Everything You Need to Know About a Secured Loan
If you're not familiar with the term, a secured loan is a loan which requires a security deposit of some kind (also known as collateral) to protect the lender against nonpayment.
The secured loan is the preferred type of loan for lenders who deal with people with bad credit, but is also used when purchasing certain types of property (such as an automobile or real estate).
Interest rates tend to be lower with a secured loan than with an unsecured loan (which doesn't require collateral, but charges higher interest rates to cover the additional risk.)
Types of collateral
Just about any property with value can be used as collateral for a secured loan, though some types are more common than others.
Jewelry and rare coin collections can be used as collateral for some loans, though they are usually held by the lender to help protect them from theft or loss.
Automobiles and real estate are popular forms of collateral, and lenders usually allow you to keep them while you repay the loan.
You simply turn over the deed or title and the lender is given a legal claim to the car or house in case you should default on your secured loan (which is a fancy way of saying that you don't pay it back).
Car financing and mortgages are both forms of secured loans, in which the automobile or real estate that you're buying with the loan serves as the collateral for the lender.
How a secured loan works
When you get a secured loan, the lender will either take your collateral or process your collateral so that they have a legal claim to it.
You will receive the money for the loan, which is often somewhat less than the value of the collateral, that way if you should default on your secured loan then the lender will still be able to get their money back.
When you repay your loan then the lender will either return the property that you submitted as collateral or they will present you with a release which means that they no longer have any legal claim to the property and you can prove it.
Should you default on your loan, however, then after attempting to collect the debt the lender will be free to repossess and sell your collateral in order to get their money back.
Shopping for a secured loan
Before deciding on a secured loan, you should shop around and compare your options.
Look for the lender that offers the lowest interest rates and borrow only the minimum amount that you need to get by.
After all, the less you borrow with a secured loan then the less you have to pay back and the lower your chances of losing your collateral.
The author, John Mussi, is the founder of Direct Online Loans.