If you have a steady source of income, chances are better than excellent that you can get a personal loan. The terms and interest rate will vary depending on your income level, your debt ratio, and the status of your credit score, but the bottom line is that even if you have bad credit, you can very likely get a personal loan for whatever purpose you wish.
A personal loan is a much better option for you than getting a cash advance on a credit card that may have enough credit limit left on it to provide as much money as you want. The reason for this is the interest rate. A personal loan will likely have an interest rate around 12%, perhaps higher or lower depending on the lender and your credit rating, but a credit card cash advance for the same consumer is likely to cost you 18% and probably even more as the separately calculated interest each month on a cash advance.
While it is true that a cash advance on your credit card is much quicker, because all you need to do is going to your bank, request a cash advance, and if you have enough credit limit left on your credit card and are up to date with payments, you can get your money, with a total transaction time of less than 10 minutes. However with a personal loan, it will probably take at least a couple of days, perhaps as long as a week depending on the lender and the steps they follow to approve a personal loan. Hopefully the difference of a few days is not going to make it or break it, because that convenience of the credit card cash advance is going to cost you dearly in the additional interest you will pay.
The question of whether or not you will be approved or not, and if approved what interest rate you will be offered will depend on your income level and your credit history. If you have some blemishes on your credit report, you should go through the process of getting those cleaned up before you apply for your loan.
In most cases, you can get an unsecured loan quite easily and can use it for whatever purpose you choose. Even if you tell the lender that it will be used for home improvements and then decide later to take a vacation with it, that does not matter in most cases. The loan is the loan and as long as you make timely payments on it, that is what the lender really cares about. The lender cares about that because the interest is where the lender makes his money.
Like anything else, it would be well worth your time and effort to shop around for the right personal loan because not all things are created equally. Have your comparisons in hand and be sure you are comparing apples to apples. For example, the bottom line monthly payment is NOT the only thing to compare. Look at the term of the loan, or in other words, how long you will be making payments on it. Look at the interest rate. And just in case you get a financial windfall, make sure that there are no early repayment penalties.
Do not dismiss online loans. Although you need to exercise caution with your personal information, keep in mind that an online lender probably does a higher volume of loan business than his brick and mortar counterparts, and probably also has less overhead, which can translate into savings for you.