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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2021

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Summary

  • Average home improvement loan rates range between 3%-36%
  • LightStream, Wells Fargo, and SoFi offer the cheapest home improvement loan rates, starting at 3.99%
  • You might secure a zero-interest home improvement loan if you qualify for a credit card with a 0% APR promotion

If you’re planning a home remodel, start shopping around for the best deal. See if you can secure a zero-interest home improvement loan. Like a conventional loan, you’ll need to make set monthly payments. If you already have a mortgage, lenders will want to make sure you can afford the payments and that the combined loan to value on your home would still be under a certain threshold.

Home improvement loans are a type of personal loan that finances home repairs or remodeling. You can use it to buy new kitchen appliances, remodel your bathroom, or finally fix that deck you’ve been meaning to get to. These loans don’t always have the lowest rate, but an experienced loan officer can help you compare options and understand the terms you’re agreeing to.

Keep reading to find the best home improvement loan rates. Learn the cheapest ways to borrow money for home improvements, and check out the list of the best home improvement loan rates from some of the most popular lenders in the market.

Ready to get a home improvement loan? Enter your ZIP code above and start comparing quotes now to find the best home improvement loan rates near you.

Who offers the best home improvement loan rates?

The average home improvement loan rates range between 3%-36%. If you can get on the lower end of that, even if you aren’t scoring a true zero-interest home improvement loan, you’re still getting pretty good rates for your home remodel. The loan term can mirror a conventional 30-year loan, but some borrowers choose a shorter term.

LightStream, Wells Fargo, and SoFi home improvement loans offer the best rates, but your loan rates will ultimately depend on your credit score and where you live.

You don’t need a home improvement loan calculator to find the best rates. Take a look at the table below for companies offering affordable home improvement loan rates:

Best Home Improvement Loan Rates by Company

ProviderLoan RateLoan AmountLoan TermFeesCredit Score
LightStream3.99% - 16.99%Up to $100,00024 months - 12 yearsNone680
Wells Fargo5.74% - 24.49%Up to $100,00012 - 84 monthsNone620
SoFi5.99% - 18.85%Up to $100,00024 - 84 monthsNone680
USAA7.24% - 35.99%Up to $20,00012 - 84 monthsNone600
Upstart7.86% - 35.99%Up to $50,00036 - 60 monthsUp to 8% of loan amount600
Prosper7.95% - 35.99%Up to $40,00036 - 60 monthsUp to 6% of loan amount640
Lending Club8.05% - 35.89%Up to $50,00036 - 60 monthsNo fees600
Avant9.95% - 35.99%Up to $35,00024 - 60 months4.75% of loan amount580
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LightStream and SoFi home improvement loan rates are competitive, but you need a good credit score to qualify. Avant offers the best home improvement loan rates for homeowners with poor credit, but the loan amounts are on the smaller side.

As you can see, your home improvement loan quotes will vary based on your credit score and the amount of money you borrow. It’s important to shop around for lenders that offer the kind of home improvement loan options you need at the best rates for your budget.

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What type of loan do I need for home improvements?

If you’re shopping for a mortgage loan, home improvement loans are for those who already own a home and need to finance repairs or improvements to their property. If you are buying a home, there are different types of conventional homes. Generally speaking, though, the home cannot be under any active construction. All areas have to be complete. If you’re buying land, you can apply for a construction loan, which you’d then need to switch to a conventional within a set period based on the lender. 

There are many different ways to get home improvement loans, and you can shop around for financing from the bank, the government, your credit card company, or another type of personal lender to secure the best rates.

The most common types of home improvement loans are:

  • Personal loans
  • USDA loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Credit cards

If you’re a veteran, you might qualify for a loan from the VA. Read our advice on how to get a Veteran Affairs home loan to learn more. You don’t need excellent credit to qualify for VA or other mortgage loans. Each lender and the VA have their own minimum credit scores, though. 

Overall, personal loans and home equity loans are the cheapest ways to borrow money for home improvements because you can often lock in low interest rates on long-term loans like these. If there’s a prepayment penalty or other adverse terms, lenders are required to disclose this up front. So make sure you read your disclosures.

Depending on your credit score you can apply for a credit card running an APR promotion to get a zero-interest loan. Unfortunately, these promotions never last long so this type of home improvement loan is only recommended for short-term projects you can pay off quickly.

You can lock in fixed home improvement loan rates of 1% if you qualify for a repair loan from the USDA. These loans are designed to help keep low-income homeowners and their families in their homes. Homeowners can apply for loans and grants of up to $27,500 toward repairs and improvements.

Is A HELOC or Home Improvement Loan Better?

Deciding whether or not a home equity loan or home improvement loan is better depends on your financial security and preferences. Generally speaking, a HELOC has a limited draw period, but you have to draw from it like a credit card. Then you have a certain period to pay it off. Depending on your lender’s repayment terms, the draw period could be a matter of months or years. Your repayment period could be 5 years or 30. Credit unions often offer better terms on HELOCs, which also use your house as collateral.

Home improvement loans are unsecured loans. So they’re more similar to a credit card, and you don’t have to put your home up as collateral. If you don’t have an excellent credit score, though, you may not qualify or lenders might charge you a much higher interest rate. Late payments, application fees, and even prepayment penalties are also more common parts of the repayment terms.

Home improvement loans generally offer shorter time periods for repayment. They also are more limited with lower loan amounts than you’d get with a HELOC secured loan. If you’re only making modest upgrades or if you only need a small amount to pay for the upgrades you want, this may be the better option.

Start shopping for the best home improvement loan rates now. Enter your ZIP code below to compare rates from lenders in your area.