPlus

5. SoFi

  • SoFi personal loans come with an APR range of 6.26% to 14.87%
  • Borrow between $5,000 and $100,000
  • Repayment terms of three, five, or seven years
  • No prepayment penalties if you plan on paying down your debt early
  • No origination or administrative fees
  • Late fee forgiveness after you make three consecutive on-time payments
  • Offers the ability to pause your repayment if you lose your job

Visit SoFi

Find the right tiny house financing option for you

You’ll want to shop around for tiny home financing the same way you’d shop for other types of loans:

  • Figure out your ideal borrowing amount, APR, and repayment term before looking for a lender to meet your specific needs.
  • Compare offers from all types of lenders, including traditional banks, credit unions, and online personal loan companies.
  • Use the APR to judge each offer accurately, as it includes both your interest rate and the lender’s fees.

The Genns, for example, wanted to borrow $75,000 at the lowest possible rate. They found a personal loan product that rewarded them for their excellent credit scores, offering a 7.00% APR and 20-year repayment term.

“After all the headache of trying to obtain an RV loan … we were so relieved and excited that a [personal] loan was going to work out for our home,” said Genn, who is planning a June move-in. “We quickly made a plan to pay the loan [off] in a speedy manner and avoid the downfall of a higher APR.”

In fact, they’ll increase their monthly payment from $581 to $1,500 to save $50,757 — and 15 years — on their loan.

Make use of our personal loan calculator to hatch a plan for your repayment. Plug in your borrowing amount, preferred repayment term, and an interest rate you can expect to be quoted. It’ll pump out your potential monthly payment and interest charges. Then figure out how to pay off the loan ahead of schedule.

There are plenty of strategies to pay off your loan early. For one, you could rent out your property, especially if your tiny home has a tiny spare room.

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.