Cosigners or Collateral? Weigh Both Properly When Seeking A Loan

Borrowing money is something everyone has to do at some point. Not everyone, however, presents the same level of credit-based worthiness and risk to a lender. While lenders are in the business of issuing money at interest, the lenders do need to take extra precautions when someone has weak credit. Borrowers are not entirely concerned with the business matters of lenders. They would just like to collect the funds they ask for. Things are not always so simple. Sometimes, extra steps are required to garner an approval.

Two very common approaches are employed by those who may not otherwise be approved for a personal loan. The would-be borrower could request someone co-sign the loan or he/she could put up some form of collateral. Some may seriously weigh a designer to ask a cosigner to help out or to go the collateral route.

The Benefits of a Cosigner

If a cosigner puts his or her signature on the loan application, the loan may be easily approved. Granted, the cosigner would need excellent credit in order for such an outcome. Finding the right cosigner is critical to be approved. A cosigner with weak credit is hardly going to be much help to the cause. An individual with good or better credit score may aid with a quick approval and the receipt of a lower interest rate.

The problems with a cosigner may give some pause for thought, though.

The Drawbacks of a Cosigner

Borrowers may have trouble finding a cosigner. Not everyone is willing to put his or her name — and obligation to pay — on someone else’s loan application. Those who need a loan quickly might be too pressed for time to locate a cosigner.

Even when a cosigner agrees to terms of the loan, he or she might not actually stick to them. In other words, if the primary borrower defaults, the cosigner may default as well. The “safety net” of the cosigner making payments disappears. Both parties end up in trouble.

In the event of a default, the borrower and the cosigner are probably going to end up with a very strained relationship. Borrowers do need to ask if such a risk is worth it.

Collateral and Its Benefits

When collateral is put up for a loan, the loan is considered secured. Collateral alone might not be enough. Financial institutions don’t want to go through the trouble of seizing collateral to resell it. Hence, the lenders do look closely at the credit history of the borrower. A person with bad credit might be turned down even if he/she is putting something of tremendous value up as collateral.

Not all collateral loans require good credit. A car title loan would be a type of secured loan in which poor credit borrowers and the unemployed could be immediately approved. How title loans work is fairly easy to understand. Essentially, the title — ownership — of the car is put up as equity. The loan amount is going to be lower than the full resale value of the car. Interest rates may be very high. For some, a car title loan may be the only option available due to financial and credit history circumstances.

Other collateral loan options exist. Those who own property may explore home equity options, a low-interest endeavor. Borrowing from a pawn shop has become a popular form of secured borrowing thanks to television shows highlighting the industry.

Think Things Through

Any borrower who cannot be approved for a personal loan has to look for alternatives. In addition to looking at viable alternatives, serious thought must go into making any decisions. This prudent approach may help with avoiding a number of problems — financial ones — that otherwise might occur.

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