The Best Home Improvement Loans in Philadelphia


Updated on October 2, 2019
By Jen Williamson

Whether you're fixing up an old rowhouse in Fishtown or making plans for your dream kitchen renovation in Society Hill ... if you're looking for financing for a home improvement project, one of your best options is a home improvement loan.

The good news: There are some great deals to be had in the Philly area right now. The bad news: If you want to make sure you're getting the best loan for your project, you should probably do a little bit of homework first. 

The even-better news (you thought we were done with the news, didn't you?): We did your homework for you. Here's what you need to know before you sign on the dotted line. 

What is a home improvement loan?

A home improvement loan is basically an unsecured personal loan—the kind where you don’t have to put up collateral, such as your house or car, to qualify.

Because so many people use personal loans for home improvement projects, “home improvement loan” is a common alternative name.

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Whether you're looking to pay off existing debt or make that big purchase, a Citizens One Personal Loan can help you achieve your financial goals.

  • APR: 6.79 - 20.89% (with AutoPay & Loyalty discounts)
  • No Fees.
  • 2 great discounts available: up to 0.50%
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Citizens Bank Personal Loans: Low Rates and No Existing Account Required

We'd recommend a Citizens Bank personal loan as a good option if you have good to excellent credit, especially if you are an existing customer of the bank. However, you don't have to be a customer to apply.

  • Loans from $5,000 - $50,000.
  • Types of loans: Kitchen & Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Engagement & Wedding, Vacations & Timeshares, Recreational Vehicles, and more!

Benefits of a Citizens Bank Personal Loan:

  • No fees ever: No application fees. No annual fees. No late fees. No fees at all.
  • No collateral: You don’t have to use your home or any other assets to qualify.
  • Access to funds: Have the funds in your account right away, often within 2 business days.

#2 View More Details

Low rates. No fees. Personal loans made easy.

  • APR: 5.99 - 17.67% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 680
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Pay off credit cards or invest in home improvements.

Are you paying more than 17% interest on your credit cards? SoFi Personal Loans could help you save thousands. With low personal loan interest rates and a fixed monthly payment, you can get loans to pay off credit cards, pay off high interest debt, or make a major purchase. It only takes minutes to apply.

  • No origination fees.
  • No pre-payment fees.
  • No late fees.
  • Low Rates: Borrow up to $100K with low rates ranging from 5.99% APR to 17.67% APR (With AutoPay).
  • Terms: 2-7 years
  • Easy Experience: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Community Benefits: If you lose your job, we'll temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job.
  • Pre-qualify: Find the rate you qualify for in 2 minutes with no commitment.
#3 View More Details

We're Offering Personal Loans With No Fees. Ever.

  • APR: 5.99 - 28.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

See if you're eligible for a personal loan from Marcus.

Get personal loan options in as few as 5 minutes. Here's how it works:

1) . Tell us about yourself. We’ll customize your personal loan options based on your input.

2). Choose your personal loan. Explore your loan options, and pick one that suits your budget and time frame.

3). Complete your application. Add a few details to verify your identity and finalize your personal loan application.

  • Loans up to $40,000
  • Types of loans: Debt Consolidation, Home Improvement, Wedding, Moving and Relocation, Vacation.

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
#4 View More Details

Apply in minutes. Have funds in your account as soon as today.

  • APR: 3.99 - 16.79% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Finally, a loan that rewards your credit. Low rates, great service. Your best loan ever, guaranteed.

When you have a track record of financial responsibility, you deserve an exceptional rate and superior service.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.
  • No minimum income specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.
  • Loans types: Auto, Kitchen or Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Swimming Pool, Medical, Wedding, Timeshare, Etc...

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.
  • Requires several years of credit history.
#5 View More Details

Fund the Unexpected with Laurel Road. The simple solution for personal lending.

  • APR: 8.01 - 16.30% (with AutoPay)
  • Borrow up to: $45,000
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Life can be expensive.

Borrow up to $45,000 with flexible terms to fit your needs. Use a personal loan to pay off high rate credit cards and other high-interest debt, to make home improvements, and more.

With low rates and flexible terms, Laurel Road offers personal loans that fit your needs. Get rates in just two minutes and receive funds in as little as two business days.

  • Autopay discount: Eligible for discount of 0.25% when monthly payments are made automatically from a bank account
  • Min. Credit Score: Good to great
  • Unsecured Personal Loans
  • Online Application: Complete the entire process online from home at your pace.
  • Low Rates: Fixed APRs as low as 8.01%
  • Quick access to funds. Money disbursed directly to your bank account
#6 View More Details

Check Your Rate in Minutes!

  • APR: 5.99 - 29.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 640
  • Loans from: $2,000 to $35,000
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Manage your debt by simplifying your bills.

Put your credit card debt behind you. A low-interest loan from Best Egg gives you the freedom to pay off or pay down your higher-rate balances on credit cards and loans.

Determine how much you need to get things done. Request a loan from $2,000 to $35,000* to handle household remodeling, car repairs, vacations, and even medical expenses.

Make one fixed, monthly payment. Enjoy fixed Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) that range from 5.99% to 29.99%


Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified, but typically less than 35%.

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Low starting rates.
  • Pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Typical borrower has several years of credit history.

What makes a great home improvement loan?

What criteria do we suggest using in narrowing your list—and how do you know which lenders you can trust?

We’ve developed an exhaustive screening process to help us identify not just the best loan terms, but the best lenders to work with when securing a home improvement loan.

Some of our criteria include:

  • Interest rates. Are they competitive?
  • Repayment terms and options. How flexible are they?
  • Discounts. How much can you save?
  • Penalties and fees. The fewer, the better.
  • Customer service. Is it easy to do business with them?
  • Lender history and reputation. How well established are they?

How to choose a home improvement loan

So how do you recognize a great deal on a home improvement loan when you see one? Here are a few factors.

Interest

The lower your interest rate, the better. The amount you qualify for will vary widely depending on your credit score and financial situation, the amount of the loan, the length of time you take to pay it back, and other factors.

Fixed vs. variable rates

Most lenders offer a fixed interest rate, where the amount stays the same over the course of your loan.

However, some also offer the option of a variable rate that changes based on the market. Typically, the introductory rate on a variable loan is lower than that of a fixed loan—but it may go up or down over time.

Terms for repayment

The “term” usually refers to how long it takes to repay the loan. The shorter your term, the higher your interest on average—but the less time it takes to pay the loan back.

Most home improvement loans take about 3-5 years to repay. Some may have longer and shorter terms.

Penalties and fees

Some lenders charge various fees including:

  • Origination fees
  • Prepayment fees
  • Fees for bounced checks or late payments
  • Fees for paying by check

These may be for amounts that seem small, but they can add up over time. Sometimes they can render a low-interest-rate loan a lot more expensive than it appears—so it pays to check the fine print.

Available discounts

On the other hand, some lenders offer discounts for things including:

  • Signing up for automatic payments
  • Opening a checking account with that lender
  • Making 12 payments on time

How to tell if you qualify for a home improvement loan

Lenders will decide what interest rates you qualify for based on a variety of factors. These typically include your:

  • Credit score
  • Income
  • Current level of debt, and
  • Other aspects of your financial life.

Home improvement loan interest rates and fees

How much will your new loan cost, beyond the original amount of the loan? Here’s a closer look at some of those factors.

Interest rate

The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll qualify for.

Every lender’s criteria will be different. The best way to comparison shop is to fill out applications for multiple lenders. The lender will do a “soft pull” to check your credit and make an initial offer.

Unlike a “hard pull”—which is a more thorough look the lender does when finalizing the loan—the soft pull won’t ding your credit. You can get it done multiple times without it affecting your credit, making it possible to shop around.

Penalties and fees

Some lenders charge flat fees and penalties, either on a one-time basis or as a percentage of your loan. Some of the more common include:

Origination fees. These are usually a small percentage of your loan (although some may be as large as 8% — yikes!). They’re charged when you take out the loan.

Application fees. A few lenders charge fees to review your application. Be aware—sometimes the fee is nonrefundable even if you don’t take out a loan with that lender.

Check processing fees. Some lenders want to encourage you to set up automatic payments — to a point where they may charge you a flat amount to process a check.

Prepayment fees: If you pay your loan off before the deadline, some lenders may hit you with a fee.

Late fees: Most lenders charge a fee—either a flat amount or a percentage of your payment—for sending a payment in late.

Fees for bounced payments: If you don’t have enough in your bank account to cover your payment, you may be hit with a fee.

In-depth reviews of the top lenders in Philadelphia

Need more information to make your decision? Smart move.

We’ve assembled a detailed comparison of our favorite Philadelphia home improvement lenders.

 

CitizensBank PL Logo

Ever heard of a little place called Citizens Bank Park? Go Phils! Citizens Bank is ingrained in the Philadelphia area. On top of that, it was named one of the “best banks in America” by Money magazine, making Citizens a consistently solid choice for a home improvement loan.

Even though it’s one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, Citizens has shown a commitment to being at the cutting edge of technology, offering both convenience and stability to their customers. Plus, Citizens has an excellent record of civic responsibility and engagement. Their staff provides more than 85,000 hours of volunteer time each year to various causes, including teaching financial literacy in the communities they serve. So it’s a bank you can feel good about doing business with.

Key features of a Citizens Bank home improvement loan:

  • Borrow from $5,000 to $50,000.
  • Lenders' rates fluctuate all the time based on market conditions, but Citizens has a rock-solid history of offering some of the lowest interest rates available at any given time.
  • On top of already low interest rates, you can take advantage of multiple discount opportunities. If you sign up for automatic payments, Citizens Bank will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%. And, if you’re already a Citizens Bank customer, you can qualify for an additional 0.25% loyalty discount..
  • Get a fast, easy rate quote that won’t ding your credit. You can get a rate estimate without completing a full loan application. The process takes just two minutes, and it has no impact on your credit score.
  • No need to worry about fees. Citizens Bank doesn’t charge application fees, annual fees, or even late fees.

Apply Now with Citizens Bank

lender-redirect-sofi

The folks behind SoFi, which stands for “social finance,” feel your pain when it comes to debt. The company was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. Today, they offer a variety of lending products through their online platform.

Key benefits of a SoFi home improvement loan include:

  • Borrow up to $100,000 — a higher maximum loan amount than offered by most other lenders.
  • Complete your application online. SoFi is all about making the lending process fast and easy.
  • If you’re a highly qualified borrower and you take advantage of available discounts, you could score an interest rate as allow as 5.99%, as of September 2019.
  • If you lose your job through no fault of your own, SoFi may allow you to deter payments temporarily until you get back on your feet. (However, it’s important to note that interest will continue to accrue during the non-payment period.)

Marcus PL Logo

Marcus is the retail banking arm of finance giant Goldman Sachs. Founded in 2016, Marcus currently focuses on two things: high-interest savings accounts and home improvement loans. By tightly focusing on these two areas, the company is able to offer highly customized financial products.

Key benefits of a Marcus home improvement loan include:

  • Award-winning customer service. The company was named #1 in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power.
  • After 12 consecutive on-time payments, you have the option to defer one monthly payment with no additional interest or fees.
  • Personalized loan options based on your desired payment term and monthly payment. Their handy online calculator can help you determine how much you need to borrow, and help you design a payment plan that will set you up for success.

LightStream PL Logo

Lighstream is the digital banking arm of SunTrust Bank. It was founded with the vision to simplify the lending process for borrowers with good to excellent credit. If you have a high credit score and a solid income history, Lightstream is definitely worth taking a look at.

Key benefits of a Lightstream home improvement loan:

  • If you have excellent credit, you could qualify for loans up to $100,000. (However, it’s important to note that your online application will involve a hard credit pull, so do a little homework on qualifications before you apply.)
  • As part of its Rate Beat program, Lightstream says it will beat any competitor’s interest rate by 0.10% if you can show that you’ve been approved for a loan of identical terms.
  • It’s possible to apply, be approved, and receive your money all on the same day.

LaurelRoad_Logo_2CB-3

Laurel Road has small-town roots, but it has grown into a national online lending powerhouse. In fact, it was one of the first lenders to completely digitize the loan process using proprietary technology. Expect a seamless online experience if you decide to take a out a loan from Laurel Road.

Key benefits of a Laurel Road home improvement loan:

  • • Borrow up to $45,000.
  • • Apply online and get the money disbursed right into your bank account.
  • • Get 0.25% knocked off your interest rate when you sign up for automatic payments.

bestegg PL Logo

Best Egg is an online-only lending platform that was conceptualized by veterans from the banking industry who wanted to bring a tech-startup vibe to online lending. The goal: make banking easy for the way that people live today.

Key benefits of a Best Egg home improvement loan:

    • APRs start as low as 5.99% for highly qualified borrowers.
    • Borrow from $2,000-$35,000.
    • There are no prepayment penalties.
    • About half of approved applicants get their money within 24 hours of approval.
    • You can get a no-obligation pre-approval online without a hard pull on your credit.

FAQs about home improvement loans in Philadelphia

Q: How do I apply?

Most lenders make this easy, with a seamless online application process on their website. Some documentation you may be asked for includes:

      • Tax records
      • Information on your employment and income
      • Bank account statements
      • Legal identification

Q: How long does it take to get approved?

Some lenders may be able to give you an initial offer in minutes once you fill out their online application.

However, the entire process of securing the loan may take about a week—or longer, depending on whether you have all your documentation ready.

Q: Is a fixed or variable interest rate better?

It depends on what you need and how long you expect to take to pay off the loan.

Fixed rates stay the same over the life of your loan. That’s good news if you want to keep your monthly payment the same and predictable. This is often better for long-term loans.

Variable rates fluctuate based on the market, but your introductory rate starts off lower, typically, than it does with a fixed rate loan. However, payments may increase at any time. Often variable rates work better for shorter-term loans.

Q: How much can I borrow for a home improvement project?

Again, it depends: this time on the lender as well as your own finances.

Most lenders have minimum and maximum limits, and they’re all different. A typical range may be from approximately $5,000 to $50,000, but you may be eligible to borrow more if you have a strong credit score and income.

Q: How soon will I get my check after the loan is approved?

This also depends on the lender. Some (like Citizens Bank) will pay quickly; as soon as two business days after you’re approved. Other lenders may take as few as 24 hours or as long as a month.

Best Personal Loans of 2019

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Whether you're looking to pay off existing debt or make that big purchase, a Citizens One Personal Loan can help you achieve your financial goals.

  • APR: 6.79 - 20.89% (with AutoPay & Loyalty discounts)
  • No Fees.
  • 2 great discounts available: up to 0.50%
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Citizens Bank Personal Loans: Low Rates and No Existing Account Required

We'd recommend a Citizens Bank personal loan as a good option if you have good to excellent credit, especially if you are an existing customer of the bank. However, you don't have to be a customer to apply.

  • Loans from $5,000 - $50,000.
  • Types of loans: Kitchen & Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Engagement & Wedding, Vacations & Timeshares, Recreational Vehicles, and more!

Benefits of a Citizens Bank Personal Loan:

  • No fees ever: No application fees. No annual fees. No late fees. No fees at all.
  • No collateral: You don’t have to use your home or any other assets to qualify.
  • Access to funds: Have the funds in your account right away, often within 2 business days.

#2 View More Details

Low rates. No fees. Personal loans made easy.

  • APR: 5.99 - 17.67% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 680
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Pay off credit cards or invest in home improvements.

Are you paying more than 17% interest on your credit cards? SoFi Personal Loans could help you save thousands. With low personal loan interest rates and a fixed monthly payment, you can get loans to pay off credit cards, pay off high interest debt, or make a major purchase. It only takes minutes to apply.

  • No origination fees.
  • No pre-payment fees.
  • No late fees.
  • Low Rates: Borrow up to $100K with low rates ranging from 5.99% APR to 17.67% APR (With AutoPay).
  • Terms: 2-7 years
  • Easy Experience: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Community Benefits: If you lose your job, we'll temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job.
  • Pre-qualify: Find the rate you qualify for in 2 minutes with no commitment.
#3 View More Details

We're Offering Personal Loans With No Fees. Ever.

  • APR: 5.99 - 28.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

See if you're eligible for a personal loan from Marcus.

Get personal loan options in as few as 5 minutes. Here's how it works:

1) . Tell us about yourself. We’ll customize your personal loan options based on your input.

2). Choose your personal loan. Explore your loan options, and pick one that suits your budget and time frame.

3). Complete your application. Add a few details to verify your identity and finalize your personal loan application.

  • Loans up to $40,000
  • Types of loans: Debt Consolidation, Home Improvement, Wedding, Moving and Relocation, Vacation.

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
#4 View More Details

Apply in minutes. Have funds in your account as soon as today.

  • APR: 3.99 - 16.79% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Finally, a loan that rewards your credit. Low rates, great service. Your best loan ever, guaranteed.

When you have a track record of financial responsibility, you deserve an exceptional rate and superior service.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.
  • No minimum income specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.
  • Loans types: Auto, Kitchen or Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Swimming Pool, Medical, Wedding, Timeshare, Etc...

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.
  • Requires several years of credit history.
#5 View More Details

Fund the Unexpected with Laurel Road. The simple solution for personal lending.

  • APR: 8.01 - 16.30% (with AutoPay)
  • Borrow up to: $45,000
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Life can be expensive.

Borrow up to $45,000 with flexible terms to fit your needs. Use a personal loan to pay off high rate credit cards and other high-interest debt, to make home improvements, and more.

With low rates and flexible terms, Laurel Road offers personal loans that fit your needs. Get rates in just two minutes and receive funds in as little as two business days.

  • Autopay discount: Eligible for discount of 0.25% when monthly payments are made automatically from a bank account
  • Min. Credit Score: Good to great
  • Unsecured Personal Loans
  • Online Application: Complete the entire process online from home at your pace.
  • Low Rates: Fixed APRs as low as 8.01%
  • Quick access to funds. Money disbursed directly to your bank account
#6 View More Details

Check Your Rate in Minutes!

  • APR: 5.99 - 29.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 640
  • Loans from: $2,000 to $35,000
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Manage your debt by simplifying your bills.

Put your credit card debt behind you. A low-interest loan from Best Egg gives you the freedom to pay off or pay down your higher-rate balances on credit cards and loans.

Determine how much you need to get things done. Request a loan from $2,000 to $35,000* to handle household remodeling, car repairs, vacations, and even medical expenses.

Make one fixed, monthly payment. Enjoy fixed Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) that range from 5.99% to 29.99%


Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified, but typically less than 35%.

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Low starting rates.
  • Pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Typical borrower has several years of credit history.

Looking for a personal loan? Check out our top pick for 2019.

 

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