Installment loans are a kind of finance that enables you to repay a lender in tiny installments over time. They may help customers finance large-ticket products such as a new house, automobile, or medical expenses.

If you are considering applying for an installment loan, there are a few things you should think about beforehand, including the various costs. Here’s what you should know before taking out one.

What Exactly Is an Installment Loan?

An installment loan is a kind of financing that has a set interest rate and is payable in regular principal and interest installments. The loan is fully repaid at the conclusion of the financing period (e.g., three or five years).

Installment loans may be either collateralized or unsecured. Unsecured loans are more expensive than secured loans because lenders take greater risks when making them.

How Do Installment Loans Work?

You must first qualify before applying for an installment loan. This often entails having a good credit score, particularly for unsecured loans. Secured loans, on the other hand, require you to put up collateral, such as a home, vehicle, or cash.

In exchange, you may not need to have perfect credit. However, bear in mind that if you are unable to make payments on a secured loan, you may lose the collateral.

To acquire installment loans, you’ll need to complete some form of application, which the lender will then assess and accept or reject. The lender’s timeline can vary, but some alternatives can provide funds within a day or two after agreeing on the loan conditions.

If a few days is too much and you need money now, then an alternative solution could be cash advance apps with no credit checks where you can get some money almost instantly. You also need to remember that in credit matters, you should always choose a reliable lender.

You begin repaying the installment loan as soon as you get the cash. You’ll also have to pay interest and any fees (which vary based on the loan type and lender), so you’ll wind up repaying more than you borrowed.

What Are the Interest Rates on Installment Loans?

The cost of an installment loan is determined by the collateral, the borrower’s credentials, and the length of the loan period. This is due to the higher risk associated with unsecured loans, loans issued to less creditworthy customers, and loans with longer payback durations.

An unsecured loan with a payback duration of 12 to 84 months will have an APR ranging from 2.5% to 36%.

From the table below, you can see that the number of people who take personal loans and the amounts of these loans has increased. The average balance of new unsecured personal loans has increased this year and now stands at $6,656.

More people are now struggling and vulnerable to unreliable lenders that are dragging them into debt. Therefore, you should always choose a reliable lander and take into account the interest rate on your loan.


Installment Loans For People With Poor Credit

Some lenders may be ready to work with you if your credit history is spotty or your credit score might need some improvement. Keep in mind that you may be charged higher interest rates since lower rates are normally reserved for individuals with great credit.

You may increase your credit score by paying your payments on time, paying down debts, and monitoring your credit report for inaccuracies.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Having an Installment Loan


  • There is no entrapment. Long-term installment loans have the significant advantage of not being intended to trap borrowers. The clear deadline and payment structure ensure that borrowers always know exactly what they’re getting into and can make an informed choice about what sort of loan would work best for them, whether it’s six months, a year, or another period.
  • Simple to use. Most installment loans make their decision on acceptance or denial quickly. In contrast to a payday loan or a home equity line of credit, installment loans have no waiting period.
  • Predictability. Installment loans are more predictable than other sorts of debt, such as payday loans, which might change based on a variety of personal situations. Having an installment loan that you can return in regular monthly amounts might bring a lot more stability to the individual who takes out the loan.
  • Simple to manage. This is the most obvious benefit of installment loans. Borrowers will be able to divide the large amount into smaller, more affordable payments.


  • Interest is growing. Because these loans are paid in installments, the longer you wait to repay them, the more interest you are likely to pay.
  • Hidden Prepayment Fees. Be wary of infamous lenders that include prepayment penalties in their loan agreements. Because not all installment loan organizations are made equal, one must do extensive research before committing.

What Installment Loans You Should Avoid

Installment loans aren’t always beneficial to borrowers. Even with trustworthy lenders, interest rates and fees might be too expensive in certain situations. Because they are unable to keep up with payments, customers may default on their debts.

Predatory lending methods, such as payday loans, should be avoided. These sorts of installment loans may seem appealing since you may access your money quickly, and there are no credit checks.

However, payday loans may have interest rates as high as 400%, and consumers are often locked in a debt cycle while attempting to repay these loans.

Other Personal Loan Considerations

  • Origination fee. Personal loan origination fees are one-time expenditures that you normally pay when you get the loan, while some lenders include the fee in the overall loan amount. Origination costs are normally 1% to 10% of the loan amount.
  • Keep an eye out for look-alike surcharges. A cost comparable to an origination fee, such as an application, processing, or administrative fee, may be charged by the lender. The Truth in Lending Act requires all costs to be disclosed.
  • Fixed-rate vs. variable-rate loans. The lender must state whether the interest rate on loan is fixed or variable, which means it may fluctuate over time depending on market rates. If you don’t want your payments to fluctuate, go for a fixed-rate personal loan.
  • Shop around for the greatest price. Fees, APRs, financing timeliness, and consumer-friendly features such as flexible payment alternatives are all worth comparing. Most online lenders allow you to pre-qualify in order to examine your rate and conditions without affecting your credit score.


An installment loan might assist you in financing a large purchase, such as a vehicle or a house. As with any loan, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider.

If you decide to get an installment loan, browse around and evaluate the rates and conditions given by lenders before signing on the signed line. Also, be wary of hidden fees.