Is a credit card an installment loan?

By | March 28, 2021

When using a credit card, you may wonder which type of loans that you have to pay for your debt. Let’s find out to see whether a credit card is an installment loan?

Is a credit card an installment loan – things you need to know

If you are familiar with the basic concepts of credit score, you already know that the history of the payment is an important factor in the score. But do you know what type of debt is on your credit card? Is a credit card an installment loan or other types of debt payments? Here are all the things you need to know.

The answer is no because credit cards are the best-known type of revolving debt which is different from installment debt. Here are the differences between revolving debt and installment debt.

Revolving debt

A credit card is usually known as a type of revolving debt. With this type of debt, you can borrow against a specific credit limit. Until you come to that limit, you can further borrow. The monthly payment for credit cards is required. If you pay full of your monthly payment, you will not be charged any interest. If you pay less than the entire balance, you will be charged.

The interest rate charged with credit cards can be high. The national average annual percentage rate (APR) is more than 16%.  Additionally, there is a compounded interest rate on credit cards, therefore, the longer you do not pay off your balance, the higher the interest you owe.

Credit cards are unsecured, which means they do not have backed by assets. A home equity line of credit is also known as revolving debt, but your home is a secured asset. 

Installment debt

With the installation debt, you have a fixed amount in one lump sum. Not the same as credit cards, you can not continue borrowing because of loans because you have to pay the balance. installment loans have predetermined end dates, so you know when you will finish paying the loan. Mortgages, car loans, student loans, and personal loans are all examples of installation debts.

If you plan to improve credit scores by paying debts, you start with credit card debt because credit cards have a more serious effect on your score than installment debts. You will see more improvements in your score if you give priority to the payment. Moreover, they often come up with a greater interest than installment loans, so it can save the money to handle your credit card first.

Is a credit card an installment loan?

Is a credit card an installment loan?

Revolving debt vs installment debt for your credit score

To maintain a good credit score, it’s crucial to have both revolving credit and installment debt.

Both revolving debt and installment debt will affect your credit score- but evolving debts in the form of a credit card are more important. This is because the scoring authorities believe that a credit card debt is a more reliable indicator for your risk as a borrower than installment debts. 

The impact on your credit scores is mainly due to the use of credit. The use of credit card loan balance is based on the credit limit of the card. The VantageScore and FICO, both important credit agencies list credit utilization are the second-highest factors to consider when determining your credit score. If the utilization ratio is high, it is an indication of the possibility that you might be overspending which can have a negative impact on your score.

The general rule is less than 30%. This applies to each individual card and your total credit card utilization ratio. If there is something higher than 30%, it can reduce your credit score and make the lender worry that you can be overspending and will have difficulty repaying the new debt.

In addition to the value of the dollar of revolving balances which is a part of the credit utilization ratio- the credit scoring models also consider the number of open revolving accounts you have and their age. Generally, the older the accounts, the more benefit to your credit score as they indicate that you have a good history of responsibly managing credit.

Credit scoring agencies often see installment debt as less risky compared to revolving credit card debt. This is because installment debt usually has an asset to back that the borrower does not want to lose. In addition, installment loans—even big ones like mortgages, are relatively stable, thus less affected on your credit score than credit card debt.

Revolving debt vs installment debt for your credit score

Revolving debt vs installment debt for your credit score

Which type of debt should you have?

Installment loans (student loans, mortgages, and car loans) indicate that you can pay back a loan amount continuously over time. On the other hand, credit cards (revolving debt) show that you can take out different amounts each month and manage your personal cash flow to have a payment back.

Jim Droske, president of Illinois Credit Services, said the lender was interested in your revolving credit accounts. Therefore, even if you can have more than $20,000 for an auto loan, lenders look more careful about your credit card –  even if you have a very small credit limit.

It is important to pay both receipts in time, while the payment accounts for 35% of your credit score. But only credit cards show that you are a reliable client in the long term. Because your balance is constantly in power, a credit card shows how well you plan and prepare for variable expenses. 

With your credit card, your balance in a month can be under $1,000, later three times as large the next. If the history shows that you are flexible enough to pay any costs, the lenders understand that you are reliable enough to borrow more money in the future.

Which type of debt should you have?

Which type of debt should you have?

As such, a credit card is not an installment loan. Instead, it is a revolving loan. Generally speaking, both types of debts are important to your credit score. In particular, most credit agencies will consider whether you are reliable or not based on your revolving debt. And if you want to improve your credit scoring, either revolving debts or installment debts are crucial for your plan.

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