If you’re looking to obtain a personal loan, you have two basic options: unsecured and secured.
Unsecured loans can be used for any purpose, such as to pay off debt or start a business.
The main difference between unsecured and secured funding is that the former isn’t backed by collateral or assets.
When you take out a secured loan, you give the lender “security” that they’ll have something to cover your debt in case you fail to pay up, such as a vehicle or property.
On the other hand, going unsecured means the lender is taking your word that you’ll repay your debt to them.
However, if you don’t pay back what you borrowed, the lender still has recourse, including taking you to court – so this is hardly a risk-free source of funding.
If you don’t have collateral to put up to secure your loan, the unsecured route could be your only option.
But because the lender is extending you a loan without security, you’ll almost certainly need a good personal credit score with a demonstrated history of repaying your debt.
Good credit will be the key to obtaining a loan with lower interest rates and more favorable repayment terms.
Bad credit, on the other hand, means your options will be limited and the options that are available will likely charge you higher rates.
In each case, the lender will take into account the “5 C’s” of credit: character, capacity, capital, conditions, and collateral – the last of which will be nothing but your word in the case of unsecured funds.
If you’ve got good credit and want to go unsecured, you have a number of choices.
One is a signature loan
A signature loan is your basic unsecured option, and can be used in any way you’d like – debt consolidation, starting a company, buying expensive bedding, whatever.
In this case, you secure the loan with your signature. It’s the legal equivalent of a handshake deal.
This is a personal loan that you can get through banks and credit unions, and typically you pay it off in installments that amortize over time.
You pay a fixed amount – a portion of the principal, plus interest – until you’re square with the lender.
Generally, signature loans are good vehicles for people to help rebuild their credit (more on that later).
Another option is a credit card, which functions as a line of credit:
Rather than receiving a set amount that you pay off in installments, you simply charge whatever money you need, whenever you need to, up to your pre-set credit limit, and pay it back when you can.
Credit cards are easy to find and not difficult to be approved for, but their interest rates can be markedly higher than what you’d get from a signature loan – many people find themselves in debt from free-spending on a credit card and racking up high interest fees, so be careful.
Peer to peer loans are an increasingly popular option in this space as well.
P2P loans involve posting loan requests through online lending sites, where individual lenders (including, potentially, friends and family) can fund your loan, to be repaid in fixed installments at competitive rates.
Another form of unsecured funding, used for a very specific purpose, is a student loan.
These loans are specifically issued to students for paying off their education costs, but they typically have good rates, interest subsidies, and other perks.
First of all, you need to get yourself back on track and improve your credit score, which can unlock greater lending options at lower rates.
You may still be able to obtain unsecured funding without good credit, but your rates will be unfavorable at best and crippling at worst.
You may instead want to look into a secured loan – putting up your house or business assets as collateral – and improve your credit score by paying that off on time.
If you can get a small signature loan and repay it quickly, you’ll be on your way to improved credit and the ability to take out a larger, more favorable loan.
As mentioned above, a lender that allows you to get a loan without collateral isn’t just going to walk away if you can’t pay your debt.
The lender may take you to court and have your wages garnished.
They may send a collection agency after you to collect your debt.
Either way, recognize that you’re not getting free money here – the lender will get their money back one way or the other, so do yourself and your credit score a favor and don’t default.
After considering what kind of unsecured personal loan is right for you and your situation, start researching different rates.
Get started at LendGenius to connect with a lender and see what they can do for you.
Important Disclosures. Please Read Carefully.
Persons facing serious financial difficulties should consider other alternatives or should seek out professional financial advice.
This website is not an offer to lend. Lendgenius.com is not a lender or lending partner and does not make loan or credit decisions. Lendgenius.com connects interested persons with a lender or lending partner from its network of approved lenders and lending partners. Lendgenius.com does not control and is not responsible for the actions or inactions of any lender or lending partner, is not an agent, representative or broker of any lender or lending partner, and does not endorse any lender or lending partner. Lendgenius.com receives compensation from its lenders and lending partners, often based on a ping-tree model similar to Google AdWords where the highest available bidder is connected to the consumer. Regardless, Lendgenius.com’s service is always free to you.
This service is not available in all states. If you request to connect with a lender or lending partner in a particular state where such loans are prohibited, or in a location where Lendgenius.com does not have an available lender or lending partner, you will not be connected to a lender or lending partner. You are urged to read and understand the terms of any loan offered by any lender or lending partner, and to reject any particular loan offer that you cannot afford to repay or that includes terms that are not acceptable to you.
By submitting your information via this website, you are authorizing Lendgenius.com and/or lenders and lending partners in its network or other intermediaries to do a credit check, which may include verifying your social security number, driver license number or other identification, and a review of your creditworthiness. Credit checks are usually performed by one of the major credit bureaus such as Experian, Equifax and Trans Union, but also may include alternative credit bureaus such as Teletrack, DP Bureau or others. You also authorize Lendgenius.com to share your information and credit history with its network of approved lenders and lending partners.
Our lenders offer loans with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 35.99% and below. For qualified consumers, the maximum APR (including the interest rates plus fees and other costs) is 35.99%. All loans are subject to the lender’s approval based on its own unique underwriting criteria.
Example: Loan Amount: $4,300.00, Annual Percentage Rate: 35.99%. Number of Monthly Payments: 30. Monthly Payment Amount: $219.36. Total Amount Payable: $6,581.78
Loans include a minimum repayment plan of 12 months and a maximum repayment plan of 30 months.
In some cases, you may be given the option of obtaining a loan from a tribal lender. Tribal lenders are subject to tribal and certain federal laws while being immune from state law including usury caps. If you are connected to a tribal lender, please understand that the tribal lender’s rates and fees may be higher than state-licensed lenders. Additionally, tribal lenders may require you to agree to resolve any disputes in a tribal jurisdiction. You are urged to read and understand the terms of any loan offered by any lender, whether tribal or state-licensed, and to reject any particular loan offer that you cannot afford to repay or that includes terms that are not acceptable to you.
Lender’s or Lending Partner’s Disclosure of Terms.
The lenders and lending partners you are connected to will provide documents that contain all fees and rate information pertaining to the loan being offered, including any potential fees for late-payments and the rules under which you may be allowed (if permitted by applicable law) to refinance, renew or rollover your loan. Loan fees and interest rates are determined solely by the lender or lending partner based on the lender’s or lending partner’s internal policies, underwriting criteria and applicable law. Lendgenius.com has no knowledge of or control over the loan terms offered by a lender and lending partner. You are urged to read and understand the terms of any loan offered by any lenders and lending partners and to reject any particular loan offer that you cannot afford to repay or that includes terms that are not acceptable to you.
Late Payments Hurt Your Credit Score
Please be aware that missing a payment or making a late payment can negatively impact your credit score. To protect yourself and your credit history, make sure you only accept loan terms that you can afford to repay. If you cannot make a payment on time, you should contact your lenders and lending partners immediately and discuss how to handle late payments.