Secured And Unsecured Loans Which Is Better For Me
Which type of loan is best for you will depend on your circumstances. A secured loan may be the better option if you need a large loan and can offer collateral. However, an unsecured loan may be the better choice if you dont have any assets to use as collateral or youre only borrowing a small amount of money.
Moreover, if you have a good credit score, you may be able to get a lower interest rate on an unsecured loan. However, if you require a personal loan and have a bad credit score, you may need to get a secured loan to be approved.
Should You Get An Unsecured Personal Loan
Whether you need an unsecured personal loan or not ultimately depends on your financial situation and the reason for borrowing money. Suppose you need cash but feel uncomfortable offering collateral like savings, a car, or your house. In that case, you should consider an unsecured personal loan if the following criteria match your circumstances:
- Need to make a large purchase
- You have great credit
- You have reliable sources of income
- Consolidating expensive debt
Can An Unsecured Loan Be Good For Your Credit Score
Yes, an unsecured loan can boost your credit score. Usually, credit bureaus see personal loans as “better” than credit card debt. So shifting your debts from credit cards to personal loans can significantly boost your credit score. If you’re using an unsecured loan to consolidate credit card debt, you might see your credit score improve.
As a personal example, I obtained a personal loan a few years ago to consolidate a few credit card balances. Although the dollar amount of my debt didn’t change, my FICO® Score shot up by 30 points shortly after the loan was completed.
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Key Benefits Of An Unsecured Loan
Often unsecured personal loans allow flexibility with loan amounts and repayment terms
The lender does not typically require security in the form of assets such as your home or the need of a guarantor
The interest rate will usually be fixed, so youll know how much your payments will be every month
Unsecured loans can be more widely available than secured loans
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Your Loan Payment History
Lenders like to see your payment history on previous loans. If you are known for making payments on time, your chances of getting approved for a personal loan are significantly higher. If lenders access your report and find that you have 4 or 5 outstanding loans and 2 or 3 of them are more than 60 days past due, it would signify a significant red flag, and you risk the chance of getting declined.
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Advantages Of Secured Personal Loans
Secured loans – also known as home equity loans or homeowner loans – are loans where the lender takes an asset as security, meaning that it is at risk if you do not make repayments.
However, they do have some advantages:
They can be used to borrow larger amounts
You might be able to borrow at a lower interest rate with a secured loan
A secured loan might be your only option if you have a poor credit history
In practice, people tend to use secured personal loans to borrow loan amounts in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. Lenders are more comfortable with this since they have an asset as security, and might be able to offer a lower rate for the same reason.
This type of loan is often used for home improvements, for example, where the total amount required can be high.
Its worth noting that car loans with security are uncommon, but what you might find in the market is a logbook loan which is a personal loan secured against your car, with similar pricing to payday loans. These tend to be seen as risky and expensive , and the Financial Conduct Authority found that annual percentage rates for these loans were typically above 400% APR.
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Home Equity Line Of Credit
Like a personal line of credit, a home equity line of credit is also a type of credit account that revolves. The difference is that a HELOC is dependent on the borrowers home equity. When you buy a house, youll garner equity as you pay it off . With a HELOC, you can borrow against that equity up to a determined amount. Like a personal line of credit, a HELOC typically does not come with fixed rates. Instead, these rates tend to rise and fall with the financial market.
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What Is The Interest Rate On An Unsecured Personal Loan
The interest rate on an unsecured personal loan typically ranges from 6% to 36%. Its expressed as an annual percentage rate, or APR, and includes interest and any fees associated with the loan.
For example, if you apply for a $7,000 unsecured personal loan at 15.5% APR and choose a two-year repayment term, youll make monthly payments of $341. The loan will cost $1,186 in total interest.
Heres a look at average personal loan interest rates, based on your credit bracket.
How’s your credit?
% Intro Apr Credit Cards
When you use a credit card, youll typically have to pay interest if you dont pay off the balance before the payment due date arrives. However, some companies offer 0% intro credit card promotions to help borrowers avoid interest charges. With this approach, customers can avoid paying interest on their purchases even when the payment due date arrives. However, the 0% APR generally only lasts for a certain period of time, often 12 to 21 months.
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What Is An Unsecured Personal Loan
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Unsecured loans do not require collateral, like a house or car, for approval. Instead, lenders issue these loans based on information about you, like your credit history, income and outstanding debts.
Unlike with a mortgage or auto loan, if you don’t repay an unsecured loan, a lender can’t repossess any of your personal belongings. The lender may instead file a lawsuit, but the majority of the hit will be to your credit.
You can use funds from an unsecured personal loan to pay for almost anything, but the best personal loan helps you achieve a financial goal without adding unmanageable debt.
If youre considering an unsecured loan, learn the pros and cons, what they can be used for, where to get one and how to qualify.
» MORE: Compare unsecured personal loans
If Youre Thinking About Applying For A Personal Loan You Should First Understand The Difference Between Secured And Unsecured Personal Loans
The difference could affect how likely you are to get approved for a personal loan, the interest rate youll get, and whether youll have to risk some property to get the loan. Lets look at how both work as well as some things you should know in order to decide which type of personal loan is right for you.
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How To Apply For An Unsecured Personal Loan
Pre-qualify: Make sure to shop around for the best unsecured personal loan. An easy way to do this is by pre-qualifying with multiple lenders, which allows you to see your potential loan amount and rate without affecting your credit score. Though not all lenders offer pre-qualification, most online lenders do.
Banks And Credit Unions
Most banks and credit unions originate personal loans. If youre looking for a secured loan, these lenders have the advantage because you may be able to use your existing savings account or CDs as collateral. Otherwise, for unsecured loans, it can pay to shop around with multiple banks and credit unions.
Its also worth noting that credit unions may be easier to get a loan from, especially for people who may not qualify with other lenders. Credit unions are nonprofit organizations that are usually more community-focused than banks, and so they may be more willing to work with you if youre in a tight spot.
In addition, credit unions often have cheaper rates on personal loans, both secured and unsecured. For example, during June 2020, banks were charging an average interest rate of 10.28%, whereas credit unions were charging a full percentage point less at 9.21%.
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Which Type Of Personal Loan Is Best For You
To figure out which type of lender and loan is best for your needs, shop around, apply for prequalification for a few loans, and compare the offers you receive from different lenders. Rates and terms can vary substantially, so shopping around could help you find a lower interest rate or fees, and save you money to help you pay off your loan sooner.
If you have a savings account, CD or other asset that your lender will accept as collateral, you might want to apply for a secured loan, because your interest rate and APR would likely be lower.
If you dont have an asset that your lender will accept, or youre not willing to risk losing an asset that you have, you can apply for an unsecured loan.
Could I Get An Unsecured Loan
That all depends on you and your personal circumstances. Because youre not offering any security with an unsecured loan, lenders tend to be picky about who they lend money to after all, they do want it back.
You stand more chance of getting an unsecured personal loan if you:
- Have a good credit history Lenders want to see that you can manage your money and be confident that theyll see their loan repaid.
- Are on the electoral register Lenders check your identity and may refuse you credit if your name isn’t on the register. Sometimes lenders will accept additional proof of a new address, such as a utility bill, tenancy agreement or mortgage details, if youve just moved.
- Are employed If you have a job, preferably a secure one, then lenders will see that you have a means of paying back the loan. Find out more about people.
Find out what loans youre eligible for without impacting your credit score.
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How Do I Qualify For An Unsecured Personal Loan
You must be 18 years old to qualify for an unsecured personal loan and be able to prove US citizenship. Additionally, lenders also look for a steady income, a low debt-to-income ratio and a good credit score. While the median FICO credit score range is 670 to 739, the higher your credit score, the more likely lenders will offer you better loan terms and interest rates.
Prepayment Penalties Or Fees
In addition to rates, consider the fees that often come with personal loans. Many lenders have origination feesfees you pay at the beginning for processing a loan, of 1% to 8%that help cover platform costs and late feeswhich are common and expected should repayment not be made on time. Many, though, may also have prepayment penalties or exit fees, which occur when you repay the amount owed before the loan term is finished. Because the total amount you owe may be tied to how long it takes for repayment, look for lenders who dont charge prepayment penalties.
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What You Should Know About Unsecured Personal Loans
Many different types of financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, online lenders and peer-to-peer lenders offer unsecured personal loans. Make sure to shop around to find the best fit for your financial situation.
Here are a few more things to think about when it comes to unsecured personal loans.
- No collateral You dont need to provide collateral to get an unsecured personal loan.
- Lenders will factor in your credit when making loan decisions, and people with higher credit scores typically qualify for lower interest rates.
- Fixed interest rate and term Many personal loans have a fixed rate and term, which means you make equal monthly payments over the life of the loan, so its easy to budget. But keep in mind that interest rates may be higher on unsecured personal loans than other loan types, such as auto or home equity loans, where your property is used to secure the loan.
- Loan amounts and repayment terms You can choose from a variety of loan amounts and repayment terms, but some lenders charge an origination fee to cover the cost of processing the loan, which can eat into your loan proceeds.
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Are Unsecured Loans Safe
If they come from a reputable lender, unsecured loans are safe, especially if you make your payments on time. The main risks have to do with your ability to repay the loan. Failure to repay or make on-time payments can cause your credit score will drop, which can impede your ability to qualify for credit in the future.
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Advantages Of Unsecured Personal Loans
There are several reasons you may want to take out an unsecured personal loan rather than borrow money another way:
- They’re often installment loans with a fixed interest rate, which can make it easier to plan and budget around.
- Depending on your creditworthiness, you could borrow a large amount of money without putting your personal property at risk.
- You may get approved for a lower interest rate than you could with other types of unsecured loans, such as a credit card.
- You can usually choose from different terms to alter the monthly payment.
- You can use the money to pay for a variety of expenses.
Alternatives To Personal Loans
Personal loans arent your only options if you need to borrow money. Here are some other types of loans you might be able to use, and when they might be best:
- Its generally not wise to carry a balance on a credit card because they have such high rates. But there are some cases where it can be a good idea, such as if it has a 0% APR offer.
- Medical payment plans. If you need medical care but cant pay the bill in full, you can often work out a payment plan with the billing department. These are usually very affordable and can even be free. Generous doctors may even waive your balance, but thats not a guarantee.
- Home equity loans or lines of credit. If you own your own home you can often borrow money against the equity youve built up at an affordable rate. But remember: This is a secured loan, so if you default, you could lose your home.
- Low-income grants and loans. If youre low-income, its worth checking with local community organizations to see if there are any grants available for whatever you need. Depending on where you live and whats available, you may be able to find grants or affordable loans to help you with home repairs, prescription drugs and more.
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Which Loan Makes Sense For You
When reviewing your loan options, decide which criteria are relevant to your decision, and consider the following:
- Student loans have reasonable interest rates, and most individuals can likely qualify as long as they’re enrolled in courses at an accredited college-level institution. These loans offer a longer repayment term, and also typically have a grace period before you need to start payments. However, you may only use these funds for tuition and related school costs.
- Signature and peer-to-peer loans offer funds at reasonable interest rates, and you might be able to find more attractive interest rates through a credit union or your bank, especially if you have funds on deposit. These loans often let you borrow from $1,000 to $35,000 with a three-year repayment term. You may have trouble getting approved if your credit score falls into the “fair” category or below.
- can provide funds for many borrowers. However, the lower your credit score, the higher the interest rate you’ll be charged to compensate for the repayment risk you represent to lenders. People with good to great credit can take advantage of credit card issuers’ zero percent offers, although these usually expire after 12 to 18 months.
These loans can be more attractive and cost-effective, depending on your financial situation. However, you may not qualify for a larger loan if you don’t have enough monthly income to support the lender’s requirements.
Options If You Have Bad Credit
Getting an unsecured loan with bad credit may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. You’ll have fewer choices and will likely pay higher interest rates than a borrower with good credit. If youre having a hard time borrowing, learn about getting an unsecured loan with bad credit. If you’re not approved for an unsecured loan, try a small loan secured by cash in the bank to gain momentum by building a positive credit history.
If it’s feasible, hold off on borrowing until you’ve built your credit up to the point where you can get loans on more attractive terms. You can strengthen your credit by borrowing and repaying loans, and even small loans can make a difference. If you currently have a low credit score, be proactive about rebuilding it.
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