A helping hand to give your home a facelift

I remember what it was like when we first moved into our home. We had all these grand plans for making changes to the place, and making all sorts of improvements and renovations to turn it into the perfect home to match the perfect image I had in my head. But, as any homeowners will know, buying a place isn’t as simple as making the down payment and signing on the dotted line.

By the time we were actually handed the keys, we’d coughed up huge amounts for stamp duty, solicitors, agents, surveys, moving vans and more.

It left us feeling pretty skint, and making the changes I wanted in order to turn the new house into a proper family home suddenly felt like a bridge too far. I have spoken with plenty of people who found themselves in a similar situation too, and I guess you only fully understand the costs of buying until you’ve gone through the whole process yourself.

Nevertheless, it must always be remembered that home improvements aren’t just the indulgences of the so-called ‘bored housewife’. In reality, they’re an investment; both in your family and in the value of your property. Within reason, it’s something you shouldn’t be casting aside in a hurry, even if it means turning to home improvement loans.

A more favourable market for consumer credit

It’s no surprise that unsecured loans have gained an average reputation in the past, what with banks having generally made life expensive and difficult for those looking to borrow. Also, payday lenders have really made people like me wary when it comes to the intentions of credit providers in general.

However, while some may muddy the waters, the truth is that there is actually very good value to be had on personal loans, with the online age having made things a whole lot more dynamic and competitive. I had a browse through some price comparison sites, and it struck me how peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders in particular seemed to be offering the best rates, almost right across the board.

I didn’t know much about the concept, but essentially what happens is that these online P2P platforms allocate the funds from consumers willing to lend their money as an investment directly with those who are in need of a loan. Such a matching process on a pound-for-pound basis means that it is highly streamlined and efficient, thus the benefits for both borrower and lender are very appealing. The lender gets a return on investment of up to 6% per year, while a borrower can expect a loan with an APR starting at roughly this figure.

The loan application process is also very easy, needing just a couple of minutes to get a personalised quote and complete the online application form. From there, funds can be expected within two working days if approved. And aside from having the freedom to borrow up to £25,000, some platforms like Lending Works even let you settle your loan early without being hit with any penalties.

Better value for you

It’s all part of a bit of a shakeup among credit providers, and it means that people like you and me benefit from good value when borrowing – which actually makes sense when you think about how low interest rates in the UK currently are.

More importantly, it means that if you are looking to make improvements to your home, but are struggling to gather the funds to do so, you have a good alternative – one that doesn’t leave you reeling from costly repayments in the long run. Certainly, if it’s something you’re considering, it’s worth doing some research and looking into it.

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