How to Finance Home Improvements


With more homeowners opting to stay in their current homes, now might be a good time to move forward on some sensible home improvement projects. We take a look at the projects it makes the most sense to focus on right now and consider some smart ways to access financing for projects that will benefit your family today while adding value to your home in the long run.

Focus on Value

While every mortgage payment increases your stake in your home, improvements also help to boost its overall value.

Upgrades, maintenance, and full-scale renovations add to your home’s value in two ways:

  • By adding to the absolute market value of your home
  • By making your home more appealing to buyers when the time comes to sell

Best of all, you can choose improvements today that will add comfort, space, and utility to your home that will benefit you and your family while you continue to live there.

Importantly, you don’t need to knock down walls to make a big difference in your home’s value. Relatively minor replacements can make a big difference.

Remodeling magazine’s most recent Cost vs. Value Report found replacement projects perform better in adding resale value than many remodeling projects. For example, door, siding, and window replacements improve curb appeal right away at a relatively low cost.

Making a House a Home

Given your ultimate goal, you should consider if you need high-value upgrades that instantly boost curb appeal versus more extensive renovations that will benefit your family until you’re ready to sell.

For instance, new stone veneer around your entrance will impress anyone pulling up to your house, but spending a little more on a new deck addition adds a fun feature your family will love while increasing the usable floor space of your home. The following chart provides more examples of how popular home improvement projects stack up.

2010-11 National Averages for Popular Midrange Projects


Job Cost

Resale Value

Cost Recouped

Garage door replacement




Manufactured Stone Veneer




Minor kitchen remodel




Siding replacement (fiber-cement)




Window replacement (vinyl)




Deck addition (wood)




Entry door replacement




Bathroom remodel




Source: Remodeling magazine, Cost vs. Value Report 2022

Figure Your Financing

The key to successful upgrades to your home is finding the financing you need today to allow you to complete maintenance, upgrades, and renovation projects that will benefit your family immediately while also adding long-term value to your property. Let’s take a look at some smart financing options for savvy homeowners.


The safest choice for homeowners considering a project is simply to save what they need before starting the work. However, while keeping your cash available until you’re ready makes perfect financial sense, it means less time for your family to enjoy any improvements you make.

Local financial partners like Greater Texas Credit Union offer fully featured savings accounts to get you started, as well as risk-free money market and share certificate products to help your money grow faster.

Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans allow you to borrow against the equity you’ve already built up in your house. This is a great way to get a large single payment to fund a major project and adds to the value of the property you are borrowing against.

While home equity loans use your home as collateral in the same way your mortgage does, that means your loan comes with a fixed interest rate at an annual percentage rate (APR) significantly lower than other funding options, and repayment terms between five and 30 years.

Greater Texas Credit Union offers easy-to-access home equity loans at competitive rates with no closing costs. That makes it easy to recycle money into your equity with smart home remodels that are in some cases 100% tax deductible!

Home Equity Lines of Credit

Home equity loans of credit (HELOCs) offer a flexible source of revolving funding similar to a credit card but secured against your home like a conventional home equity loan. That means you can borrow money as you need at a reasonable rate and repay over periods of as long as 20 years or more.

That said, HELOCs need to be used with caution. It’s important to keep up with monthly payments during the initial “draw” period of about 10 years. After that, interest rates typically increase dramatically and it can be hard to keep up if you have accumulated a large balance.

Home Improvement Loans

Some lenders offer home improvement loans designed especially to fund specific renovation projects. While these personal loans have the advantage of not being secured against your home, they are typically extended for smaller amounts at a higher APR and need to be repaid over a shorter term than home equity loans or HELOCs.

Greater Texas Credit Union offers flexible personal loans at competitive, fixed rates with no collateral requirements, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.

Cash-out Refinancing

Cash-out refinancing allows you to access the equity you have already built up in your home by renegotiating your mortgage. You get a single large lump sum to spend on your home, which means you immediately add to the value of your home and start rebuilding your equity. Depending on your credit score, you might also qualify for a lower APR or a better loan term.

Greater Texas Credit Union offers quick refinancing of all types of existing home loans, including conventional, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and FHA loans so you can get to work right away on home improvements.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a good way to fund smaller projects, especially if you are cautious about securing more debt against your home. Look for low-interest cards that offer introductory benefits like a cash bonus if you charge a significant amount to the card in your first few months of owning it, as well as cards that offer rewards for spending on home improvements.

At Greater Texas Credit Union, we offer our members access to a range of quality credit card products, including our Rewards VISA®, Classic VISA®, and Share Secured VISA® cards.

Other Funding Sources

Depending on your circumstances, it might be worth looking at some other ways to fund or at least offset the cost of a home improvement project, especially if you do not yet have a significant equity stake in your home.

For example, government loans provide low-interest lending with flexible terms to qualifying borrowers. The Department of Housing and Urban Services (HUD) offers loans of up to $25,000 for qualifying borrowers for selected projects and the Department of Veterans Affairs offers guaranteed cash-out refinance loans to qualifying veterans.

Home Improvement Financing—We’ll Help You Nail It!

Whether you’re ready to begin a do-it-yourself project or bring in the professionals, Greater Texas Credit Union can help you start off on the right foot with smart funding options for your home improvement project.

Contact us today to learn more about our innovative, competitive financing options, including:

We also offer our members a range of fully featured VISA® credit cards. Contact us today, or click below to learn more about getting affordable financing for the improvements your home needs right now.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Home Equity Loan?