You may encounter the term “loan collateral” when you take out a mortgage loan. Many people are unfamiliar with this term, but it’s essential to understand it. You want to be sure that you are comfortable with the collateral for your loan before you sign on the dotted line. Especially when purchasing a home, you’ll want to be sure that you know what this term means.
Learn more about it below.
What is Collateral?
Collateral is an asset that a borrower offers as security for a loan. If the borrower does not make their loan payments on time, the lender can take away what was used as collateral. Collateral allows the lender to recoup losses if the borrower doesn’t make their scheduled loan payments. For example, if you take out a car loan and default on the payments, the lender can repossess your car and sell it to repay it.
Some loans, such as unsecured personal loans, don’t require collateral. These loans tend to have higher interest rates because they are considered higher risk. The lender has no asset to seize if you default on the loan, so they must charge a higher interest rate to offset the risk.
When you refinance mortgage loans, your home equity serves as collateral. Lenders will place a lien on your home, which gives them the right to foreclose if you don’t make your payments. This is why it’s important to have equity in your home before you try to refinance. If you don’t have equity, you may be unable to find a lender willing to work with you.
Other types of loans, such as home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), also use your home equity as collateral. These types of loans tend to have lower interest rates than unsecured loans because the collateral gives the lender some security. But if you default on the loan, the lender can still foreclose on your home.
Common Types of Loan Collateral
Many different types of assets can be used as collateral for a loan. Some common examples include:
This includes land, houses, condominiums, and so on. Real estate is often used as collateral for mortgages and home equity loans. When a real estate property is used as collateral, the lender will place a lien on the property. This gives them the right to foreclose if you don’t make your payments.
Automobiles are another common type of collateral for loans. Car and title loans are two examples of cars used as collateral. These loans tend to have higher interest rates because they are considered high-risk. Your vehicle may be repossessed if you default on the loan.
Savings accounts, CDs, and money markets can also be used as collateral for loans. The account must have enough money to cover the loan, including interest and fees. You may get a lower interest rate if you use savings as collateral because the lender has some security. But if you default on the loan, the lender can take the money from your account to repay the debt.
Fine jewelry such as diamonds, gold, and silver can also be used as collateral for loans. A professional must appraise the jewelry before it can be used as collateral. Because jewelry can fluctuate in value, it’s essential to get it appraised regularly to ensure that it still has enough value to cover the loan.
Other personal belongings, such as art, antiques, electronics, and so on, can also be used as collateral for loans. A professional must also appraise these items before they can be used as collateral.
How to Choose the Right Collateral
When choosing collateral for a loan, it’s essential to consider different factors. You want to ensure that the asset you choose is something you can afford to lose. You also want to ensure that the asset will have enough value to cover the loan, even if it fluctuates in value.
It’s also important to consider the type of loan you’re taking out. Depending on the loan, you may be able to use different types of collateral. For example, some loans may only accept real estate as collateral, while others may accept a wide range of assets.
If you’re unsure what type of collateral to use, you can talk to a financial advisor. They can help you choose the right asset and ensure that it will be sufficient to cover the loan.
As you can see, many different types of assets can be used as collateral for a loan. The most important thing to remember is that the asset must have enough value to cover the loan amount plus any interest and fees that may accrue over time. If you have any questions about whether or not your asset meets these requirements, don’t hesitate to contact your local lending institution for more information.