Unsecured consumer loans are financial products offered by banks and other types of lenders that allow people to borrow money without collateral. Collateral is an asset of value equal to or more than the amount requested for which is put down as a pledge to secure the loan. These loans are quite popular all thanks to their convenience and accessibility. However, like any financial decision, one has to weigh the pros and cons of this financial product.
Making any financial decision without due diligence will land a person in financial mess that they never expected. That is why this article will discuss the basics of unsecured consumer loans and the pros and cons. This information will help you make an informed decision.
Basics of Unsecured Consumer Loans
Before we go into a discussion of the pros and cons of these types of credit, it is important that we touch on the basics. A clear understanding of the basics will enable you to already begin to see the advantages and disadvantages and how this financial product will benefit you. So below are some key basics that you should know:-
The amount that’s typically approved in unsecured loans is usually based on an assessment of the individual amongst other factors. Some of these other factors include market conditions and the lenders’ policies. However, even though the amount varies from one lender to another, it is usually in a range between a few hundreds and a few thousand dollars. This is as opposed to a credit facility that is backed by collateral.
Interest rates for consumer loans without collateral are usually higher than for those with collateral. The rationale behind this is quite simple; since the lender bears more risk by giving out a loan that has no security, it only makes sense for them to charge higher in interest to make up for a lack of security on the loan.
That being said however, the interest rate that will be charged is not fixed but based on individual creditworthiness and other considerations by the lender. Therefore a borrower can prepare for low interest unsecured consumer loans or what is known as blancolån lav rente in Norway, by checking out the lender’s policies and positioning adequately.
Every lender has specific criteria that qualify a loan application for approval. These criteria may have some slight variations from one lender to the other but there are basics across board and they include the following:-
- A good credit score( the minimum is usually determined by the lender in question)
- A low debt to income ratio
- A solid credit history
- A stable income and employment
Unsecured consumer loans often have fixed repayment terms that range from a few months to several years. The debt is repaid on a monthly basis and the monthly instalment includes the principal sum and the interest. The terms and conditions are usually agreed upon in the loan contract during the application process before funds are disbursed.
The process of applying for unsecured credit is quite simple and straightforward and can be done online or in person. You can decide to fill out an application form on the website of the lender or any other platform that they provide or you go to their physical office.
All that is required in the application process is that you provide personal and financial information. These pieces of information will usually include your identification, employment history and details of your income.
An individual’s credit history is a summation of their repayment history and their credit score. This is one factor that lenders scrutinize carefully before approving any form of credit. A good credit history therefore increases the chances of an individual getting good rates and other favourable terms and conditions.
Unsecured consumer loans often present certain risks for both borrower and lender. For the lender, the lack of collateral means that there is no asset of value to hold on to in the event of default by the borrower. That is why interest rate is higher than for the secured credits.
For the borrower on the other hand, the risk is that they may face some consequences such as legal actions against them or damage to their credit score in the event that they default. That is why the borrower has to be sure that they have the capacity to repay before entering into any loan agreement.
Pros of Unsecured Consumer Loans
Now that we have a basic understanding of what these loans entail, we can go ahead to discuss the advantages of engaging this product. These advantages include the following:
No Collateral Required
The universally recognized pro of this product is that the borrower is not required to present any collateral. This is unlike in cases such as mortgages where the borrower has to pledge an asset as surety for the loan. This means that the borrower of an unsecured loan does not have to risk any of their assets.
This feature makes unsecured loans especially attractive to individuals who do not have assets that they can pledge as collateral or those who are not willing to pledge their valuable asset.
Simplified Application Process
The process of applying for these types of loans is more simplified and straightforward than the process of applying for secured credits. It is also faster because there is no asset to verify and present as security. The approval process is also simplified all thanks to the absence of collaterals.
Best of all, the process can be started and completed online which saves both borrower and lender time and effort.
Flexibility and Versatility
Credit facilities that do not require collaterals are usually quite flexible and versatile. The borrower can use the funds received for any purpose they deem fit and can also repay in instalments. This makes it easy for consumers to fund personal projects that they could not have handled with just their income.
No Risk of Loss of Asset
Thanks to the fact that the borrower does not pledge any asset as surety, there is no risk of them losing any asset in case they fail to repay the debt at the agreed time. Although defaulting on a credit facility is not recommended practise, the lack of collateral give people a sense of security and thus confidence to engage this product.
They can rest assured that in the event that they fall upon hard times financially, they won’t have to lose any valuable property.
Building Credit History
Taking out these types of credits and paying back as at when due is one of the easiest way to build a solid credit history. When an individual takes out a loan and makes regular and timely payments until the loan is successfully paid off, they demonstrate financial responsibility. This in turn improves their credit score which eventually enhances their creditworthiness and chance of getting better loan terms, increased borrowing capacity and lower interest rates in future. Click here for more tips on how to build a good credit history.
Cons of Unsecured Consumer Loans
Just as with everything in life, unsecured consumer loans also has some disadvantages and it will be fool hardy not to point them out. So listed below are some of these disadvantages:-
- Higher interest rates – Since there is no collateral to hold on to, lenders mitigate their risk with a higher interest rate.
- Stricter edibility criteria – Following from the first point, the lack of collateral make lenders demand higher credit score, lower debt to income ratio and a stable income.
- Lower loan amounts- Most unsecured loans do not exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the lack of security.
- Potential debt accumulation – The ease of accessibility to these financial products may lead to reckless borrowing which in turn accumulates debts for the consumer.
- Impact on credit score – Defaulting on unsecured loans is quite common due to the lack of collateral. This in turn impacts negatively on the credit score of the borrower.
Unsecured consumer loans offer convenience, flexibility, and accessibility to borrowers without the need for collateral. However, the higher interest rates, stricter eligibility criteria, and potential debt accumulation should be carefully considered. It is essential to assess your financial situation, weigh the pros and cons, and choose a loan option that aligns with your needs and capabilities.