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Secured v unsecured business loans: what’s the difference?

PUBLISHED ON: 13/08/2023

Is a secured or unsecured loan the best option for my business?

Secured and unsecured loans can help businesses to expand and ultimately fulfil their potential over time, but there are notable differences between the two forms of business funding.

Secured Loans require you to provide collateral to the lender, which reduces their risk. Collateral might be a hard asset, such as machinery or equipment, for example, but you can also use intangible assets as security for a business loan.

Unsecured loans, on the other hand, don’t need any form of security and are less risky for the borrowing business.

What are the differences between secured and unsecured business loans?

Using assets as collateral

When you take out a secured loan you must put forward one or more business assets for use by the lender as collateral. A charge is placed on the asset, which allows the lender to repossess if your business is unable to repay.

Unsecured assets don’t require this security and lenders use your businesses’ creditworthiness to determine eligibility. This means that your credit score and the general financial health of your company come into play.

Interest rates and loan terms

Secured business loans typically offer lower interest rates, higher borrowing amounts, and longer terms due to the lower risk to the lender. An unsecured loan is likely to attract a higher interest rate and less favourable terms in comparison but also entails less risk for your business.

Speed of access

Secured business loans commonly take longer to arrange and put into place, as the lender must value the asset(s) you’re putting forward as collateral and carry out due diligence. With no assets to value, an unsecured business loan can be accessed more quickly.

Is a secured or unsecured business loan best for your business?

You may be able to borrow larger sums via a secured business loan, which can be useful if your credit rating is poor or you need to invest in expensive assets. A longer-term and lower interest rate may also make the loan more affordable on a month-by-month basis. It’s also important to consider whether the business can sustain the repayments over an extended length of time.

An unsecured loan may meet your needs if you need fast access to funding, but the lender could require a personal guarantee, which introduces a risk to your personal finances. If no guarantee is needed and you’re comfortable with potentially more unfavourable terms when compared with a secured loan, unsecured lending may be more appropriate.

Seek professional guidance on the best type of business loan

UK Business Finance can provide the professional guidance you need before going ahead with a business loan application. We’re highly experienced commercial finance brokers and search the whole-of-the-market for the best quotes for our clients.

With so many forms of alternative funding now available to businesses, it’s worthwhile finding out if other types of finance would be more suitable for your business. Please get in touch to find out more.

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