What are Personal Installment Loans? Overview, and How it Works

Loan services aren’t all made equal. There are many different sorts of loans available, and it’s critical to understand how their payment schedules, interest rates, and other loan terms will affect you and your wallet.

Have you come across the word “installment loan” but aren’t sure what it means? An installment loan is a very popular type of credit. You may even have one or two of your own.

Installment loans, often known as installment credit, are closed-end credit accounts that you repay over time. Interest may or may not be included. Continue reading to find out more about the various sorts of installment loans and how they function.

What is a Personal Installment Loan?

A personal installment loan gives a borrower a certain amount of money that must be paid back in regular installments. Each installment debt payment involves the payback of a portion of the principal amount borrowed as well as the payment of interest.

How Does Personal Installment Loan Work?

When you take out an installment loan, you get the money you borrowed or the item you bought right away. You pay it off in installments, which are regularly scheduled payments that include interest.

For a specified number of weeks, months, or years, you usually owe the same amount on each installment. The account is permanently canceled once the debt is repaid in full.

A revolving credit account, such as a credit card, is an alternative to an installment loan. Revolving credit, unlike installment credit, is a form of credit that can be used indefinitely. That is, as long as the account is open and in good standing, it can be utilized and paid down repeatedly.

The amount of the loan, the interest rate paid to the borrower, and the length or term of the loan are the major elements that influence the amount of each regularly scheduled loan payment.

The regular payment amount, which is usually due monthly, remains consistent throughout the loan period, making it simple for the borrower to plan ahead of time to make the required installments.

Types of Installment Loans

Installment loans can be secured (collateralized) or unsecured (non-collateralized) (non-collateralized). The collateral for a mortgage loan is the property being purchased with the loan, while the collateral for an auto loan is the car being purchased with the loan.

The following are some of the most prevalent installment loan types:

Auto Loans

Auto loans can assist you in purchasing a new or used vehicle. The car you buy serves as collateral for an auto loan. Fixed interest rates and repayment periods commonly range from two to seven years for auto loans.


A mortgage is a loan that is secured by the property being purchased. There are numerous sorts of mortgages available. The most common are paid back over a period of 15 to 30 years.

Student Loans

Student loans, whether federal or private, are unsecured and aid in the payment of undergraduate, graduate, and other forms of post-secondary education. You don’t have to start repaying a student loan right away, unlike other installment loans. Instead, you can usually wait until after graduation to look for work.

Personal Loans

A personal loan, unlike an auto loan, mortgage, or student loan, does not have to be utilized for a specific item. Personal loans can be used to consolidate debt, make a home or car repairs, or pay an unexpected cost, among other things. The vast majority of personal loans are unsecured.

Buy-Now, Pay-Later Loans

While shopping, you may have come across a buy-now, pay-later loan, often known as point-of-sale finance. Some retailers provide the choice throughout the checkout process. Instead of paying for what you buy right away, buy-now, pay-later loans allow you to spread out your payments over a few installments. Depending on the merchant and the transaction, the repayment period can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years.

Pros and Cons of Installment Loans

An installment loan, like any other sort of loan, has advantages and disadvantages. And if it’s the best option for you is determined by your unique circumstances. Here are some things to think about:


Ability to cover a large purchase: Installment loans might provide you with quick access to funds for larger purchases.

Repayments that are predictable and on time: With an installment loan, you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay each month. This can make budgeting a lot easier.

Chances of refinancing: You might be able to refinance if interest rates drop or your credit score improves. This could result in cheaper monthly payments or a shorter repayment period. Keep in mind that refinancing may come with additional charges and drawbacks.


Not at all open-ended: If you need extra money, it’s rare that you’ll be able to increase your loan amount.

Long-term commitment: Some installment loans have longer repayment durations. That a borrower must commit to making regular payments over a lengthy period of time is required. Also, examine the terms and conditions of the loan to determine whether there are any penalties for paying it off early.

It’s possible that you’ll be charged interest: On some installment loans, interest may not be charged. However, if interest is imposed, the rate will be determined by the type of installment loan and the borrower’s credit score.

How Installment Loans Affect Your Credit

Taking out an installment loan, like any other type of borrowing, can have a favorable or negative impact on your credit. Here’s how to do it:

Payment History

In the FICO credit scoring model, your payment history is the most important component in determining your credit score, accounting for 35% of it. If you pay all of your installment loan installments on time, your credit will improve. On the other hand, if you miss payments or make late payments, your credit will suffer.

Mix Credit

Having a variety of credit types might also help your credit score. If you don’t have a loan already, adding one to your credit report can help, but only after you’ve been authorized.

It’s not a good idea to take out a loan that you’ll have to pay back simply for this. That’s also because a hard query on your credit report will result in a temporary drop in your credit score if you apply for a new line of credit.

Credit Utilization

According to FICO, your credit utilization ratio is a big factor in your credit score, accounting for roughly 30% of it. This figure shows how much of your overall credit limit you’re utilizing at any given time.

Using too much of it will lower your credit score and give lenders the impression that you’re in debt. Adding a loan to your credit file could lower your score if your credit usage rate is already high due to significant credit card debt or previous loans.

How to Apply for Installment Loan

A borrower applies for an installment loan by submitting an application with a lender and indicating the loan’s purpose, such as the purchase of a car.

The lender goes over several alternatives with the borrower, such as the down payment, the loan term, the payment schedule, and the payment amounts.

If an individual wants to borrow $10,000 to finance the purchase of a car, for example, the lender advises the borrower that putting down a larger down payment may result in a lower interest rate, or that taking out a longer-term loan may result in cheaper monthly payments.

The lender will also assess the borrower’s creditworthiness in order to determine the amount of credit and loan terms available.

In most cases, the borrower pays off the debt by making the appropriate payments. Borrowers can frequently save money on interest by paying off their loans before the end of the agreed-upon term.


An installment loan can help you in financing a significant purchase, such as a car or a home. There are benefits and drawbacks to any loan.

Flexible terms and reduced interest rates are advantages, but the possibility of default is a substantial downside. If you decide to take out an installment loan, be sure to shop around and compare rates and terms offered by lenders before signing on the dotted line.


Certain types of installment loans have numerous advantages. Your loan arrangement should be simple if you choose the correct lender and make your monthly payments on time. Your monthly bill should consist of equal, recurring amounts as long as you avoid late payments.

Yes! The entire application process for a personal installment loan is available online for most lenders. To apply, you do not need to go to your credit union or a financial institution.

Depending on your state and income, you may be eligible for a loan ranging from $500 to $4,000. Your loan amount will be determined by your state of residency, your income and repayment capabilities, and your creditworthiness.

A personal installment loan gives a borrower a certain amount of money that must be paid back in regular instalments



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