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Renovating your home, whether it's a cosy 3-room condo or a spacious 5-room HDB flat, requires not just creativity but also financial planning. With home renovation costs in Singapore often ranging from an average of $45,800 to $69,000, finding the right financing solution is key. In the realm of available options, Personal Loans and Renovation Loans stand out. But which one fits your renovation journey best? Let's dive into the essential considerations to make a well-informed choice.

Understanding Your Loan Options

When it comes to financing your home renovation in Singapore, two primary options are at your disposal: the Personal Loan and the Renovation Loan. Each offers distinct benefits tailored to different renovation scenarios:

1. Loan Quantum: Matching Your Renovation Ambitions

When tackling home renovations, the extent of your project determines the loan amount needed. Renovation Loans typically cap at S$30,000 and you can borrow up to 6x your monthly income, while Personal Loans can offer a higher ceiling of up to S$200,000 and up to 8x your monthly income for those with annual incomes of S$120,000 or more. If your renovation vision exceeds the standard costs, a Personal Loan might be the more accommodating route.

2. Use of Funds: Flexibility vs Specificity

Renovation Loans in Singapore are laser-focused, designed to fund specific renovation work like carpentry or flooring, and are paid directly to the renovation contractors in the form of a cashier’s order. In contrast, a Personal Loan gives you the freedom to use the funds without restriction. This means you can easily cover all aspects of your home makeover, from construction to the final touches like furniture, lighting, and appliances, without needing to itemise or justify each expense.

3. Application Process: How Urgent Are Your Payments?

The pathway to obtaining a loan is also a deciding factor. Renovation Loans require documents such as renovation quotation and proof of ownership, which can complicate the application. On the flip side, Personal Loans promise a much simplified, often online, application experience (using MyInfo), swiftly aligning with more urgent home renovation timelines.

4. Upfront Fees: Cash Flow Consideration

The initial costs of loan acquisition, while not as substantial as interest rates over the loan's tenure, play a critical role in cash flow management. Renovation Loans may include processing and insurance fees that necessitate upfront payment, which could pose a challenge for those with limited cash on hand. As the loan will be disbursed nett of such fees, you will receive a lower disbursed loan amount to cover what you require for your renovation works. In contrast, Personal Loans with no processing fees, like those from CIMB, ease the initial financial burden, providing immediate cash flow relief.

5. Income Eligibility: Meeting the Financial Threshold

While the difference is relatively small, Personal Loans open opportunities with a smaller minimum annual income requirement, casting a wider net for eligibility that can be especially beneficial to younger professionals. On the other hand, Renovation Loans require an annual income of at least S$24,000. This small increment, while potentially inconsequential for some, is a detail that budget-conscious renovators must consider.


Here’s a quick summary of the comparison:

Above illustration using CIMB Personal Loan 

Financing Your Home Renovation with Precision

The journey towards renovating your home in Singapore is paved with significant financial decisions, with the choice between a Personal Loan and a Renovation Loan being paramount. A Personal Loan ensures flexibility and broad usage, including the ability to furnish your newly renovated space. In contrast, a Renovation Loan may cater to those looking for structured payments directly to contractors. Although the interest rates between Personal and Renovation Loans can be competitive, Personal Loans may present a more suitable option, especially if you value the ability to cover a wider array of expenses beyond construction work.


For those leaning towards a Personal Loan, CIMB offers competitive rates starting from 2.80%* p.a. (EIR from 5.28% p.a.), and additional benefits such as up to $2,000 cashback upon loan approval*. This option also offers the convenience of applying online in just minutes without the prerequisite of having a CIMB bank account or credit card. Apply now today!


Whichever path you choose, it’s crucial to align your financing with your circumstances and renovation goals to ensure your home reflects your vision without compromising financial sensibility.



This article is intended for informational purposes and should not be the sole basis for financial decisions. Consider consulting with a financial advisor for personalised advice.

*Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to CIMB Personal Loan Page for more information.