Installment Loan Insights: Understanding Financial Commitments

Recent market figures show that 22.5 million Americans owe personal loans totaling $222 billion. That’s more than double the $102 billion owed in 2016. But let’s first answer the question, what is an installment loan?
Installment Loan Insights: Understanding Financial Commitments
There are various kinds of personal installment loans online and various ways of securing them. Before exploring these, let us first understand, what is an installment loan.
In this article

What is an installment loan? With installment loans, borrowers might get a large sum of money upfront and then make fixed monthly payments to repay the amount plus interest over a predetermined period. Through the flexibility of managing repayment through foreseeable, periodic payments, people can use this sort of borrowing to suit their financial demands. Use Beem to compare personal loan options without credit restrictions to achieve your financial goals and move toward a more secure financial future. The most recent market figures show that 22.5 million Americans owe personal loans totaling $222 billion. That’s more than double the $102 billion owed in 2016, demonstrating the popularity of personal loans.

How Does an Installment Loan Work?

Now that we have answered the question, ‘What is an installment loan,’ let’s understand how installment loans online work.

  • Borrowing: The borrower must submit an online installment loan application to a lender for a particular loan amount to receive an installment loan. The lender considers the borrower’s creditworthiness, income, and other relevant factors to determine whether they are qualified for the loan and at what interest rate.
  • Approval and Conditions: If approved, the borrower will get the required cash in a lump sum. The loan conditions, which cover the interest rate and repayment schedule, are agreed upon between the borrower and the lender.
  • Fixed Payments: For the agreed-upon term, the loan is repaid through fixed monthly payments. Principal and interest are included in each payment, allowing the borrower to gradually pay down the principal sum.
  • Complete Repayment: The borrower makes regular payments until needed. As each installment is in, the outstanding debt decreases until the loan amount settles.
  • Prepayment: Some installment loans may allow borrowers to make prepayments or pay off the entire loan before the term ends. However, checking the loan terms is essential, as some lenders may charge prepayment penalties.

Types of Installment Loans

Several personal installment loans are available to borrowers, each tailored to meet specific financial needs and situations. Here are the most common types of installment loans:

Personal Installment Loans

Personal installment loans are general-purpose loans that borrowers can use for various personal expenses, such as medical bills, home improvements, debt consolidation, or unexpected expenses. These loans typically do not require collateral and are based on the borrower’s creditworthiness and income.

Auto Loans

Auto installment loans finance the cost of purchasing a car. Borrowers benefit from cheaper interest rates than they would with an unsecured personal loan when a vehicle is collateral for a loan. The loan term is commonly correlated with the projected lifespan of the vehicle, which typically runs from two to seven years.

Mortgage Loans

Mortgage installment loans are long-term loans to finance real estate purchases, such as homes. These loans often have extended repayment terms, ranging from 15 to 30 years. The property works like collateral for the loan, and if the borrower fails to repay, the lender can foreclose on the property.

Student Loans

Student installment loans help students finance their education expenses. These loans come with favorable repayment terms and interest rates compared to other loans. Federal and private student loans are available, each with different terms and eligibility criteria.

Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit

Home equity loans and HELOCs are secured installment loans that allow homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes. While home equity loans provide a lump sum amount, HELOCs provide a revolving line of credit. The home is collateral, and the interest rates are typically lower than unsecured loans.

Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation installment loans can consolidate multiple debts into one loan with one monthly payment. By combining debts, borrowers can simplify their finances and potentially secure a lower interest rate, making it easier to manage their debt.

Type of Installment LoanPurposeCollateral NeededLoan TermExample Use Cases
Personal Installment LoansGeneral-purpose expensesUsually unsecuredShort to medium termMedical bills, home improvements, debt consolidation
Auto LoansFinancing vehicle purchasesVehicle serves as collateralShort to medium termBuying a car or other vehicles
Mortgage LoansFinancing real estate purchasesProperty serves as collateralLong termBuying a home or property
Student LoansFinancing education expensesUsually unsecuredLong termPaying for college or university expenses
Home Equity LoansBorrowing against home equityHome serves as collateralShort to medium termHome renovations, debt consolidation
HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit)Borrowing against home equityHome serves as collateralRevolving line of creditOngoing expenses or large projects
Debt Consolidation LoansConsolidating multiple debtsUsually unsecuredShort to medium termCombining credit card debts, loans, and bills
Online Installment LoansGeneral-purpose expenses (online)Usually unsecuredShort to medium termQuick access to funds for various purposes

Where to Get an Installment Loan


Traditional brick-and-mortar banks offer installment loans to their existing customers and potential borrowers. Banks typically have strict credit requirements, and the application process may involve providing detailed financial information.

Online Lenders

Many online lending platforms and financial institutions offer installment loans online. Online lenders often have a more streamlined application process, and you can apply from home. They may cater to borrowers with varying credit profiles.

Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms

Peer-to-peer lending platforms connect individual investors with borrowers. These platforms can be a good option if you seek an alternative to traditional lenders.

Online Marketplaces

Some online marketplaces provide access to multiple lenders, allowing you to compare installment loans online and choose the best one.

Credit Card Companies

Some credit card companies offer installment loan options to their cardholders. Link these loans to your credit card account keeping in mind specific terms and conditions.

Specialized Lenders

Some lenders specialize in specific types of installment loans, like auto or student loans. If you have a particular financing need, you may find lenders that cater to that specific market.

Also Know About: Installment Loans vs Revolving Credit


When posed with the question, what is an installment loan, you now understand that personal installment loans provide individuals with a structured and manageable approach to borrowing money for various purposes. With fixed monthly payments over a specific term, borrowers can plan their finances more effectively, address their needs, and track credit without the pressure of immediate full repayment. The Beem Credit Score Simulator is an online tool that can help you better plan your credit, including loans and cards.

Understanding the types of installment loans available and exploring reputable lenders can help borrowers find the best option to suit their financial requirements. Use Beem to compare different loan options ranging from $500 to $100,000 and stay on top of your financial game.


1. What Is the Difference Between an Installment Loan and a Payday Loan?

The critical difference is in the repayment structure. Installment loans are repaid in fixed monthly installments over time, while payday loans are typically due in full on the borrower’s next payday.

2. Are Installment Loans Available for People With Bad Credit?

Yes. Some lenders offer installment loans to individuals with bad credit. However, they may come with higher interest rates and less favorable terms.

3. Can I Use an Installment Loan to Consolidate My Debts?

A personal installment loan can help with debt consolidation. Borrowers can streamline their payments and potentially secure a lower interest rate by using the loan to pay off multiple debts. However, assessing the overall cost and impact on one’s financial situation is essential before consolidating debts.

Was this helpful?

Did you like the post or would you like to give some feedback? Let us know your opinion by clicking one of the buttons below!



Team Beem

Team Beem

Team Beem brings you the latest in the world of personal finance to you. From tips and tricks on how to manage money to how to get cash for emergencies, Beem is your destination for all the information you need to be smart about your money.


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.

Related Posts

Loans Like Crane Finance
Loans Like Crane Finance
Let us learn about alternatives to Crane Finance that provide individualized loan plans to accommodate different budgetary needs. Dive in!
Loans Like Spot Loan
Best Loans Like SpotLoan [2024]
Looking for a quick loan other than Spotloan? Discover choices from traditional banks, internet lenders, credit unions, and peer-to-peer platforms, each with its conditions and criteria.
Loans Like Sunshine Loans
Best Loans Like Sunshine Loans [2024]
Are you looking for loans like Sunshine Loans? Discover several possibilities based on your financial requirements and credit profile—read on!
get $50 instantly
How To Get $50 Instantly – Top 17 Ways to get Quick $50 Loan
In need of some quick cash? There are many simple and easy ways to get $50 instantly. Read on to know more.
Loans Like MaxLend
Loans Like MaxLend
Looking for lending choices outside MaxLend? Dive into sites like Loansbyworld and Cashcofinancial, which provide unique services such as tax aid and interest-free advances. Let's read more!

Get up to $1,000 for emergencies

Send money to anyone in the US

Ger personalized financial insights

Monitor and grow credit score

Save up to 40% on car insurance

Get up to $1,000 for loss of income

Insure up to $1 Million

Coming Soon

File federal and state taxes at low cost

Quick estimate of your tax returns

Get up to $1,000 for emergencies

Send money to anyone in the US

Save big on auto insurance - compare quotes now!

Zip Code:
Zip Code: