> Unsecured Loan - UK Guide
In a nutshell
A loan that can be taken out without any collateral or guarantee.
Best Loan for
Tenants, other non-homeowners, people that do not wish to use their property as security against loan finance.
Most lenders will put a cap on the borrowings you can make for unsecured loans (i.e. up to £25,000, for example). Most minimum amounts start at around the £1,000 mark but it is possible to borrow less than this. It is also possible to find certain lenders that will allow you to borrow more if you shop around. Actual loan amounts will vary from lender to lender and will probably be based on your income, outgoings and a credit rating.
Most unsecured loans run from 12 months to approximately 6-7 years on average. Again, it's possible to negotiate either way with some lenders.
Unsecured loans are quick and easy to arrange and are the best option for tenants and other people that don't own their own property as no security is required. They can also suit homeowners that don't wish to use their property as security - here you can take out a loan that won't put your home at risk if anything goes wrong with your finances.
What to look out for
Although you don't have to put your property up as security for an unsecured loan, you need to be aware that it can still be at risk if you have problems making repayments. If you stop repaying, then your lender can still take legal action to have any of your possessions/property repossessed to get their money back. You can take out a payment protection scheme to protect against some eventualities when you take out your loan - but this will add to your costs overall. Unsecured loans don't give lenders that much security - so you'll be charged higher rates here. You may also find that some unsecured loans aren't hugely flexible. You should ideally be looking for overpayment permissions, no early repayment penalties and things like payment holidays - but you won't get it with every lender. It can also be harder for some people to get accepted for an unsecured loan. As you have no security to offer, your lender will credit check you to see how you manage financially. If your credit rating is bad then you may find that your application is rejected or that you are charged higher rates - these will rise depending on how bad your credit rating actually is. And, your rates may well go up as well if you want to borrow higher amounts.
If you are a home owner then you can look at a secured loan with lower interest rates as an alternative. If you don't own your own property, then you have few other options here.