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What Types of Collateral Can You Use for a Secured Business Loan?

collateral

In contrast to unsecured business loans, secured business loans require some form of collateral. Secured business loans have some advantages over unsecured loans, including lower interest rates and the ability to borrow a higher loan amount. If you are considering getting a secured business loan, you might be wondering what you can use as collateral.

Residential, commercial or rural property as collateral for secured business loans

This is what probably comes to mind when you think of collateral for a secured business loan as it is the most common type of security. Before you consider using a property as collateral, you will want to know what it’s worth and how much equity you have in it. For example, if you owe $150,000 on a residential property that’s worth $600,000, you have $450,000 in equity in the home. The more information you can provide a lender, the better. For some loans, the lender might want to a property valuation done to confirm the value.

Marketability is another factor taken into consideration when evaluating collateral for a business loan. Lenders use this information when considering how the percentage of value they will lend with secured business loans. For example, one bank mentions that they will lend up to:

  • 80% of a residential property value
  • 65% of a commercial property value
  • 70% of a rural property value.

Since residential property is less risky and can be sold faster than commercial or rural property, this lender offers a high loan to valuation ratio for this form of collateral.

Machinery and equipment as collateral for a business loan

If you own high-value machinery or equipment that you use in your business, it could be used as collateral for a secured business loan. Again, as with property, you will want to know what the value is and what you owe on it before approaching a lender for a secured business loan. You might need to pay an independent valuer to examine the machinery and provide a professional valuation. In addition, you will want to keep maintenance records to show you have taken good care of the machinery or equipment that you are proposing as collateral.

Business vehicles

As with machinery and equipment, business vehicles are a potential form of collateral when seeking a secured loan. Again, you will need to know the value of business vehicles before approaching a lender for a secured business loan.

Inventory and accounts receivable

The value or your inventory and accounts receivable can be considered by lenders as a form of collateral. You will need accurate figures regarding the value of your inventory before approaching a lender for an unsecured business loan.

Invoice finance – also called debtor finance, receivables finance, and invoice discounting – is a form of secured lending offered by specialist non-bank lenders. This funding solution uses the cash ‘locked up’ in unpaid invoices (receivables) to improve cash flow and increase the working capital available to the business. With invoice finance, the lender will pay you a percentage (usually around 90%) of the value of outstanding invoices. When the invoices are paid, you receive the rest of money less interest and fees charged.

Investment and business savings accounts

Since these are business assets that can easily be accessed by the lender if you can’t repay the loan, they could be used as forms of collateral at the lender’s discretion to secure the loan.

What if you don’t have collateral for a secured business loan?

If you don’t have collateral for a business loan, there are many other finance options that don’t require security. For example, banks offer unsecured business overdrafts (usually up to $50,000), unsecured business loans (up to $50,000) or business credit cards. Company or corporate borrowers will need to have a guarantor who agrees to pay the debt if the business is not able to – so personal assets are at risk if the loan is not repaid. Alternatively, unsecured business loans may require a third-party guarantee.

Online unsecured business loans are another business finance option that has become popular with small business owners in recent years. Using state-of-the-art technology, online lenders are able to safely and securely look at recent bank statements, credit scores and other financial data to make a decision to grant a small business loan. The potential borrower completes an online short application as well, which usually takes under 10 minutes to complete. Based on this information, the online unsecured lender can usually make a decision within one day. With Moula, for example, funds are transferred immediately once the loan has been approved.

Learn more about unsecured business loans from Moula.

Look at the fine print whether you choose an unsecured and secured business loan

Whether you choose secured or unsecured business finance, be sure to read the fine print, including all terms and conditions. Besides the interest rate, consider any fees and charges and use the annual percentage rate (APR) to compare unsecured and secured business loan options.  Learn more about small business loans from Moula. 

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All the thoughts, ideas and musings from the Moula team! Covering everything from work/life balance to general finance tips plus everything in between!

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