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Secured vs Unsecured Loans- Which Is Best?

Have you ever been in the position where you’re taking out a loan and have had to decide between secured vs unsecured loans? Further, have you been in the position where you had to choose… and didn’t know the difference between the two types of loans? Welcome to the world of personal finance. Many people need some explanation on the difference between secured vs unsecured loans. Our debt counselors are here to help break down the differences between secured vs unsecured loans.

Get a better understanding of secured vs unsecured loans from ACCC.

Get a better understanding of secured vs unsecured loans from ACCC.

Differences Between Secured vs Unsecured Loans

Secured Loans

When discussing secured vs unsecured loans, it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two. A secured loan is connected to a piece of collateral – or backing – for security of repayment on the loan. Collateral can be a valuable asset like a car or a home. With a secured loan, lenders can take possession of collateral if you don’t repay the loan as you have agreed. The most common types of secured loans are mortgages and car loans.

Essentially, when you take out a secured loan, you offer up your property as insurance to your creditors. If you default on payments or break terms of your loan, creditors have the right to take your asset in lieu of the original payment. It’s basically like renting bowling shoes- if you steal the bowling shoes, the lender keeps your shoes.

Secured loans tend to be easier to get, as they are less risky to lenders. Specifically if you have poor credit, lenders are more likely to consider you for a secured loan rather than unsecured. If you qualify, secured loans better enable you to rebuild your credit without posing as much risk of non-payment to creditors than unsecured loans.

A secured loan will tend to also have lower interest rates and higher borrowing limits than unsecured loans. This means that when choosing between secured vs. unsecured loans, secured loans are usually a smarter financial decision.

Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans are just the opposite. An unsecured loan is not protected by any collateral. If you default on the loan, the lender can’t automatically take your property. The most common types of unsecured loan are credit cards, student loans, and personal loans. Unsecured loans are great for borrowers with excellent credit, and borrowers who don’t want to worry about their assets being taken away.

While a secured loan may have lower interest rates and are easier for people with poor credit to obtain, sometimes unsecured loans make more sense. Or, they may be the only option if a borrower has nothing to put up for collateral. For example, a young borrower may not own a home to place as backing to get a secured loan. In these types of situations, unsecured loans may be a better option.

Whether you decide to take out a secured or an unsecured loan, our credit counseling advice is to be fully informed to better weigh your options.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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