Types of loan Ė Secured,
Unsecured, Home equity loans for Home Improvements
If you can't get more money from your bank
or building society, for whatever reason, there are many loan providers
willing to advance the funding you seek. Some home improvement deals may
involve money being released to you in stages to take account of the amount
of work completed. The final cost may differ from the budgeted amount so
it is prudent to borrow only the money you need.
This involves the loan being secured against a major asset Ė usually your home
or, in some cases, another property. These are cheaper than unsecured loans
but if you miss any payments there is a risk of losing your home. Secured loans
are most common when the requirement is to borrow a large sum of money (from,
for example, £5,000 upwards) over a long period of time (up to 25 years).
It is not necessary for you to own your home or property outright to secure
the loan although you must have sufficient equity in the property to cover
the amount borrowed. Note, also, that it is possible to have more than one
loan or mortgage secured on your property (although all lenders must always
be made aware of additional loans taken out against the property).
The secured loan gives lenders a degree of safety since, if the agreed repayments
cease, the lender has a claim on the property as compensation. The risk of
losing their home in this way makes some borrowers wary of secured loans. However,
a lender will more often than not take a long-term view and allow some leeway
if you run into temporary payment difficulties since he has the security of
knowing the property is there as collateral.
There are definite benefits to plumping for a secured loan Ė which, incidentally,
is much easier to obtain than an unsecured loan which is generally only offered
to people with a first-class credit record. The APR (annual percentage rate)
is usually lower than on unsecured loans and there is more flexibility on repayment
plans and terms.
Conventionally, loans are repaid through agreed monthly instalments. Flexible
loans, which allow you to borrow and pay back at will, are more widely available
than previously although interest is generally charged at a substantially higher
When deciding between a secured loan and unsecured loan it is worth remembering
that while unsecured loans are not tied to a house or property penalties for
non-repayment will still be incurred.
Allow time to arrange a secured loan as your home may need to be valued before
the advance can be agreed.
Secured loans usually offer a much more flexible approach to credit problems.
They can also be used to consolidate credit card debts and other loans into
a single loan with an affordable monthly repayment.
As the name implies, an unsecured loan does not require the borrower to put
up any security against it. People who opt for unsecured loans are usually
those who aren't in a position to offer collateral (non home owners) or those
with adverse credit records, county court judgments (CCJs), mortgage arrears,
By their very nature, unsecured loans involve the lender taking more risk Ė for
which the interest rate is increased. Although adverse credit records, CCJ's,
mortgage arrears or debt issues are unlikely to affect the acceptance of an
unsecured loan application, the better the applicantís credit record, the better
the loan terms offered.
An advantage of taking out an unsecured loan is that your application can be
processed a lot quicker as there is no collateral to be valued.
A disadvantage is that it is harder to get approval for an unsecured loan.
With no security on offer the lender must be more cautious. However, while
a bad credit history will not necessarily bar you from an unsecured loan the
interest rates will reflect the lenderís increased risk.
The risk will be reflected, too, in the lenderís tolerance of late payments.
Without any collateral, the lender will be quicker to take legal action to
recover missed instalments Ė and in such cases, the lender will usually demand
repayment of the full amount borrowed plus interest plus legal costs incurred.
In such cases, court proceedings could lead to your home being sold to raise
the money. Therefore, itís wise to ensure that you donít bite off more than
you can chew, repayment-wise, or the consequences could be dire.
Home equity loan
Since a homeowner loan or home equity loan is based on freeing up the value
of your property it is only available if you own your home.
Some lenders will not grant a home equity loan unless your mortgage is fully
repaid. Others are not so strict. Make enquiries before applying, though, to
avoid wasting time and effort on the inevitable form-filling that accompanies
every loan request!
This type of secured loan can be used not only for home improvements but also
to cover such expenses as car purchase, a wedding or a holiday. The most common
type of secured loan, it is a way of using some of the equity you have in your
home for whatever purpose you need and often offers lower rates of interest
than other loans.
There are three types of home equity release:
- Home income plans generate a monthly
income from a loan, usually invested in an annuity, which pays not only
the income but also the loan interest. For a guaranteed income it is
necessary to choose a fixed interest rate. Note that you lose the money
paid into an annuity when you die unless you arrange capital protection,
in which case some of the annuity will be refunded. Such home income
plans are generally restricted to people aged over 75.
- Loans or mortgages use the equity
of your home to allow you to borrow a percentage of its value. You agree
an interest rate on the loan and repay that over an agreed period. The
loan itself is repaid when you sell the property or by your next of kin
if you die. It is sometimes possible to get a roll-up loan on which you
donít repay any interest as this is added to the original loan. Be very
careful with these, however, as the amount can accrue alarmingly quickly.
- Home reversion is an initiative
under which you sell your home and receive a lump sum or regular income
from the proceeds. You continue to live in the property in return for
a nominal rent. However, these schemes should only be used as a last
resort, because you will not receive the market value for your home.
YOUR HOME IS AT RISK IF
YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER LOAN SECURED ON
The material contained in this web site
is provided for general information purposes only. The material is
believed to be accurate although no representation or warranty is
given (express or implied) as to its accuracy completeness or correctness.
The authors, Quotatis Ltd including its management, employees and
all other staff disclaims any and all liability for any loss, howsoever
caused, arising directly or indirectly from the use and content of
this web site By continuing to use this web site you are deemed to
accept the above terms and conditions. In addition The contents of
this web site should not be construed as professional advice, or
recommendation of any product or service offered by the companies
providing such products or services.