Revolving Credit vs. Installment Credit: What’s the Difference?

Feb 03, 2024 By Triston Martin

What Is An Installment Account?

When you contract the installment loans, you're typically signing a contract to repay the amount you agreed to repay over a certain time. The monthly installments will be consistent with the principal balance and the loan interest rate. The money owed both in interest total and for each payment time will differ based on the kind of loan, the payback schedule, and the interest rate. For instance, the majority of mortgages have 30 or 15-year durations. The terms of car loans are typical that vary between two and seven years.

The monthly payment you pay the lender for an installment loan comprises principal and interest. Unless the terms of your loan change, you'll usually make the same amount every month. More of your monthly payments are earmarked for interest when you begin your payment plan. In time the amount you pay will decrease. The majority of your monthly installment is devoted to the principal amount. You can observe how it works by using this mortgage calculator tool for loans.

Pros of Installment Credit

Predictable Payments

The most significant benefit of using installment loans to pay off revolving loans is the ability to adjust your monthly repayment expectations. When you use credit cards or other revolving debts, it is expected that you make a minimum payment on the balance. This could result in numerous payments with a range of amounts to be paid, creating problems in making budgets. When you take out an installment loan, you're given a fixed monthly repayment amount for a specific period, making budgeting much simpler. Installment loans can also be extended over time - a 30-year mortgage is a good example, allowing smaller monthly payments that could be more in line with your cash flow requirements. For qualified borrowers, installment credit is cheaper than revolving credit when it pertains to the interest rate. Credit companies offer interest rates that rise every month, even if the balance is not paid.

Disadvantages of Installment Credit

While there are some advantages of using the installment loan to repay expensive debts and revolving loans, there are some drawbacks. One is that some lenders don't allow you to pay your loan balance. This means that you're not permitted to make payments that are higher than the mandatory amount every month (or even pay off the debt completely) without being charged a penalty for prepayment. This is usually not an issue for the repayment of credit card debt.

What Is A Revolving Account?

Revolving accounts like one with a credit card or the home equity line of credit (HELOC) is different from an installment loan. Revolving accounts give the user access to an accessible credit line, which lets you decide how much you can charge the account at any given moment. The amount you have to pay and whether or not you owe interest per month will depend on how fast you pay the charges you've made.

You'll receive a due date for every month. If you have paid your balance before the due date for payment, you don't have to pay. If you have the balance, you must make the minimum amount of payment, although the minimum amount may be less than the entire amount. If you have a balance that is not paid between one month and one month, you could be charged interest. Revolving credit can be used whenever you need it, giving you flexibility. However, this flexibility comes with a cost if you do not pay your account in full every month. The interest rates for revolving accounts could be higher than those on installment loans.

The Advantages of Revolving Credit


Credit cards that are revolving make everyday purchases simple. For instance, with a credit card, it is possible to purchase essentials such as groceries, gas, and subscriptions online and even pay for your utility bill. Credit cards revolving can be used for a long time, meaning that the borrowers do not have to think about obtaining an additional loan to use it repeatedly.

Disadvantages of Revolving Credit

High-Interest Debt

It's not difficult to make the minimum payments on credit cards; however, carrying over your last month's balance could cost you. When a credit card's grace period has ended, and its interest rate has increased, it will begin to accrue. Rates of interest for credit cards can fluctuate monthly, daily, weekly, or even monthly. High credit card balances can affect your FICO score.

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