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Ultimate Guide to Secured Personal Loans

Need a secured loan that is backed by collateral? In this article, we will share everything you need to know about getting a secured personal loan.

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Many people have the impression that borrowing money from financial institutions is a very complicated and difficult matter but this is not always true.

Banks, mortgage lenders, and other finance houses are always willing to lend money to people who have financial integrity. These money lenders also finance institutional investors with viable business ideas. The point here is that money lenders are not in business to lose money. This is why finance houses usually give secured loans to people that want to borrow money.

What is a Secured Personal Loan?

A secured personal loan is one that is backed by collateral. These typically include loans such as auto loans, home equity loans, and title loans. People with poor credit can opt to offer collateral such as a vehicle or home and lenders are able to reduce their risk and lend prospective borrowers money.

How Much Can You Get with Secured Personal Loans?

The amount of money you can get with a secured personal loan depends on the value of your collateral. If you have an asset such as a vehicle worth $10,000, then you can borrow up that amount. This is because if you fail to pay back the money, the lender can sell your car to recoup any losses. 

Just remember that if you have a positive credit history or the ability to repay the loan then you may be able to receive more than the value of your collateral.

Types of Secured Loans

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A secured loan is a loan in which the borrower pledges some asset as collateral for the loan, which then becomes a secured debt owed to the creditor who gives the loan. (Wikipedia)

Types of secured loans include:

  • Auto loans (new and used).
  • Loans against your lien-free auto (title loans).
  • Recreational vehicle loans.
  • Boat loans.
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs).
  • Pawnshop loans.

Advantages of Secured Personal Loans

If you are considering taking on a secured loan then consider these advantages:

  • Competitive interest rates. Since you are offering up collateral then you are able to get a lower interest rate over an unsecured loan.
  • More money. Since you are pledging some type of asset be it your home or car, the lender knows you’ll likely pay back the loan and will offer more.
  • More flexibility. Compared to unsecured loans you will be given more flexible repayment options, which can really be beneficial.

Disadvantages of Secured Loans

Whenever you are borrowing money — expect some disadvantages:

  • Collateral comes with risk. Since you pledging your collateral — if you do not repay back the loan then your assets may be lost.

How to Get a Secured Personal Loan

If you need a loan, you have to follow the right procedure so that the money lender will approve the loan and make the cash available you. Below are the steps you should take to improve your chances of getting the loan.

Write Out Your Plan

No bank will lend you money unless you have a plan for the cash you want to raise. Write out a detailed are a few examples to illustrate how the process works. If you take out a mortgage loan, your house is the collateral in this case. If you are not able to repay the loan, you will forfeit your house to the creditor. If you borrow money to execute a contract, you might pledge your car as collateral. If you are unable to repay the loan, you will lose your car to the creditor.

Note that your creditor wants you to succeed. Banks and other finance houses are not in business to impound and sell the collateral. You only lose your collateral in cases where it is clear that you cannot repay the loan. Finally, a secured loan must go with collateral to protect the lender. Write a great proposal, give your banker collateral and you will get the loan you need.

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Make sure to plan and state clearly why you need the money. This plan is also called a proposal and it usually includes the following things:

Why You Need the Loan.  Banks usually lend you money from the perspective of investment. If you have a great investment idea but you do not have enough money, your banker will give you a loan to actualize your investment dream. Note that your plan should be honest and convincing. If your plan is unrealistic, you will not get the loan.

Your Repayment Plan. A loan is not the same thing as a grant. The organization giving you the loan expects you to repay the loan and keep to the terms of the deal. You must write out your repayment plan and state clearly how and where you will get the cash to repay the loan. Your repayment plan must be detailed and should contain verifiable information. If you are borrowing money to expand your business, you should repay the loan from increased turnover and a higher profit margin. If you are borrowing money to fund a specific contract, you should pay off the loan after you get your cheque from the people giving you the contract. If you are taking a long-term loan, you should state if you will make payments monthly or quarterly. Give your banker specific information and you will be more likely to get the loan.

Credit History. Many banks and finance lenders are impressed if you have a positive credit history. If you have taken out loans in the past and repaid them successfully, this will count in your favor. In case you have enjoyed credit facility in the past, include this in your plan. Once the bank verifies that you are telling the truth, you will easily get the loan. Note that banks have ways of getting information from other banks. If you took a loan from another bank in the past and you defaulted, your present banker will find out. Do not lie to your banker and do not make any unsubstantiated claims.

Making the Loan Secure

A secured loan comes with collateral and a personal loan doesn’t. In simple English, collateral means a borrower’s pledge of property to a lender. This collateral secures the loan in the sense that if the borrower defaults, the lender can sell the collateral and recover the loan.

Collateral takes many forms depending on the amount of money you want to borrow. In most cases, banks accept land and real estate as collateral. Other acceptable forms of collateral are cars, machinery, share certificates, and valuable equipment.

Unsecured Personal Loan Options

CompanyLoan AmountAPR
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John Meeks
John is a freelance writer specializing in finance and entrepreneurship. He also consults clients about financial management and small business solutions.

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