Home Renovation Loan With No Equity

Jul 28, 2023 | Mortgage Guides

Maintaining and improving your house will help retain or raise its value. With reasonable home equity built up, loans and lines of credit are available to access these funds. Home equity loans are fantastic for financing home improvement costs. But what if you do not have enough equity?

Those who have yet to build up equity but require repairs on their property can still acquire a loan for home improvements. This article details everything about no-equity home renovation loans. Discover the many financing options and get tips on improving equity below.

What Is Home Equity?

Home equity refers to the market value of a homeowner’s financial stake in their property. It is the difference between the home’s appraised value and the remaining mortgage debt. While changes to the market can cause figures to fluctuate, equity builds up as more payments are made. Home equity conveys more than just paying off a mortgage loan. Homeowners can borrow money against this asset to cover expenses like paying off high-interest or home renovations.

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Five Financing Options for Home Improvements Without Using Equity

Borrowers without sufficient equity for a traditional home equity or second mortgage loan are not overlooked. There are many ways to complete home improvements by accessing unsecured loans, lines of credit, and other alternatives. Following are five such options:


Homeowners looking to avoid accruing interest should consider paying cash. To prepare, set aside money each month to create a budget for renovations and urgent repairs. When projects do not demand total payment upfront, you can pay them over the course of the renovation.

It’s best to use cash instead of home improvement loans when you have expendable income and will not risk exceeding the budget. If you do not have cash on hand or using it will interfere with other financial goals, there are other options. 

Credit Cards

Consider a credit card with a 0% APR for minor home upgrades that can be paid off during an interest-free term, which averages 15 to 18 months. You must have a strong or exceptional credit score (670 or above) to be eligible. 

Many credit cards provide reward programs for specific purchases, such as house renovations and repairs. Credit cards are ideal for smaller-scale projects. Home improvement retail stores also offer cards that include incentives like unique financing options and promotions. Retail cards are ideal if shopping at the same store for most of your supplies.

Financing Programs via Contractors

Often, house projects or fixes require the homeowner to outsource a contractor. It is common for some home repair companies to offer financing timetables. For example, more often than not, HVAC repair firms allow proprietors to finance the expenses of a new heating and air conditioning unit. While the terms might not be as appealing as what a bank would provide, this option does not require home equity.

Personal Loans

These loans are simple for homeowners to fund a project fast and without equity. They are financed by traditional banks, credit unions, and online brokers. Compared to home equity financing, which demands time-consuming underwriting procedures, most personal loan lenders guarantee funding within a week. Borrowers receive a lump sum for renovations and repay the loan based on the lender’s terms.

A massive benefit of personal loans is that they are often unsecured, meaning collateral is unnecessary. In contrast, home equity loans leave the borrower at risk of losing their home should they default. These loans are excellent for urgent repairs or larger projects when equity is not an option because they provide quick financing.

Government-Backed Loans

The majority of no-equity home renovation loans assist you in financing improvements or repairs that will make your house more livable or valuable. However, loans backed by government agencies are more restricted. Still, it can be more affordable if your project qualifies for such a loan.‍

Not all lenders offer government-backed loans. To discover some in your state, browse this U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development list. Common loans include:

  • FHA Title I loan: A second mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that assists low-to-moderate-income homeowners with no equity to finance small projects like buying appliances or installing new flooring.
  • FHA 203(k) loan: Another FHA option permitting borrowers to purchase or refinance a home and renovate it, offering a variety of remodeling projects within one mortgage.
  • VA renovation loan: VA renovation loan: Those eligible for loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs can purchase or refinance a house and combine up to 100 percent of repair costs and loan fees into a single loan.
  • Supplemental VA loan: Current VA mortgagees can add basic home repair expenses to their existing loan or a different mortgage. An appraiser must confirm renovation costs to ensure they do not exceed the home’s value.
  • Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan: A conventional loan program that allows borrowers to fund their remodeling whether they buy or refinance a house — ideal for a DIY fixer-upper. 

How To Improve Your Home Equity

You develop more home equity the faster you pay your outstanding mortgage. Take these actions to increase your home equity to prevent requiring a no-equity loan: 

  • Increase Your Mortgage Payment: A 30-year loan term can be shortened by up to four years by paying extra on your mortgage. Making biweekly rather than monthly payments is another strategy to earn equity quickly.
  • Refinance to a Shorter Term Mortgage: A 15-year mortgage will help develop equity faster than a 30-year term if you can afford the increase. Doing so can also enable you to receive a lesser interest rate on a new loan.
  • Pay Down Your Principal Amount and Recast Your Loan: Paying down your loan with a bonus or sizable cash can increase your equity. At the same time, ask for a mortgage recast. Your lender will recalculate the loan based on the smaller balance and provide a new, lower payment.

Home Repairs and Renovations That Can Help Build Equity

Home improvement loan lenders may require specific projects based on either safety concerns or to improve the home’s value. Below are extensive lists of structural upgrades that make your home more livable and enhance its worth:

  • Landscaping
  • Roofing replacement
  • HVAC system upgrades
  • Kitchen and bath renovations
  • Building a deck, patio, or porch
  • Alterations to septic or well system
  • Installing access/accommodations for people with  disabilities
  • Electrical and plumbing replacements
  • Improving the home’s energy efficiency
  • Flooring upgrades (carpet, tile, wood, etc.)
  • Appliance replacements ‍

Home Repairs and Renovations to Avoid With No-Equity Loans

Before starting home improvements, consider what projects offer the most return value. Overpriced upgrades that do not enhance the property’s worth should not be a priority. On top of that, some no-equity lenders forbid certain on-site improvements, such as:

  • Building tennis courts
  • Adding a pool or hot tub
  • Adding-on a room
  • Removing a load-bearing wall
  • Outdoor barbeque pits and fireplaces
  • Developing exterior add-ons (i.e., garage, guest house)

Which Loan Type Is Most Ideal for Home Improvements?

Deciding on how to pay for a home improvement project results from a few factors: what needs financing, how much you can afford, and the odds you can qualify for the loan. Home equity is an incredible asset but is not the sole option for financing home renovations. 

A credit card can help in some cases, while an unsecured personal loan can provide more buying power for others. Discovering the proper no-equity home improvement loan requires comparing the options. Consider whether the renovations would be beneficial when you build more equity. To learn more about what loan options are available to you, contact a Wesley Mortgage representative today!

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