Personal Loan vs Credit Card: Know which suits you?

In today’s consumer-driven society, access to credit plays a crucial role in fulfilling our financial needs and desires. A personal loan vs credit card are the two popular options individuals often choose between to meet expenses.
Personal Loan vs Credit Card: Know which suits you?
When choosing between a personal loan vs credit card, several factors must be considered to make an informed decision based on individual circumstances and financial goals.
In this article

While both personal loans and credit cards provide means to access funds, they differ in structure, repayment terms, and overall utility. Understanding the differences between these financial tools is essential to make informed decisions and manage one’s finances effectively. This blog post will explore the characteristics, pros and cons, and factors to consider when choosing between a personal loan vs credit card.

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a fixed sum borrowed from a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, with a predetermined interest rate and repayment period. It is typically used for personal purposes like debt consolidation, home improvements, or major purchases.


  • Lower interest rates compared to credit cards.
  • Fixed monthly payments, making budgeting easier.
  • Suitable for larger expenses like debt consolidation or home improvements.
  • It can be used for any purpose, providing flexibility.


  • Lengthy application process with documentation requirements.
  • Some personal loans may require collateral or a good credit score.
  • Possibility of incurring debt if not repaid responsibly.
  • Interest charges accumulate over the loan term, increasing the overall cost.

What is a Credit Card?

A credit card is a financial tool issued by a bank or credit card company that allows individuals to make purchases on credit up to a predetermined credit limit. Users can pay off the balance over time or in full, and they may earn rewards or cashback for their credit card transactions.


  • Convenience and flexibility in making purchases.
  • Ability to earn rewards, cashback, or travel points.
  • Provides a safety net for emergencies or unexpected expenses.
  • It helps build credit history when used responsibly and paid on time.


  • Higher interest rates compared to personal loans.
  • Potential for fees, such as annual fees or late payment fees.
  • The temptation to overspend and accumulate debt.
  • Failure to make payments on time can lead to a negative impact on credit scores and financial health.

Personal Loan vs Credit Card: What’s the Difference?

Structure and Usage:

  • Personal loans provide a lump sum payment upfront, which is repaid over a fixed term with a fixed interest rate. They suit specific purposes like debt consolidation, home improvements, or major purchases.
  • Credit cards offer a revolving line of credit, allowing users to make multiple purchases within their credit limit. They require minimum monthly payments, and the remaining balance is carried forward. Credit cards are versatile and commonly used for day-to-day expenses and small purchases.

Interest Rates:

  • Personal loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards, making them a more cost-effective option for borrowing large sums of money.
  • Credit cards have higher interest rates, especially for unpaid balances, making them more suitable for short-term borrowing or managing smaller expenses.

Repayment Terms:

  • Personal loans have fixed repayment terms, usually one to seven years, allowing borrowers to plan and budget their monthly payments.
  • Credit cards provide flexibility with minimum payment requirements, but paying only the minimum can result in long-term debt due to high interest charges.

Credit Score Impact:

  • Personal loans can positively impact credit scores when repaid responsibly, as they demonstrate the ability to handle structured debt.
  • Credit card usage, particularly maintaining a low credit utilization ratio and making timely payments, can also contribute positively to credit scores.

However, it is always important to track credit to ensure that an individual is aware of any changes in the score and the reasons behind them. Eventually, constant monitoring helps to improve the score. 

The Beem Credit Score Simulator can help you track your credit to ensure a better credit score.

Personal Loan Vs Credit Card: Which to Choose?

When choosing between a personal loan vs credit card, several factors must be considered to make an informed decision based on individual circumstances and financial goals.

Purpose and Amount

Consider the specific financial need and the required sum of money. Personal loans are more suitable for significant one-time expenses like home renovations or debt consolidation, where a lump sum is needed. On the other hand, credit cards are better suited for smaller purchases or managing day-to-day expenses.

Interest Rates and Repayment

Evaluate interest rates offered by lenders and credit card issuers. Personal loans come with lower interest rates than credit cards. This makes them more cost-effective for borrowing large sums of money. If you anticipate a more extended repayment period for a substantial loan, a personal loan’s fixed interest rate may be advantageous. Credit cards can offer convenience and flexibility for short-term or smaller expenses but often come with higher interest rates.

Financial Discipline

Assess your spending habits and financial discipline. If you tend to overspend or carry balances forward, a personal loan with fixed monthly payments might be a better option to manage debt. With personal loans, you have a structured repayment plan, making it easier to budget and plan monthly payments. Credit cards provide flexibility with minimum payment requirements, but relying on minimum payments can result in long-term debt.

Credit Score Impact

When repaid responsibly, personal loans can positively impact credit scores. Making timely payments and maintaining a low credit utilization ratio with credit cards can contribute positively to credit scores. Mismanaging credit cards and accumulating high levels of debt can impact credit scores.


Personal loans and credit cards have different purposes and have their own advantages and disadvantages. When deciding between a personal loan vs credit card, it’s crucial to consider factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, intended use, and personal financial habits. Ultimately, the choice depends on individual circumstances, financial goals, and the ability to manage debt responsibly. It’s advisable to weigh the pros and cons carefully, compare offers from lenders and credit card issuers, and seek professional advice to make an informed decision.

Struggling with consolidating debt, making major purchases, or meeting unexpected costs? Beem can help. Beem’s personal loan feature can help you zero in on the kind of loan that suits your requirements best and helps you sail through a financial crunch.


1. Can I Use a Personal Loan to Pay off Credit Card Debt?

Yes. Personal loans can be used to consolidate and pay off credit card debt, saving money on interest charges.

2. Will Applying for a Personal Loan or Credit Card Impact My Credit Score?

Yes. Applying for a personal loan or credit card can temporarily impact your credit score due to hard inquiries.

3. Which Option Is Better for Building a Credit History?

Both personal loans and responsible credit card usage can help build a credit history, but it’s crucial to make timely payments and maintain low credit utilization. 

Beem can help you find, compare options, and choose the best personal loan for you to meet your needs.

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Picture of Raman Gujral

Raman Gujral

An achievement-oriented professional, Raman has 10+ years of experience in B2B SaaS and B2C products across Fintech, Telecom, Digital Media, Social Media and Logistics domains. Defining and communicating product vision and strategy, product roadmap development, product positioning, and data analysis, he is also an expert in health insurance and personal loans content.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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