Image of couple enjoying breakfast on floor of new, remodeled kitchen

Kitchen Remodel Financing: 7 Steps For Everything You Need To Know

Miranda Crace6-Minute Read
UPDATED: June 01, 2024


If you have kitchen ideas circling around in the back of your mind, perhaps adding more storage or stainless steel appliances, then now's the time to take action! Remodeling your kitchen can make entertaining easier while adding considerable value to your home.

Many lenders will fund your project as long as you have a decent credit rating and enough equity established in your home. And if you want to finance a remodel of your kitchen as quickly as possible, our step-by-step guide will tell you exactly how to go about financing your dream kitchen.

Understand Your Goals, Budget And Return On Investment

The rumors are true: Kitchen remodeling is expensive. In fact, the total cost of a kitchen remodel runs from about $12,500 to $33,000, leaving the average spending amount around $21,000. This is where refinancing can help if you want to invest in your home and give your kitchen a general facelift.

However, don’t forget to do your homework ahead of time, as refinancing isn’t the only solution to add value to your home. Compare costs with home improvement professionals in your area, or if you’re the DIY type, price every inspiration out for yourself.

It’s also a good idea to consult with a real estate agent to make sure that your kitchen project will get the actual return on investment you’re hoping for. If adding a kitchen that runs into six figures won’t be good for resale, you might want to consider scaling back.

Kitchen Remodel Financing Options

As you began browsing countertops and faucets, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices available to you. Same with project financing. But that’s why we’re here!

We're laying out some financing possibilities so you can decide what is the best fit for you and your soon-to-be-upgraded home:

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan is a second mortgage, with a separate payment, that allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. In other words, your home equity loan doesn’t alter the terms of your first mortgage – it simply adds on a second payment with separate terms. Home equity loans tend to have higher interest rates than first mortgages and the maximum amount you can borrow varies.

Depending on the lender, you can typically borrow between 75% and 90% of the value of your home. And once you close on your home equity loan, you’ll receive a lump sum payment from your lender.

Personal Loan

Personal loans are an unsecured installment loan with a fixed interest rate that is repaid in equal monthly payments. You receive a lump sum and pay it back in fixed monthly payments, typically over 36 to 60 months.

Select a loan offer that comfortably matches your expected financial situation and gives you plenty of extra cash for unanticipated events.

Cash-Out Refinance

A cash-out refinance means that you refinance your mortgage for more than you owe and take the difference in cash. The more equity you’ve built up, the more money you can convert to cash. Equity refers to how much you owe compared to the value of your home.

For example, let’s say your kitchen remodel will cost you $25,000. Your home is worth $300,000 and you’ve paid your mortgage balance down to $235,000. To calculate how much equity you have, simply subtract your mortgage balance from your home value. This leaves you with $65,000 in equity.

You won’t be able to take out all of that, however. Assume your lender will only allow you to refinance 80% of the value of the home. That means $13,000 stays in the home, and you take out $52,000 in cash.

Credit Cards

Using a credit card to foot the remodeling bill is a simple way to finance your kitchen upgrade – credit cards are familiar and accessible. Additionally, with year-round promotions and offers, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a low- to no-interest credit card for financing the upgrade to your home.

The drawbacks, however, revolve around how time-sensitive and ambitious your remodeling project will be. You may only have up to 18 months to complete your renovations if you’re planning to use a credit card during a promotional no-interest period. And to avoid the potential consequences that come with using a credit card, you should abide by a strict repayment schedule to avoid any late fees or mounting interest.

Additionally, credit cards usually limit their lending to a maximum amount. The credit limit may be enough to touch up your cabinets or revamp your countertops, but might not cover an ambitious top-to-bottom kitchen remodel.

But if you’re simply looking for a way to update parts of your kitchen and have no doubts about repaying your credit, then credit cards could be a seamless, viable option for you.

Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC)

Similar to a credit card, a home equity line of credit – or HELOC – offers the homeowner flexible spending for the projects that they see fit. Unlike credit cards, HELOCs are secured lines of credit, which means the lender can use your house as collateral in case of a default.

While that may sound intimidating, it can actually benefit you, the homeowner, so long as you act responsibly. Since the lender has added security, the interest rates for HELOCs are generally much lower than those of personal loans or other lines of credit.

As we mentioned earlier, the other benefit is the flexibility you have for spending. HELOCs are open-ended lines of credit which allow you to borrow however best suits your needs.

The amount you can borrow is based on the appraised value of your home and other financial factors, such as income and credit score. The typical credit limit for HELOCs usually comes out to 70% to 80% of your home’s value.

Like most loans out there, there are phases to home equity lines of credit: a "draw" period and a repayment period. During the draw period, you’ll be able to use your credit for renovations and projects.

This period typically extends over 10 years and only requires small, low-rate interest payments throughout. So long as you can prioritize your needs and avoid spending more funds than necessary, a HELOC can work great for your renovation needs.

The second period is repayment, although some lenders will allow for extensions on your draw period. This period usually lasts 20 years, and is fairly self-explanatory: during this time you’ll repay your lender the money you’ve borrowed, plus variable interest. It’s worth noting that some lenders do offer fixed-interest rate options if you want something more steadfast and predictable.

If you value flexibility and freedom when remodeling your home and are sure your upgrades will increase your home’s value, then look into HELOCs and the options they offer.

Federal Programs

Depending on your living situation and background, it could be worth considering the home repair and remodeling programs offered by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, offers grants and loans to homeowners of various backgrounds.

An FHA Title 1 loan is probably the most well-recognized of these federal programs. If you’re looking to make improvements or repairs that, as the FHA put it, make your home "more livable and useful," then this could be the resource for you.

An FHA Title 1 is a fixed-interest loan which remains unsecured if $7,500 is enough to execute your renovations. If you’re looking for a little more cash, then your home will need to be used as collateral. Similar to credit cards or HELOCs, this program offers you flexibility and freedom for your upcoming projects.

HUD also offers programs which are geared toward specific people. If you live in a rural area, you may qualify for the Rural Home Improvement and Repair loan or grant, which offers a maximum loan of $20,000 and up to $7,500 in grant funds. Visit here if you want to check your area for eligibility.

And if your family is federally recognized as part of the Native American population, then you could qualify for one of HUD’s Office of Native American Programs. While Section 184 of the Indian Home Loan Guarantee program is typically used for low-down-payment mortgages, these loans can also be used for new construction and increased marketability toward your home.

Lastly, if you have a particularly green thumb or are generally interested in making your home more energy efficient, then check out HUD’s Energy Efficient Mortgage Program. This program can help you streamline your home’s utility use and save some money in the long run.

As you can see, federal programs offer many options in terms of loans and refinance. So long as you do your research, you can make these grants and loans work best for your upcoming projects.

What Should I Know Before Applying?

Watch this video to learn more about our financing process and personal loan application: 

Securing A Personal Loan For Your Kitchen Remodel

Say you’ve decided to take the leap into remodeling and want to secure a personal loan to help cover the financing (our specialty!). Here are the simple steps you will need to take to apply for a personal loan with us.

Step 1: Fill Out Our Simple Application

Once you complete our online application form, you will see prequalified offers for your kitchen remodel project.

When you check out the form on that page, you will notice that you only need to enter and verify some easy personal questions. Most people already have this information memorized, so you shouldn’t need to gather any documentation at this stage.

The basic personal information that we need from you includes:

  • Your full legal name
  • Address
  • Birthdate
  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Your individual income
  • Employment status
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Once you’ve finished filling out the form (it should only take about a minute or so) you need to submit and go on to the next step toward funding your kitchen remodel.

Step 2: Review The Loan Options For Which You Qualify

At Rocket Loans, we use the personal information you submitted to immediately give you a list of loan options that could qualify for funding your kitchen remodel. Once we present your prequalified offers, it's up to you when selecting the financing option that best suits your situation.  

Regarding the loan repayment period, make sure you select an affordable amount/timeline to you both now and into the foreseeable future. Even though you may want to remodel your kitchen now, avoid taking on more debt than you can comfortably manage by choosing a borrowing option with a sensible repayment schedule that fits your income level.

In most cases, selecting a loan option will involve choosing one that covers the amount needed for the project and has the lowest fixed interest rate available. Keep in mind that variable interest rates are typically lower than fixed interest rates, but unlike fixed interest rates, there are no guarantees that they will remain affordable for you over time.

Step 3: Provide Lender-Requested Validating Documentation

Now, when you’re ready and have a loan offer in mind, it’s time to officially apply for it.

Once you’ve selected your optimal loan, you may have to produce the standard documents to validate your loan request. Virtually all lenders require applicants to go through this validation step to process a loan application. But by logging into your bank account on our website, we reduce a lot of the paperwork most other lenders require.

We need you to safely authenticate your identity. This ensures that you are the individual whose name will appear on the loan and helps weed out identity thieves. You may also be required to share proof of the employment and income details you filled in, so be prepared to show pay stubs and tax returns.

It can speed things up to have these documents ready ahead of time, but note that not every loan requires the same documents for validation.

Step 4: Agree To Terms

After you’ve completed the application validation process, we will give you a set of lending terms to look over and agree to move ahead with a loan.

Once you agree to our terms, we will begin the loan approval process with the goal of getting your personal home improvement loan approved as soon as possible so you can borrow the funds you want for your kitchen remodel. Final loan approval is also when we complete a hard credit pull that will affect your credit score.

Step 5: Get Your Loan Funds Paid

When your home improvement loan gets its final stamp of approval, your loaned funds get deposited directly into your bank account.

We realize how importance of getting that money for your kitchen project fast, so you can expect a timely response. Depending on the circumstances, you may even receive your home improvement loan proceeds in your bank account the same business day.* Still, some banks and fund transfer methods can take more time.

Step 6: Start Remodeling Your Kitchen!

Once you’ve obtained the home improvement loan funds you require for your kitchen remodel, you can start taking the practical steps you need to take to get your project underway. These steps can vary depending on what sort of kitchen remodel you chose for your home.

Unless you are a HGTV buff and/or have relevant design and building skills, you may need to enlist the professional assistance of a kitchen expert to plan and implement your kitchen remodel. If you do decide to hire a home improvement professional, create a schedule for your project’s timely completion that will suit you both.

Step 7: Pay Back Your Loan

When you use your available credit to borrow money, remember you have to pay it back in a timely fashion if to retain a favorable credit rating. To help, you can repay your home improvement loan using a simple autopay option.

Repaying your loan electronically using the autopay feature means your monthly payment will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account with no work or stress on your part!

If you want to make any extra payments to reduce your loan balance, you can do that whenever you’d like without paying a prepayment penalty. This great feature means if you come into some unexpected money and want to pay off all or part of your home improvement loan early, you can avoid unnecessary interest expenses or early payment fees.

Tips For Kitchen Remodel Financing

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Although there are plenty of programs, loans and grants out there vying for your attention, try viewing these financing options as just that: options.

With options come freedom and choices, and chances are you’ll find the financing method best suited to your needs.

Do Your Research

Make sure you understand all of the options available to you and how they could help or hurt your financial situation. Everybody has different financial needs, so properly evaluate what each loan has to offer to pick which option is best.

Final Thoughts

Taking the time to shape your dream kitchen is exciting! But there are things you must consider before flipping pancakes on your new stove. Take the time to research how to balance any upfront costs that a kitchen remodel may require.

By understanding your home financing options and any loan requirements first, you will ensure that not only will you enjoy your kitchen remodel down the line, but build it at an affordable price, too.

Apply For A Personal Loan.

Explore your options today and see what's possible in one simple click.

*Same Day Funding availability for loan amounts up to $25,000, and client must complete loan process and sign Promissory Note by 1:00PM ET on a business day. Also note, the ACH credit will be submitted to your bank the same business day. This may result in same day funding, but results may vary and your bank may have rules that limit our ability to credit your account. We are not responsible for delays which may occur due to incorrect routing number, account number, or errors of your financial institution.

Miranda Crace

Miranda Crace is a Senior Section Editor for the Rocket Companies, bringing a wealth of knowledge about mortgages, personal finance, real estate, and personal loans for over 10 years.