Secured Loans: Definition, How it Works, Importance, and Types

A secured loan is one in which the borrower must provide collateral in the form of an asset of some kind to receive the loan. A high-value item, such as a home, automobile, or jewelry collection, is often used as collateral to get a loan. Lenders seize assets to recoup losses incurred if a borrower defaults on a loan.

One of the key reasons for the relevance of secured loans is making it possible for borrowers who otherwise need access to credit to meet the requirements for an unsecured loan to have access to credit. The interest rates on secured loans are often lower than those on unsecured loans. It is because the lender takes the collateral if the borrower fails.

There are many secured loans, including Mortgages, Auto loans, Loans from Pawn shops, Home Equity Loans, and Personal loans.

What is a Secured Loan?

Secured loans are those that need collateral to be disbursed. The borrower pledges an asset to the lender as collateral for the loan. Collateral is often anything of high monetary value, such as a vehicle or jewelry. The interest rate for Secured loans is lower than for unsecured loans. Home mortgages, auto financing, and pawnshop loans are all secured loans.

How does Secured Loan work?

The borrower must offer collateral like a vehicle, home, or other valuable property to acquire a secured loan. The lender evaluates the borrower’s collateral to decide how much to lend. The interest rate and repayment schedule depend on the borrower’s creditworthiness and the collateral’s value. Examine the capacity to make payments and research the loan conditions before accepting a secured loan.

What is the purpose of Secured Loans?

Secured loans help minimize the lender’s risk since the lender takes the collateral if the borrower defaults on the loan. Useful for significant purchases like houses or cars, the collateral’s value must be at least as high as the loan’s total cost to the borrower for this sort of loan to be considered a good investment. Borrowers prefer secured loans versus unsecured loans since the former is usually offered at more reasonable interest rates.

What are the different types of Secured Loans?

Below are some typical types of secured loans for one’s consideration.

1. Bad Credit Loans

Bad credit loans are for borrowers with low credit ratings or limited credit history. These loans are challenging to acquire and have higher interest rates and fees than others. Comparing poor credit loans to discover the best terms and prices is crucial.

2. Car Title Loans

A car title loan is a good idea since it’s a fast and easy method to borrow cash, but it’s risky. The total cost of a vehicle title loan is greater than any other loan in terms of interest and fees. The requirement for a dependable form of mobility becomes apparent in the event of a loan default and subsequent repossession of the borrower’s vehicle. Consider the financial situation.

3. Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are for persons with poor credit or no credit history who can’t get a standard card. It helps one develop credit if used carefully. Pay the payments on time and maintain the balance below the limit to achieve this.

4. Mortgage Loans

A mortgage is a loan to acquire real estate. It’s backed by collateral. The borrower and lender agree that the residence is the collateral for the loan. The lender has the legal right to seize the collateral if borrowers cannot repay the loan.

Mortgages are often understood as loans taken out to purchase a house; however, mortgages are obtained to finance the acquisition of other kinds of land or property. The process of borrowing money against the current house’s value is referred to as “refinancing” the mortgage.

5. Vehicle Loans

 A Vehicle loan is used to buy cars. Banks, credit unions, and other entities provide secured and unsecured vehicle loans.

6. Life Insurance Loans

Life insurance loans are backed by a policy. Permanent life insurance with cash value is borrowed against. The lender retains the policy as security until the debt is paid off.

Life insurance loans are a dangerous method to get cash quickly. The lender seizes the life insurance policy if one defaults on the debt and the beneficiaries do not obtain the full death benefit. A life insurance policy’s cash value and death benefit are reduced to account for any loans and interest taken out against the policy.

7. Pawnshop Loans

Pawn shop loans are a good option for borrowers who need a quick and easy way to borrow money and have valuable items used as collateral. Pawn shop loans are a fantastic alternative for borrowers with less-than-ideal credit since it is simpler to qualify for than other forms of loans. Pawn shops lend money against collateral, such as jewelry or other valuables.

8. Secured Lines of Credit

A line of credit is a flexible loan from a financial institution that consists of a predetermined amount of money borrowed as required and return immediately or over time. Line of Credit is a lower-risk revenue stream than credit card loans. Unregulated outstanding sums affect a bank’s earning asset management.

9. Share-secured or Savings-secured Loans

Share-secured loans use stock or other assets as collateral. Lenders hold the borrower’s shares or securities as loan collateral. Both share- and savings-secured loans help borrowers develop or repair credit. The collateral reduces the lender’s risk, increasing the borrower’s approval chances. Lenders forfeit the loan’s collateral if the borrower fails.

What can be used as Collateral for a Secured Loan?

The borrower agrees with the lender to pledge an asset, known as collateral, as security if the borrower cannot repay the loan. Here are examples of popular forms of collateral used to secure a loan.

  • Real Estate. A house, a business building, or even land are examples of real estate.
  • Personal Property. Personal property includes automobiles, jewels, artwork, or other expensive objects that are readily marketable if required.
  • Bank Accounts. The borrower utilizes the checking or savings account as collateral. 
  • Bonds or Stock. Bonds and stocks are financial market securities. Both bonds and stocks are used to raise funds for companies and governments.
  • Business Assets. Equipment, inventory, or accounts receivable are used as collateral for a loan by a business.

It is essential to keep in mind that the value of the collateral must be at least equivalent to the amount being borrowed for the loan to be approved. The lender must be able to recoup the loan amount from the sale of the collateral if the borrower fails to repay the loan and the lender is forced to sell the collateral.

What will happen to the collateral if the Lender is not paid in a Secured Loan?

Secured lenders have the legal power to repossess the collateral used to guarantee the loan if the borrower fails to repay the debt in full. It allows the lender to liquidate the collateral and recoup any remaining loan balance. The lender must foreclose to sell the property and recoup the unpaid principal if the loan was secured by real estate. The borrower has the right to pay off any remaining balance on the loan even after the lender has repossessed the collateral. The collateral is returned to the borrower if the loan is repaid.

What to do if the Borrower fails to pay the Secured Loan?

Borrowers in financial trouble contact lenders to negotiate repayment. Consider arranging a new payment plan or a temporary discount. Visit a financial advisor or credit counseling agency if the borrower and lender can’t agree.

1. Contact the lender for a Secured Loan

Borrowers experiencing trouble making payments on a secured loan must contact the lender as soon as feasible. Lenders usually are reached through phone, email, or a dedicated website. The loan status is verified over the phone by asking for identification and bank details.

2. Set Priorities for Your Payments

Prioritize loan payments if one needs help paying all to guarantee the most crucial bills are paid first. High-interest debts are paid off first since one costs more overall. Late fines are paid in full before any further payments are made. Late payments affect credit scores, so pay off debts to protect them. Consider personal and financial goals while prioritizing payments. 

3. Obtain Financial Assistance

Credit counseling services guide and support clients in debt management and developing spending plans. It negotiates with creditors to lower interest rates or monthly payments

What are the Pros and Cons of a Secured Loan?

Lenders feel more comfortable extending credit when having something of value to put up as collateral.


  • The interest rate on a secured loan is lower than on an unsecured loan since the lender is taking less risk. The borrower finds the debt more manageable as a result of this.
  • Secured loans provide more flexible repayment terms than unsecured loans, giving borrowers greater leeway to create a repayment plan that best suits one’s budgetary needs.
  • Loan amounts are higher with secured loans than the unsecured counterparts. The lender has something to utilize as compensation if the borrower cannot repay the loan.


  • Collateral is at risk if the borrower fails on the loan and the lender exercises the right to repossess the collateral. It implies that if the borrower defaults on the loan, it risks losing the home, vehicle, or other valuables to the lender.
  • Borrowers are limited in choosing a lender since not all lenders provide secured loans. 
  • The procedure is more complicated as the borrower transfers collateral to the lender in a secured loan: the time it takes and the paperwork it necessitates to get a loan increase.

What is the Best Secured Loans Lenders?

Many lenders offer secured loans, including banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Some of the best lenders for collateral loans offer competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and good customer service.

  • Banks. Banks offer various financial services, such as checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment options, all in one place. The services provided by large banks are often the most extensive and are known for simplicity. Borrowing from a national bank is a suitable alternative if a client or have no other options nearby. 
  • Credit Unions. A credit union is a nonprofit, member-owned financial organization. Credit union members get credit cards, checking and savings accounts, and loans like at a bank. Credit union members elect a board of directors to promote the best interests. Credit unions provide better rates and fees than for-profit banks to service members. 
  • Online Lenders. These non-bank organizations often center on technology and offer limited lending products, such as personal loans. Online lenders often have affordable interest rates, are accessible nationwide, and are funded in 24 to 48 hours.

What is the average Interest Rate for a Secured Loan?

The average interest rate on a secured loan differs from one borrower to the next and from one lender to the next based on the value of the collateral, the lender’s risk, the borrower’s credit history, and the length of the loan.

Secured loans offer lower interest rates than unsecured loans since the lender has less risk. Federal Reserve statistics show that the average secured loan interest rate in 2022 was 4%. Borrowers’ interest rates are greater or lower, depending on the circumstances.

How to get a Secured Loan?

Getting a secured loan normally requires proof of income and pass a credit check. Furthermore, borrowers must put up some kind of collateral; a property, car, or other valuable items. The amount to borrow depends on the collateral’s value, which the lender determines. 

  1. Pick out the loan needed and the asset used as collateral.
  2. Find loan providers who provide the necessary amount and compare the rates and conditions.
  3. Gather supporting documentation, including evidence of identity, income, and collateral ownership.
  4. Fill up a loan application and deliver it to the lender with the necessary paperwork and security.
  5. The lender is currently reviewing the application.
  6. Check the loan terms before applying.
  7. Deliver the promised collateral to the lender in exchange for the loan money.
  8. Start paying payments as agreed upon in the loan arrangement.

What are the requirements to get a Secured Loan?

Lenders use several criteria to decide whether or not to provide a secured loan. Some examples are:

  • Collateral: Most secured loans need the borrower to put up some kind of security, such as a home or vehicle, as collateral. As such, the collateral’s value is included in the loan’s total amount and conditions.
  • Credit history: Lenders often check a borrower’s credit history to see whether one’s are a good risk and whether or not the borrower must repay the loan. The lender is more likely to provide the loan if the borrower has good credit.
  • Income: The ability to repay the loan is one factor that lenders consider, along with the borrower’s job history and income. The likelihood of getting a loan rises if one has a regular source of income.
  • The debt-to-income ratio measures monthly debt payments as a proportion of monthly income. Lenders use this percentage to determine a borrower’s repayment probability.
  • Loan Uses: The lender considers the loan’s intended use while deciding. Some secured loans, including those for home improvements and automobiles, have strict eligibility requirements.
  • Loan term: A loan’s duration impact the interest rate and other associated fees. The monthly payments on a longer-term loan are cheaper, but the interest rate is greater than on a shorter-term loan.
  • Fees: Lenders charge fees for services in arranging the loan’s origination, closure, and other areas. The borrower has to know all the fees included with the loan before agreeing to the conditions.

How long does it take to process a Secured Loan?

The time it takes to complete a secured loan varies based on several circumstances, such as the lender, the kind of loan, and the borrower’s financial status. The process of obtaining a loan takes as little as a few days or as much as a few weeks, depending on the circumstances.

The processing time for a secured loan varies, but generally, the procedure is a lot more practical when compared to the processing time for other kinds of loans, such as a mortgage.

Is it hard to qualify for a Secured Loan?

No, secured loan requirements differ from one lender or product to the next. However, because the borrower is providing collateral to secure the loan, being approved for a secured loan is simpler than getting approved for an unsecured loan. Lenders still look at factors before deciding to provide a secured loan. The borrower’s credit, income, debt-to-income ratio, and collateral worth play a role.

A secured loan is accepted if the applicant has a solid credit history, consistent income, and enough collateral. A secured loan is more challenging to get, however, if the applicant needs a higher credit score or adequate collateral.

Does Credit Score affect your Secured Loan application?

Yes, credit affects secured loan applications. Secured loans are backed by collateral like a vehicle, home, or other valuables. Lenders use a credit score to approve loan applications and set terms.

A high credit score shows the lender with a strong credit history and is a low-risk borrower, leading to a better loan offer with a reduced interest rate. A low credit score suggests that the lender needs a better credit history and is a higher-risk borrower, resulting in a less attractive loan offer with a higher interest rate or the lender denying one’s loan application.

Are Unsecured Loans easier to get than Secured Loans?

Yes, unsecured loans are harder to receive since a lack of collateral. Unsecured loans represent a greater risk for the lender. Thus, lenders are more selective and demand better credit ratings or financial qualifications.

Acquire an unsecured loan even with a poor credit score, but one needs to evaluate offers from various lenders. Due to the lender’s heightened risk, unsecured loans have higher interest rates.

What is the difference between a Secured Loan and an Unsecured Loan?

A secured loan is a loan where the borrower pledges an asset (e.g., a vehicle, a home, or other property) as security. As such, the collateral ensures the lender gets the money back if the borrower defaults on the loan. Since the lender takes the collateral back if the borrower defaults, the interest rate and conditions of the loan are more attractive for the borrower with a secured loan.

The opposite is true for unsecured loans, which do not need any kind of collateral to be approved. The lender cannot confiscate any of the borrower’s assets if the borrower cannot make the necessary payments.  A better credit score or other financial qualifications are needed to qualify for an unsecured loan due to the increased risk involved for the lender. Interest rates on an unsecured loan could be greater than those on a secured loan for the same reason.

Mortgages, vehicle purchases, and pawnshop loans are secured loans. Personal loans, credit card debt consolidation and school loans fall under unsecured loans. It’s important to weigh the interest rate, payback terms, and other loan details before signing any paperwork.

Personal Finance Writer at Payday Champion

Kathy Jane Buchanan has more than 10 years of experience as an editor and writer. She currently worked as a full-time personal finance writer for PaydayChampion and has contributed work to a range of publications expert on loans. Kathy graduated in 2000 from Iowa State University with degree BSc in Finance.

Author: Kathy Jane Buchanan

Kathy Jane Buchanan has more than 10 years of experience as an editor and writer. She currently worked as a full-time personal finance writer for PaydayChampion and has contributed work to a range of publications expert on loans. Kathy graduated in 2000 from Iowa State University with degree BSc in Finance.

Payday lenders near me