I own about 200k worth of ETFs(SPY, VOO, QQQ, ONEQ, VCLT, VTWO, VT). Is it possible to put them down as collateral for a loan in the future? I need money for two things in the future:

  1. Getting a US green card via EB-5(about 950,000$ as of today in 2020). This is a long term goal, maybe 5 to 6 years into the future when I have the remaining 750k in my account.
  2. Buying a house(about 300k ~ 400k).

I google-searched for stocks as collateral for loans but did not get any great answers. If this is possible, what financial institution accepts stocks as collateral? Also, would the interest rate be in-exorbitantly high?

  • So if I have 200k worth of securities in my account, the maximum I can raise is 100k$?
    – Aditya
    Nov 22, 2020 at 21:54
  • try googling "use securities as collateral for bank loan". (It'll still be a form of margin loan.) You might be able to borrow up to 95%, depending on what kind of securities you own. (Stocks are much more volatile than, for example, real estate, so the 50% margin is quite reasonable.)
    – RonJohn
    Nov 22, 2020 at 22:02
  • Certainly it's possible. I've done it (several decades ago), taking out a stock secured loan from my credit union to buy my first airplane.
    – jamesqf
    Nov 23, 2020 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


Equities may be used as collateral for a loan. In the US this is sometimes referred to as Securities Based Lending.

Example #1 - Merrill: https://www.ml.com/solutions/structured-lending.html

Example #2 - Wells Fargo: https://www.wellsfargoadvisors.com/why-wells-fargo/products-services/lending/securities-based.htm

If you are buying a house, keep in mind that typically that subject property would be the collateral, not your other assets. You could if you want get a lower rate through balance transfer pricing where you move your assets to the lender's broker (e.g., Merrill for Bank of America, Wells Fargo Advisors for Wells Fargo) to get 25-75 bps off the rate. Your stocks could also be used as assets for qualifying purposes for the home loan (when requiring a certain amount of cash to close or a number of months of reserves). This is assuming we're talking about residential home loans here. This could be combined: move assets to get the better pricing for the home loan, then use the assets for Securities Based Lending to help fund your EB-5 strategy.


A margin account allows 50% to be taken out of the account. Or 70% might be allowed for the purchase of real estate. Institutional margin rates can be found. Otherwise the assets just improve loan qualification and loan qualification is still needed.

The $100k on margin, at 50% margin, is without loan qualification and without a lien on the real estate. The $140k on margin, at 70% margin, might be putting a lien on the real estate but there is probably not much loan qualification.

Well, in standard brokerage accounts, "portfolio margin" is available with large account balances. Then "portfolio margin" can go up to very high margin percentages but "portfolio margin" is based on liquid positions held entirely in the account. To take value on margin out of a brokerage account, for the purpose of buying real-estate, then the 70% margin level is about the best deal that can be found. To take value on margin out of a brokerage account, just for general use, then the situation is back to the standard 50% margin level.

  • Please add citations.
    – RonJohn
    Nov 22, 2020 at 22:04
  • A bank that accepts securities as collateral would probably be expecting a buy-and-hold portfolio and then put a lock on it. Someone with an ongoing profit-making endeavor would probably just use the standard brokerage margin.
    – S Spring
    Dec 24, 2020 at 18:26
  • A bank that accepts securities as collateral for a loan would probably expect that the value of the marginable securities would be constant so that collateral would remain. They would not likely care whether one owned $25k of IBM or $25k of Proctor and Gamble. A brokerage firm wouldn't care in the slightest because Reg T margin is mathematical not content driven (one marginable security is just as good as another marginable security for meeting the maintenance requirement). Apr 23, 2021 at 10:40
  • Here is a link to pledged asset lines: schwab.com/pledged-asset-line . Then loans like that often go to 70% of the securities value.
    – S Spring
    Apr 24, 2021 at 17:39

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