Tag Archive: secured loan

Understanding the Cost of a Secured Loan

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Personal loans do not come cheap. Just because a particular lender advertises their loans offers as cheapest in the market doesn’t mean you should believe it. In order to ensure that your secured loan is not only cheap but also safe, understanding the cost of the financial product is key. Before you go ahead and apply for a secured loan, here are tips and tricks to keep in mind:

Know how much to borrow

There are different factors that affect the cost of your secured loan but before you get into the nitty gritty of your loan’s cost, you need to know how much to borrow first. The maximum amount you can borrow will depend on your security’s value and your income. But just because you can borrow the maximum loan amount offer doesn’t mean you should. Deciding on how much to borrow should depend on what your financial need is and how much you can afford for monthly repayments.

Know how long to borrow

To know how long your loan term is, you need to carefully plan your budget. Remember that secured loans require collateral. Once approved for the loan, you’re essentially putting your property at risk of repossession. To avoid losing your property, work out your repayment term in a way that you can realistically repay the loan for the duration of the loan term. Find out the maximum amount you can set aside for repayment and stick with it when applying for a secured loan.

Find out the interest rate

Interest rates vary from one secured loan deal to another. The rate of your loan will usually depend on a number of factors such as loan amount, loan repayment term, credit score and your home’s free equity. If you have a good credit score, for example, chances are high that you’ll be able to avail a cheaper secured loan. A bad credit score, however, may mean higher interest rates and smaller loan offers. In any case, you should find out about your loan options’ interest rates before closing any deal. This way, you’ll know exactly how much goes to the interest aside from hidden fees and other charges.

Compare the loan price

When applying for a secured loan, shopping around helps if you want to find a cheap and safe deal. When comparing your options, look at the loan’s interest rate or representative APR. APR stands for annual percentage rate. It is the financial concept used by lenders to give borrowers an estimate of the loan’s overall cost. The APR basically covers your loan’s annual interest rate, admin fees and other associated charges on an annual basis.

While helpful, remember that advertised APRs are just the representatives, which means that the actual APR may be different than what was advertised. Again, the APR you’ll get will depend on a number of factors but one that has a significant effect is your credit score. A bad credit score usually means a higher actual APR.

Ask about the hidden fees

Other than the advertised representative APR, you should also make an effort to ask about your loan’s hidden fees. Most lenders, for example, have early repayment charges. If you decide to repay your loan early because you want to get rid of the debt, you might want to think twice about this financial move first. You may incur early repayment fees as a result of this decision. To know more about such fees and other related hidden charges, you can take the initiative to read the small print or even ask your lender directly.

Which is better: Secured or Unsecured Loans?

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If you’re looking to apply for a personal loan, there are two major categories to choose from. Most if not all loan types belong into these two categories. Each category obviously has its set of advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, you might find yourself asking which of the two categories is better for your needs. This quick guide was created exactly to help you choose between secured and unsecured loan types.

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What are secured loans?

Secured loans, as you can glean, from its name are loans that require an asset, security or collateral. In other words, you’ll only be qualified to apply for the loan if you have a car, home and other acceptable asset to secure the loan with. Examples of secured loans are mortgage, home equity line of credit, auto loan and logbook loan among other loan types.

With a security involved, it means that you can borrow a larger amount with secured loans. This category therefore is best for borrowers who are looking to borrow larger loan amounts for major expenses and investments. The loan offer will usually depend on the value of your asset or security and on your steady income.

On the downside, secured loans are also quite risky. Though the interest rates may be lower than unsecured loans, the risks are higher for borrowers because of the risks of asset repossession. If the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender can recover your asset as agreed upon through the loan terms. The lender can also sell off the asset to pay off your outstanding loan balance.

What are unsecured loans?

Unsecured loans, on one hand, are loan types that require no asset or security. It is exactly the opposite of secured loans. With no security your lender can repossess in case of nonpayment, lenders can only lend borrowers smaller loan amounts often at higher interest rates than secured loans. Examples of unsecured loan types include payday loans, credit cards, personal loans of credit and signature loans among other loan types.

With unsecured loans, the basis for approval often depends on your financial capability to repay the loan. The most important requirement you’ll have to prepare is your proof of income. So long as you have a steady stream income to prove of your financial capability, loan approval is often fast and easy.

With no security needed, unsecured loans are also perfect for borrowers with bad credit problems. Lenders do not run credit checks on applicants hence the fast approval. You’ll really just need to meet the eligibility criteria and you’re ready to get approved. Just remember that the loan offers are smaller so unsecured loans are only ideal for pressing financial emergencies such as rent, car repair, overdue bills, etc.

Which is better?

Between the two loan type categories, the question shouldn’t be which category is better but rather which one is right for you. As you can see, both secured and unsecured loan types have pros and cons to consider. Like with any important financial decisions, the trick is to opt for a loan type that suits both your needs and financial capability.

As a simple guide, keep in mind that secured loans are ideal if you have a security you can use to avail a larger loan amount. Interest rate is usually lower but the risks are higher in terms of repossession. Conversely, unsecured loans are ideal if you need a quick fix solution to unexpected financial emergencies. Interest rates may be higher but approval is always quick and easy.