Here’s How to Pay for Home Improvements Without Drowning in Debt

a man holding a fanned out dollar bills

Any home can use some extra attention every now and then, whether you’ve lived there for years or have just moved in. After all, there’s no such thing as the perfect home, although you can try to come close. There are plenty of reasons to want home improvements, with safety needs being at the top of the list. Damages obviously need fixing, but you may find that your needs for your home change over time. For example, having children can change the way you see your home, or you may need to install some features for senior safety.

Perhaps you’re looking for improvements to increase the functionality of your home. Maybe you just want to revamp your style. Regardless of your reasons, home improvements typically come with the side benefit of increasing your home’s value. Of course, while home improvements usually sound great on paper, being able to finance them is another matter, and improvements often get put off or forgotten about altogether. It doesn’t need to be that way, though. Whether you’re looking to install a deck or planning to finally call that basement repair company in Stow, OH, you have options to cover your renovations.

Personal Loans

While taking out a loan may not be many people’s first choice, it can be a great way to offset costs for small to medium-sized housing projects, and those with plenty of spare cash probably wouldn’t be looking for other means anyway. Loans provide many options from banks and other lenders, and depending on your credit, you may be able to find a loan with little interest. If you’re worried about your credit score, there are options to find an installment loan without a credit check as well. Personal loans are generally unsecured as well, so you won’t have to put your house up for collateral like you would with some other options.

Home Improvement Programs

A home improvement program (HIP) is an option offered by certain counties that will subsidize the interest for a home improvement loan to help maintain and improve property values in the area. While it may be tempting to look at this as “free money,” there are naturally some rules to consider. Not everyone will qualify for a HIP loan, and those who do will need to follow restrictions on how the money can be used, keep expenses within the loan’s cap, and they’ll likely be responsible for increased property taxes after improvements are finished.

There are multiple kinds of home improvement grants, and the qualifications for some may surprise you. They’re worth looking into if you’re serious about a home project.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A HELOC is among the most common ways to finance home improvements. It’s basically like an open line of credit that you can pull from as you need it, but it requires you to put your home up for collateral. Because of this, many people recommend only using this option for bigger projects like additions or full remodels. As the name suggests, you’ll need sufficient home equity to even qualify for this option, meaning that your home’s current value is higher than what you owe on it.

Since HELOCs are secured loans, you’ll be able to find lower interest rates than you would if you were taking out a personal loan. You’ll also be able to get larger loan amounts with this approach, although this can be a double-edged sword. More money can lead to greater temptation to spend on things other than the house.

These are just a few reliable ways to pay for home improvements, but there’s plenty of room for creativity. If you don’t mind careful maintenance and some risk, you can possibly cover home improvement costs with a zero-interest credit card. Determined homeowners can find ways that work for them.

Ebonie Barden works across OI's platforms and deparments, developing content that reflects our readers' inquiries and needs in order to best engage and serve our diverse audiences on the topics that matter.

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