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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.

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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
    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.

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    Rates last updated December 11th, 2018

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    Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
    Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
    Even Financial Personal Loans
    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
    550
    $100,000
    3.84% to 35.99% (fixed)
    Credible Personal Loans
    Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
    Good to excellent credit
    $100,000
    4.99% to 36% (fixed)
    LendingClub Personal Loan
    A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
    660
    $40,000
    6.95% to 35.89% (fixed)
    Monevo Personal Loans
    Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.
    550
    $100,000
    3.34% to 35.99% (fixed)
    NetCredit Personal Loan
    Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
    550
    $10,000
    34% to 155% (Varies by state) (fixed)
    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
    No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
    680
    $100,000
    7.24% to 15.24% (fixed)
    Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans
    Consolidate your debt or pay off large expenses with competitive rates and no fees.
    Good to excellent credit
    $40,000
    6.99% to 24.99% (fixed)
    OneMain Financial Personal and Auto Loans
    An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.
    Varies
    $30,000
    16.05%–35.99%* (fixed)
    Avant
    Conveniently check your loan options without affecting your credit score.
    580
    $35,000
    9.95% to 35.99% (fixed)

    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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    Anna Serio

    Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.

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    LendingClub Personal Loan

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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.

    Monevo Personal Loans

    Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.

    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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