Do you have home improvement projects piling up that need to get done? If the delay is due to a tight budget, a personal loan may be able to help. However, getting home improvement loans with bad credit can be challenging.
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The main problem with having bad credit is that it tells lenders that you’re a risky borrower. They worry that you won’t pay the loan back in full. Being so, they often refuse to lend to you, limit the amount you can borrow, or charge you high rates to cover their risk. Luckily, there are a few online lenders that cater to people in your exact situation.
Our financial experts reviewed and ranked more than 30 online lenders and found these five to be the best if you’re looking for home improvement loans with bad credit.
Top Picks for Home Improvement Loans with Bad Credit
Our team of financial experts reviewed and analyzed more than 30 personal loans in search of the best home improvement loans for people with bad credit. All of these lenders cater to people with poor credit and won’t automatically deny you for having a bad score. Plus, they offer decent-sized loans with multi-year terms and reasonable APRs.
We used a ratings methodology for personal loans to rank the best loans on the market. This ratings methodology evaluates lenders based on loan length, APR, repayment terms, user experience, customer service, credit score history, banking and credit union use, and additional features.
Best Home Improvement Loans With Bad Credit in 2023 - Full Overview
Lenient eligibility requirements: Approves credit scores as low as 300
Easy application process: Many borrowers don’t have to provide supporting documents
Good loan amount range: Loan amounts go up to $50,000 which can cover many home improvement projects
Excellent customer reviews: Earned 4.9/5 stars on Trustpilot after 30,000+ reviews.
Fast funding: When approved, 99% of personal loans are sent a day after signing
Loan amounts can be limited: The amount you can borrow may be limited to as little as $1,000 based on your creditworthiness
APRs can be high: APRs go up to 35.99% which can be expensive
Origination fees: Origination fees up to 8% can be charged
Upstart is an artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform designed to improve access to affordable credit. It offers a personal loan that can be used for home improvement projects and is available to people with credit scores as low as 300. Applying is easy as you can get a quote in minutes online without hurting your credit score. If approved, you can get the funds in as little as one business day.
Upstart offers loans from $1,000 up to $50,000 that you can pay back over a term of 36 or 60 months. APRs range from a competitive 5.35% up to 35.99% and origination fees go up to 8% of the loan amount.
One of the stand-out features of Upstart is that it accepts credit scores as low as they go — 300. The company’s application process is also convenient for borrowers as most don’t have to provide additional supporting documents to get approved.
If your credit score is very low and you’re having trouble getting approved for a home improvement loan elsewhere, Upstart provides a convenient solution with flexible eligibility requirements.
Lenient qualification requirements: No minimum credit score requirement and designed for borrowers with bad credit
Provides secured and unsecured loans: Securing the loan with collateral may help you get approved
Excellent customer reviews: Earned 4.8/5 stars on Trustpilot after 39,000+ customer reviews
Decent loan amount range: Loans go up to $20,000 which is not as much as some other lenders but enough for many home improvement projects
Physical branches: You can visit a physical branch or get the loan online
High APRs: The APR range starts at 18% which is much higher than other lenders
High fees: Origination fees can go up to 10% of the loan amount
One Main Financial is a very flexible lender that looks beyond your credit score when deciding whether you can get a personal loan or not. If you don’t get approved for an unsecured loan, you may be able to put up some collateral and get a secured loan. You can easily apply online but can also visit branches nationwide if you prefer to speak with someone in person. If approved, you can get the funds for your next home improvement project as soon as the same day.
One Main Financial offers personal loans that range from $1,500 up to $20,000. You can repay them over a loan term of 24, 36, 48, or 60 months. The loan will come with an APR between 18% to 35.99%, while origination fees can range from 1% to 10% of the loan amount. Note, in some states, the fee will be charged as a flat amount ranging from $25 to $500.
What’s interesting about One Main Financial is that it offers both unsecured and secured loans. Some borrowers will be given the option to secure their loan with collateral (like a vehicle) which can help you qualify and/or get better rates and terms.
While it doesn’t have the most competitive rates, One Main Financial may help you get a home improvement loan when others turn you down. The secured loan option can open up doors that would otherwise be closed.
No credit score requirement: Avant will consider all borrowers with all credit scores
Good loan amount range: Loans range from $2,000 up to $35,000 which could cover many home improvement projects
Good loan terms: Terms up to 60 months are available which can make payments more affordable
Excellent customer service: The company has a 4.7/5 star rating on Trustpilot after over 20,000 reviews
Not as lenient: While there is no credit score requirement, the average borrower has a score between 600 and 700
Admin fee: The admin fee can cost you up to 4.75% of the loan amount
High APRs: APRs can reach as high as 35.99%, and start on the higher end at 9.95%
Avant is a financial services company that can connect you with a personal loan from Evolve Bank & Trust. It’s one of the more lenient lenders on the market, aiming to help more middle-income borrowers get the money they need. This can be a good option for a home improvement loan, even with poor credit. You can apply online and have the loan as soon as the next business day.
Avant offers personal loans from $2,000 up to $35,000 which can be repaid over terms ranging from 24 to 60 months. The company’s APRs range from 9.95% to 35.99% and include an administration fee of up to 4.75%.
If you get approved, your funds can be in your bank account as soon as the next business day. Further, you can apply online in minutes, without hurting your credit score.
Avant is an all-around good option if you don’t have the best credit but need a home improvement loan. It offers a decent-sized loan amount with middle-of-the-road APRs. That said, you’ll have the best chance of getting approved if your credit score is at least 600.
Lenient lending: LendingPoint aims to provide unsecured personal loans to people all across the credit spectrum.
Easy, fast loan process: Apply online in minutes, get funded the next day
Good loan amounts: Qualified borrowers can borrow up to $36,500
Excellent customer service: Earned 4.9/5 stars after over 6,000 borrower reviews.
Not available in two states: Loans aren’t offered in Nevada and West Virginia
High APRs: APRs start on the higher end at 9.99% and can go up to 35.99%
LendingPoint is an online lender that provides unsecured personal loans which can be used for whatever legal purpose you want — including upgrading a bathroom or replacing your outdated kitchen linoleum. The company specializes in serving the entire credit spectrum, so doesn’t rule out those with bad credit scores. It seems to do a good job as it has earned an almost perfect score on Trustpilot from past customers. You can apply online in minutes without hurting your credit score. Then, if you want to go ahead, you can have the funds as soon as the next day.
LendingPoint offers unsecured personal loans from $2,000 up to $36,500 to be repaid over terms ranging from 24 to 60 months. The APRs range from 9.99% up to 35.99% and include an origination fee that can go as high as 6% of the loan amount.
When comparing quotes from lenders, be sure to get one from LendingPoint. It offers decent loan amounts, rates, and terms, and is known for leaving borrowers satisfied.
Lenient eligibility requirements: NetCredit specializes in lending to people with less than perfect credit.
Decent loan amounts: Loan amounts in many states will be enough to fund a home improvement project.
Excellent customer service: NetCredit earned 4.7/5 stars after 6,500+ reviews.
High APRs: APRs are much higher than those from other lenders on the list
Not available in all states: NetCredit is not available in 14 states
Loan amounts and costs vary by state: The loan amounts and APRs are different in every state
NetCredit is another lenient lender that offers loans for home improvement with bad credit. You can check your eligibility online in minutes without hurting your credit score and can get funded as soon as the day following approval. Loan amounts and APRs vary greatly from one state to the next so you’ll have to check the loan details for your state to see if NetCredit will be a good fit.
NetCredit offers personal loans in 36 states that range from $500 up to $20,000. However, the loan amount range is different in each state so you’ll want to check yours to see if it’ll work for you. APRs also vary by state but range from 19.99% to 155% overall. Loan terms can be as short as six months or as long as 60.
If you live in the following states, Net Credit loans won’t be available to you at this time: Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
NetCredit can be on the expensive side and isn’t available everywhere. However, if you are in a qualifying state, it may lend to you when others won’t. The majority of those who have used the lender, end up happy with the experience.
How to Choose Home Improvement Loans with Bad Credit
Before we get to the top five, when you’re looking for a home improvement loan with bad credit, there are a few key factors to consider. For example, one of the most important is that you need to find a lender that has lenient credit score requirements. If a lender requires a 700 credit score, and you apply with 550, you’re not going to get very far. But that’s just one part of the equation. Here’s a look at several of the main factors to keep in mind:
Loan features: The loan needs to be a good fit for your home improvement project which means it’ll need to be the right loan amount and the lender must allow you to use the funds for home improvements. It’s also important that the lender offers loan terms long enough to make the monthly payments affordable.
Interest rates and fees: All loans come with costs and if they are too high, they can make the loan unaffordable. You’ll see that each lender offers a unique APR range and usually a fee range as well. This information is helpful but to find out the rate and fee you’ll pay, you need to apply and get a quote based on your situation.
Application process: You should also look into a lender’s application process to see if it’s one you’re willing and able to go through. Find out what will be required and what you’ll have to provide. Is it entirely online? Will you need to send over files? How long will it take? The quicker and easier it is, the better. Also, many lenders offer an initial quote without hurting your credit score. This offers an advantage for you because you can get loan offer details from various lenders without worrying about damaging your credit.
Qualification process: The qualification process is going to be key, especially when you have bad credit. Not all lenders will approve you so you need to find the ones that specialize in lending to people with less-than-perfect credit. Figure out your credit score and income and then, before applying, check the requirements of lenders to ensure they are a match. Also, be sure to take note of any other qualification requirements like living in certain states, a certain debt-to-income ratio, etc.
Customer service: Like any company you do business with, a lender should be there to help you if you run into any problems with their product. To do so, they need to have a solid customer service department in place. To avoid getting stuck with a loan issue, look into a lender’s customer service before taking a loan from them. Find out if they have live representatives, live chat, an email support line, and a fast response rate. That support can become very important if something goes wrong like you make a payment to the wrong account or need a payment arrangement.
Online user reviews: Lenders can tell you how great they are all day but you’ll hear the truth from other borrowers like you. Being so, check online review sources like Trustpilot to hear how the whole experience went for others.
Perks and bonuses: Lastly, look for any unique offerings that set a lender apart from the rest. It may be a user-friendly app that lets you manage the loan from your phone, track your payoff progress, and monitor your credit score. On the other hand, it could be a helpful deferral program that lets you delay payment without penalty if times get tough.
Main Features of The Best Home Improvement Loans for Bad Credit
Here’s a look at how our top home improvement loans for poor credit stack up against each other.
Min. credit score
5.35% to 35.99%
$1,000 to $50,000
36 or 60 months
One Main Financial
18% to 35.99%
$1,500 up to $20,000
24, 36, 48, or 60 months
9.95% to 35.99%
$2,000 to $35,000
24 to 60 months
9.99% to 35.99%
$2,000 to $36,500
24 to 60 months
19.9% to 155%
$500 to $20,000
6 to 60 months
How Does a Home Improvement Loan for Bad Credit Work?
Bad credit home improvement loans are often structured as term loans. You get a lump sum upfront and repay it over a set amount of months, plus interest. The APR you get tells you how much you will pay per year for the loan and includes fees you’re charged for the loan’s origination or administration. While longer loan terms can lower your monthly payment amounts, be careful because they result in you paying more interest over time. Once you make all your payments, the loan will be marked as paid in full and closed.
Whether adding a new area, renovating one you have, or making repairs, you’ll often face sizeable costs. Home repair loans for bad credit can help to split up the costs over time so they’re more manageable.
How To Get a Home Improvement Loan with Bad Credit
Getting a home improvement loan with bad credit has never been easier. With the wide range of online lenders available, and a number specializing in lending to people with bad credit, you’ve got options. Here are the steps to follow:
Shortlist compatible lenders: First, you need to find at least three lenders that can meet your needs in terms of the loan amount, term, APR, and eligibility requirements. We’ve done the hard work for you above.
Get quotes: Head over to the websites of the lenders and provide the necessary information to get quotes. This step shouldn’t hurt your credit score.
Find the best deal: Review the offers you receive and compare the loan amounts, APRs, terms, monthly payment amounts, overall costs, customer service reviews, and other perks. Find the one that provides the best overall value.
Accept the loan offer: Contact the winning lender to accept the loan. At this point, a hard credit inquiry will be performed and you’ll go through the final verification to get the loan.
Get the funds: Once approved, the money will be sent to your bank account and you can start your home improvement project!
With the streamlined online application and approval processes that many lenders offer today, you can often have the funding you need within a few days.
How To Improve Your Credit to Get a Home Improvement Loan?
If you don’t get approved for a home improvement loan because of your credit, or don’t like the rates and terms you get offered, it’s time to work on getting your score up. To do that, you first need to fix any outstanding problems with your report. For example, if you have delinquent debt, work on settling it with the creditor. Also, ensure all the information on your reports is correct so there aren’t any mistakes working against you.
From there, you need positive credit lines. If you already have a credit line open, be sure you’re paying each payment by the due date. If you don’t, you can start by opening a secured credit card. You’ll have to pay upfront to get a credit line but then your payments will be reported to the credit bureaus. To get the most out of it, use the card and then pay off the balance in full and on time every month.
Overall, keep your credit utilization down, limit the credit inquiries you allow, keep accounts open, and pay them all on time. As you continue to do this, you’ll build positive credit lines, negative marks will fall off your reports, and your score will increase.
Other Types of Home Improvement Financing for Bad-Credit Borrowers
Not sure if a personal loan is the best choice? Financing home improvements with bad credit can be done in a few other ways, too. Here are some alternatives:
Home equity loans/credit lines: If you’ve been working on paying down your mortgage for a bit, or have seen your home’s value increase, you likely have some equity. If you have enough, you can borrow against it at competitive rates that are often lower than those that come with unsecured personal loans. Lenders offer both loans and credit lines secured by your home’s equity. While the application process can be a bit more involved, and you’ll need to put your home at risk, this route can be advantageous in some situations.
Friends and family won’t check your credit but will base their decision on your relationship. It’s important to think about how the loan could impact that relationship if you end up unable to repay it as planned.
Credit cards can be a good option if you have them but can be hard to get with bad credit. If you can get approved, the APRs are often high and credit lines are low so this may not be the best route until your credit improves.
Car title loans often don’t require a credit check but instead rely on securing the loan with a vehicle you own free and clear. Going this route, the costs are often high and if you default, you’ll lose your car. However, it can be a quick way to get a lump sum of money.
When compared to the alternatives, unsecured personal loans often come out ahead for their convenience, low risk, and affordability. However, it never hurts to compare multiple options to see what’s best for your situation.
Bring Your Home Improvement Plans to Life
Bad credit doesn’t have to delay all your plans. Plenty of people are getting home improvement loans with bad credit. If you are ready to get started on a home improvement project, it’s worth checking to see what kind of funding you can get.
However, before taking a loan, make sure to shop around with at least three lenders. Many exist to help people in your exact situation but their loan amounts, rates, and terms can vary. Getting multiple quotes doesn’t cost you anything and can help you get a better deal!