Personal Loans

Making Home Improvements


Step 1

My house needs some love, where do I start?

All homes need a bit of attention from time to time, and while most of the home improvements we want to make are things like adding an extension or renovating the kitchen, there are a few problematic areas to keep an eye on first.

Before you begin, prioritise your list with structural or safety issues first and cosmetic changes further down. Of course most of the home improvements we want to make are things like refurnishing, adding an extension or replacing a kitchen, but there are also a few problematic areas it’s important to keep an eye on first.

Keep an eye on:

  • Termites
  • Plumbing problems
  • Electrical problems
  • Paint deterioration
Fast FAQ
Overcapitalising is when someone spends more money on works to their home than what they’d get back if they sold. For instance, spending $20,000 on a new kitchen that only increases the value of your home by $10,000 means you’ve overcapitalised by $10,000.

Step 2

How do I budget?

Start at the top of your priority list and work your way down to put your budget together. Group together works that will need the same team though, as this could save much more money than getting say, a painter out to paint room by room over a few years. Here are a few tips to get the most of your budget.

Shop around

Particularly if builders or tradespeople are involved, it’s always a good idea to get a few quotes. Before you go with the cheapest quote though, make sure you find out where the cost saving is. If it’s for lesser quality materials, it may cost you more in the long run.

Have a budget buffer

Make sure you always have more money aside than what the total quote comes to. You never know what may blow out. 15–20% is a good guide.

Make the most of trade’s time

The ‘call out fee’ for a tradesperson is often a large portion of the invoice, so make the most of their visit. For example, if your electrician is at your home to fix the lighting, ask them to install a few extra power points too.. See if the termite company will spray for other pests too, and ask the carpenter to fix the door that always gets stuck while they’re doing the fences.

Make the most of your time

Your own time is an expense that’s easily overlooked. If you need to be home from work multiple times to let tradespeople in, the cost to your income or annual leave may not be worth it.

Bargain together

If you’re shopping for furniture or whitegoods, see if a friend or family member needs things as well. You may be able to get the price down for buying more items. This may also be the case for trades, so check with your neighbours as well.

Know your payment schedule

Depending on the type of work you are getting done, you may be required to pay a deposit and interim payments instead of one lump sum. Make sure you’re aware of all the payment terms and schedules so you can manage your cash flow accordingly.

Quick questions

To be on the safe side, ask your tradespeople: Are they licenced? Do they guarantee their work? What type of insurance do they have? Do you need any special insurance? What are their payment terms?

Step 3

Can I borrow to pay for home improvements?

Whether it’s taking the first swim in your new pool or creating cuisine in the kitchen you’ve been dreaming of, you don’t need to put it off. A CUA Personal Loan for home improvements can help you seize the moment with no monthly fees and flexible repayment options.

Personal loans can be taken out for amounts between $5,000 and $100,000. Use the Personal Loan tool to see if it might be the right option for you

Important information Important information Show content

Results are based on a single, full time PAYG income with no dependants. Any upfront costs that may be associated with the loan are capitalised in the loan amount. The results from this calculator should be used as an indication only. Results do not represent either quotes or pre-qualifications for a loan. The actual amount you can borrow may vary depending on factors including your verifiable net income, other debts or liabilities you have and the number of dependents you have. Lending is to approved applicants only and all lending is subject to a detailed credit assessment.

Repayment is for principal and interest and is indicative only based on the stated information. Changes in interest rates, repayment frequency and loan term will affect the repayment amount.


Expense Details and Default Values
Default annual expense allowance - The calculator assumes that the borrower has a minimum set of expenses of $16,500 based.
Maximum percentage of income available - currently set at 100% of income

All months are assumed to be equal. In reality, many loans accrue on a daily basis this can lead to varying interest in different months.

Number of Weeks & Fortnights in a Year
One year is assumed to contain exactly 52 weeks or 26 fortnights. Thus the assumption is for a 364 day year.

The calculator uses the unrounded payment to derive the amount of interest accrued over the full term of the deposit, however, institutions round repayments to the nearest cent.

Important information Important information Show content

Rates current as at 21 March 2018 and subject to change.

The calculations provided are estimates only and based upon the information entered into the calculator by the user. The calculations do not include upfront or continuing credit fees and charges. The resulting calculations do not constitute a loan application or variation to an existing CUA facility, loan offer or loan approval.

Comparison rate calculated on a loan amount of $10,000 over a term of 3 years based on monthly repayments. These rates are for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

Borrowing questions
Personal loans are good for small changes and offer access to extra funds without needing to refinance your home or draw on your equity. For major renovations, looking at your refinancing your home loan may be a more economical option.
Comparison rates can be a handy tool to help you identify the true cost of a loan because they include the interest rate of a loan plus all the fees and charges relating to that loan, like establishment and monthly fees. These are combined into a single percentage figure based on a defined loan term and loan amount – helping you to compare loans (‘apples to apples’).

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