This article contains affiliate links which means we receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Visit our disclosure page for more information.
If you have a home improvement project you have been considering, it might help to start looking at your options for getting a home improvement loan. There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to these loans.
We’ve put together some simple steps to help you learn how to get a home improvement loan.
What is a Home Improvement Loan?
First things, first! What exactly is a home improvement loan? These loans are designed to use a bit of the equity in your home to provide you with some cash to use towards home improvement projects as needed.
You might have heard of home equity lines of credit or perhaps even refinancing, but these are more like mortgage loans.
A home improvement loan typically still uses the equity in your home, but it’s often designed to be a short-term loan that doesn’t require a full mortgage process to obtain.Ready to remodel? Want to buy a fixer-upper? Here's how to nail your home renovation loan pick. Click To Tweet
Define your Needs
Before you search for a home improvement loan, you need to figure out what you are looking to accomplish and what you will need for the process.
Are you upgrading and renovating throughout the home or a specific room? Do you have the tools you need? What materials will you need to obtain?
You should have a basic plan in place to effectively get a home improvement loan.
How can the lender help you if you have no idea what you need or what you will be doing?
Narrow Down Your Amount
When you are ready to apply for a home improvement loan, you need to know a specific amount. Be aware that your amount will probably need to be within your home’s equity value to be approved.
There are some specific rules around these limits from lender to lender.
Knowing an amount will help you be prepared in knowing what to ask for you as you get started. While you may not know the exact amount, you should be able to take a look at materials and work and get a rough estimate.
Build yourself a little bit of wiggle room into the amount. This will cover you if you run up against an unexpected issue during the process or change your mind on a material.
You can certainly go with your preferred lender where your banking relationship is. It’s always a great idea to stick with the people you know and who know you for these types of loans.
If you don’t have a preferred lender, it’s perfectly ok to shop around and find your best option.
Look at terms available, interest rates, and the process and figure out which lender appeals to you for your home improvement loan.
You can always look for customer reviews and experiences, and often you can find details on the lender’s website about the process and what to expect, as well as posted interest rates.
On the chance that you don’t get approved or don’t have enough equity in your home, be aware that you may need to seek alternatives. Know your alternative options before you apply.
Be familiar with your credit and what the lender’s credit requirements might be as well.
If a home improvement loan doesn’t work out in your favor, consider one of these alternatives.
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
- Refinance your mortgage
- Credit card
- Skip the loan
If you assess your situation and find that you don’t really need a loan to get the job done, then skip the financing and save yourself a few dollars in the process. Good luck on your home improvement project!
If you have any questions or advice about home improvement loans, please chime in with a comment!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.