The differences between secured and unsecured loans

Secured vs Unsecured Business LoansWhen exploring the options for obtaining a business loan, it’s crucial to weigh the advantages of both secured and unsecured loans.

These two primary types of small business loans offer distinct features that warrant careful consideration.

While secured loans necessitate collateral, there are additional nuanced disparities that demand attention.

Let’s delve into these disparities to ensure an informed decision-making process

The difference between secured and unsecured business loans and what this means for you

Understanding the distinction between secured and unsecured business loans is essential for making informed financial decisions. A secured loan requires collateral, such as property or inventory, which serves as a guarantee for the lender in case of default.

This collateral reduces the lender’s risk, making secured loans more accessible and often offering lower interest rates and higher borrowing limits. On the other hand, unsecured loans do not require collateral but rely solely on the borrower’s creditworthiness and business financials.

While unsecured loans provide greater flexibility and speed in accessing funds, they often have higher interest rates and lower borrowing limits.

Assessing your specific needs and risk tolerance will help you determine which loan type aligns best with your business goals and financial situation

Examples of secured loans

Secured loans provide borrowers with a valuable opportunity to utilize various forms of collateral, ranging from properties, vehicles, equipment, to stocks. The inclusion of collateral acts as a safeguard for lenders, effectively mitigating their risk. In the unfortunate event of a borrower’s default, the lender retains the right to seize and sell the collateral to recoup the outstanding loan amount.

Examples of commonly encountered secured loans encompass mortgages, asset finance, and invoice factoring. To determine the loan amount, lenders often require a comprehensive valuation of the collateral.

The provision of collateral not only increases borrowing potential but also facilitates more favorable terms and rates, enabling borrowers to secure larger amounts of funds while enjoying enhanced lending conditions

Examples of unsecured loans

Unsecured loans present an attractive alternative as they do not necessitate collateral. Instead, lenders focus on assessing the borrower’s creditworthiness to evaluate their capacity to repay the loan.

While the absence of collateral may limit the borrowing potential or result in slightly higher interest rates, unsecured loans offer notable advantages in terms of speed and flexibility.

Overdrafts, credit cards, and Funding Circle loans are prime examples of unsecured loan options available. The loan amount and terms are predominantly influenced by factors such as the borrower’s credit score and the overall financial well-being of the business, allowing for a tailored approach to lending.

The key differences between secured and unsecured loans

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the disparities between secured and unsecured loans empowers you to make an informed decision that suits your business requirements.


Secured loans, as the name suggests, necessitate collateral, while unsecured loans do not. This means that in the event of default, a lender can seize the collateral associated with a secured loan to recover their losses. Conversely, unsecured loans lack collateral, often prompting lenders to seek alternatives such as a personal guarantee.

In the case of secured loans, a lender typically places a charge on the collateral provided. This charge may complicate the process of selling the asset, such as a vehicle or equipment, until the loan is fully repaid. Opting for an unsecured loan allows you to retain complete control over your assets.

Unsecured loans prove advantageous if your business lacks valuable assets to use as security or if your existing assets have already been leveraged.

Interest rates

Secured loans generally boast lower interest rates than unsecured loans due to their lower risk profile for lenders. However, the specific interest rate you receive will depend on factors such as your credit score, income, and other relevant considerations.

Repayment terms

Secured loans often feature longer repayment terms, making them ideal for larger loan amounts. On the other hand, unsecured loans offer greater flexibility. For instance, some lenders offer loans come with no early settlement fees, providing you with the option to pay off your loan ahead of schedule at no additional cost.

Loan amounts

Secured loans typically enable borrowers to access larger sums of money, facilitating investments in equipment or machinery that may otherwise be unattainable. For example, you can apply for asset finance of up to £5 million. Nevertheless, unsecured loans are also available in substantial amounts, offering loans ranging from £10,000 to £500,000.

Purpose of loan

Both secured and unsecured loans serve diverse purposes, and choosing the right option for your specific needs is crucial. If speed and flexibility are paramount, an unsecured loan is likely the optimal choice. Conversely, if you intend to purchase a new vehicle, a secured loan via asset finance may provide the most affordable solution.


Unsecured loans generally offer faster application processes compared to secured loans since they do not require asset valuation. The assessment of credit scores and financials, which is typically employed by lenders for unsecured loans, can be conducted more swiftly. For instance, you can complete an unsecured loan application in just 10 minutes and receive a decision within as little as 1 hour.


When contemplating the choice between a secured or unsecured loan, it is imperative to carefully evaluate your financial circumstances and objectives. If you possess valuable collateral or intend to utilize the loan for asset acquisition, a secured loan may prove beneficial, often accompanied by lower interest rates and extended repayment terms.

In the absence of collateral, an unsecured loan remains an appealing option, offering expedited fund disbursement and enhanced flexibility.

Furthermore, your creditworthiness, income, and various other factors will influence the type of loan you qualify for, as well as the interest rate you are eligible to receive. By considering these crucial elements, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your unique financial situation and objectives.

Lee Jones Profile
Business Finance Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline

Lee Jones is a seasoned expert in the field of business finance with over two decades of experience. With a keen understanding of financial markets and a passion for helping businesses thrive, Lee has become a trusted advisor to countless companies across the United Kingdom.