Car loans usually fall into the category of unsecured personal loans, although purchasing a car can also be done through a secured loan. The information below will help you better understand the differences between these options.
Most loans for the purchase of a car are considered unsecured. This means that you are borrowing money without putting anything up for collateral or security against the loan. This type of loan is often more difficult, but not impossible, to obtain.
Unsecured loans are offered by many different lenders. Banks, building societies, and other lending companies are typical sources for this type of loan. You can also work through an independent loan broker who has access to many different lenders and many different unsecured loan programs.
The biggest advantage of an unsecured loan is that you do not put something of significant value, like your home, at risk. Many people already carry a mortgage or other secured debt using their home as collateral, so they are reluctant to add more. Other people don’t have a home or property to use for security, so for them an unsecured car loan is really the only option.
Another advantage of an unsecured car loan is that the loan process usually can be completed more quickly than a secured loan. This is because you don’t have to go through the extra step of having the lender determine the value of your collateral. Eliminating this step can speed up the entire transaction.
Unsecured car loans do have disadvantages. They usually carry higher interest rates, the amount available for borrowing is typically less, and they often come with restrictions on how you can spend the money you receive. Also, the rates and terms of an unsecured loan usually vary depending on your personal circumstances, so a lender’s advertised rate may not be the one they ultimately offer you, especially if you fall into the category of having poor or adverse credit rating.
As mentioned previously, lenders consider your personal circumstances, such as your credit rating, as a major factor when determining the rate for your unsecured loan. They also take into account the amount you want to borrow, the length of the repayment term, and what you want to do with the money you receive. Some lenders even take into account your method of application. For example, if you conduct the application and loan process online they may lower the interest rate of your unsecured car loan. Because of these variables, it’s important to do plenty of research to find the best deal for you especially if you have a bad credit history as loan quotes can vary wildly.
Always, always read and understand the details and fine print of whatever unsecured car loan you choose. For example, does the lender offer or require loan protection insurance? Are there any charges or fees if you repay the loan before the end of the loan term? Does the lender offer any repayment holidays (the option to skip a payment after a designated period) and if so, is there an associated fee? Can you select a specific due date for your monthly payment? Does the lender require you to make the monthly payment using a specific method such as direct debit from your bank account? These are just a few of the things that lenders may include in their unsecured car loan agreements.
If you are in the market for a car loan, consider carefully whether an unsecured or secured loan is best for you. Research as many options as possible and look for lenders who will tailor a loan that fits your personal circumstances. Keep in mind that an unsecured car loan usually carries a higher rate of interest, but the loan process can often be completed more quickly than a secured loan. No matter what your personal circumstances, take the time to learn all you can and you will end up with the loan that meets your needs.