What are Secured Personal Loans?
Secured personal loans are backed by collateral. This means that if you default, your lender can take ownership of the collateral to cover the remaining balance.
Common types of collateral include vehicles, property, boats, cash, bonds, and more. Collateral can be almost anything that could cover the cost of your balance if you default on your payments.
Since putting up collateral reduces the lender’s risk, these generally have lower interest rates and more favorable terms than unsecured, which don’t require collateral.
Secured Personal Loans can be used for pretty much anything, from paying bills to funding your next big vacation.
Who Should Consider Secured Personal Loans?
These are great for borrowers with low credit scores. Since you have to put up collateral to take one out, your credit score isn’t as large of a factor in determining your interest rate.
In some cases, like when buying a house or a car, these are often the only option available for purchasing them.
How Much Does a Secured Personal Loan Cost?
The total cost is determined primarily by the borrowing limit, interest rate, term, and fees.
- Borrowing Limit: Borrowing limits are typically equal to how much money your lender could recoup by selling your collateral. For example, if you used a $20,000 car as collateral, your borrowing limit would likely be $20,000.
- Interest Rate: They can have fixed or variable interest rates. Interest rates vary by lender and are determined primarily by your credit score, collateral, and income.
- Term: Terms are typically on the shorter side and can be anywhere from one to five years.
- Fees: Be sure to check with your lender to see which fees you may be responsible for. This could include origination, prepayment, late payment, and other fees.
Once you have these numbers, you can use a calculator to find your monthly payments and the total cost.
Benefits of a Secured Personal Loan
Secured personal loans can offer a number of benefits you might not find with other types, including:
- Higher limits
- Lower interest rates
- Longer repayment terms
- Easy to qualify for
Ultimately, since you reduce the lender’s risk by providing collateral, these products are typically easier to qualify for and offer more flexible terms the unsecured.
Tips for Applying for a Secured Personal Loan
Ready to apply for a secured personal loan?
Consider these tips to make the application process as easy as possible.
Decide What to Use for Collateral
If you want to sign up for one, you have to determine what you own that can be used as collateral.
This could include:
- Savings Accounts
- Real Estate
- And More
Remember that if you don’t pay off your balances, you risk losing your collateral, so you shouldn’t take one out unless you’re confident that you can afford to pay it back.
Comparing rates and terms from various lenders, including banks, credit unions, and online lenders will help you find the best rates and terms available.
Additionally, it’s important to do as much research as possible before applying. Submitting multiple applications will result in multiple hard inquiries on your credit report.
Gather Documents & Apply
- To apply, you’ll likely need the following documents:
- Personal ID
- Proof of Income
- Proof of Employment
- Collateral appraisal
Be sure to check with your lender for a complete list of documents.
After applying, if you’re approved, you’ll receive an offer which dictates the terms. Make sure to carefully review your offer to ensure that you agree to the terms before signing.
After you sign your agreement, your funds will be disbursed.