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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  What’s the difference between secured and unsecured personal loans? MintGenie explains

What’s the difference between secured and unsecured personal loans? MintGenie explains

Opting for a secured loan might be preferable if you aim for a lower interest rate, while an unsecured loan is a suitable choice for borrowers without tangible assets to offer as collateral.

Deciding between secured loans versus unsecured loansPremium
Deciding between secured loans versus unsecured loans

Obtaining funds can be achieved through two avenues: secured loans and unsecured loans. Secured loans necessitate collateral, whereas unsecured loans do not. The choice of loan can impact terms, interest rates, and eligibility criteria, underscoring the importance of grasping the distinctions between them.

Secured loans vs unsecured loans

Choosing a secured loan entails using an asset, such as a car or a house, as collateral. In the event of non-repayment, the lender has the authority to seize the specified asset. The inclusion of collateral often results in lower interest rates from lenders, potentially rendering secured loans more cost-effective over the repayment period.

Qualifying for such loans is more accessible, particularly for individuals with lower credit scores, as the collateral serves as a form of security for the lender. Examples of these loans encompass mortgages, auto loans, and home equity loans.

Unsecured loans do not demand collateral, making them a fitting choice for borrowers without assets to pledge as security. These loan categories usually come with elevated interest rates in contrast to secured loans, primarily because of the heightened risk for the lender. Qualifying for these loans may pose greater challenges, particularly for borrowers with a lower credit score or limited credit history. Examples of such loans encompass credit cards, personal loans, and student loans.

Deciding between secured and unsecured loans 

The optimal decision between a secured and unsecured loan hinges on your circumstances and requirements. Take into account factors such as

  • Loan purpose: Is it intended for a significant purchase like a car or house (a secured loan might be appropriate), or is it for unforeseen expenses (considering an unsecured loan)?
  • Credit standing: Possessing a robust credit score can enhance your eligibility for more favourable terms with either loan category.
  • Risk tolerance: Do you feel at ease pledging an asset as collateral?
  • Repayment terms: Evaluate the durations and monthly payments provided for secured and unsecured loans.
  • Fees: Stay informed about any linked origination fees, late payment penalties, and prepayment penalties applicable to each loan alternative.

Most importantly, avoid accepting the initial offer you receive. Obtain quotes from various lenders to assess interest rates, fees, and terms before reaching a decision. If you are uncertain about the suitable loan type for your needs, contemplate seeking personalised guidance from a financial advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is a loan account number and its significance for borrowers?

A loan account number holds significant importance for individuals overseeing or contemplating a loan. It functions as a distinctive identifier for your particular loan agreement with the lender. Here are the reasons for its significance:

  • Identification: It aids the lender in distinguishing your loan from others, ensuring precise tracking of your payments and account information.
  • Payments: When making repayments, whether online, through phone banking, or in person, your loan account number is essential. It guarantees that the funds are directed to the correct account.
  • Account management: If you wish to review your loan balance, monitor your payment history, or request modifications to your account, you will probably need to furnish your loan account number for verification.
  • Communication: When reaching out to your lender with questions or concerns about your loan, providing your loan account number may be necessary for the efficient retrieval of your specific details.

Q. How can you locate your loan account number?

There are various methods to discover your loan account number, contingent on your lender and personal preferences.

  • Review your loan paperwork: Search through your loan agreement, welcome packet, or any documents you received from the lender at the time of loan acquisition. The loan account number is typically prominently featured on these documents, often situated in the top right-hand corner or on the first page.
  • Use online banking or visit the lender’s website: If you possess online access to your loan account, typically, you can locate your loan account number by logging in and navigating to the account details section. This section may be labelled as “Account Summary," “Loan Details," or a similar heading.
  • Check your mobile banking app: Numerous lenders provide mobile banking apps that allow you to access your account information, including your loan account number. Locate the loan section within the app and review the account number details.
  • Contact the customer care centre: Reach out directly to your lender's customer service department and inquire about your loan account number. Be ready to furnish some personal details to confirm your identity, such as your name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Q. How to obtain a quick loan without a CIBIL Score?

Although obtaining funds promptly without a CIBIL score an be difficult, there are methods available. However, it is essential to approach these alternatives cautiously, as they often entail notable drawbacks:

  • Explore loans from microfinance institutions: These organisations provide small loans with elevated interest rates and more stringent repayment terms. Conduct comprehensive research and compare various microfinance institutions before applying.
  • Apply for a modest loan from a bank: Certain banks may provide smaller personal loans without the necessity of a mandatory CIBIL score, although the interest rates are likely to be higher compared to conventional options.
  • Consider applying for a loan with a guarantor: Having someone with a favourable credit score co-sign your loan application as a guarantor can enhance your approval prospects. However, bear in mind that this approach carries the risk of affecting their credit score if they fail to repay.

Q. How to select the appropriate tenure for your personal loan?

Deciding on the optimal personal loan tenure involves striking a balance between your monthly repayment comfort and the overall interest cost. Here's a breakdown of crucial factors to take into account:

  • Evaluate your budget: Examine your monthly income and expenditures. Develop a budget to comprehend how much you can feasibly allocate for monthly loan payments (EMIs) without experiencing financial strain.
  • Consider the trade-off between interest and cost: Opting for a short tenure results in higher EMIs but lowers the total interest paid over the loan term. Choosing a long tenure provides lower EMIs but increases the total interest paid due to the extended repayment period.
  • Assess your future financial outlook: Expecting a salary increase or unexpected windfall? A shorter tenure could be manageable with the prospect of enhanced future income. If financial constraints are anticipated, a longer tenure might offer immediate relief but comes with the trade-off of higher overall interest costs.
  • Check your current financial commitments: Account for existing debts, including ongoing EMIs for credit cards or other loans. Assess how an additional personal loan EMI could impact your budget, taking into consideration your existing financial obligations.
  • Use an EMI calculator: Numerous lenders and financial institutions provide online EMI calculators. These tools enable you to input the loan amount, interest rate, and preferred tenure, helping you estimate your monthly EMI. Experiment with various tenures to understand how they affect both your EMI and total interest cost.

Q. What advantages come with opting for secured loans?

Secured loans present numerous advantages compared to unsecured loans, rendering them an appealing choice for borrowers in diverse situations. Here are some primary benefits:

  • Reduced interest rates: Secured loans, backed by collateral, are deemed less risky for lenders. This results in lower interest rates compared to unsecured loans, potentially leading to substantial savings over the loan term.
  • Increased borrowing capacities: Secured loans, supported by collateral, frequently come with higher borrowing limits in comparison to unsecured alternatives. This proves advantageous when seeking funding for substantial purchases such as homes or vehicles.
  • Simplified eligibility: Individuals with lower credit scores or limited credit history may discover it easier to qualify for a secured loan in contrast to an unsecured loan. The existence of collateral offers supplementary assurance to the lender.
  • Establish credit history: Timely repayments on a secured loan can have a positive effect on your credit score. This aids in building a robust credit history, potentially facilitating easier and more affordable borrowing in the future.
  • Stable interest rates: Numerous secured loans, such as mortgages, provide fixed interest rates. This implies that your monthly payments stay constant over the duration of the loan, simplifying budgeting and financial planning.

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 07:06 PM IST
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