An installment loan is a loan that is repaid over time with a set number of scheduled payments; normally at least two payments are made towards the loan. The term of loan may be as little as a few months and as long as 30 years. A mortgage, for example, is a type of installment loan.
The term is most strongly associated with traditional consumer loans, originated and serviced locally, and repaid over time by regular payments of principal and interest. These “installment loans” are generally considered to be safe and affordable alternatives to payday and title loans, and to open ended credit such as credit cards.
In 2007 the US Department of Defense exempted installment loans from legislation designed to prohibit predatory lending to service personnel and their families, acknowledging in its report the need to protect access to beneficial installment credit while closing down less safe forms of credit.
For the formula to compute the periodic payment, see mortgage formulas.
- Limitations on Terms of Consumer Credit Extended to Service Members and Dependents; Final Rule