Financing Your Home Improvement Projects

As any homeowner will tell you, there’s always a renovation project just waiting to be funded in a home.

The problem is how to pay for the next kitchen update, bathroom remodel, bedroom addition or other improvement you want to make to your home. Here are some ways to pay for your next home project if you don’t have a pile of cash sitting around:

Home Equity Line of Credit
Known as a HELOC for short, a home equity line of credit secures a line of credit with your home as the collateral. Don’t pay on time and you could lose your home.

Interest rates usually start out in your favor, then increase as you spend more time repaying the loan. You only pay interest on the amount you borrow, and only make monthly payments if you’re using the line of credit.

Home Equity Loan
This is a second mortgage at a fixed interest rate that’s usually higher than a first mortgage or refinanced one. Over time, it can be cheaper than a HELOC.

A home equity loan requires much less paperwork than a full refinance and can often be approved the same day you apply.

Refinanced Home Loan
If you’re planning major home improvements, refinancing your home loan allows you to take out equity you’ve built up in your home. If you have a high interest rate on your home loan, refinancing to a lower mortgage can make more sense than adding a second mortgage.

Refinancing will require some upfront costs, which may be worthwhile if you’re refinancing to a lower loan rate and plan to stay in your home for years.

Title I Loan
Title I is a government program designed to help consumers get affordable home improvement loans insured by lenders. The improvement must be light or moderate and the loan can’t exceed $25,000 on a single-family residence. Homeowners with little or no equity can qualify, meaning their total loans can’t exceed the value of the house.

Credit Cards
If you qualify for a new credit card with an introductory offer of 0-percent interest for a year, then a credit card can be a good option for a remodeling project you can afford to pay off within a year. You may even earn cash back or rewards for your expenses.

This is only a good idea if you can afford to pay the balance off before the introductory period expires. If not, you’ll owe interest on the entire amount borrowed.

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