Personal Loans

How Lowe’s Financing Offers Compete With Other Options

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Home improvement projects and appliances can get expensive. Financing your purchases rather than paying the full amount up front can help you manage your cash flow while getting what you need.

One option is to use Lowe’s financing through its Lowe’s Advantage credit card to pay for projects and other costs. In some cases, you could get access to interest-free financing for a period of time. Here’s what you need to know about Lowe’s financing offers.

What is the Lowe’s Advantage Card?

If you’re looking for an easy way to fund big home improvement purchases, you frequently shop at Lowe’s and you don’t plan on regularly carrying a balance, this might be a good option for you. As of the date of publishing the Lowe’s Advantage Card offers 5% off all eligible purchases when you use your card. Plus, if you make a purchase of at least $299, you could receive six months of interest-free financing, provided you pay it off in full within six months.

The card comes with additional special financing offers, such as 12 months of interest-free financing for ventilation, heating and air conditioning or for appliances. These special deals are promotions, though, and not always available. Check frequently to see which promotions are available, and which are most likely to meet your needs.

Finally, if you’re working on a major home improvement project, you can get a reduced APR for up to 84 months on purchases of more than $2,000 through Lowe’s project financing. You must request the offer when you make a qualifying purchase in order to access it. Outside of these offers, like many retail credit cards, the Lowe’s Advantage Card comes with a high APR.

Here are the details about the Lowe’s Advantage Card:

  • Rates: 26.99%* APR
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance transfer fee: N/A
  • Credit requirements: “Fair” credit
  • Rewards: 5% off eligible purchases

Who qualifies: As with many store credit cards, it’s often easier to qualify for a Lowe’s Advantage Card than for a major general-use credit card. You’re likely to qualify with “fair” credit, particularly if you have a FICO score of at least 620. You can apply for the card online or at a store location.

Who this is card is best for: In general, this card is best for someone who shops at Lowe’s frequently. You can receive 5% off your purchases, and if you pay off your balance each month, you don’t have to worry about the steep 26.99%* APR.

Additionally, this card can also be useful when you have a bigger purchase coming up. You can’t combine offers, so if you have a major purchase, you might be better off getting special financing and forgoing the 5% discount. Compare how much each option would save you before making your purchase.

Lowe’s financing offers for its Advantage Card

Here are your options for Lowe’s special financing offers on bigger purchases and projects:

  • 6 months at 0%* APR: If your purchase is at least $299, you can choose to pay over six months and avoid paying interest. However, if you don’t pay off the purchase within six months, you’ll be charged interest for the entire period.
  • 36 months at 3.99%* APR: You can set up a fixed payment for three years when you ask for this financing on purchases of at least $2,000.
  • 60 months at 5.99%* APR: If you need a little longer, you can make fixed payments at 5.99% APR as long as you meet the $2,000 minimum.
  • 84 months at 7.99%* APR: You can get financing for up to seven years when you ask for special financing on purchases of at least $2,000.

Note that you have to ask for the promotion and that you won’t receive your 5% discount when you take advantage of special financing.

How the Lowe’s Advantage Card compares

You might have other options when deciding to finance a large purchase at Lowe’s. Before you decide to apply for the store’s credit card, consider these alternatives.

0% interest credit card

With a 0% interest card, you receive promotional financing and can pay no interest on purchases, as long as they are paid off within the promotional period. Depending on your credit, and the offers you’re eligible for, you might be able to get a deal of up to 18 months. Explore the best credit card offers currently available before getting the Lowe’s card.

How it compares to the Lowe’s Advantage Card: If you can’t qualify for a 0% interest credit card, or if you can’t get a promotional period longer than six months, the Lowe’s card might be a good fit. You can use it to make your purchase and pay it off over the course of six months at 0%* APR.

On the other hand, a Lowe’s Advantage Card can only be used for Lowe’s purchases, while a 0% interest credit card can be used just about anywhere. On top of that, if you need more than six months to pay off a major purchase, and you can get a longer intro period, a 0% interest card might be the better choice.

Personal loan

Personal loans are offered to those with a variety of credit backgrounds. You can get an unsecured loan for major purchases and projects and pay it back over time. The average interest rate on personal loans was 33.38% in the first quarter of 2019, according to a LendingTree study, though they ranged from 7.27% to 85.92%, depending on your credit and other factors.

How it compares to the Lowe’s Advantage Card: With the Lowe’s card, depending on the length of your term, you can get an APR of 0% for 6 months, 3.99%* for 36 months, 5.99%* for 60 months or 7.99%* for 84 months. If you’re sure you can pay off your loan in six months, it likely makes sense to use your Lowe’s card instead of a personal loan.

Similarly, for larger projects, Lowe’s special financing with the Advantage Card might be a better option than a personal loan for home improvements. You can get a relatively low rate that you might not qualify for with a more traditional personal loan. Shop around for personal loan rates to see what’s available, and then decide what works best for you.

Home equity loan

A home equity loan is a fixed-payment loan based on the ownership (or equity) you’ve built up in your home. You can usually decide on a term of five, 10 or 15 years. Depending on the terms and your credit, you might be able to get a low rate. But the loan is secured by your home, so if you don’t make payments, you could end up losing your house.

How it compares to the Lowe’s Advantage Card: If you have a lot of equity built up in your home and you’re working on a big project that goes beyond your Lowe’s Advantage Card limit, a home equity loan can make sense to pay for home improvements.

This is especially true if you need to spread your payments out beyond the 84-month limit offered by Lowe’s financing offers. Compare rates, though. If you can pay off your loan in three or five years, Lowe’s financing might actually be a better deal than a home equity loan.

Home equity line of credit

Like a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is based on the equity you’ve built up in your home. However, a HELOC operates as a revolving credit line, so you don’t make fixed payments. Instead, it operates like a credit card secured by your home’s equity.

How it compares to the Lowe’s Advantage Card: Again, depending on your credit situation and how much you need to borrow, a HELOC can be a better choice than the Lowe’s Advantage Card. Talk to your lender about how long you can have a HELOC open and what rate you qualify for.

If you know you’ll pay off purchases on your Lowe’s Advantage Card in a relatively short period of time and you don’t want to secure your loan with your home, the credit card might be best — especially if you plan to use the 3-year financing option with a reduced APR.

Is the Lowe’s Advantage Card right for you?

If you frequent Lowe’s and want a regular 5% discount, or if you’re planning a home improvement project that might cost at least $2,000, the Lowe’s Advantage Card can be a good choice. However, in order to reap the benefits, you need to either pay off your balance each month to avoid the 26.99%* APR or take advantage of the special financing available on large purchases.

For those looking for an everyday cash back card, the Lowe’s Advantage Card might not be the best choice. If you want a credit card you can use anywhere and earn rewards on a wider range of purchases, look for a major credit card and skip the Lowe’s Advantage. Likewise, if you’re working on a major project and you need to spend more than the credit limit you’re given on the Lowe’s card, a personal loan, home equity loan or HELOC might be necessary.

Carefully consider your needs and your situation, and compare your options before deciding to get the Lowe’s Advantage Card.

*Rates as of August 27, 2019

 

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