LINE OF CREDIT

A line of credit, abbreviated as LOC, is an arrangement between a financial institution, usually a bank, and a customer that establishes a maximum loan balance that the lender permits the borrower to access or maintain. The borrower can access funds from the line of credit at any time, as long as he does not exceed the maximum amount set in the agreement and as long as he meets any other requirements set by the financial institution, such as making timely minimum payments.

The main advantage of a line of credit is its built-in flexibility. Borrowers can request a certain amount, but they do not have to use it all. Rather, borrowers can tailor what they spend to their needs, and they only have to pay interest on the amount they spend, not on the entire credit line. In addition, consumers can also adjust their repayment amounts as needed, based on their budget or cash flow. For example, borrowers can repay the entire outstanding balance at once, or they can opt to just make the minimum monthly payments.

A line of credit is a type of revolving account. This means that the borrower can spend the money, repay it and spend it again, in a virtually never-ending, revolving cycle. Revolving accounts such as lines of credit and credit cards exist in contrast to installment loans such as mortgages, car loans and signature loans. With installment loans, consumers borrow a set amount of money, and they repay it in equal monthly installments until the loan is paid off. Once an installment loan has been paid off, the consumer cannot spend the funds again unless he applies for a new loan.

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