The best home renovation apps to inspire upgrades

The best home renovation apps to inspire upgrades

The right loan can help you renovate your home, but before you get to that point, take a moment for yourself and work out what you’ll do differently with these handy apps.

Even if you love where you live, there are times when a change can do some good. In your life, it could just be a new hairstyle or wardrobe, but at home, the results can be bigger.

The home renovation is a great way to breathe new life into a home, especially if you’re feeling like where you’re living is getting a little stale.

You’ll need some finances to make it happen, but before you get to that point, it’s worth focusing on what sort of renovation you want to undertake. Will it be simple, or supremely complex? Do you have the time or money for something more than a coat of paint?

A great place to start with home loan renovations is a home loan renovation app, because if you have a recent phone or tablet, you probably have the tools to see what can be done. All you need is a bit of time, some vision, and an app or two.



Price: Free

Scrapbooking ideas generally starts online, and that’s what Pinterest is for, allowing you to pick the ideas up from the online mega-mall that is the internet and place them in an album.

Find pictures online of your dream house and of all the ways you think you could change your home – enough for you to kickstart that renovation dream, share them with friends and family, or maybe even that interior designer you’re friends with.

Find Pinterest on Android or iPhone and iPad.


Price: Free

Need a bit of inspiration from professional designers, decorators, and architects before you pick up the tools? Maybe you need to find a professional to help you make it happen?

Houzz brings the inspiration together with the places to make those ideas into a reality, letting you browse from a marketplace of furniture and interior design options, and creating what is basically your own look-book of room ideas.

Find Houzz on Android or iPhone and iPad.


Price: Free

Knowing how much room you have to work with is more helpful with an architectural plan, but unless you have one sitting around, you may not find it so easy. Fortunately, there’s an app for that.

Magicplan uses the power of your phone’s camera to map out your home, providing an architectural layout and assembling it with your phone or tablet, almost like magic.

Find Magicplan on Android or iPhone and iPad.

IKEA Place

Price: Free

With a few ideas down, you might have the urge to replace some furniture. After all, a little furniture can change the look and feel of a place dramatically, though it can take some planning to find what works best.

Fortunately, that little supercomputer you call a “phone” has some experience in this area, and can assist with a simulation of furniture before you buy it.

The “IKEA Place” app is one example of an app that can let you try before you buy, throwing in a virtual 3D version of IKEA furniture items into your home before needing to drive out and assemble something new with the obligatory Allen Key.

Find IKEA Place on Android or iPhone and iPad.

Home Harmony

Price: Free

Furniture is one side of a renovation, but walls and floors is the other one, and it’s an area that can be hard to imagine. Apps can help though, even if the results may not be as cool as watching your favourite Swedish furniture shop materialise a sofa in your home before your very eyes.

The occasionally buggy (at least in our play) Home Harmony can let you paint walls and try out new floors inside of an app, giving you an idea as to what a renovation could look like in your own home.

Find Home Harmony on iPhone and iPad.


Finding a loan to get a renovation started

With your ideas ready to go, a home renovation isn’t far away, and you just need to put those dreams into reality, starting with the right type of loan.

Regardless of the type of loan, you’ll end up paying money over time. Fortunately, finding the best loan can be as simple as checking out this site, with RateCity providing the resources needed to find renovation loans.

If your home renovation is about the walls, the decoration, and the furniture, you may want to consider a personal loan for your needs. A browse through RateCity’s Personal Loan Marketplace could provide what you’re after, delivering the resources needed to start those home renovation plans as soon as possible.

Customers who already have a home loan may have an offset account, and if so, they may find the ability to draw from that account to pay for some renovations. Alternatively, if your home renovation is likely to be a little bigger and may need the work of some hard-hatted individuals, you may want to consider a construction loan.

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Learn more about personal loans

Which lenders offer bad credit personal loans?

Several dozen lenders offer bad credit personal loans in Australia. These are generally smaller lenders that aren’t household names.

How do I consolidate my debt if I have bad credit?

The worse your credit history, the harder you will find it to consolidate your debts, because lenders will be less willing to lend you money and will charge you higher interest rates.

However, people with bad credit histories can make debt consolidation work by following this three-step process:

  1. First, find a lender willing to give you a bad credit personal loan. This process will be simplified if you go through a finance broker or use a comparison website like RateCity.
  2. Second, make sure the interest repayments on your new loan are less than the repayments on the loans being replaced.
  3. Third, instead of spending those savings, use them to pay off the new loan.

What interest rates are charged for personal loans?

Lenders aren’t allowed to charge interest on loans of $2,000 and under. Instead, they make their money by charging a one-off establishment fee of up to 20 per cent and a monthly account-keeping fee of up to four per cent. Lenders might also ask you to pay a government fee.

For loans between $2,001 and $5,000, lenders can make their money in only two ways: a one-off fee of $400 and annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

For loans of $5,001 and above, or for loans that have terms longer than two years, lenders can charge annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

Those fee caps don’t apply to loans offered by authorised deposit-taking institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions, although such institutions are highly unlikely to charge interest rates of anywhere near 48 per cent.

Can I get guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan?

Few, if any, lenders would be willing to give guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan. Borrowers with bad credit histories can have more complicated financial circumstances than other borrowers, so lenders will want time to study your application. 

It’s all about risk. When someone applies for a personal loan, the lender evaluates how likely that borrower would be to repay the money. Lenders are more willing to give personal loans to borrowers with good credit than bad credit because there’s a higher likelihood that the personal loan will be repaid. 

So a borrower with good credit is more likely to have a loan approved and to be approved faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and, if they are approved, may be approved slower.

How do I find out my credit rating/score?

You're entitled to one free credit report per year from credit reporting bodies like Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service. You can also get a free report if you’ve been refused credit in the past 90 days.

Credit reporting bodies have up to 10 days to provide reports. If you want to access your report sooner, you’ll probably have to pay.

What is credit history?

Your credit history covers everything to do with applying for loans. It includes the number of loans you’ve applied for, the amounts you’ve borrowed and your record of meeting repayment schedules.

How do I know if I've got a bad credit history?

You can find out what your credit history looks like by accessing what's known as your credit rating or credit score. You're also able to check your credit report for free once per year.

What causes bad credit history?

Bad credit history is caused by filing for bankruptcy, defaulting on your debts, falling behind on your repayments and having loan applications rejected. Lenders are wary of borrowers who demonstrate this sort of behaviour because it suggests they might struggle to repay future loans.

Borrowers with bad credit may find it more difficult to be approved for a loan, or they may get higher interest rates when they do get approved.

What is an unsecured bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is ‘unsecured’ when the borrower doesn’t offer up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. Lenders generally charge higher interest rates on unsecured loans than secured loans.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is the process of rolling several old debts into one new debt, usually to save money or for the sake of convenience.

What are the pros and cons of bad credit personal loans?

In some instances, bad credit personal loans can help people with bad credit history to consolidate their debts, which can help make it easier for them to clear those debts. This is because the borrower might be able to consolidate several debts with higher interest rates (such as credit card loans) into one single debt with a lower interest rate and potentially fewer fees.

However, this strategy can backfire if the borrower spends the loaned funds instead of using it to repay the new loan. Another disadvantage of bad credit personal loans is that they have higher interest rates than regular personal loans.

What is a bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. This type of personal loan has higher interest rates than regular personal loans as well as higher fees.

What's a credit report?

A credit report is a record of your credit history, which covers your credit enquiries, borrowings and your repayments. The report will include information about any bankruptcies or other relevant legal judgements. It will also include biographical information such as your address, date of birth, driver's licence number and employment history. 

What is a bad credit rating/score?

Credit ratings or credit scores are calculated by credit reporting bodies such as Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service. These are separate organisations, so they use different systems.

Equifax gives scores between 0 and 1,200:

  • 833 to 1,200 = Excellent
  • 726 to 823 = Very good
  • 622 to 725 = Good
  • 510 to 621 = Average
  • 509 or less = Below average

Dun & Bradstreet (through the Credit Simple service) gives scores between 0 and 1,000:

  • 800 to 1,000 = High end
  • 700 to 799 = Great
  • 500 to 699 = Average
  • 300 to 499 = Room to improve
  • 299 or less = Low

Experian gives scores between 0 and 999:

  • 961 to 999 = Excellent
  • 881 to 960 = Good
  • 721 to 880 = Fair
  • 561 to 720 = Poor
  • 0 to 560 = Very poor

The Tasmanian Collection Service doesn’t give scores. Instead, it prepares credit reports for credit providers and then lets those providers make their own assessment.