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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.

5 personal loans to finance a tiny house

Best for excellent credit

SoFi personal loans


Finder rating 4.45 / 5
★★★★★

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. It’s one of the few lenders that offers the option between fixed and variable rates — and one of the few that charges absolutely no fees. 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.

  • Not available in: Mississippi, Vermont

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Best for good credit

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans


Finder rating 3.8 / 5
★★★★★

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers competitive rates and no fees with the option to skip a repayment if you’re consistently on time for one year. If you’re a service member, you can also qualify for an APR as low as 4%. But it’s not a good option if you’re self-employed — it can be difficult for Marcus to verify your income. Its low minimum loan amount means you may not be able to fully finance a tiny house on the higher end of the price spectrum.

  • Available in all states

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Best for fair credit

Upstart personal loans


Finder rating 4.15 / 5
★★★★★

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: West Virginia

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Best for bad credit

OneMain Financial personal loans


Finder rating 3.4 / 5
★★★★★

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, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont

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Best for low rates

LightStream personal loans


Finder rating 4.83 / 5
★★★★★

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.

  • Available in all states

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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 – 8 of 8
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
3.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 to $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 35.99%
600
$2,000 to $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
Upstart personal loans
5.4% to 35.99%
None
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
Upgrade personal loans
5.94% to 35.97%
600
$1,000 to $50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
LendingPoint personal loans
7.99% to 35.99%
585
$2,000 to $36,500
Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
SoFi personal loans
6.99 to 22.23%
680
$5,000 to $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
LendingClub personal loans
6.34% to 35.89%
600
$1,000 to $40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
Monevo personal loans
1.99% to 35.99%
None
$500 to $100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
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