Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s The Difference?

Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s The Difference?

The answer to the question “Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s the Difference?” needs to be understood by all entrepreneurs. Loans are an excellent option when businesses want to expand or when entrepreneurs open startups.

Secured and unsecured loans are two options available to Canadians. When applying for a secured business loan, you must provide collateral.

This results in lower interest rates as the lender’s risk is significantly reduced. Unsecured loans, conversely, don’t require collateral but carry higher interest rates, reflecting increased risk.

So, how do you decide which loan fits your business? Let’s take a deep dive into secured vs unsecured business loans to help you make an informed decision.

What is a secured business loan?

Secured loans are capital that guarantees that the lender won’t run at a loss. These business loans come with some collateral, which the lender can acquire if the borrower defaults.

This is a form of “security” for loan repayment. Canadian entrepreneurs are cautious when applying for these loans because they risk losing something vital.

Moreover, collateral on this type of loan can be in the form of physical assets (houses, cars, or gold). The good thing about this loan is that it allows you access to more capital from top Canadian lenders.

A good example is when you qualify for a C$20,000 loan from a bank. Taking a secured loan may make you eligible for C$40,000.

Also note that once you take out this type of business loan, avoid defaulting. Once you default, your collateral could be seized and sold off. Businesspeople seeking a massive capital injection will find this loan the best option.

Categories of secured business loans

To answer the question, “Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s the Difference?”, understand the different categories available. Here are some categories of secured loans you can apply for in Canada:


These types of business loans are meant to secure properties. The collateral collected for mortgage loans is the property itself. It takes some time for this loan to be granted due to the huge amount involved.

Construction Loans

These are secured loans offered to people who need to build any structure in Canada. Construction loans are provided by the best lenders in Canada to eligible customers.

Auto loans

These car loans are approved for people who need a car but are short on funds. When you collect auto loans, you will also secure them with the vehicle you buy.

Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans - comparewise

Home Equity Line of Credit

These home equity loans are for those who want to secure their house. The type of house you want to secure will determine how much you will be given. Documents needed include :

  • ID card
  • Driver’s Permit
  • Social Insurance Number

These are meant to ensure you reside in the province and qualify for these loans.

 Criterion Needed for Secured Business Loans

When discussing “secured vs unsecured business loans: what’s the difference?” entrepreneurs should do their due diligence. For secured business loans, below is what is needed:

  • You must reside in the province.
  • For business loans, you should have a viable business.
  • Applicants must have collateral that can secure their loans.

What are unsecured business loans?

Unsecured loans are less-risky loans offered to people who don’t have collateral. An unsecured loan is issued by lenders to support a borrower’s creditworthiness.

Top Canadian banks and other financial institutions that provide these unsecured loans do so through credit card purchases, personal loans, and property improvement loans. Canadians with a bad credit scores have a mountain to climb when applying for this type of loan.

Moreover, the lenders of these types of loans rely more on your creditworthiness than any physical assets should you default. Also, the duration of secured loans is short.

Categories of unsecured business loans

Here are some examples of unsecured loans you can apply for in Canada:

Credit Cards

This is the most popular unsecured loan you can get. When you make purchases online or offline, you pay for goods backed by your bank. The amount on your credit card depends on your reputation and account history.

Signature Loans

You can apply for a signature loan when you are a long-time bank customer. This loan type doesn’t require collateral and is based on good faith. Before you are given this loan, the lenders must check your account history.

Student Loans

Although these loans aren’t meant to fund small businesses in Canada, they are an excellent example of unsecured loans. Students who apply for these loans don’t provide any collateral. If you apply for student loans and can’t pay them back, you risk having dents in your future wages and garnished tax returns.

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What are the eligibility requirements in Canada for unsecured business loans?

To be able to access unsecured loans, here are the eligibility criteria in Canada:

  • Must be 18 years and above
  • Must have a good credit history.
  • Must be a Canadian citizen.
  • The borrower should have some form of identity.

Comparing secured and unsecured business loans in Canada

“Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s the Difference?” will compare both types of business loans.

Collateral Requirement

Collateral is one of the differences between secured and unsecured business loans. For secured loans, the borrower must have a property or asset as a guarantee before the loan can be approved. This is meant to secure the loan if there is a default. No collateral is required; the borrower just needs to show they are creditworthy.

Credit Score

Another significant difference between both business loans is the credit ratio of the borrower. Irrespective of the loans you apply for, lenders will conduct a business check on your account.

Secured loan credit scores are flexible. This means that even if your credit ratio isn’t positive, you can still get a secured loan approved.

However, unsecured loans take credit scores very seriously. This is expected because they aren’t collecting any guarantees; all they have is your word.

Interest Rates

Interest rates for these loans are lower because of the risk involved. The backing that your collateral gives them makes them offer attractive interest rates, far lower than what traditional banks do.

Moreover, these loan interest rates are immense since nothing is certain. They believe offering a higher interest rate will cover them if defaults exist.

Risk to the Lender

The risk lenders face with unsecured loans is often higher than with secured loans. If there is a default on unsecured business loans, the lender must take legal action before getting their money back. This action will incur additional legal costs, adding to their bill.

However, in secured business loans, the lender has much to lose. If a default arises, his assets and other associated funds will be confiscated. That’s why many lenders in Canada tend to approve more of these loans.

Debt-to-income Ratio

The debt-to-income ratio varies across the loans you want to collect. This metric permits financial institutions to know the payment capacity of the borrower.

A higher income plays a crucial role for an unsecured business loan before it can be considered. However, borrowers with secured business loans need to have higher incomes.

Repayment Calendar

Payment time is vital to understanding “Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s the Difference?”. Business loans have a quicker application period and a shorter repayment time. While you can access capital quickly, you will also need to pay it back quickly.

But for secured loans, the repayment plan is longer, while application periods vary depending on lenders. Most lenders allow months or even years for the loans to be repaid.

Secured vs unsecured business loans final thoughts

This “Secured vs Unsecured Business Loans: What’s the Difference?” guide discussed the types of business loans you can access. Many startups need some capital to survive, which is why money is vital.

The points argued during the secured vs unsecured business loan debate above will help you make the right choice. Also, the eligibility criteria vary with lenders; you must contact them to know their requirements.

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FAQs about secured vs unsecured business loans

What's the difference between secured and unsecured business loans?

The difference between secured and unsecured business loans is based on the guarantees provided. For secured loans, you must bring assets that serve as collateral to the lender. But for unsecured loans, your creditworthiness is all that is needed.

What are examples of secured and unsecured loans?

Secured business loans include mortgages, car loans, and construction loans. While some examples of unsecured business loans are credit cards and student loans,

What is better, a secured or unsecured loan?

The best loan to apply for between secured and unsecured business loans depends on you. Unsecured loans are an ideal option if you are afraid of putting your assets at risk. But secured business loans are recommended if you want a bigger loan and are confident you will make payments.


August 7, 2023
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