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Renfi Renovation Loan Review

Need to fund major home renovations? Renfi provides financing of up to $150,000.

Fill out a quick online application, get pre-approved within the hour and receive funding in the form of a second mortgage.

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If you’re a homeowner in search of a loan to help you pay for your home renovation project, Renfi may be a solid choice for you. Homeowners can use their Renfi home renovation loan for all types of home improvement projects, including kitchen and bathroom remodelling, building tenant apartments, adding a home office, landscaping or a backyard pool.

30-second take

Here are the product’s highlights:

  • Think of Renfi if you’re a homeowner looking for a home renovation loan that you can apply for completely online and without the need for onsite appraisals, inspections or draw schedules that are common with typical home construction loans.
  • Pick something else if you don’t have home equity to secure your loan. You can turn to conventional unsecured loans instead.
  • Keep in mind that Renfi loans are secured as second mortgages. Because of this, your loan documentation should be reviewed by a lawyer.

What makes Renfi unique?

While there are plenty of secured personal loans homeowners can choose from, Renfi was designed precisely for home renovation loans.

The entire loan request process is done online: after submitting a 3-minute application, homeowners receive a pre-approval within the hour. If your application, ID and income verification check out, you could receive funding in as quickly as 72 hours so you can get started on your renovations right away.

The process may not be as straightforward if you apply for a personal loan for major home renovations at a bank or credit union. Renfi says it won’t request onsite appraisals or document submissions such as mortgage statements and tax documents. Instead, the emphasis is on your credit history, your loan-to-value ratio and your debt-to-income ratio.

Its terms are novel, too: all Renfi loans have a 12-month term. During those 12 months, you will pay interest on your loan at a monthly rate of 1%. If you’ve taken out a $50,000 loan for a kitchen renovation, you’ll pay $500 per month, for example. After your term, Renfi loan specialists will help you refinance your loan with your first mortgage lender. You can also opt to broker a new first mortgage altogether or renew your loan with Renfi.

What are the benefits of a Renfi loan?

If you’re looking for a home renovation loan, Renfi is one of many options available to you. The following are some of the key features of a Renfi loan:

  • Easy online application. A major benefit is Renfi‘s easy-to-use application, which is done completely online. Renfi also doesn’t require onsite appraisals and inspections like conventional construction loans do. Simply apply online and receive a decision on your loan request within 15 minutes.
  • Flexible loan size. Renfi offers secured loans from $15,000 up to $150,000. This is a wide range, allowing homeowners to decide how much they need for their home renovation project.
  • Fast access to funds. Once you’ve been approved, you should have access to your funds within 3 business days.
  • Flexibility to use your funding. As long as you’re applying your funds to a home renovation project that adds value to your property, you can use your Renfi loan however you please. This includes renovating a basement, kitchen or bathroom as well as building a tenant apartment or adding a swimming pool to your backyard.

What to watch out for

Taking on more debt is always a risky decision, especially if you’re considering securing your loan with an asset. Here’s what to keep in mind before you take out a Renfi loan:

  • Your home is used as collateral. Renfi loans are secured as second mortgages, so your home equity is on the line. Using your home as insurance on your loan can be risky, especially if there’s a chance you could default on your loan. Make sure you’re prepared to shoulder this debt before putting your property on the line.
  • You will need to renegotiate your loan. All Renfi loans have a 12 months term after which loan specialists will help you refinance your loan with your first mortgage lender. You can also broker a new first mortgage or renew your existing loan with Renfi. Either way, you’ll need to make a decision about your Renfi loan after a calendar year.
  • Additional charges. Applying for a secured loan with Renfi may come with additional fees that aren’t listed on the website. Because you’re securing a new mortgage, you’ll need to recruit the help of a lawyer to look over your contract and submit your signed documents back to Renfi. This will come at a cost too.
  • Online-only application. Some homeowners may prefer to visit a bricks-and-mortar location when applying for a large secured loan. This isn’t available for Renfi borrowers.

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Am I eligible?

Before applying for a Renfi loan, you’ll need to make sure you qualify. You must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian resident, of the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Be employed, with proof of monthly and yearly income.
  • Be a homeowner with home equity already established; Renfi does not include details on how much home equity you must have to qualify for a loan.
  • Have an active bank account in your name with direct deposit capability and online banking capability. (You will need to access your online banking via Renfi‘s bank-grade secure software for income verification.)
  • Have a valid phone number, mailing address and email address.
  • Have the name and contact information of the contractor you intend on hiring for your renovations.

How do I apply for a Renfi Renovation Loan?

If you’re ready to apply for a Renfi loan, follow these steps:

    1. Head to the Renfi homepage and click on the blue “Apply Now” button on the top right-hand corner of the page.
    2. Your digital loan specialist, Ava, will walk you through the loan application process, starting with figuring out what type of renovation you’ll be doing. Your options include kitchen, bathroom, basement, pool or outside landscaping. Select the best option and click “Next.”
    3. On the next page, you’ll need to identify how much you’d like to borrow. Renfi provides a calculator to show you what your monthly payments would look like. Fill in the prompts and click “Next.”

Is Renfi legit?

It is. It was founded in January 2021 by former senior leadership from major lending platforms, such as Fairstone and Magical Credit. Renfi is active on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

It also reminds customers that its loan application process is privacy protected. Renfi uses software called Inverite to securely verify your income. The tech is 256-bit bank-grade encrypted to protect your personal data. It’s also end-to-end encrypted so no one can see your login credentials.

It has a head office in downtown Toronto, and email and phone support for borrowers and potential clients.

I got a Renfi Renovation Loan. Now what?

If your application includes all of the details Renfi needs, you should receive your funding within 3 business days, which means you have a green light to get started on all of your home renovations.

Keep in mind that Renfi loans are interest-only payments fixed at a 1% monthly interest cost. You’ll pay the interest on the loan for 12 months. Make sure you have the cash on hand to make these payments.

After this timeframe, you’ll need to work with Renfi loan specialists to refinance your Renfi loan with your first mortgage lender. You can also broker a new first mortgage altogether or renew your loan with Renfi. Before you sign on the dotted line for a Renfi loan, make sure you have an exit strategy that works best for your finances.

Bottom line

Homeowners looking for a large injection of cash to fund their home renovations have various options to turn to, including home renovation loans. Renfi makes the loan process much easier to manage with an online-only application, free from on-site appraisals and inspections that can slow down the process.

If you have home equity you’re willing to use as leverage, it’s worth looking into a Renfi loan. Always do your homework and comparison shop between lenders before you decide on a Renfi loan.
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