Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 16, 2024.


Collateral refers to assets or property that a borrower pledges to a lender as a security for a loan.

What is collateral?

This serves as a guarantee for the lender that if the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender can seise and sell the collateral to recover the borrowed amount.

Collateral can take various forms, such as real estate, vehicles, equipment, inventory, or even financial assets like stocks or bonds. It provides a level of assurance for lenders and allows borrowers to access loans they might not otherwise qualify for.

Example of using collateral

Sarah wants to purchase a car and decides to finance the purchase through a bank loan. ABC Bank agrees to provide Sarah with a secured car loan.

  1. Loan amount:
    • Sarah needs R20,000 to buy the car. ABC Bank approves the loan and provides her with the funds.
  2. Collateral:
    • To secure the loan, Sarah pledges the car she intends to purchase as collateral. The car’s value is estimated at R25,000.
  3. Use of funds:
    • Sarah uses the R20,000 loan from ABC Bank to purchase the car.
  4. Ownership and collateral agreement:
    • As part of the loan agreement, ABC Bank places a lien on the car, meaning that until Sarah repays the loan, the bank has a legal claim to the car.
  5. Repayment:
    • Over the loan term, Sarah makes monthly payments to ABC Bank, covering both the principal amount borrowed and the accrued interest.

If Sarah fails to make the agreed-upon payments and defaults on the loan, ABC Bank has the right to take possession of the car, sell it, and use the proceeds to recover the outstanding loan balance.

Ready to grow your business?

Clever finance tips and the latest news

delivered to your inbox, every week

Join the 70,000+ businesses just like yours getting the Swoop newsletter.

Free. No spam. Opt out whenever you like.

Looks like you're in . Go to our site to find relevant products for your country. Go to Swoop No, stay on this page