GreenSky personal loan review: Home improvement and medical financing

Mom and dad playing with their toddler child as they're working on a home renovationImage: Mom and dad playing with their toddler child as they're working on a home renovation

In a Nutshell

If you want to finance a home improvement project or medical bills through an associated medical provider, GreenSky offers unsecured loans with an application process that can take minutes. In some cases, GreenSky loan terms can include deferred interest periods — a potential money-saver if you pay off your loan balance before the promotional period ends.

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GreenSky is no longer taking applications on its website directly from consumers. If you want to apply for a GreenSky personal loan, you’ll have to go through one of GreenSky’s associated partners. Learn more about medical loans and home improvement loans.

Pros Cons
Application process can take just minutes For people with some credit flaws, it may be more difficult to get approved
Deferred interest period can save you money — if you’re careful Account activation fee
No origination fees You have six months to use the funds from a home improvement loan

What to know about GreenSky personal loans

If you’re looking to finance a home improvement project or medical bills through an associated medical provider, GreenSky offers a quick application process. Some loan options may help you save on interest if you pay off your balance within a specified promotional period.

Unsecured home improvement loans

GreenSky offers unsecured loans of up to $55,000 to help cover home improvement costs for people who qualify.

It’s important to note that these are unsecured loans, which means that your home will not be used as collateral. This could make GreenSky a good choice for homeowners who have little equity in their home or owe more than their house is worth, also known as being underwater.

GreenSky says you can apply for an unsecured loan and find out if you’re approved in just a couple of minutes. This is much faster than the approval process for a home equity loan, which could take several days to process — or a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, which could take several weeks.

Financing for medical bills

If you need help financing medical bills, check if your provider offers GreenSky financing. GreenSky partners with certain healthcare providers to offer revolving or installment loan financing for their patients.

If your provider offers GreenSky financing, you may be able to apply online and get a decision regarding approval in minutes. If approved, you’ll be given a variety of payment options depending on your provider.

Deferred interest periods

Some GreenSky home loans can come with a deferred interest introductory period, which gives you a promotional intro period to pay off your balance without interest. If you get a GreenSky home improvement loan and use a contractor or other home professional from the GreenSky Pro network of home improvement professionals, you could get up to 12 months to pay back your loan with 0% interest. Some GreenSky medical loans also offer deferred interest periods.

But be careful. Deferred interest loans (also known as “no interest if paid in full” loans) can be confusing and costly. If you don’t pay your balance in full by the time the promotional period ends, all the interest that would have accrued during that period could be added to your balance.

People who miss the payoff deadline at the end of the promotional period often feel like they’ve been fooled — and can end up with a balance they didn’t expect and possibly can’t afford.

If you choose a GreenSky deferred interest loan, be sure you’re aware of all rules and key dates and proceed with caution.

Flexible lending, with limits

If you’re approved for a GreenSky home improvement loan, you’ll get a maximum credit limit and a GreenSky Direct Payment Card that can be used at home improvement and hardware stores or to pay contractors.

But keep in mind that you only have six months to spend up to your credit limit. Once that time is up, you won’t be able to make purchases and your fixed monthly payments will begin.

Additionally, unlike many personal loans, you can’t just spend your GreenSky funds any way you like. You have to use the money for the specific purpose you applied for.

And while GreenSky offers both home improvement and medical financing, you can’t pay for one type of bill with the funds from another. For instance, your home improvement direct payment card can only be used at home improvement stores or to pay individual contractors. All other attempted purchases, whether healthcare or any other category, aren’t allowed.

How does GreenSky credit work?

Here a few other details about GreenSky credit that you’ll want to keep in mind.

  • You’ll likely need pretty strong credit to qualify for a GreenSky loan. The average approved borrower has a FICO credit score of 768, and GreenSky doesn’t allow co-signers.
  • GreenSky doesn’t fund its loans. It connects lenders and financial institutions to provide financing for consumers.
  • Interest rates on GreenSky personal loans range from 6.99% to 23.99%, depending on your credit.
  • While you won’t be charged an origination fee, GreenSky adds an activation fee of $39 to your loan total.

Who a GreenSky loan is good for

GreenSky loans could be a good choice if you have strong credit and you need financing for a specific home project or your medical provider offers lending options. If you want flexibility to spend your funds on whatever you want, you’re probably better off with a more traditional personal loan.

If you have little home equity to tap into or need a quick application process, then GreenSky’s home improvement loans could be worth considering. But you’ll have less time to pay back GreenSky loans than with some home equity loans or HELOCs, which typically have longer repayment schedules than GreenSky’s advertised maximum of 66 or 90 months.

GreenSky’s deferred interest option may be attractive. But you’ll want to make sure you can pay the balance off in full before the intro period ends and that you feel comfortable choosing from the GreenSky network of professionals and retailers for your entire project. If you want the freedom to choose whichever contractors and merchants you want, a 0% intro APR credit card may be a better choice.

As for your uninsurable medical procedures, you’ll want to compare rates with other lenders who offer vision, cosmetic, or dental financing.

How to apply with GreenSky

Currently, you can only apply for GreenSky’s medical loans through your medical provider. But you can apply online for a GreenSky home improvement loan on its website.

You’ll need to provide your identifying information, including your full name, address and Social Security number.

It’ll also be helpful to be ready with your desired loan amount and loan purpose.

It’s important to note that GreenSky will do a hard credit inquiry when it receives your loan application, which can lower your credit scores by a few points.

If a GreenSky personal loan isn’t right for you, consider these options

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Marcus could be a good option for funding small renovations or medical bills up to a maximum of $40,000.
  • SoFi: For bigger projects or medical expenses of up to $100,000, the competitive interest rates on SoFi’s personal loans could make them a great choice.

About the author: Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how students and m… Read more.