What Is a Secured Loan?

Secured loans demand assets or property as collateral for the loan. Collateral is not often necessary for loans, but in some circumstances it is. Money or other assets are acceptable as collateral.

Definition and Example of a Secured Loan

A secured loan is one where the lender asks you to put up collateral, such as real estate, another asset, or cash, in order to get funds. Several instances of secured loans are:

  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Car-title loans
  • Auto loans

Almost any institution that offers loans to consumers has secured loans available. There are alternatives to the usually secured loans that the majority of lenders offer, like auto and mortgage loans. Others provide secured loans where you can pledge your CD or savings account as security.

How a Secured Loan Works

Loans give you the option to borrow money to make a current purchase, secured or not. The loan can then be paid back later, typically on a monthly basis.

A credit check is typically required for secured loans. Based on your credit history and credit score, lenders will decide your interest rate. Because you are utilizing an asset to secure your loan, secured loans often have lower interest rates than unsecured loans.

If your loan is accepted, you will receive the money, but the lender will put a lien on your collateral. If you stop making payments and go into default on the loan, the lien gives the lender the legal authority to take back your property. In an effort to recover its losses, the lender may try to recoup the money you borrowed.

This calculator can help you understand what your monthly payment will be so you can avoid offers that overextend your budget and could cause you to risk default.

Even if your lender sells your assets again, the proceeds may not be enough to pay off the entire balance of the debt. In that instance, the lender may take legal action against you to recover the outstanding sum.

Secured Loans vs. Unsecured Loans

Collateral is required for secured loans. You are not required to put up an asset as collateral for an unsecured loan. Instead, lenders award these loans in accordance with your creditworthiness. A few significant variations exist between secured and unsecured loans.

Secured Loan Unsecured Loan
Credit Score Uses credit score to determine eligibility and interest rate. Uses credit score to determine eligibility and interest rate.
Collateral Requires collateral of assets, property, or cash to disburse a loan. No collateral is required.
Loan Types Include mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans, secured credit cards, and home equity lines of credit. Include student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
Rates Interest rates tend to be lower due to collateral. Interest rates tend to be higher because the lender is taking on more financial risk.
Penalty for Default Your property, assets, or money can be seized to pay it off and your credit score will drop. The loan will likely go into collections, your credit score will plummet, and you could still be required to pay it back in full.

Pros and Cons of Secured Loans

Pros Explained

  • Cheaper interest rate: Because secured loans are backed by an asset or piece of property, interest rates are frequently lower. The lender faces less financial risk. It has faith that it will be able to recover its funds, whether through regular payments from you or the sale of the collateral.
  • Several tax deductions are permitted: Under certain conditions, you may deduct the interest you pay on some secured loans, such as mortgages, from your taxable income. Depending on how you intend to use the loan proceeds, some home equity loans may include this benefit.
  • The lower threshold to qualify: lower qualification standard Because you’re providing collateral, the qualification threshold is lower. Instead of depending so much on what you’re using to secure the loan, the lender takes into account your credit score and history.

Cons Explained

Could lose assets: Possibly losing assets If you don’t make your monthly payments in a timely manner, you risk losing your collateral.

Less adaptable in terms of borrowing: Some unsecured loans, like personal loans, allow you to use the money any way you like. Secured loans are typically dependent on the security you are pledging. The house you purchase with a mortgage is bound to it. Your auto loan is reliant on the car you’re purchasing.

How To Get a Secured Loan

Traditional banks, credit unions, and online lenders all offer secured loans. Seek out those with expertise in the region where you want to buy. If you wish to submit an application for a house loan, find a mortgage provider. To determine which lenders offer the lowest interest rates and best terms, compare them and become prequalified repayment terms.

Lenders can process applications for secured loans such as car loans within a few hours. But mortgage and home loan approvals can take a month or two to finalize. Funding amounts can vary by the type of loan you’re getting as well.

Alternatives to Secured Loans

In most situations, secured loan alternatives will be expensive options. Payday loans provide quick financing against your upcoming salary, but the annual percentage rate (APR) might be as high as 400%.

Secured credit cards could be attractive to you, but they might not be the best option because you must deposit money to start an account. If you default, the money is applied to your balance. Instead, you might want to seek an unsecured credit card for those with bad credit. Although the interest rate may be higher than normal, if you pay off the entire balance on your card each month, you will not be charged interest.

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