Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Compare Personal Loan Rates

Best Kitchen Remodel Loans

Best Overall Kitchen Remodel Loan

SoFi®

APR range

8.99% to 25.81%

with autopay

8.99% to 25.81%

with autopay

Why We Picked It

SoFi is an online lending platform that offers unsecured fixed-rate personal loans in every state. Founded in 2011, SoFi has extended over $50 billion in loans and stands out for allowing high loan amounts and its availability of extended loan terms.

Loans are available from $5,000 to $100,000, making SoFi a great option for those with excellent credit who need to borrow a large amount of money. Loan amounts available may vary by the state you live in. Repayment terms range from two to seven years, making SoFi an incredibly flexible option for those with sufficient credit (minimum 650) and annual income (at least $45,000). SoFi also lets prospective borrowers submit joint applications—although co-signers are not permitted.

Approved borrowers are rewarded with comparatively low APRs. What’s more, SoFi doesn’t charge origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties—a stand-out feature because personal loan lenders often charge origination or late payment fees at a minimum.

However, if you’re considering a debt consolidating loan from SoFi, keep in mind that the lender does not offer direct payment to a borrower’s other creditors. This means the loan proceeds will be deposited to your bank account and you’ll have to pay off your other lenders individually. The platform does offer customers a number of other perks and discounts, including unemployment protection and the ability to change their payment due date once a year.

Pros & Cons

  • Prequalification with soft credit check
  • Funding in as little as one to two days
  • High loan amounts and lengthy terms
  • Does not offer direct payment to third-party creditors for debt consolidation
  • Some applicants report difficult qualification standards
  • Co-signers are not permitted

Details

Eligibility:  Personal loan applicants should have a minimum credit score of 650. However, many successful applicants have a score of 700 or higher. Applicants also must have an annual income of at least $45,000, though the average income of a SoFi borrower is over $100,000.

Loan uses:  In general, SoFi personal loans are limited to use for personal, family and household purposes. This means a borrower can use loan funds to cover things like medical costs, credit card consolidation, home improvements and relocation costs. However, SoFi loans cannot be used to fund a new business venture, the purchase of real estate, investments and securities, post-secondary education or short-term bridge financing.

Turnaround time:  Borrowers typically receive funds within a few days—or as soon as the next business day after approval and acceptance of terms. However, funding times may be longer than a few days—especially for loans over $20,000.

Best for Low Interest Rates

LightStream

APR range

7.49% to 25.49%

with autopay

7.49% to 25.49%

with autopay

Why We Picked It

LightStream is a consumer lending division of Truist—which formed following the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T. The platform offers unsecured personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. Loan amounts vary based on the loan purpose. Although a number of lenders offer smaller loans than the LightStream minimum, few lenders offer a higher maximum loan. Repayment terms are available from two to seven years, making it an excellent option for those who want to spread out the payment of large expenses over time.

In addition to offering appealing and flexible terms, LightStream charges no origination, late payment or prepayment fees. The lender also offers a 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay—higher than most lenders with the same perk—as well as a 30-day loan experience guarantee to ensure borrower satisfaction, Covid-19/hardship assistance and a rate-beat program. LightStream will beat a competitor’s interest rate by 0.1 percentage point for applicants who meet certain criteria.

LightStream offers loans in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and applicants can contact the lender’s customer support team seven days a week; current borrowers have access to customer support from Monday through Saturday. While LightStream doesn’t offer a mobile app for loan management, customers can access their account through LightStream.com.

Pros & Cons

  • No origination, prepayment or late fees
  • Low, competitive rates
  • Fast approval and funding
  • No prequalification process
  • No due date flexibility
  • Limitations on use of loan proceeds

Details

Eligibility:  LightStream recommends applicants have good to excellent credit before applying for a personal loan. To increase their chances of approval, applicants also should have several years of credit history, including multiple account types, as well as an income that is stable enough to service current debts and a new LightStream loan.

LightStream doesn’t give prospective borrowers the ability to prequalify for a loan. This fact—combined with the minimum credit score requirement—makes the platform a better fit for those with a strong credit profile. Applicants with excellent credit also are more likely to get favorable terms. LightStream does not allow co-signers, but prospective borrowers can submit a joint application.

Loan uses:   LightStream’s personal loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, from purchasing a new car, RV or jewelry to paying for home improvements. However, LightStream really stands out, because loans can be used to finance land, timeshares and so-called tiny homes. As with other top lenders, LightStream prohibits use of its personal loans for post-secondary education costs, business purposes and illegal activities. Borrowers also are prohibited from using LightStream loan funds to refinance an existing LightStream loan.

Turnaround time:   LightStream borrowers can receive funds as soon as the same day if the loan is approved before 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on a banking business day. To receive same-day funding, the applicant also must review and electronically sign the loan agreement; provide LightStream with funding preferences and relevant banking information; and complete the final verification process—all before 2:30 p.m. on the day the loan is approved.

Best for Fair Credit

Upgrade

Why We Picked It

Upgrade was launched in 2017 and provides accessible online and mobile credit and banking services. Since that time, the platform has made more than $3 billion in credit available to over 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile services. Although maximum APRs are on the high end compared to other online lenders, Upgrade makes loans available to those with poor credit history.

Loans amounts, which range from $1,000 to $50,000. Upgrade has two- to seven-year terms  available. Upgrade charges an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% of the loan, and borrowers will encounter a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through; there are no discounts for autopay. That said, Upgrade borrowers are not subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you’re able to pay it off early.

Beyond offering accessible personal loans, Upgrade streamlines the lending process with a mobile app that lets borrowers view their balance, make payments and update personal information. Upgrade’s Credit Heath tool also makes it easy to track your credit score over the life of your loan.

Pros & Cons

  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Borrowers can use loans to cover business expenses
  • Offers direct lender payoff for debt consolidation loans
  • High APR range
  • Charges fees for origination, late payment and insufficient funds

Details

Eligibility:  Prospective borrowers should have a minimum score of 580 to qualify for an Upgrade personal loan (the average borrower score is 697), making it an accessible option for those with fair credit. Furthermore, the lender does not require applicants to meet a minimum income requirement, although borrowers make $95,000 per year on average. Applicants should have a maximum pre-loan debt-to-income ratio of 45%, excluding their mortgage.

The lender also considers each applicant’s free cash flow, which demonstrates their likely ability to make consistent on-time loan payments. Ideally, applicants should have a minimum monthly cash flow of $800.

Upgrade increases loan accessibility by also allowing co-applicants.

Loan uses:  As with most other personal loans, loans from Upgrade must be used to pay off credit cards, consolidate other debt, make home improvements or pay for other large purchases. However, Upgrade stands out from some lenders by allowing borrowers to use personal loan funds to cover business expenses. What’s more, Upgrade will directly pay off third-party lenders, making debt consolidation more convenient than with some competing lenders.

There are no specific prohibitions on the use of Upgrade loans other than those already imposed by law.

Turnaround time:  Once an Upgrade loan is approved, it generally takes up to four business days for a borrower to receive the funds. However, if Upgrade is directly paying off a borrower’s loans to a third-party lender, it can take up to two weeks for the funds to clear.

Best for Comparing Multiple Offers

Universal Credit

Why We Picked It

Universal Credit is an online lending platform that offers personal loans between $1,000 to $50,000 through its partners. Repayment terms range from three to seven years.

While Universal Credit makes finding a personal loan accessible even to those with damaged credit, it comes with a few tradeoffs. First, it charges high APRs, well above the most competitive rates seen on our list. Second, Universal Credit charges a 5.25% to 9.99% origination fee on all personal loans. Because this is deducted from your loan proceeds, you’ll need to factor this in when determining your loan amount to ensure you receive the necessary amount after the fact.

Pros & Cons

  • Flexible qualification requirements
  • Next-day funding
  • No prepayment penalty
  • High APRs
  • All personal loans charge a 5.25% to 9.99% origination fee

Details

Eligibility: Universal Credit requires a minimum credit score of 580, making it suitable for a wide range of borrowers.

Turnaround time: Once approved, Universal Credit will send your funds to your bank within one business day. However, the availability of your funds depends on how quickly your bank can process the transaction. If you’re using funds to directly pay off another creditor, it may take up to two weeks.

Best for Loans as Low as $1,000

Upstart

Why We Picked It

Upstart has made a mark on the personal loan space because of its artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based approach to borrower qualification. In fact, Upstart estimates that it has been able to approve 27% more borrowers than possible under a traditional lending model. With competitive APRs, Upstart is not a top lender for borrowers who can qualify for more competitive rates. Even so, the platform’s minimum 300 credit score makes it an accessible option to those with fair credit.

Upstart also offers a pretty flexible range of loan options, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 so you don’t have to borrow (or pay interest on) more than you really need. And, while Upstart’s loan cap is lower than some lenders—this is likely to be enough for many prospective borrowers.

Even though Upstarts three-, five-, seven-year loan terms are more restrictive than other lenders, it’s likely to be an acceptable tradeoff for applicants who might not be approved in a more traditional lending environment. Plus, it’s available in every state except West Virginia and Iowa, so it’s as widely available as many other top lenders.

Pros & Cons

  • Accessible to borrowers with fair credit
  • Offers prequalification with a soft credit check
  • Ability to choose a custom payment date
  • Charges an origination fee up to 8% of the loan amount
  • No secured or co-signer option
  • Loans only available for three-, five-, seven-year terms

Details

Eligibility:  Upstart stands out because it uses an AI-based platform to consider a range of non-conventional variables when evaluating borrower applications. And, while the platform advertises a minimum credit score of 300, Upstart may even accept applicants who don’t have enough credit history to have a score. When evaluating prospective borrowers, Upstart considers college education, job history, residence, debt-to-income ratio, bankruptcies and delinquencies and number of credit inquiries.

Borrowers also must have a full-time job or offer starting in six months, a regular part-time job or another source of regular income—with a minimum annual income of $12,000. Co-signers and co-applicants are not permitted.

Loan uses:  Upstart’s personal loans can be used for credit card and other debt consolidation, special events, moving and relocation, medical and dental costs and home improvements. In contrast to many other traditional and online lenders, Upstart also lets borrowers use personal loan funds to cover educational expenses (except in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington and the District of Columbia).

Upstart borrowers cannot use personal loans to finance illegal activity or purchase weapons, firearms or illegal drugs.

Turnaround time:  Upstart provides next-business day funding for borrowers whose loans are accepted before 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday. Loans that are approved after 5 p.m. are typically funded the following business day, or the day after that. That said, Upstart reports that 99% of loan applicants receive their money one business day after accepting their loan terms. Loans for education-related expenses may take up to an additional three business days after loan acceptance.

Best for Fast Funding & Below-average Credit

LendingPoint

APR range

7.99% to 35.99%

with autopay

7.99% to 35.99%

with autopay

Why We Picked It

LendingPoint is an online lender based in Atlanta that offers personal loans to prospective borrowers in 48 states and Washington D.C.; it does not offer loans in Nevada and West Virginia. Prospective borrowers in eligible states can apply online and benefit from quick funding.

LendingPoint personal loans range from $2,000 to $36,500; Georgia loans have a minimum loan amount of $3,500. Repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months—or two to six years.

There are two main disadvantages to LendingPoint: high maximum APRs and origination fees. While you can typically avoid high APRs by maintaining a high credit score, LendingPoint origination fees (up to 10%) depend on the state you live in.

Pros & Cons

  • Quick funding
  • Low credit score requirements
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Origination fee up to 10%
  • Co-signers or joint loans not permitted
  • Not available in Nevada and West Virginia

Details

Eligibility: To qualify for a LendingPoint personal loan, you must have a minimum credit score of 600 and live in one of the 48 eligible U.S. states or Washington D.C. Loans are not available to prospective borrowers in Nevada or West Virginia.

Turnaround time: Once approved, you could receive your funds as soon as the next business day.

Best for No Interest If Repaid Within 30 Days

Discover

Why We Picked It

Discover is an online bank that also offers customers credit cards, retirement solutions and personal loans in all 50 states. As a lending platform, Discover stands out because of its online application and mobile banking tools, well-reviewed customer support team and quick funding.

In general, loans are available from $2,500 to $40,000 and may be issued for between three and seven years. So, while borrowers may get a larger loan from another lender, the repayment terms are fairly flexible. Discover charges a late payment fee and does not offer an autopay discount; however, it does not charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties, making it competitive with other top personal loan providers.

Pros & Cons

  • Option to pay off creditors directly
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Directly pays creditors
  • Charges late fees
  • Low maximum loan amount

Details

Eligibility:  Prospective borrowers must have a minimum score of 660 to qualify for a Discover personal loan, but the average Discover borrower has a score of 750. Discover does not require applicants to have a minimum credit history length. Applicants also must demonstrate a minimum household income of $25,000 per year, though an average income is not disclosed. Discover also evaluates each applicant’s credit history, recent credit activities and other credit inquiries. Co-signers and co-applicants are not permitted.

Loan uses:  Discover personal loans can be used for financial emergencies, medical bills, adoption and fertility costs, auto repairs and pet emergencies. Unlike some other personal loan providers, Discover loans can also be used to cover small-business expenses. Customers cannot use a Discover loan to pay for post-secondary education, to pay off a secured loan or for illegal activity.

Turnaround time:  Applicants generally receive a same-day decision. If approved, funds may be sent as soon as the next business day if the loan was funded on a week day—and if there aren’t any typos or errors in the application. Otherwise, borrowers may not receive loan funds for up to seven days. Discover also can disperse funds directly to third-party creditors when a loan is being used for debt consolidation.

Best for Projects of at Least $25,000

Navy Federal Credit Union

Why We Picked It

Since 1933, Navy Federal has grown from seven members to over 10 million, making it one of the most common credit unions for veterans or members of the armed forces. Not only that, but it also aims to “be the most preferred and trusted financial institution serving the military and their families.” Its reputation in the market and excellent products makes for an easy decision to include it as one of the institutions to find the best personal loans for veterans.

Navy Federal offers personal loans from $250 to $50,000, making it the lender with the smallest minimum loan limit. Loan limits of this range give veterans the ability to finance purchases of all different sizes. What’s more, repayment terms of up to 60 months are available. Applying for a loan with shorter repayment terms, however, will save you money on interest over the life of your loan.

Navy Federal personal loans have interest rates from 7.99% to 18%. The lowest of the range, is reserved only for loans with terms of up to 36 months and applicants with excellent credit. Active duty members also can receive a 0.25% autopay discount; however, non-active duty members cannot receive this perk.

Pros & Cons

  • No prepayment penalties
  • 0.25% autopay discounts for active duty members
  • Same-day funding
  • $29 late fee applied when you’re 10 days past due
  • No autopay discounts for non-active duty personnel
  • Lowest APR applies only to loans with terms of up to 36 months

Details

Eligibility: You must be a member of Navy Federal to apply. To become a member, you or one of your family or household members must have ties to the armed forces, Department of Defense or National Guard. Members can apply online. Navy Federal does not have a minimum credit score requirement; however, borrowers with higher credit scores have a better chance of qualifying and receiving favorable terms. We recommend a minimum score of 670.

Loan uses: You can use Navy Federal personal loans for unplanned and planned expenses, including auto repairs, vacations and other major purchases; you cannot use them for higher education or to purchase a home. If you need to consolidate debt or finance a home improvement project, Navy Federal has personal loans designed specifically for those expenses.

Turnaround time: Navy Federal offers a simple online application process and different fund disbursement methods. The quickest way to receive your funds is through an automatic deposit, which you can receive immediately after approval.

Summary: Best Kitchen Remodel Loans

Tips for Comparing Kitchen Remodel Financing Options

With various kitchen remodel loan options available, consider all of your options before finding the one that caters best to your needs. When comparing kitchen remodel financing options, consider:

  • Your budget. Before exploring different financing options, it’s crucial to have a clear idea of your project’s overall cost. This includes the upfront costs of labor and materials and any unexpected expenses that may arise during the remodel. Once you know your budget, use a home improvement loan calculator to estimate monthly payments and determine how much you can comfortably borrow.
  • Interest rates. When comparing loans, pay close attention to the interest rates. Even a slightly lower interest rate can save you a considerable amount of money over the life of the loan. Personal loan interest rates typically range from 5% to 36%, while secured options like home equity loans may be less costly.
  • Loan terms. As with interest rates, repayment terms vary by lender and loan type. Longer repayment periods come with lower monthly payments, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. In contrast, short-term loans have higher monthly payments, but you’ll lower the overall cost of borrowing. 
  • Additional fees. Apart from the interest rate, loans may also include various fees, such as origination fees, late payment fees and prepayment penalties. Make sure to factor these expenses into the total cost of the loan.
  • Your credit score. Your credit score will significantly influence available interest rates and terms. You’ll likely qualify for lower interest rates and favorable terms if your credit score is high. If it’s low, consider improving it before applying for a loan.

What Is a Kitchen Remodel Loan?

A kitchen remodel loan is a form of financing that can fund the cost of renovating a kitchen. You can use these loans to cover various expenses related to the remodel, including purchasing new appliances, replacing cabinets, installing new flooring and even structural changes. Kitchen remodel loans come in several forms, including personal loans, home equity loans and home improvement loans.

Each type of loan has unique characteristics and requirements, and the best option depends on factors like your credit score, the amount needed for the remodel and your financial situation. Remember, as with any loan, it’s important to consider available repayment terms, interest rates and fees before choosing the best option for your remodel.

Types of Kitchen Remodel Loans

The decision to remodel your kitchen is a significant investment, and understanding different types of kitchen remodel loans will help you to select the best financing option. Below are some of the most common types of kitchen remodel loans, each with benefits, drawbacks and ideal uses.

Personal Loans

Personal loans are unsecured loans, meaning they don’t require collateral. These loans can include home improvement loans, and loan amounts may reach up to $100,000 and can be used for a wide range of purposes, including kitchen remodels. Personal loan repayment periods generally range from one to seven years, during which interest accrues on the entire outstanding balance. 

The interest rates you qualify for depend largely on your credit score and financial situation. Rates range from 5% to 36% with the most creditworthy borrowers qualifying for the best personal loans and most competitive rates. Although personal loans are easier and quicker to obtain, they usually come with higher interest rates than other types of loans due to the lack of collateral.

Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans, also known as second mortgages, allow you to borrow against the equity in your home. The value of your home determines the amount you can borrow, and you typically can borrow up to 85% of your equity in your home—less the amount you still owe on your mortgage. Once approved, you receive the cash as a lump sum.

These loans come with fixed interest rates that start around 7% APR and repayment terms between five and 30 years. While they often have lower interest rates than personal loans, home equity loans are secured by the equity you have in your home. This means if you fail to make repayments, you could lose your home.

Home Equity Lines of Credit

Like a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit—or HELOC—is secured by your home equity. With a HELOC, however, you can access the line of credit as-needed and interest only accrues on the outstanding balance. 

This means you can draw against the HELOC gradually throughout a lengthy kitchen renovation and only pay interest on the outstanding balance. Once repaid, you can draw against the HELOC again and again, making HELOCs an excellent option for lengthy projects.  

When choosing a kitchen remodel loan, consider the amount you need, your ability to repay the loan and available interest rates. Shop around and compare loan terms from different lenders to get the best deal possible.

How To Get a Kitchen Remodel Loan

Follow these steps to get a kitchen remodel loan:

  1. Check your credit. Before you start searching for a kitchen remodel loan, check your credit score and report as this will help you determine which lenders may work with you. If you find any errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureaus and get the mistakes corrected.
  2. Research and compare lenders. Lenders offer different loan products with varying interest rates, terms and conditions. While you can use personal loans to finance a kitchen renovation, some lenders offer home improvement loans tailored to this type of project. Likewise, a home equity loan or HELOC may best suit your kitchen improvements. Reviews and ratings can also give you valuable insight into the lenders you’re considering.
  3. Evaluate eligibility criteria. Loan eligibility criteria vary by lender. However, most financial institutions consider an applicant’s age, income level, employment status and credit score. Ensure you meet the lender’s criteria before applying to increase your chances of approval.
  4. Prepare the necessary documentation. Most lenders will require proof of income, employment verification and credit reports. Gather these documents in advance to expedite the application process.
  5. Fill out the application form and await approval. Complete the loan application form provided by the lender. Ensure you fill out all sections accurately to avoid processing delays. After submitting your application, the lender will review it and make a credit decision. This could take a few days to a few weeks, so be patient.
  6. Review and sign the loan agreement. If your application is approved, the lender will provide a loan agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the loan. Review this document carefully, and if everything is satisfactory, sign the agreement.
  7. Receive funds. Once the loan agreement is signed, the lender will disburse the funds. This could be directly to your bank account, or in some cases, the lender might pay the remodeling contractors directly.

Other Kitchen Remodel Financing Options

Aside from loans, there are other options to finance your kitchen remodel, including credit cards, refinancing and government loan programs. Each option has unique advantages and potential drawbacks, depending on your financial situation and the extent of your project.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a convenient way to finance smaller projects. Many card providers offer introductory 0% APR periods, which can be a great way to finance your remodel interest-free, as long as you can pay off the balance before the introductory period ends. Some cards also offer rewards such as cashback or travel points, which could provide additional benefits. 

That said, credit cards typically have higher interest rates than other types of financing—between 18% and 29.99%. If you can’t pay off the balance before the promotional period ends or if you have a high balance, the interest can quickly add up. This option is best if you have good credit and can repay the balance within the promotional period.

Cash-Out Refinance

A cash-out refinance is a mortgage refinancing option that involves taking out a new mortgage for more than what is left on your current mortgage. You receive the difference in cash, replacing your existing mortgage with a larger one. You can use the funds for any purpose, including a kitchen remodel. This process typically involves getting a property appraisal to calculate how much equity you have in the home. 

Refinancing can be a good option if you have significant equity in your home, mortgage interest rates are lower than when you first got your loan or if you can switch from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage. However, refinancing comes with costs, including appraisal fees, closing costs and potential prepayment penalties. It can also extend your repayment period, meaning you may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan.

Government Programs

Several government programs can help finance your kitchen remodel. These programs often offer loans or grants for home improvement projects. For example, some lenders offer the FHA 203(k) loan program, which is intended for home renovations. You may also be eligible for the FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program, which offers financing for energy-efficient home improvements. Likewise, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has programs offering home improvement grants and loans for eligible rural homeowners. 

Government-backed home loans often come with strict eligibility requirements and may limit the type of improvements you can make. These programs also involve a lot of paperwork and could take longer to process compared to other financing options.

Methodology

We reviewed 18 popular lenders based on 14 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We chose the six best lenders based on the weighting assigned to each category:

  • Loan cost. 35%
  • Loan details. 20%
  • Eligibility and accessibility. 20%
  • Customer experience. 15%
  • Application process. 10%

Within each category, we also considered several characteristics, including loan amounts, repayment terms, APR ranges and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit score requirements, whether each lender accepts co-signers or joint applications and the geographic availability of the lender. Finally, we evaluated each provider’s customer support tools, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like prequalification and mobile apps.

Where appropriate, we awarded partial points depending on how well a lender met each criterion.

To learn more about how Forbes Advisor rates lenders, and our editorial process, check out our Loans Rating & Review Methodology.

Next Up In Personal Loans

Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

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