Whether it's because you want to sell your home, upgrade your existing one, or buy a property to flip it, you may be in need of extra funds to complete the home improvements you have in mind.
Home improvement loans are, as the name implies, offered by lenders to consumers who plan to use that money to fund some sort of renovation or addition that they otherwise might not have the money to pay for it now. But keep in mind that while a lender may advertise that it offers loans for home improvements, in reality these loans can usually be used for any purpose. In other words, it is doubtful that the lender will expect you to prove you used the funds for new kitchen appliances rather than to go out to dinner!
There are two main types of home improvement loans: installment loans and revolving loans. With an installment loan, borrowers receive a large lump sum at the beginning of the project and then make payments until it is paid off in full. With a revolving loan or line of credit, borrowers take out the amount they need as they need it, up to the credit limit, and can borrow more later if necessary.
In addition, loans may be secured or unsecured. Secured loans require borrowers to pledge their homes as collateral, while unsecured loans don't. If you want a secured loan you must have at least the same amount of equity as the loan amount you are requesting. This may be impossible if your home's value has dropped and you are underwater. But if you do qualify, the rates on these loans are often lower than secured loans.
To qualify for one of these loans, you should expect the lender to review your credit score as part of the decision. The best rates go to consumers with good credit scores.
When you are shopping for home improvement loans, don't limit yourself to just loans advertised for that purpose. You may get a better deal from a personal loan that can be used for any purpose, for example. You can even use a low-rate credit card to fund home renovations.
Finally, if you do get a home improvement loan, be sure to ask your tax professional if you can deduct the interest.
Disclaimer: The people depicted are models accompanied by a testimonial for illustrative purposes only.