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Secured Car Finance or Personal Loan

Ever wondered what the difference is between secured car loans and personal unsecured car loans and how that difference affects your finance and their repayments.  The difference can vary depending on the bank or finance company, but is larger when the true cost of each is taken into account.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of car loans packages , let’s first have a look at the various workings that determine the cost of your loan and of your monthly repayments. The cost of a loan is the total you repay less the sum borrowed. Hence, let’s say you are repaying $20,000 at 12% interest rate over 36 months; you will repay at the rate of $664.29 per month.  That would total a repayment of $23,914.44, and the cost of the loan would be $3,914.44 plus any set-up or administration fees.  A car loan calculator will enable you to work this out for yourself.

An alternative to a car loan package would be car hire purchase (HP), where you hire the car over the repayment period and take delivery of the owership papers to the vehicle with your final payment. Until then the car belongs to the HP company.

However, most credits are either secured or unsecured, and not all lenders offer car loans that are unsecured so let’s look at secured car finance first. Secured car finance is one whereby the lender offers the loan with the car as security.  If you fail to make payments, the lender can sell the car to recoup their money.  It is possible to get a secured car loan if the car is over a certain age, often 7 years, but the car finance term or loan term may be requested to be shorter than the standard 5 yearsor not at all by using your home or some other form of security. These however are not strictly classed as car financing. It is generally the car that is the security.

If you prefer you can request no deposit car finance and have all on-road costs added to the amount financed. Options like registration , loan insurance and comprehensive auto insurance as part of the financing deal.  Loan insurance makes sure that the finance is paid off in the event of your death during the loan period, and car insuranceis needed to make sure that the car is in good condition should it be needed to repay the lend in the event of you defaulting on your loan commitment.

This might all sound like doom and gloom, but these are conditions you see with most secured car loans, not only car loans. Secured car loans terms are from 1-7years, and the interest rate will be lower than that for an unsecured car loan where the finance company charges extra to compensate for their added risk. As with any loan, a deposit will result in lower payments, or a shorter term, whichever you prefer.

You could also apply a balloon, which is an amount borrowed where you pay interest only and finalised the principle when finalising the loan.  This is popular by those whose income will increase over the period, and they will be in a better financial position to pay a lump sum in 3 – 5 years time. This  too  results in either a cheaper repayment per monthor a shorter repayment term.

If you are buying a used motor vehicle, your loan will be priced differently according to the car finance company and the age of your car. Many will charge higher loan rates, and the current credit crisis has changed the outlook of many lenders to unsecured car finance in particular. Many no longer offer unsecured car finance due to the increased risk in the current economic climate.

However, they are still available, and some online brokers can assist in getting you a good low rate unsecured car loan. In addition to the interest rate on such loans, you should also evaluate the fees charged, since they can involve a considerable outlay for you before you get the loan.

The key differences between secured and unsecured car loans, therefore, can be summed up as:

Secured car loans are more affordable to repay, with generally lower interest rates.

You need to have full comprehensive car insurance with all secured car loans, while unsecured loans do not.

Both loans could require life insurance cover for the finance, but secured car loans are more likely to.

You can sometimes include comprehensive insurance, registration and other costs in the secured loan, but with an unsecured car financing you must include the the costs on top of the amount borrowed.

Fees for unsecured car loans can be greatly higher than for secured car loans.

Not all lenders will offer unsecured auto loans.

There few doubts that if your car is young enough to be given a loan with the car as colateral, then that should be your option.  You might be able to arrange a secured loan for an older vehicle with your dwelling as security, but you will have to make sure to maintain the payments since lenders are becoming unsympathetic in the current economic down turn.

Car Loan Calculator is a website in Australia providing car finance information online. Use their car loan calculator to get car loan rates and finance repayments.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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