A secured loan is backed by collateral. This means that in exchange for being given money by a lender, you have to offer up an asset in return, often property or a vehicle (although in some circumstances, other items can be put up).
What this does is tell the lender that you have something of value that they can seize in the event you don’t pay back your loan. This is a last resort for the lender, however, so don’t be worried that they will take over your valuable possessions on a whim. As long as you pay your loan on time, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Since you’re putting up collateral to back-up the loan, you’re potentially entitled to a bigger loan and a better interest rate. This is because the collateral lowers the lender’s risk of being left with nothing if you default on your loan.
Secured loans offer better interest rates than unsecured loans, but it takes longer to qualify for one. The lender will take the time to verify your collateral. They will do their due diligence to ensure, for instance, that your car is in good working order, or that you have been taking care of your home. They will want to make sure they have a firm idea of the true value of the asset you’re putting up as collateral.
Once that’s done, the lender will sit down with you and go over the size of your loan and the interest rate. As mentioned, you have the chance to take out a bigger loan and get a better interest rate with secured loans, which isn’t the case if you were looking at another type of loan, such as an unsecured line of credit.
However, the flip side is that an unsecured loan is often faster to qualify for since the lender doesn’t have to take the time to verify the value of your collateral.