HomePersonal LoansHow To Finance Remodel Without Equity

How To Finance A Remodel Without Equity

Compare monthly payment options from several lenders in under 2 minutes.

Check Offers
A woman is using the Fiona Template to control her smart home app on her phone.

Financing Home Remodels Without Equity

Many homeowners use their equity to pay for home improvements, repairs, and additions, however, what if you do not have any equity built up in your home? Or, what if you do not want to tap into your equity at the moment because you are saving your equity for an even larger project in the future.

Check Offers
Quick. Simple. Secure.
A blue icon with a leaf on a monitor and a phone.
1

Pre-qualify

Fill out an easy online form to check for pre-qualified offers with no impact to your credit score
A mobile phone and a tablet with a list on it.
2

Select offer

Compare terms and payment options to select the offer that’s best for you
A mobile phone and a tablet with a building on it.
3

Finish application

Complete your application on your selected lender’s website
A hand holding a dollar sign.
4

Receive funding

After your loan is approved, your funds should arrive within 1-2 business days2

Check offers
in seconds

Get pre-qualified for loan offers with an easy online form

Won't impact
credit scores

Checking offers will not impact your credit score

Competitive
payment options

Compare rates from our network of lenders

Receive
funds quickly

Same-day and next-day available for certain offers2

Compare Rates From Lenders in Our Network

Learn More About How To Finance A Remodel Without Equity

The average homeowner may spend anywhere from $20,797 to $72,741 on a new addition construction project with the national average being around $46,623. Depending on what type of room you are constructing for the addition, costs could be even more.

Read more - FAQ

+

How can I add an addition to my house with no equity?

Many homeowners use their equity to pay for home improvements, repairs, and additions, however, what if you do not have any equity built up in your home? Or, what if you do not want to tap into your equity at the moment because you are saving your equity for an even larger project in the future. The average homeowner may spend anywhere from $20,797 to $72,741 on a new addition construction project with the national average being around $46,623. Depending on what type of room you are constructing for the addition, costs could be even more. For example, if you are building a second-story addition, you could be looking at costs that add up to $500 per square foot or more. The point is, taking on a new construction project that involves building an addition onto your existing home can be quite expensive. If you have no equity or you are avoiding using your equity, then you may be wondering what types of financing options are still available. Without equity you have no access to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit or cash-out refinances, however, there are still some options you may want to consider. Here are a few examples of how you can add an addition to your house with no equity financing.

Personal home improvement/home renovation loan: If you have a fair to excellent credit score, then you should qualify for an unsecured personal loan or home improvement loan. If you have excellent credit, the cost of any loan should be lower than if you have fair credit. An unsecured personal loan requires no collateral, for example, the equity in your home, a vehicle, or a certificate of deposit. An unsecured personal loan is extended by a lender if they deem that your creditworthiness and the fact that you are a lower-risk borrower are enough alone to qualify for the loan.

Depending on the lender, you could qualify for up to $100,000 with APRs that range from 4.99% to 35.99%. Loan repayment periods can be anywhere from 1-year to 12-years, again, depending on the lender, terms can vary. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for the lower interest rates and higher loan amounts. Although APRs on personal loans tend to be higher than home equity loans or home equity lines of credit, if you have no equity, then a personal home improvement loan may be a smart way to finance your new addition construction project. To qualify for a personal loan, you should meet the lender's minimum credit score and income requirements as well as have a debt-to-income ratio well below 36%. Some lenders will work with people with a debt-to-income ratio above 36%, however, for your best chances to qualify, you should pay off any debts you can to make sure you are below that 36% threshold. The best way to see how much you could qualify for, what interest rates you may have to pay, and what your monthly payments might be, is to prequalify.

Credit cards: Credit cards may be a good option for some homeowners looking to construct an addition to their homes. If you are doing much of the work yourself, a credit card may be a way to pay for materials over time as you make large monthly payments. You can kind of pay as you go. If you are looking to use a credit card to pay a contractor, plumber, electrician, HVAC specialist, etc. then you may want to consider opening a new credit card account that has a 0% APR introductory period. These introductory periods typically last between 12 to 18-months and depending on the size and scope of the addition, you may be able to pay off the entire construction project within those first 12 to 18-months. You can take advantage of some cash rewards or fly miles programs at the same time. If you have a credit card with an APR closer to 23% or 26%, then you should try to pay off as much of the balance as you can each month to limit the amount of interest you will be charged. If you think you will have to carry a large balance for more than a few months and you do not have a 0% APR credit card, then you may want to consider looking into a personal loan or a personal line of credit with a lower interest rate.

Pay cash: Many homeowners who do not use equity financing choose to pay cash for their home renovations. If you are looking to construct a new addition to your home, then cash is by the far the cheapest way to finance the project. If you have some time before you plan to begin construction, you should try to put away a good portion of each of your paychecks toward the project. If you have a partner, even better. Two people saving can accumulate the money you need even faster. Also, when you start to look at contractors and ask for bids, some contractors or contracting companies may only require a downpayment to begin construction and the rest of the payment once the project is complete. That could buy you a few months to continue saving up to cover the rest of the costs. If you come up a little short at the end, you can always then use a credit card or even obtain some financing through the contracting company.

Government loans: If you have been in your home for at least 90-days, you may be able to borrow up to $25,000 through a Title 1 loan. Repayment periods are typically between 12 and 20-years and the funds can be used to make updates to your home like buying energy-efficient appliances, making a home more energy-efficient in general, or making a home more accessible for the disabled or elderly. This could be installing a wheelchair ramp or fitting a shower with safety railings and built-in seating. To qualify for a Title 1 loan you do not need to use your home's equity, however, if the loan amount is greater than $7,500, then you may still be required to use your home as collateral. Anything below $7,500 and no collateral is needed. Although there are no minimum credit score requirements for obtaining an FHA Title 1 loan, they will still want to see a debt-to-income ratio that is below 45%.

If you are looking to construct a new addition to your existing home and you do not want to use your home's equity to obtain financing, there are still plenty of options available for you to consider. Paying cash is by far the cheapest way to pay for any home improvement project, however, not everyone has an extra 20k or 40k lying around. If you need to finance and you have good to excellent credit, then a personal home improvement loan may be your best option to lock in a monthly payment with a lower fixed-rate APR. If you are what would be considered a subprime borrower, then you may want to first explore your options through the FHA.

How do you finance an addition without equity?

Home equity is the difference between the appraised value of your home and your current mortgage balance. Many homeowners tap into that equity to pay for home improvement projects like constructing an addition onto their home. But, what if you do not have any equity built-up into your home because you just recently became a homeowner? How do you finance an addition without equity? The answer is quite simple. First, there are plenty of lenders out there who provide personal home improvement loans for homeowners looking to put on an addition to their homes. Personal home improvement loans do not require equity, and most often they are unsecured loans if you have the credit score and income to qualify. Second, you can always pay cash and pay for your addition either all at once or pay for your addition by breaking it up into several smaller milestones. Breaking it up into smaller milestones may take longer, however, if you do it this way, you can pay as you go and save potentially thousands of dollars in interest. Third, you could always inquire about an FHA Title 1 loan. Last, depending on the size of your project, you could always use credit cards. These are some of the most popular ways to finance an addition without equity.

How do you finance an addition without equity?

Again, if you are looking to finance an addition without home equity, then you have the four following options.
Credit cards.
Personal home improvement loan.
Pay cash.
FHA Title 1 loan program.

How can I get a remodel loan without equity?

If you are looking to get a remodel loan without equity, then you may want to consider obtaining a personal remodel loan through your bank, credit union, or an online lender. Before you begin to review your options for personal remodel loans, you should do two things. First, set a budget, and second, obtain free copies of your credit report. When you are in the setting a budget phase, you should request at least two or three bids from different contractors or contracting companies in your area. If you plan to do the remodeling on your own, then you should get together a list of all the materials and tools you are going to need to complete the project and start adding up how much you are going to need. Whether you are going to hire a contractor or DIY, you should have a budget and you should stick to it. When you get your final number, you may want to consider adding at least 10% or 20% to that figure. The first 10% can be there just in case the lender you choose charges an origination fee for its personal loans. The second 10% can be set aside for unexpected expenses that may arise during the construction project.
Once you have your budget, take a look at your credit reports to see what kind of credit score you have. If you notice any mistakes on any of the reports, make sure to address those with the credit bureau immediately. Also, if you see any things like a delinquent account in collections, and you have the ability to take care of it right away, you may want to do it so you can boost your credit score a bit and hopefully qualify for lower interest rates. If your credit score is above 700, then you have a fairly good chance of qualifying for an unsecured personal home remodeling loan as long as your debt-to-income ratio is not too high. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be well below 36% to have the best chances of qualifying.
Once you have an idea of where you stand in terms of creditworthiness, you can either visit your personal bank or credit union and make an appointment with a loan officer, or you can prequalify online and begin shopping for an online lender. Otherwise, if you already know which online lender you want to work with, you can go directly to their website, review their minimum requirements for qualifying and then apply. Some lenders may offer their own prequalification application, but not all lenders do.
If you want to look at loan offers from multiple online lenders at the same time, then the best course of action may be to go to a third-party website and complete their prequalification application. At Acorn Finance you can complete a simple form and check offers from top national lenders within 60 seconds or less. The best part – checking offers will not impact your credit score. Once you find a loan offer that appeals to you, you can then work directly with the lender to complete the loan application. Along with the loan application, you may need to submit documents pertaining to proof of identity, proof of address, income and employment verification, and possibly other financial statements requested by the lender. When the loan application is approved, you could see the funds depositing into your personal account as soon as 1-2 business days.

Can you get a mortgage with extra money for renovations?

Yes, there are some home renovation loans that include a mortgage with extra money devoted to home repairs, renovations, and/or improvements. You can either purchase a home and include renovation funds into the mortgage request or you can obtain a new or second mortgage for the home you already own.
If you are looking to purchase a fixer-upper home, then you can communicate with the mortgage lender that you would like to ask for additional funds to pay for the renovations. If you do not use a traditional mortgage lender, you can see what kinds of loan programs Fannie Mae, the FHA, USDA, or VA may have available for purchasing an older home that may be in need of serious repair.
If you are looking for extra money to renovate your existing home, then you could consider a home equity loan, home equity line of credit, a cash-out refinance, or a personal home improvement loan.

What does no equity in a home mean?

If a home has no equity, it means either that the home's current fair market value is less than the balance on the mortgage or that the home has less than 20% equity which is typically what lenders require for a home equity loan, HELOC, or a cash-out refinance.

How do you lose equity in your home?

There are three ways that homeowners lose equity in their homes. First, they borrow against the home in the form of a cash-out refinance or a second mortgage. Second, they fall behind on the mortgage payments. Last, the property value decreases due to market fluctuations or other external causes.

How can you tell if you have equity in your home?

To determine if you have equity in your home and how much you may have, the process is quite simple. All you need to do is find out how much you still owe on your mortgage and how much your home's current value is. Simply subtract the balance of the mortgage from the home's current market value.
Let us say that you currently have a home that is worth $400,000 and you still owe $250,000 on the mortgage. That means you would have around $150,000 of equity built up into your home. Typically, lenders may let a homeowner borrow 80% or 90% of their equity in the form of a home equity loan or a HELOC. That means if you have $150,000 worth of equity in your home, you may be able to borrow up to $120,000 or $135,000 if you qualify.

What is an FHA Title 1 loan?

An FHA Title 1 loan is a fixed-rate loan of up to $25,000 for a single-family home that can be used for home improvements, repairs, renovations, or home rehabilitation. An FHA Title 1 loan that is less than $7,500 comes in the form of an unsecured loan. Larger loans require that your home be used as collateral to secure the loan. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) states that the funds from an FHA Title 1 loan can be used for anything that makes your home basically more livable and useful. This means you can use the funds to make some structural repairs, purchase appliances, make the home more energy-efficient, or replace the roof. What you can't do is use an FHA Title 1 loan to install a jacuzzi or an above-ground pool. Here are some of the basic requirements for obtaining an FHA Title 1 loan.
You must have been occupying the home for at least 90-days.
You must own the home or have a long-term lease.
All the funds from the loan must be verified and used specifically for property improvements.
You must pay an FHA mortgage premium of $1 per $100 of the loan amount that will be built into the interest rate.
You must have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 45%.

What do you need to qualify for an FHA Title 1 loan?

There are no minimum credit score requirements for an FHA Title 1 loan, however, you do need to have a debt-to-income ratio that is below 45%. Additionally, you must have lived in your home for at least 90-days and the funds from the loan have to be verified that they are being used for property improvements like energy-efficiency updates, new appliances, or remodeling a home for a handicapped or elderly occupant.

What are the advantages of an FHA Title 1 loan?

For those who qualify, there are several advantages to obtaining an FHA Title 1 loan. Some of the advantages include no minimum credit score requirements, no equity needed, loans under $7,500 are unsecured loans, and the interest rates are fixed and tend to be lower than other renovation loan types.

What are the disadvantages of an FHA Title 1 loan?

As there are many advantages to obtaining an FHA Title 1 loan, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of as well. Some of the disadvantages include the need to pay a mortgage insurance premium, the need to use only FHA-approved lenders, and that the money can only be used for qualified repairs that are detailed in the loan application.

What should you use a home improvement loan with no equity for?

If you obtain a personal home improvement loan, you can use the money for any type of remodeling project you want. You can build an addition, renovate a kitchen, remodel a bathroom, landscape your yard, or install a brand new concrete driveway. If you choose an FHA Title 1 loan, then you must use the funds for specific home repairs and/or improvements that you list in the loan application.

What should you avoid using a home improvement loan with no equity for?

Again, if you obtain a personal home improvement loan, there is no right or wrong choice for how you spend the money. You may want to consider projects that can increase the value of your home, however, it is not entirely necessary. You can simply choose projects that will improve the quality of living for you and your family.
If you use an FHA Title 1 loan, then you will be restricted from using the money for recreational purposes and will instead need to verify that the funds are being used for qualified home improvements.

How do you increase home equity?

If you want to increase the amount of equity in your home, there are a few actions that you can take. Here is a quick list of common methods to build equity.

When purchasing your home, increase the down payment.

Make larger and additional mortgage payments whenever you can.

Refinance and shorten the loan term for your mortgage.

Invest in home improvement projects.

Wait for the value of your home to increase.

Can you use a credit card to finance a home remodel without equity?

Yes, you can use a credit card to finance a home remodel without equity. Depending on the size and cost of your remodeling project, and what kind of credit limits your credit cards have, you may be able to pay for all the materials and labor between one or several credit cards.

What are the pros and cons of using a credit card to finance a home remodel without equity?

There are many pros and cons to using a credit card to finance a home remodel with no equity. Some of the pros include convenience, acceptance by most contracting companies, and the potential to earn reward points or fly miles. Some of the cons include higher interest rates and no set pay-off date.

Can you get a personal loan to finance a home remodel with no equity?

Yes, if you are looking to remodel your home but you have no equity, a personal loan may be one of the better financing options available to you. With a personal loan, you can acquire the funding you need in a short amount of time and then simply pay off the loan amount with monthly installments.

What are the pros and cons of using a personal loan to finance a home remodel without equity?

There are many pros and cons to using a personal loan to finance a home remodeling project when your home has no equity. Some of the pros include simple monthly payments, a fixed APR, and the ability to borrow up to $100,000 over a 12-year period. Some of the cons include higher interest rates than home equity financing or government loan programs, and the possibility of having to pay an origination fee, late fees, or an early pay-off penalty.

Compare Rates From Top Lenders

$ Loan Calculator

Are you a contractor?
Generate more revenue with Acorn Finance.

Offer customers the ability to finance their dreams with zero dealer fees.

Get Started

Popular Home Improvement Projects

Barn Financing Options

One home, endless possibilities

MORE HOME IMPROVEMENT FINANCING OPTIONS

Personal Loan Information