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Compare tiny house financing options

A minimalist lifestyle can free you up to do big things. Here’s how to pay for it.

A tiny house is a residential building that is no more than 400 square feet. The cost of buying a tiny house is usually lower than your conventional mortgage, but most personal loans can cover the cost.

Our team reviewed over 120 lenders before selecting these top personal loans for financing a tiny house. We made sure to include low-cost options for all credit types. And we included a few that can fund more expensive tiny houses — up to $100,000.

4 personal loans to finance a tiny house

Best for excellent credit

SoFi personal loans

4.4
★★★★★

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SoFi is one of a few online lenders that offers loans up to $100,000, making it a good choice for financing tiny homes on the higher end. In addition to charging low rates, SoFi also offers a variety of online financial products with discounts for current customers. This means it could be a great option if you plan on building your home away from town.
  • Available in all states
Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.
Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.
Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

Best for fair credit

Upstart personal loans

4.2
★★★★★

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Upstart can be a good option if you’re thinking of moving to a tiny house straight out of college. It considers your career and education when you apply to help make up for a thin credit report. There’s also no prepayment penalty. But stick to other options if your credit score is above 670. The starting APR of 8.27% — including an origination fee of up to 8% — is higher than most good credit providers.
  • Not available in: Iowa, West Virginia

Best for bad credit

OneMain Financial personal loans

3.4
★★★★★

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Your options for tiny house financing are limited if you have a credit score below 580. But if you don’t have a coapplicant to help you qualify for a good-credit lender, OneMain Financial may offer a good deal. It doesn’t have any hard credit requirements and you can secure your loan with collateral to help lower your rate. While this lender previously required in-branch visits to close the loan, you can complete everything online.
  • Not available in: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont
* OneMain Disclosures:

Not all applicants will be approved. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). If approved, not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your state of residence and your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Highly-qualified applicants may be offered higher loan amounts and/or lower APRs than those shown above. OneMain charges origination fees where allowed by law. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $500. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Visit omf.com/loanfees for more information. Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase cryptocurrency assets, securities, derivatives or other speculative investments; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. North Dakota: $2,000. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Example Loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.

Time to Fund Loans: Funding within one hour after closing through SpeedFunds must be disbursed to a bank-issued debit card. Disbursement by check or ACH may take up to 1-2 business days after loan closing.

Best for low rates

LightStream personal loans

4.8
★★★★★

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LightStream is the online lending arm of Truist Bank — formerly known as SunTrust. It specializes in unsecured home improvement financing and has some of the lowest rates out there. If you manage to get a better offer from another provider, LightStream could beat that rate as long as the offer meets certain conditions. And with financing as high as $100,000, this lender can cover more tiny house expenses than your average personal loan provider.
  • Not available in: Iowa, West Virginia
*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

Types of tiny house financing

You can finance a tiny house with a personal loan, RV loan, home equity loan or even a chattel mortgage. To qualify for a good deal on most of these options, you generally need to have good or excellent credit — that’s a credit score of 670 or higher, according to FICO. Since tiny houses are relatively cheap you may not need to finance it at all. If you have the time, save up and pay with cash.

RV loans

Many tiny houses are on wheels. If that’s what you’re looking for, RV loans could help you with funding. To qualify, your home needs to be certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, which makes sure it meets safety requirements for living and traveling on the road. It also must be made by a manufacturer. You can get this type of financing either through your home’s manufacturer or a provider that offers RV loans.

Unsecured personal loans

If you’re looking to buy a tiny house with a solid foundation or want to build your own RV, you might want to consider taking out an unsecured personal loan. You can typically use these term loans for any legitimate purpose and don’t have to put your home up as collateral.

If you’re building your home, you might want to consider taking out a line of credit. That way, you’ll have continuous access to funds and can take out what you need, when you need it. A personal line of credit can prepare you for unexpected expenses that don’t factor into your initial calculations.

Home equity loans and lines of credit

When you already have a home, a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be a better choice. Typically home equity financing comes with lower rates than your average personal loan.

A loan is more useful for a one-off purchase while a line of credit can help if you plan on doing construction or hiring contractors. The downside is that you risk losing your current home if you default on the loan or credit line.

Chattel mortgages

While your tiny home likely won’t be eligible for a traditional mortgage, you may still be able to qualify for a chattel mortgage. These work more like car loans than mortgages — your lender will technically own your home until you finish paying off the loan.

Chattel mortgages can be especially helpful if you park your tiny home on leased land or intend on moving frequently. They tend to have lower interest rates than personal loans and may have lest strict eligibility criteria than other financing options.

Why can’t I get a mortgage?

Unconventional homes call for unconventional forms of financing. Most mortgages come with minimum limits on how much you can borrow, which tiny houses often don’t meet. Also, they can only be used for homes with a solid foundation — many tiny houses are built with the ability to be moved from one place to another.

How much does a tiny house cost?

Tiny houses tend to cost around $30,000 to over $100,000. But how much you pay depends on whether you plan on buying a tiny house or building one.

It also depends on your area’s regulations. Some local governments require homes with a foundation to be a certain square footage. Others have restrictions to camping on private land — which applies to your home if it’s classified as an RV. Make sure you know your local laws before deciding where or what to build.

Buying a prebuilt tiny house

This can be the easiest way to do things, but there are still several costs to consider, especially if it’s an RV. If your home is built on solid foundations, your main costs are the home itself and the land.

If you’re buying an RV, you can either buy land, park it on private property belonging to friends or family, rent a long-term RV spot or move it around public land. But you’ll also pay for a trailer license, yearly RV registration fees — not to mention having a car strong enough to drive it around.

Tiny house or RV, including extras and shipping fees

$10,000–$150,000 (Average is around $60,000)

Buying land

Over $200,000 (plus property taxes), depending on location

Renting an RV spot

$500 per month plus water and electricity hookup fees (around $450 per month)

RV registration fee

$20–$200 a year, depending on state regulations

Building a tiny house from scratch

Building a tiny house, is usually cheaper than buying one, with costs typically adding up to between $10,000 to $40,000. But they can take a long time to build — sometimes even years. On top of the expenses like buying land and getting a trailer license listed above, here are some of the main expenses you can expect to come across when building your new home:

Trailer

$4,500–$9,000

Doors and windows

$1,000–$3,000

Lumber

$3,000–$10,000

Insulation

$500–$2,000

Roofing

$500–$1,000

Siding

$1,500–$3,000

Wall paneling

$500–$2,000

Flooring

$300–$2,000

Light fixtures

$200–$800

Hiring an electrician

$1,500–$3,000

Water heater

$500–$1,000

Shower tile

$300–$1,000

Toilet

$800–$1,500

Other bathroom fixtures and plumbing

$600–$2,000

Space heater

$200–$800

Cabinets (storage and kitchen)

$1,500–$5,000

Kitchen counter

$300–$2,000

Kitchen appliances

$1,000–$3,000

Screws, nails etc.

$500

Paint

$50–$200

Your time

400–600 work hours

Don’t have the time — or skills — to do all that work? Some manufacturers can meet halfway with a tiny house shell. All the basics are pre-installed like water lines, electricity and sewage systems, but you can still customize it to your liking. These typically cost between $10,000 and $35,000.

Or you can buy a prefab tiny house kit, which you can put together yourself for less than $10,000 or hire someone to do the work for you.

How else can I pay for a tiny house?

  • Save up. Tiny houses are inexpensive enough to realistically save up for the basic expenses. Selling some of your belongings — which you’re going to have to get rid of anyway — might help speed the process along.
  • Crowdfund. Reach out to your social network by setting up a crowdfunding campaign. Be sure to set a goal high enough to cover the cost of your tiny house after paying platform fees.
  • Friends and family. Ask for donations toward your tiny house fund in lieu of gifts, or just flat out ask a relative to borrow money to finance your tiny house. You might not have to pay interest, but be prepared for a damaged relationship if you’re unable to pay it back.
  • Credit cards. In a pinch, you can use a credit card to finance parts of your tiny house expenses. Just be aware that these typically have higher interest rates than personal loans, so only use it when absolutely necessary. Some credit cards offer an introductory period with 0% APR. If you’re certain you can pay it off before the intro period is over, this may be a good option.

Bottom line

Tiny house living is a lifestyle that’s not for everyone. While it’s cheaper than buying a house, you probably won’t be able to sell it for a profit like other types of real estate. Make sure everyone’s onboard before you buy one and also be aware that life changes — like an unexpected pregnancy — have made many families reevaluate their decision.

If you’re sure it’s the right thing for you, you might want to start by comparing personal loans to get an idea of how much it’s going to cost you on a monthly basis and in the long run.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to questions readers often ask about tiny house financing.

Can you buy a tiny house for $5,000?

It’s possible to buy an RV for $5,000 — but tiny houses typically cost more. Especially when you factor in costs like land, registration and renovations. If you only want to spend $5,000, you might want to look into buying a mobile home instead.

Do banks finance tiny homes?

Some bank might finance a tiny home with a personal loan. But generally you can’t get a bank mortgage for a tiny house from a bank — or any other lender. Since some banks offer customer discounts, you might want to reach out to find out if you can qualify.

How long can you finance a tiny house?

You can usually finance a tiny house for three to five or seven years, depending on your lenders. Since the cost of a tiny house is usually on the high end of a personal loan, you likely won’t be able to qualify for shorter repayment terms. But while a short term lowers your total loan cost, it can make monthly payments unaffordable.

Can I take out a loan to buy a mobile home?

Yes. Many lenders offer mobile home financing. You may want to learn more about your options for financing a mobile home since there are multiple types of loans you could apply for.

Compare more personal loans

1 – 6 of 6
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. credit score Loan amount
Upstart personal loans
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Upstart personal loans
7.80% to 35.99%
300
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
SoFi personal loans
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
SoFi personal loans
8.99% to 29.99%
680
$5,000 to $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no required fees.
Best Egg personal loans
Finder Score: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Best Egg personal loans
8.99% to 35.99%
640
$2,000 to $50,000
Fast and easy personal loan application process. See options first without affecting your credit score.
Upgrade
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade
8.49% to 35.99%
620
$1,000 to $50,000
Check your rates with this online lender without impacting your credit score.
LendingPoint personal loans
Finder Score: 3.3 / 5: ★★★★★
LendingPoint personal loans
7.99% to 35.99%
620
$2,000 to $36,500
Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
Happy Money
Finder Score: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Happy Money
11.72% to 24.50%
640
$5,000 to $40,000
Pay down your debt with a fixed APR and predictable monthly payments.
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