Home improvement loans
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What is a home improvement loan?
A home improvement loan, or home renovation loan, can help you finance home improvement projects. It typically comes in the form of an unsecured personal loan. But you can also secure the loan against your home, which usually allows you to borrow larger amounts.
How do home improvement loans work?
- Compare deals – look at interest rates, monthly payments, any fees and the cost of your loan overall.
- Apply for the loan – if you’re approved, the money could be in your account within days. Possibly the same day if you’re an existing customer.
- Repay the loan – pay back the loan in fixed monthly repayments. You can choose to pay it off early, but you might face an early repayment charge.
Use our handy loan calculator to get a rough idea of how much you could afford to borrow and how much it will cost you each month.
What are the pros and cons of a home improvement loan?
Home improvement loans offer the following benefits:
- Quick access to your money – once approved, you could have the money for your renovation project in your bank account within days; in some cases, just 24 hours.
- Easier to budget – a loan with a fixed interest rate helps you to budget for your monthly repayments.
- Choose the length of your loan – the repayment period for a home improvement loan can range from one to 10 years.
- Choose the amount you want to borrow – but always be sure you can afford the monthly repayments.
- Choose how you spend your money – in most cases, you don’t have to specify what you want the money for. If your project comes in under budget, you could use the rest of the loan on something else.
- Add space and value – a home extensions loan allows you to add space for your growing family, while potentially increasing the value of your property.
The potential downsides of a home improvement loan include:
- Penalties – if you don’t make the repayments on time, you’re likely to be charged a penalty.
- Home repossession – if you secure your loan against your property and fail to keep up with your repayments, the lender can repossess your home and sell it to recover the debt.
- Interest rates – are you comfortable with the amount you’ll have to pay each month? Unsecured loans typically come with higher rates of interest than secured loans.
- Home valuation – you might not improve the value of your home equal to the amount you’ve spent on your improvements.
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What are the different types of home refurbishment loan?
There are two main types of home improvement loan to consider:
Unsecured home improvement loan
Also known as an unsecured personal loan, this type of loan allows you to borrow without putting up an asset, like your car or house, as security.
Things to consider with an unsecured personal home improvement loan:
- Approval is based on your ability to pay back the loan, so lenders will want to check that you have a good credit history. You may also need to show you have a regular income.
- Can be a good option if you’re planning to spend around £1,000 to £25,000 on a smaller project, such as updating your kitchen.
- You don’t risk losing your home, but failure to make the repayments could result in a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you.
- Because the loan is unsecured, you might not be able to borrow as much as you would with a secured loan.
Secured home improvement loan
Also known as a homeowner or home equity loan, this type of loan allows you to borrow a larger amount of money using the equity, or the value, of your home as security.
Things to consider with a secured home improvement loan:
- Suitable for major renovation projects. Depending on your credit history and financial situation, you might be able to borrow up to £100,000 or even more.
- Interest rates are often lower and fixed over a longer period, which helps with budgeting.
- Your house could be repossessed if you fall behind on repayments.
What should I consider when choosing a home improvement loan?
Before deciding on the best home improvement loan for you, consider:
- The interest rate: the lower the interest rate, the better. With a fixed rate your payments will stay the same until the loan is paid off. With a variable rate, your monthly payments could go up or down.
- Any fees: depending on the type of loan you choose, you may have to pay fees as well as interest.
- Your monthly payments: homeowner loans typically offer longer repayment terms than unsecured personal loans, which can mean lower monthly repayments. But because you’re paying back the loan over a longer period, you may pay more in interest overall.
- Your credit rating: if you’re a homeowner with a less-than-perfect credit history, you’re more likely to be approved for a secured loan as your house can be used as security.
- Early repayment penalties: some lenders will charge you for paying off the loan early, so make sure you read the small print.
How can I find a home improvement loan?
The good news is that it’s easy to compare home improvement loans with us. Just answer a few questions and we’ll show you which loans you’ll be eligible for without impacting your credit score.
We let you look at the options for both unsecured personal loans and secured homeowner loans. You can search based on:
- How much you want to borrow
- How long you want to repay for.
Frequently asked questions
Can I add on a home improvement loan to my mortgage?
Yes, it’s possible to borrow more on your mortgage to fund home improvements if you have equity in your home.
If you decide to remortgage to fund home improvements, be aware that borrowing more will likely increase your monthly mortgage repayments. You’ll also need to pay your mortgage for longer.
What is the difference between a home equity loan and a home improvement loan?
A home equity loan allows you to borrow against the equity you have in your home. For example, if your home is valued at £500,000 and you have £100,000 outstanding on your mortgage, the equity is £400,000.
A home improvement loan usually refers to an unsecured personal loan.
Can I get a joint home improvement loan?
If you apply for a joint home improvement loan, you’ll both be subject to the standard credit checks so it’s important that you each have a good credit rating. As a pair, you may be eligible to borrow a larger amount.
Can I get a home improvement loan with a bad credit score?
Having a poor credit history doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get a loan, but you’ll probably have less choice and face higher interest rates. Get tips on improving your credit score.
What alternatives are there to a home improvement loan?
If you only need to borrow a small amount over a very short time, consider using your interest-free overdraft if you have one.
Another option is a 0% interest purchase credit card. Just make sure you pay off the full balance before the interest-free period ends.
If you need a larger sum of money, a personal loan could be the best answer. You can usually borrow between £1,000 and £25,000.