What are Secured Loans? A secured loan is basically a loan where in you the borrower will offer a sizable value of property as collateral to be allowed to take out the loan from the lender. Hence, you are securing your loan so that the creditor feels secure in lending money to you. The collateral becomes a form of security against the day that you fail to pay back the loan on time. The time frame between defaulting on your payments and when the creditor can take possession over the form of security (the collateral) may depend on the terms of your Secured Loan, but that is how all Secured Loans generally function.
Why does the creditor need your property as collateral? If you fail to pay back the loan within the time frame specified in your agreement, the creditor needs your collateral to sell so that he can get back the value of the amount he lent to you. Secured Loans can reduce the level of financial risk that the creditor assumes by lending to you. Secured Loans also gives the creditor a basis for putting faith in your word when you pledge to repay the loan.
The assets you can pledge as collateral in the Secured Loans you are offered will range in size depending on the amount you want to borrow. Generally, the larger the loan amount, the larger will be the value of the asset you have to pledge as collateral. The best type of collateral has to be real estate (like your home provided it is in good condition) because real estate usually appreciates in value over time. The next most common type of asset used as collateral is a vehicle (though this is not as valuable as real estate because cars depreciate over time due to wear and tear of use.)
People try to get Secured Loans because this is the usually the most convenient way to get money to finance a significant need (like growth of their small business or a down payment on a new home.) If the loan amount you are seeking isn’t very big, do not go for Secured Loans because you get a better deal on a personal loan or extension of a current mortgage instead (plus you need not put up your home as collateral.)
To get Secured Loans with guaranteed lowest rate possible (for your circumstances), you need to figure out how much payments per month you can afford on your current income. Some people like to figure out how much they can borrow using their property as collateral only to find out the repayment terms are rather heavy. If the lender agrees, you can have a longer repayment term period. But the rule for repayment periods is: the longer the time given you to pay, the bigger is the cumulative payment. Still, at least with a longer repayment period, you need to pay less per month out of your income so maybe a longer repayment period is more comfortable for you to absorb.
Another aspect of Secured Loans you need to bear in mind is the lock-in period. This means, if you borrowed $1000 and agreed to pay within 1 year at 10% interest, then discovered another lender who can loan you more over a longer period of time at a lower rate and want to switch to the second lender, you have to pay lock-in penalties to the original lender (which cover the trouble the first lender now has to absorb because you are switching to another lender.)