How to pay for emergency home repairs | finder.com
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How to pay for emergency home repairs

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Personal loans, federally backed programs and more ways to cover a quick fix.

When your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover that leaky roof or broken water heater, you have plenty of financing options to lift you out of a crisis and back into home comforts.

Our top pick: LendingClub Personal Loan

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 640
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Fast and easy application

Our top pick: LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 640
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.
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8 ways to pay for emergency home repair

How you’ll want to cover the expenses of an unexpected home repair will depend on the extent of the repair, how much you’re able to contribute from savings and how your home was damaged, among other factors.

For small repairs, a personal loan might be the fastest, simplest option. If you’re recovering from a natural disaster, however, you might be eligible for the support of government-funded programs.

3 tips to prepare for an emergency home repair

Got a big storm coming your way? Prepare ahead of time so that you can get your home back as soon as you can after.

  1. Keep a list of contractors. Storing numbers in your phone is smart, but write down a list of contractors in your area and stick it in your wallet in the event that you lose cell service. Look for those on call 24/7 in case of emergencies.
  2. Call your insurance provider. Contact your insurer to confirm what’s covered by your policy and what you’re responsible for. After an emergency, most insurers send an assessor to look over the damages and let you know how much you’re covered for. But it helps to know before so you can think about financing if you need it.
  3. Know your disaster relief options. Ask your local housing administration about potential grants and other forms of disaster assistance so that you can apply as soon as possible, if necessary, to increase your chance for approval.

How much do common home repairs cost?

Home repair costs can vary according to the value of your home, where you live and the extent of the damage. But here’s a ballpark of what you can expect for common home repair and improvement costs, according to a July 2018 HomeAdvisor survey.

Repair typeAverage costAverage rangeLowest and highest cost
Roof$777$335–$1,229$150–$4,100
Garage door$227$147–$330$75–$588
Door$220$117–$323$50–$600
Water main repair$797$322–$1,292$140–$2,800
Repair or replace electric panel$1,105$519–$1,698$125–$3,000
New wiring$1,286$534–$2,038$125–$4,400
Carpeting$191$123–$260$75–$434
Hardwood floors$4,405$2,543–$6,490$1,065–$10,200
Foundation$4,001$1,848–$6,337$450–$11,000
Level or mudjack concrete slabs$881$543–$1,295$300–$2,200
AC unit$342$163–$527$75–$1,200
Furnace$285$131–$454$60–$900
Siding$639$300–$1,037$100–$16,330
Trim$608$275–$941$100–$1,990
Stairs or railings$618$306–$975$115–$1,750
Drywall$500$272–$750$125–$1,380
Wall$668$329–$1,012$150–$2,000

Source: HomeAdvisor.com

3 home repair solutions to avoid

If you don’t have a savings buffer to put toward unexpected home repairs, you might be tempted to juggle your existing personal expenses to scrape together what you need.

Applying for a personal loan could be a better option than these three ways people use to pay for home repairs — and keep you from landing in an even worse financial situation:

  1. Putting off payments on bills. Late loan repayments can seriously damage your credit score, making it difficult to qualify for financing in the future. But skipping your usual bills to foot an emergency expense could launch you into a spiral of debt, not to mention leave you without a home if those bills are your mortgage or rent.
  2. Paying with plastic. Paying for a new faucet or a caulk gun with your credit card might not set you back too much. But they typically come with much higher APRs than personal loans, and costs can add up quickly if you swipe for a big-ticket item.
  3. Using short-term lenders. A payday loan or installment loan might be a last resort when you can’t qualify for a personal loan or government assistance. But with APRs that can soar to 100% and even 400%, it’s the most expensive type of financing you can get.

How to prevent burst pipes in the winter

With temperatures plummeting into the sub-arctic zone over the past few winters, freezing pipes are no joke. To keep yourself from having to take out a home repair loan, take these steps to keep your pipes intact during the next polar vortex:

  • Insulate everywhere. All exposed pipes are more likely to freeze. Look in you attic and other crawl spaces to make sure you didn’t forget any. Seal up any cracks that might expose insulated or uninsulated pipes to cold air.
  • Let it drip overnight. Having a steady stream of warm water can help pipes from freezing during the coldest nights.
  • Keep that thermostat steady. Turning down the heat while you sleep could make your pipes even more vulnerable to the cold if the temperature suddenly drops.

Compare personal loans

Updated April 18th, 2019
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Good to excellent credit
$100,000
5.34% to 35.99%
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3.99% to 35.99%
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34% to 155% (Varies by state)
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640 FICO®
$35,000
5.99% to 29.99%
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3.84% to 35.99%
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

If you don’t have the money for repairs when the unexpected or unpreventable happens, you’re not alone. You’re also not out of luck, given your options that include loans, grant programs and opportunities to tap into your home’s equity.

Start your search with our comprehensive guide to personal loans, where you can jump right into comparing lenders or read more about how these loans work.

Frequently asked questions

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US Personal Loans Offers

Important Information*
Credible Personal Loans

Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

Even Financial Personal Loans

Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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