How to Finance Home Repairs

Paying out of pocket for repairs and renovations is one of the more unfortunate aspects of home ownership. Large, costly renovations may occasionally be necessary in order to get your home ready for sale, while emergency repairs pose the risk of draining your bank account with little warning. If you own a home or are thinking of buying one, it is immensely helpful to learn how to finance home repairs before they arise. The guide below covers a few of your options for paying for home repairs.


  1. Image titled Finance Home Repairs Step 1
    Refinance your mortgage to obtain cash for home repairs. A popular way to pay for home repairs and renovations is through a "cash-out refi," which is simply a way of swapping your existing mortgage for a new one and converting some of your home equity to cash in the process. Your current mortgage lender can help you understand your options for refinancing. Note that liquidating your equity in this way will generally cause your monthly payments or mortgage term to increase.
  2. Image titled Finance Home Repairs Step 2
    Obtain a home equity line of credit. A home equity line of credit functions like a credit card, with an open-ended term, a credit limit, and a minimum monthly payment based on your outstanding balance. This type credit makes sense for financing home repairs or remodeling projects because these projects tend to increase your home equity anyway.
  3. Image titled Finance Home Repairs Step 3
    Seek out a second mortgage. A second mortgage can be an unattractive option as it can tend to overburden you with debt, but for home repairs with an end in sight they are helpful. A second mortgage is a loan secured on your accumulated equity. The interest rate will be higher because your primary mortgage lender is given preference over your new lender in case of insolvency; for this reason, try to keep the size of your second mortgage as small as possible.
  4. Image titled Finance Home Repairs Step 4
    Determine if you qualify for a government loan. In the United States, the Federal Housing Administration runs a loan program called Title 1 for homeowners with very little equity. These loans are made by banks and backed by the federal government, and can be used to finance essential repairs such as structural and electrical problems.
  5. Image titled Finance Home Repairs Step 5
    Use a credit card for small, emergency repairs. While credit cards typically carry higher interest rates than loans secured on your home equity, they make sense for funding small home repairs. A credit card is available for use immediately and requires no paperwork, unlike other financing options.
  6. Image titled Finance Home Repairs Step 6
    Borrow from your 401(k). Many employers allow borrowing from your 401(k) to fund home repairs and renovations. This option is low-hassle because the money is already yours, so there is no paperwork or credit check. However, you are required to pay the borrowed money back into your 401(k) before leaving the company.


  • If performing home repairs yourself, it is best not to skimp on materials. Durable, high-quality materials may cost more upfront, but will generally last much longer and prevent you from having to repair or replace materials later.


  • Avoid entering into financing arrangements directly with the contractor performing the work. These types of deals often carry high interest rates and hidden fees.

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Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs