If you’re looking to borrow money to help fund home improvements the main options are to take out a secured loan, an unsecured loan or to remortgage.
What is a secured home improvement loan?
A secured loan is taken out against an asset you own, typically property.
Depending on the equity that you have in your home a secured home improvement loan may give you access to a larger sum than an unsecured loan or credit card. This could make it a good option for funding major home improvement projects. You are also often able to make repayments over a longer period with lower monthly payments, although this may mean that you end up paying more over the full term of the loan than you would on unsecured borrowing.
Because you are securing the loan on your home you risk losing it if you can’t repay the loan.
Secured home improvement loan vs remortgage
The decision on whether you’re best getting a secured loan or remortgaging is down to your situation. Both can offer access to similar amounts of finance, dependent on the value of your house and the equity that you have in it. It’s usually worth exploring both options to decide which is the most appropriate for you.
Some examples where a secured loan may be more suitable if:
- You’ve got a great deal on your current first mortgage that you don’t want to lose.
- There are significant fees to pay by remortgaging to another lender, such as an early repayment charge.
- You’ve recently become self-employed it can sometimes prove easier to get a secured loan than to remortgage.
Examples of where remortgaging may prove a better option include if:
- You are nearing the end of your current mortgage and you can get a good rate from a lender.
- You want to keep things simple with one monthly payment to one lender.
What is an unsecured home improvement loan?
An unsecured loan may be a good option for smaller home improvement projects. The main advantage is that the loan is not secured against your property, so you are unlikely to lose your home if you default on repayments. Because there is more risk to the lender, they are likely to lend you less, over a shorter period and at a higher interest rate than a secured loan. You’ll also need a good credit score.
How much can I borrow on a home improvement loan?
Depending on your circumstances you can typically expect to be able to borrow up to £25,000 on an unsecured loan or up to £1 million on a secured loan. This will depend on factors such as your credit rating, financial situation and for a secured loan the equity that you have in your property.
What can home improvement loans be used for?
The right home improvement project will hopefully add value to your property and make it more desirable whether you’re planning to sell or create your dream home.
Home improvement loans can be used for a wide variety of reasons such as:
- A loft conversion
- An extension
- A new kitchen or bathroom
- A conservatory or orangery
- A swimming pool or new leisure facility