The secured loan industry has become very big business over the last decade. Figures released show that this type of lending is going to increase in the next few years with annual lending set to increase form 8 billion a year to 11 billion a year by 2011.
A secured loan (sometimes known as a second mortgage) gives homeowners the opportunity to release some of the equity in their property. The main reason they are so popular is because of the large sustained increase in house prices over the last 11 years.
Secured loans can be used for a wide variety of purposes. The main ones being home improvement and debt consolidation. The fact that the lender has the security of your property usually means that you can get a lower APR (Annual Percentage Rate) than on an unsecured loan and you can also spread the payments over a longer term.
Whenever someone applies for a secured loan they will have to fill out an application form giving details about employment, mortgage, and home value etc, they will also have to get your permission to carry out a credit check. Only when they have all this information can they give you an accurate quote.
So beware of so called comparison sites that give you a secured loan quote without your full details. Generally, when you apply for a loan from these sites the amount you are quoted is rarely the amount you end up paying.
It is also not advisable to go to high street lenders as they will give you a quote from the limited range of secured loans they have to offer. The best way to get an accurate quote is to fill out a full application form giving all your details to a company that can compare hundreds of secured loans on your behalf and then they can offer you an accurate quote.
One other thing to be careful of when applying for a secured loan is personal protection insurance. It is advisable to get a quote with and without personal protection insurance and then make up your mind. Always remember you are under no obligation to take out personal protection insurance, however they do offer piece of mind if you cannot make the loan repayments because of sickness of unemployment.
Secured loans are also popular for people with a bad credit history. The can offer a lifeline to those that have mounting debt. By taking out a secured loan they can reduce the amount of money paid out on bills every month. It is important however that they do not start to run up high debts again.
Taking out a secured loan if you have a bad credit history can be a good way to start repairing your credit file. If you use the loan to consolidate your debts and meet your monthly payments without any defaults in time your credit rating will improve and the next time you apply for any type of finance you will get a better deal.
One other good point to remember when applying for a secured loan is that some lenders offer a payment holiday for up to six months. This can give you help with your finances, if you were struggling every month to pay your bills and now you have one smaller monthly payment that is deferred for six months.
Secured loans are available to most homeowners in the UK and they can range from five years to thirty years. There are two types of secured loan available.
The first type of secured loan is a regulated loan which is when the homeowner applies for 25,000 pounds or less. The borrower will be allowed a seven day cooling off period to think over the terms of the loan and the lender or broker can not contact them within this period.
If a homeowner applies for an amount more that 25,000 pounds then this is classed as a non regulated loan and the cooling off period is not compulsory. However it is advisable to think carefully before taking out any loan that is secured on your property.
Shaun Parker is an expert in financial services and specialises in secured loans