Credit Wisdom

Secured Versus Unsecured Debt Dilemma

Category: Personal Loan

Every loan borrower has different financial objectives and priorities in life, and attitudes towards risks. Many consumers often find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to choosing between secured and unsecured loan. However, a lender evaluates a consumer’s credit history before making a loan under either circumstance. Understanding the differences between the two and other characteristics unique to each are mandatory for borrowing money. Want to know – which debt type is more important for you? Let’s find out…

Secured Debt
Secured debts are tied to an asset that’s considered collateral for the debt. Lenders take on less risk by lending on terms that require an asset held as collateral. As this type of loan carries less risk for the lender, interest rates are usually lower for a secured loan. A prime example of a secured debt is a mortgage, where the lender places a lien, or financial interest, on the property until the loan is repaid in full. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the bank can seize the property and sell it to recoup the funds owed. Lenders often require the asset be maintained or insured under certain specifications to maintain the asset’s value.

Unsecured Debt
With unsecured debts, lenders don’t have rights to any collateral for the debt. Lenders issue funds in an unsecured loan based solely on the borrower’s creditworthiness and promise to repay. If a borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender can sue the borrower to collect the amount owed, but this can take a great deal of time, and legal fees can add up quickly. Therefore, banks typically charge a higher interest rate on these so-called signature loans. Also, credit score and debt-to-income requirements are usually stricter for these types of loans, and they are only made available to the most credible borrowers. Credit card debt is the most widely-held unsecured debt. Other unsecured debts include student loans and medical bills.

Prioritizing your debts
If you’re strapped for cash and faced with the difficult decision of paying only some bills, the secured debts are typically the best choice. These payments are often harder to catch up with and you stand to lose essential assets – like shelter – if you fall behind on payments.
You might give more priority to unsecured debts if you’re making extra payments to pay off some debt. Unsecured debts sometimes have higher interest rate that makes it expensive to spend a long time paying these off. Even when you’re in debt repayment mode, it’s important to keep up the minimum and installment payments on all your accounts.

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