Roof Loans: How to Finance Roof Repairs or Replacements With a Personal Loan
Buying a home is an opportunity to put down roots and build equity — but it’s also expensive. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the ongoing upkeep of the property.
Unlike a renter, you can’t call a landlord when an item breaks or needs repairing.
Therefore, when it comes to big items, such as replacing or repairing your roof, it helps to have cash.
Of course, life doesn’t always go according to plan. So you might not have enough cash in the bank for a roof project.
What are your options?
In this situation, you can look into getting a roof loan to cover the cost.
What Is a Roof Loan?
A damaged or old roof can cause long-term problems. Water seeping into your walls or attic can cause extensive damage, costing thousands to repair.
This is why it’s important to maintain the condition of your roof.
Regular maintenance requires repairing any loose or missing shingles and replacing an older roof.
Roof repairs and replacements aren’t cheap.
If you’re strapped for cash, a roof loan can provide much-needed resources. These are basically personal loans used to repair or replace a roof.
These loans can be either secured or unsecured. With an unsecured roof loan, the lender does not require collateral.
So you’re able to get financing without pledging personal property.
But while this is convenient, unsecured loans typically have higher interest rates and you’ll need a higher credit score to qualify. This is due to the riskier nature of these loans.
Another option is to get a secured roof loan. In this case, you're required to pledge personal property as collateral.
Secured roof loans are usually easier to get and have a lower interest rate.
Where to Find Personal Loans for a Roof?
If you need a roof loan, different types of lenders offer this type of financing. Your options include:
1. Bank or credit union
When seeking a personal loan to fix or replace your roof, your personal bank is an excellent place to start.
Since you have an existing relationship with the financial institution, you might snag a lower interest rate. This can save you hundreds, if not thousands, over the long run.
Speak with a local banker to discuss your options and then decide whether a bank loan is right for you.
You can also contact your credit union to see if you’re eligible for a roof loan.
Personal loan requirements vary from institution to institution. Even if your personal bank or credit union quotes a great rate, it’s smart to get rate quotes from other lenders, too.
You can compare costs and loan terms, and then determine which is the right choice.
2. Online lenders
As you compare loan rates and terms, don’t forget to contact online lenders. Online lenders also offer personal loans for a roof repair or replacement.
One benefit of working with an online lender is that you might get a better rate. Since online-only lenders don’t have brick and mortar locations, they have fewer overhead costs.
As a result, they can afford to pass the savings to their customers.
Sometimes, the rate an online lender quotes will be cheaper than rates offered by local banks and credit unions.
3. In-house financing
Depending on the company you hire to replace or repair your roof, in-house financing might be an option.
The roofing company isn’t a bank, but they might have a partnership with a third-party financial institution. Therefore, you can get a roof and financing at the same time.
These are personal loans, too.
However, you’ll receive faster funding through a roofing company’s preferred lender. This lender might approve funds within a day of applying.
If using a bank or credit union for a personal loan, it can take up to a week to get your cash.
Loans through a roofing company’s partner lender are also unsecured. So you don’t have to pledge personal assets as collateral.
A personal loan through this finance company might have a higher interest rate. Even so, the rate is typically less than the rate on most credit cards.
How to Apply for a Roof Loan?
Is a roof loan right for your home project? If so, here’s how to improve your chances of getting approved for financing.
1. Check your credit
Your credit history ultimately determines whether you qualify for a roof loan. Lending is risky business for banks, credit unions, and other lenders.
Therefore, applicants with the highest credit scores are more likely to get approved.
In addition, these applicants are more likely to get a low interest rate. Before applying for any loan, check your credit score and credit report. Minimum credit score requirements vary by lender. Ideally, though, you want a credit score of 700 or higher.
It’s important to check your credit report for errors. Negative items reported in error can drag down your credit score, making it harder to get approved.
Understandably, some roof repairs are urgent. So there might not be a lot of time to raise your credit score before applying.
However, if you don’t have an immediate need for a new roof, take steps to improve a low score before applying. Pay your bills on time and pay down credit card debt. Both factors account for 35 percent and 30 percent of your credit score, respectively.
2. Get required paperwork
To speed the process, make sure you have your documentation ready before apply for a roof loan.
The lender will need to see a copy of your driver’s license, recent paycheck stubs, W-2s, and tax returns if you’re self-employed. The sooner you can forward this information to the lender, the faster you can get funds to complete your roof project.
3. Shop around
To reiterate, always shop around and compare rates and terms before applying for a loan. Some people make the mistake of thinking every loan is the same. This is not true.
Rates and terms can vary from lender to lender. If you get stuck with a higher rate, you’ll end up paying more in the long run for a roof project.
Alternatives to a Personal Loan for a Roof Project
Although a personal loan is one option to repair or replace a roof, it’s not the only option available to you.
1. Credit card
You can use a credit card with a low rate or a 0% interest rate to pay for a roof repair instead of applying for a personal loan.
This eliminates the hassle of completing a loan application and waiting for an approval.
Using a credit card is convenient, but it’s also dangerous. For this reason, a credit card might be better for smaller roof repairs, as it’ll be easier to pay off the balance.
Only use a credit card when you have a plan to pay off the debt within a short amount of time, and only if the interest rate on the card is lower than rates offered by lenders.
2. Home equity
Another option is to pay for a roof repair or replacement using your home’s equity. You can use either a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.
Typically, you’re able to borrow up to 80 percent of your home’s equity. With a home equity loan, you’ll receive an upfront lump sum of cash for the roof project.
A home equity line of credit, on the other hand, gives you access to a credit line that you can tap on an as-needed basis. Home equity solutions often have rates that are lower than a personal loan and a credit card.
You’re pledging your home as collateral. If you don’t repay a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit, you could lose your house.
You can also refinance your mortgage and cash out some of your equity. Mortgage refinancing involves applying for a new mortgage to replace your existing mortgage.
Homeowners often refinance to get a lower interest rate, which can also lower their monthly payment.
Depending on your equity, you can also borrow up to around 80 percent of your equity. Many people use these funds for home improvements or renovations.
Other common uses of a cash-out refinance include paying for college and debt consolidation.
Your roof protects your home from outdoor elements, so it’s important to keep it in good condition.
This will prevent roof leaks that lead to mold and other expensive damage.
Roof repairs and replacements aren’t always cheap, though.
Fortunately, a roof loan or another financing alternative can provide the funds you need to keep your investment in the best condition possible.