Freddie Mac launches new home renovation mortgage, here's how to get one

Freddie Mac announced a new loan product to help homeowners and homebuyers pay for home renovations. (iStock)

Freddie Mac on Thursday introduced its new mortgage product, the CHOICEReno eXPress mortgage, which will allow homebuyers and homeowners to pay for home renovations by funding the project through their mortgage purchase or refinance. 

Freddie Mac said this will save homebuyers and homeowners time and money, and give them the funds they need for home renovations at low cost with no extra fees and interest rates that mirror mortgage interest rates, which are currently at historic lows. The loan is closed with their traditional mortgage and combined into one monthly payment. 

"CHOICEReno eXPress expands upon the Freddie Mac CHOICERenovation mortgages, which were designed to help address the nation’s aging housing supply, support the need for affordable housing, and offer renovation, repair, improvement or refinance options to support the increasing demand for cost-effective financing solutions," said Danny Gardner, senior vice president of client and community engagement for Freddie Mac’s single-family business. "CHOICEReno eXPress will help homebuyers and homeowners reduce their out-of-pocket costs by offering more affordable loan terms than using credit cards or unsecured financing when making small-scale renovations."

If you're interested in adding the home improvement loan to your mortgage purchase or refinance, visit an online marketplace like Credible to find a lender with lower rates. By comparing mortgage rates from multiple lenders, borrowers can save hundreds of dollars on their monthly payments and leave more room in their renovations budget. 

CASH-OUT REFINANCE: PROS, CONS, WHEN TO GET ONE

What is the CHOICEReno eXPress mortgage?

These renovation loan add-ons are available for a maximum loan amount that's up to 10% of a home’s value, or up to 15% in rural areas with a high needs classification. Later, Freddie Mac will require an inspection to ensure the renovations were made. 

The loan will allow homeowners to make cosmetic renovations such as replacing windows and doors, roof repairs, minor remodeling and interior or exterior painting with lower interest rates than a personal loan.

Contact a lender and ask about adding the CHOICEReno eXPress mortgage to your mortgage purchase or refinance. Visit Credible to get prequalified for a mortgage in minutes without affecting your credit score. 

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What other options are available for home renovations? 

The CHOICEReno eXPress mortgage allows homeowners to combine renovation financing with their mortgage purchase or refinance and bundle it together into one monthly payment. However, there are also other options available for homeowners who need cash for home improvements.

Personal loans: While they are a more expensive option, unsecured personal loans are still comparatively low cost amid historically low interest rates. Homeowners can take out a personal loan to have cash within a few days to pay for their home renovations. 

Through Credible, homeowners can view multiple lenders and rates at once and find the personal loan that best fits their needs. It only takes a few minutes to get qualified.

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Cash-out refinance: Homeowners can also consider a cash-out refinance or even a home equity loan to fund their home improvement project with today’s record-low interest rates. With home prices rising at a record pace, many homeowners have more equity available in their homes to pull out cash. But rather than a set loan amount cap of 10% of the home’s value, getting a cash-out refinance generally requires homeowners to have 20% equity stake in their home after the cash-out refinance is complete. Visit Credible to speak to a home loan expert and compare your options for pulling cash out of your home at the lowest rates. 

Have a finance-related question, but don't know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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