Secured Loans

What is Secured Loan?

Secured loans are defined as loans where the lender extends loans only against deposition of some asset as security. Assets could be any asset ranging from plant, property, equipment, or any other business asset to any personal asset like car, home etc. The term ‘security’ in lending terms commonly understood as creating a temporary right on the asset in favor of the lender. In other words, the asset can be sold and liquidated by the lender if the loan or its interest is not repaid by the borrower. All loans come under the meaning of secured loans which has a security in place. The loans which are extended without taking any security are called unsecured loans. Most common example of unsecured loan is a personal loan.

Securities also are of two common types i.e. collateral security and additional security. An equipment is a collateral security if the loan is taken for buying this equipment. Conservative lenders take additional security like building, land etc as their additional security.

Why Secured Loans? – The Purpose

By now, we should have got a fair idea of what is a secured loan? Now, let us understand why secured loans are prevalent. Like you love your money, (I definitely do), lenders also do and therefore are concerned about losing their money. The borrower may reach a situation where he is not able to pay the loan due to an unfortunate situation or even by will at times. What will lender do at that time? So, to secure his money he extends loan against security. A big chunk of money is always given against securities. When a borrower has given his hard-earned property for getting a loan, there are all the chances that he will do everything under this earth to pay the money back. This is the simple logic behind securities. Even if after everything, the borrower is not able to pay, the lender has the security available with him to liquidate and assure his money.

From the borrower angle, secured loans are meaningful because they help them achieve loans at favorable terms and conditions. Most importantly, the cost of funds is lower compared to unsecured loans. Secondly, the repayment terms can also be tweaked to some extent with mutual consent between the borrower and the lender.

Secured Loans

Types of Secured Loans

Secured loans are categorized into different types as follows.

Mortgage Loan

A mortgage loan is a secured loan where the asset under pledge is a property.

Nonrecourse Loans

Nonrecourse loans are the loans where the liability of the borrower to pay the debt is limited to seizure of asset under collateral. This means that the lender can seize the asset and sell it. There are two possibilities here. One,  the lender gets sufficient money by selling to fulfill the balance of the unpaid debt. Second, the lender does not fetch sufficient money by selling the asset. Under nonrecourse loans, the borrower is not liable to pay more in the second condition mentioned here.

Car Loans

Car loans are most common loans availed by individuals and businesses. In these loans, the collateral is the car for the loan has been taken.

Home Loans

Fortunately, in all individual’s life, there comes a situation when he plans to buy a home. We will all agree that it is a costly affair and shelling out that amount of money in one go is very difficult for normal individuals. Home loan is a very good option under the secured loans category for getting a loan at lower interest rates. Here, the home is the collateral. This is considered most secured by the lenders especially when the home is bought for living in it and not for investment purpose. It is because any individual would not like to not pay and become homeless when the home is seized.

Example of Secured Loans

As such, all loans whether corporate or personal are secured loans as far as it is backed by an asset. Following are some common examples of secured loans.

  1. Mortgage
  2. Home Loans
  3. Auto Loan
  4. Boat Loan
  5. Recreational Vehicle Loan
  6. Secured Credit Cards
  7. Secured Personal Loans

Advantages of Secured Loans

To Lender

Money is Safe

A money lender has only two purposes that he wishes to serve – the safety of his money and earn a return. With secured loans, the first purpose of safety is fairly catered. It is very difficult to identify borrowers from their face. The world is a mix of good and wicked people. Wicked borrowers may have a bad intention of taking a loan and not repaying it. So, the job of a lender is to identify the intentions and make sure that the money is safe. By the process of taking securities, a lot of this problem is solved. Still, there are bad secured loans. It is difficult to eradicate but definitely is controlled.

Sell Asset to Fulfill Debt

Fortunately or unfortunately, if a borrower is not able to pay,  the lender has an option to seize the asset, sell it and fulfill its debt. Although it is not desirable situation and the process is not so easy also. Selling a second-hand asset and getting its due price is difficult in the market. At times, it is possible that even after selling the asset full amount of debt is not recovered but it can at least reduce the loss.

Pressure on Borrower to Repay

When is security is offered by the borrower, there is a psychological pressure to repay. The consequences of non-payment are known to the borrower. Consequences do not only include the loss of asset that he acquired with the help of loan but also the loss of credit that will substantially reduce his capacity to take any further loan.

To Borrower

Easy Availability of Loan

Secured loans are easily available in comparison to their counterpart that is unsecured loans. The process of secured loans is seamless because the lender has a reasonable assurance of his money.

Forces Discipline of Repayment

Priorities in the life of an individual are more than his capacity to handle. in this crowded list of priorities, it is natural that some priorities lapse. The secured nature of this loan helps an individual keep the loan repayment also in his top priorities and thereby help him to remain in the discipline of repayment. It is good for both the borrower as well as the lender.

Denied Unsecured Loans

One of the most important benefits of secured loan is to a category of borrowers who have been denied unsecured loans. They have no choice but to go for secured loans if the need for money is crucial.

Build Credit Score

Loans are a reality of the current world.  There is seldom anybody who has not taken a loan or has felt a need for a loan. It is difficult to forecast that unforeseen situation when you would need money.  money is given to those who have good credit scores. It is very important to build and maintain credit scores.  Secured loans are a great way of building a credit score. The information about taking this loan goes to the credit bureau and if the loan is successfully paid the credit score is strengthened.

Lower Interest Rates

Compared to unsecured loans,  secured loans have quiet and lower rate of interest.  The reason behind is quite simple that the lender assumes less risk when there is a security. we know that risk and returns are directly related. Lower the risk – lower the return expectations and higher the risk – higher the return expectation of the lender. Although there are more angles do it like the ability to repay, the viability of a project, the income of an individual etc.

Borrowing Big Amounts

Secured loans are the only choice when you want to borrow big amounts. No lender would risk millions of dollars for an unknown borrower. Collateral and additional security are in easy language both lender and borrower can understand.

Disadvantages of Secured Loans

To Lender

Default Risk

There is always a risk of default however good the borrower’s credentials may be.  the reason for default could be anything but this situation is always a disaster for a lender.  The primary job of a lender is not to seize assets and sell them. Due to inefficient selling, the lender may not be able to get the right price for the asset. The difference has to be booked as a loss.

Unproductive Activities

In the event of default,  the lender is bound to invest his time in productive activities of following up with the borrower for payment,  seizing assets, auctioning, selling assets etc.

To Borrower

No Asset No Loan

When a borrower needs money and he has no assets to offer a security,  he cannot get a secured loan. he will have to try for unsecured loans which are costly and requires good credit score too.

Loss of Asset

If the borrower is not able to pay the loan on time, there is a risk of losing the asset he owned by borrowing money. At times, there are genuine life hardships which force non-payment be it business or an individual.

Additional Liability

We discuss the situation when selling of asset also does not have sufficient money to repay the loan.  Depending on the terms and conditions of a secured loan or if the loan is not a nonrecourse loan, the borrower may be liable to repay with his personal assets also.

Secured Vs. Unsecured Loans

They are practically opposite to each other. Let us check the differences between the two.

Points of Differences Secured Loans Unsecured Loans
Security There is an asset placed as collateral security. At times there are other additional assets also as additional securities. In unsecured loans, there is security given by the borrower. The loan extended here is completely based on the borrower’s credit.
Interest Since, the risk to lender’s money is low, the interest cost is also lower here. Similarly, the risk perception in unsecured loans is high, therefore the interest cost is also higher.
Availability to Borrower The secured loans are easy to borrow. There is no need to convince the lender too much on parameters when security is available. Unsecured loans are not easily available to everyone. There is a tough credit check conducted by the borrowers before extending the loan.
Processing The decision to process the loan is relatively easy but processing the papers may take some time. Rest depends on the amount of loan that is looked out for. The processing time increases in making a decision whether to extend loan or not.
Credit Score A lower credit score also suffices when you have security to offer for a secured loan. For an unsecured loan, you should have a very good track record and reasonable credit score.
Suitable for A secured loan is suitable for all the purposes where the borrower wants the cost of funds to be on lower side. Like a business loan for buying a machinery, the businessman would expect a low cost of funds. A higher cost of funds may snatch away the whole viability of the project and increase overall risk too. This type of loan is suitable for a temporary unavoidable need for money because for long-term loans they are very costly. They are mostly personal loans extended based on the credit score, salaries etc.
Size of Loan All sizes of loans are available as secured loans. Only small and medium-sized loans are extended as unsecured loans. Big size loans are not lent as unsecured loans.


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Sanjay Borad

Sanjay Bulaki Borad

Sanjay Borad is the founder & CEO of eFinanceManagement. He is passionate about keeping and making things simple and easy. Running this blog since 2009 and trying to explain "Financial Management Concepts in Layman's Terms".

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