Compare lenders that accept fine art as collateral | finder.com
Woman using art as loan collateral

How to get a loan secured by your fine artwork

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Get the money you need and hang onto that beautiful piece of art you love.

If your fine art is a considerable part of your net worth, it may work to your advantage to use it as collateral for a loan. With the fine-art market booming, you could borrow the amount you need and qualify for competitive loan terms by getting an art-secured loan.

Certain lenders specialize in loans that are backed by luxury items, including fine artwork. The lender asses your collateral and then holds it until you’ve repaid your loan. Learn more about how the process works, lenders to consider and what to look out for using our helpful guide.

Can I use my fine art as collateral for a loan?

It’s possible to use fine artworks as collateral for a loan. Lenders that specialize in taking artwork as collateral generally provide loans from 30% to 80% of the piece’s value, and you’ll find varying requirements for the pieces.

Supply and demand, auction data, records and information about the artist are just a few factors that can be used in determining if your piece is acceptable as collateral.

How the process works

Each lender may have processes that vary slightly, but the steps are comparable. Here’s a basic outline of what happens:

  1. Contact the lender. Give details about the art you’d like to use and what type of loan you’re looking for if more than one type is offered.
  2. Schedule an appraisal. This will likely be done at an office location, though some accommodations may be made if your piece is valuable enough.
  3. Review the terms offered to you. You’ll be able to accept or reject the terms, and go over any questions you may have.
  4. Schedule for the art to be transported. Either you will transport the art or the lender will transport it to a secure facility.
  5. Begin repayments. Once the loan is paid off, your art is returned to you.

Which lenders offer art-backed loans?

APRLoan amountLoan termsHow it worksUS locations
LevartFrom 2.93%$5,000–$1 million4 monthsApply online, accept the terms and you transport the art to a Levart-partnered secure facilityCalifornia and New York
BorroBridge loans: From 2.99%

Term loans: From 0.99%

Up to $5,000,000Bridge loans: 6 to 12 months

Term loans: 18, 24 or 36 months for loans over $100,000

Apply online or by phone, accept the terms and you transport the art to one of Borro’s secure storage facilitiesCalifornia and New York, loans offered to all 50 states
MyBridgeNowFrom 3%$5,000–$500,00030 days with extensions availableSchedule an appointment for appraisal, accept the terms and your art will be secured in the Twin Cities areaMinnesota
Athena Art FinanceCalculated based on artwork$1 million and upUp to 5 yearsContact the lender by phone or email to start, art is appraised by an independent inspector, you may be able to retain possession if you live in the USNew York, loans offered across the country and internationally

What are the benefits of using my fine art as collateral for a loan?

  • Potentially borrow up to 80% of your fine artwork’s value.
  • Secured loans generally come with a lower interest rate.
  • You don’t lose ownership of your artwork if you pay back the loan per the agreement.
  • These are nonrecourse loans, meaning your art serves as the collateral and you don’t need to offer a personal guarantee.

What are some disadvantages of art-backed lending?

  • You may have to pay for the transportation to and from the designated holding facility.
  • Locations of lenders that specialize in these loans are limited.
  • Defaulting on the loan can mean the loss of your fine art and potentially collections actions.
  • Despite security measures, there’s always the risk of something happening to your piece if it’s in the lender’s possession.

7 loan features to consider when choosing a lender

Here are seven additional factors to consider aside from the standard APR, loan term, amount available to borrow and turnaround time:

  1. Appraisal. What is the lender’s appraisal process like? Find out if you’ll need to send in high-quality pictures and details, if an appraiser will come to your home, if you need to ship your piece somewhere or if you’ll have to take the piece to the lender.
  2. Loan-to-value ratio. What percentage of the value of your artwork can you borrow?
  3. Credit check. Look into whether the lender requires a credit check for you to be approved for an art-backed loan.
  4. Insurance policy. If the lender takes possession of the piece, make sure it remains properly insured. Take into consideration if the lender charges extra for the insurance or not.
  5. Fees. Certain lenders require that you front the cost of transportation, others provide it free of charge. Prepayment fees and late fees may also add to the cost of your loan, so inquire with lenders about fee structures.
  6. Extensions. Hiccups can happen and you may be unable to pay the loan off by the term. See if potential lenders offer extensions or are willing to renegotiate terms. Some are willing to so long as you can pay the interest due each month.
  7. Default policy. Possibly the biggest thing to consider is the company’s default policy. With your fine artwork on the line, it’s important to consider and fully understand the terms of a default should it come to that.

How will the value of my artwork be determined?

An appraisal will take place either virtually or in person to determine the value of your artwork. Things that will be considered include:

  • The artist
  • Previous auction record
  • Private ownership record
  • Condition of the artwork
  • Current market value of similar pieces

Unsecured personal loans to consider

Want to loan that doesn’t require collateral instead? Compare these online providers.

Rates last updated September 26th, 2018

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Bottom line

Art is often worth more to its owner than the market value at any time. Instead of selling a treasured piece, you may be able to work with a lender that will take the piece as collateral. While it can be a good way to get a loan without a credit check, it can also impact your credit score in other ways if you don’t meet the terms of the loan. Be sure to compare your options for secured loans and unsecured loans and fully assess the risks and benefits before you commit to any loan.

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Rhys Subitch

Rhys Subitch is a content creator and editor for finder.com. They specialize in updating information on various pages to keep everything accurate for the readers, and enjoy the time they get to spend researching various topics because of it. Rhys lives with their cat and partner in Seattle. When not working they enjoy working on sewing and other craft projects.

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