What to watch out for: LightStream requires good to excellent credit. Rates without autopay are 0.5 percentage points higher, and you must borrow at least $5,000.
SoFi: Best lender for unemployment protection
Why SoFi is the best for unemployment protection: SoFi’s Unemployment Protection Program temporarily pauses your payments if you lose your job.
Perks: Repayment terms stretch from two to seven years, and the loans do not have origination fees or prepayment penalties.
What to watch out for: Good to excellent credit is required. SoFi loans are also not available in Mississippi, and minimum loan amounts ; so check the terms for your state to make sure you won’t have to borrow more than you need.
Overview: Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an online lender that offers unsecured personal loans for home improvements. You do not have to have a relationship with Goldman Sachs to apply.
Why Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the best for minor home improvements: You can borrow as little as $3,500, which is good for minor fixes around the house.
TD Bank: Best lender for convenience
Overview: For borrowers who want a brick-and-mortar lender, TD Bank has more than 1,200 locations on the East Coast, which are open on weekends. It also offers mobile banking to consumers nationwide.
Why TD Bank is the best for convenience: The bank’s in-person presence is a nice touch if you would like individual assistance.
What to watch for: TD Bank charges a late fee of 5 percent or $10, whichever is less, and the rate cap is also fairly high at percent. Additionally, TD Bank’s personal loans are only available to residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, pshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
LendingClub: Best lender for emergency home repairs
Overview: LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender that offers loans of up to $40,000 for home improvement projects. You can apply online and get a loan quote without a hard pull on your credit report.
Why LendingClub is the best for emergency home repairs: LendingClub lets you borrow as little as $1,000, which is convenient if the hot water heater or clothes dryer conks out and you’re short of cash.
What to watch for: There is an origination fee of 3 percent to 6 percent of the loan amount, and the late payment fee is the greater of 5 percent or $15. The APRs for borrowers with poor credit are also on the high side, hitting close to 36 percent if your credit is bad.
Best Egg: Best lender for consumers with little credit history
Overview: Best Egg home improvement loans allow you to finance big expenses like building a new deck, replacing your garage door and remodeling your kitchen.
Why Best Egg is the best for consumers with little credit history: Borrowers with little credit experience and a FICO credit score of just 600 may be able to qualify for a home improvement loan with Best Egg.
Perks: You can borrow as little as $2,000 or as much as $35,000. Borrowers with great credit can get rates starting as low as 5.99 percent, and there is no penalty for paying the loan off early.
What to watch for: Best Egg charges origination fees of 0.99 percent to 5.99 percent, and there is a $15 fee for payments more than three days late – a relatively short grace period compared to other companies.
Upstart: Best lender for consumers with below-average credit
Overview: Home improvement loans through Upstart allow you to finance home improvement projects like home renovations or unexpected home expenses, such as a roof repair.