What Is An Installment Loan

What is an Installment loan?

A fixed amount of money is what an installment loan is. It is a loan that you take out and then pay back with interest in monthly payments. The interest rate will vary depending on the amount of the loan, credit score, and collateral pledged. Repayment terms can be as short as a few months up to 30 years.

Installment loans can be unsecured or secured by personal property and other forms of collateral. Installment credit is when you borrow the loan in one lump sum and not as revolving credit like credit cards. These loans can be repaid over time.

Here are details about the various types of installment loans and their pros and cons.

Guide to Installment Loans

There are four main types of installment loans: auto loans, student loans, mortgages and auto loans. Except for student loans and mortgages, most of these products offer fixed interest rates with fixed monthly payments. An installment loan can also be used for other purposes such as consolidating debt and refinancing an automobile loan.

How to choose the best installment loan

It can help you to make informed decisions. These are the basic pros and cons for most installment loans.


  • Fixed monthly payments – Every month your payment will be the exact same, which makes it easier to budget.
  • Fixed interest rates – Regardless of market fluctuations, your interest rate will remain the same.
  • Diversifying your credit mix can help you diversify – Lenders will be impressed if you add a new or additional installment to your credit card.
  • Credit score building – Your score could increase if you pay your monthly bills on time.


  • Penalties and potential fees – Loans may be subject to origination fees and prepayment fees.
  • Potentially high interest – Some loans may have high interest rates depending on the credit score of the borrower and the lender.
  • Possible requirement for collateral – Lenders may ask you to provide proof if you are having trouble repaying your loan.collateral.

Installment loans can be useful for those with good credit, but they have their downsides. Riskier loan options, such as payday loans, can seem appealing but have their drawbacks.

Revolving credit vs. installment loans

Although credit cards and installment loans are the most popular ways to borrow money they can be very different. These are the main differences.

  • Monthly payment – Installment loans usually require equal monthly payments up to the final balance. Credit card monthly payments may fluctuate depending on the interest rate and outstanding balance.
  • Funds available – An installment loan is a loan that you pay in one lump sum. You may need to complete another credit application if you wish to increase the loan amount. Credit cards allow you to limit the credit that you can get based on your credit limit and current balance. Some lenders will offer higher credit limits if you have a track record of good repayments.
  • Interest rate – Fixed interest rates are offered by most installment loans and they remain fixed for the entire term of the loan. Variable interest rates, late payments, and expiry of promotional rates are all reasons credit card interest rates may rise.

When borrowing money, there are three options: a personal credit line, a home equity loan, or a revolving credit.

  • Revolving credit – You can borrow money repeatedly up to a limit. You will then have to repay it over time. Your credit score will improve if you pay off this type of credit regularly, usually monthly.
  • Home equity loans – Use the equity in your home as collateral. These loans can be beneficial to you because lenders offer attractive interest rates. A home equity loan can help boost credit scores. However, you should only take out the loan and not use it immediately. It could impact your credit score if you take out a significant amount of the loan.
  • Credit cards for individuals – Another option is to have access to set credit limits that you can borrow from whenever you need. Once you have been approved, your lender will most likely give you a time limit that you can draw money from, also known as a “draw period. “There are differences between a personal and a line credit.

The “How-to” section

Before you apply for an installment loan, here are some steps to help you decide if it is right for you. First, try using a personal loan calculator. This will allow you to estimate what your monthly payments could look like and how each option fits within your budget. Then, check your credit to avoid any surprises when you apply.

Next, gather all your documents. What you need to apply for a loan may vary by lender, but commonly required documents include proof of identity, proof of residence, proof of income, and a Social Security card. Take the time to compare different lenders. You can find out which lenders will be the most suitable by visiting websites such as the Better Business Bureau or Best Online Mortgage Loan Offer Ratings and Customer Reviews.

Do you want to borrow? You are now ready.

You now have a better understanding of installment loans and can look at your options confidently to find the best option for you.



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Author: Alex Darwin

Alex is a former budget manager turned entrepreneur. He works mainly at home on his credit score advice website and writes a financial blog on the side. He hopes to expand his business into a full online lending company for bad credit as soon as he gets enough investors.