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What is an Unsecured Loan?


When it comes to taking out loans, you will almost certainly come across the terms ‘secured loans’ and ‘unsecured loans’. All loans will fall under one of these categories, but unless you’ve done a little research, you may be uncertain about the similarities and differences between the two. To make it simple, we’ve therefore outlined the definition of secured and unsecured loans below!

What Does Unsecured Loan Mean?

As a generalisation, most smaller loans are unsecured, while larger loans often require more security for the lender. But what are the specific differences between unsecured and secured loans?

Secured Loan Definition

A secured loan is a type of loan that requires collateral. The most famous example of a secured loan is a mortgage. The value of your property is secured against the value of the loan. Therefore if you default on your loan repayments, the lender could repossess your property. 

Essentially, secured and unsecured loans are all about risk. This can be risk for the lender as well as the borrower. Secured loans are generally much larger than unsecured loans, so represent a higher risk for lenders. They therefore require collateral, to reduce the risk. The interest rates are then typically lower for secured loans, as they are considered to be lower risk overall. The lender is able to reclaim their funds even if you can’t keep to the repayments, by repossessing your property.

Unsecured Loan Definition

Unsecured loans don’t use collateral, and therefore represent a higher risk for the lender. For this reason, unsecured loans tend to have higher interest rates. The benefit for the borrower though, is that your property is not put at risk – your home or other valuable items shouldn’t be repossessed should you fail to make the due payments. It is important to keep in mind however that missing or making late payments can damage your credit score.

An unsecured loan can be fall into many different categories. For example, short term loans, payday loans and guarantor loans are all types of unsecured loan. The loan value for these loans is generally lower than a secured loan, but some banks do offer large unsecured loans, of up to £50,000.

Key Points

Secured and Unsecured Personal Loans

When it comes to loan eligibility, some lenders put more weight on your credit history than others. Secured loans can rely almost entirely on credit checks in terms of eligibility, so you need good credit to apply. You can check your credit score for free using sites like Credit Karma and Experian. They can also offer helpful tips on how to improve your credit score, particularly if you download the app.

Unsecured loans, on the other hand, for the most part are more accessible. Unsecured loan lenders believe that your current financial situation should be more important than your credit history. They therefore are just as interested in things like your employment status, your income and your expenditure as your credit score. Some unsecured loan lenders also specialise in bad credit loans.

Secured and Unsecured Personal Loans

Secured vs Unsecured Loan

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to whether secured loans or unsecured loans are better. Which one you choose will depend on your personal circumstances, how much you’re looking to borrow, and what you need the loan for. We have, however, highlighted some of the benefits of each below:

Advantages of Secured Loans

Advantages of Unsecured Loans

If you’re looking for an unsecured loan, My Financial Broker can help! Simply apply using the button below, and we can give you a no obligation quote for loans between £100 and £2,000. Our services are completely free for our customers, and applying shouldn’t take more than a few minutes via our online form.