Installment Loans

Key Takeaways:

  • An installment loan is a loan with a set number of scheduled payments, usually monthly, until the loan is fully paid.
  • Installment loans typically have equal monthly payments.
  • Examples of installment loans include a mortgage, personal loan, and auto loan.

What Is an Installment Loan?

An installment loan is a loan with a set number of scheduled payments, usually monthly, over a certain period of time.

Examples of installment loans include mortgages and auto loans. These fixed installments cover the principal and interest over a set period.

This is different than a line of credit, where your available credit increases as you make payments toward the outstanding balance.

Examples of installment loans online include:

Auto loans

Auto loans are typically repaid with monthly installments over a period of 12 to 96 months. Longer terms will mean higher interest rates; for example, an auto loan with an 84-month term will incur more interest than one with a 72-month term.


Mortgages are installment loans where you borrow money to buy a house. Mortgages are typically repaid over a period of 15 to 30 years. Some mortgages have fixed interest rates which means monthly payments that don’t change.

Personal loans

Personal loans are money you borrow for almost any goal. You repay the bank or lender in fixed monthly installments until the loan is paid in full, including interest.

How Do Installment Loans Work?

Installment loans allow you to borrow an amount of money and repay it over a set number of monthly payments until the loan is repaid in full.

After borrowing the funds, you will have to repay the loan over a set period of time, which will be determined by the lender at the time of your application.

The term of a personal installment loan is typically between 12 and 36 months.

Installment loan payments are typically for the same amount every month, and once you’ve made all your loan payments, the loan is paid off and the lender closes the account.

Installment Loans FAQ

How to get out of high interest installment loans?

Getting out of an installment loan that has high interest rates may seem difficult, especially with payday loans that have average interest rates of 396% in the U.S. These loans trap many borrowers into a debt cycle they can’t get out of. 

If you have multiple loans, you can consider a debt consolidation program to put all your loans into one single payment plan with lower interest rates. You can also prioritize your higher interest loans and pay off the ones with the highest interest rates first. 

If these are not suitable options for you, ask for an extended payment plan from your lender. You may end up paying more n the end, but your monthly payments will be lower. If your lender is a member of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSAA) they will very likely offer extensions.


How many installment loans can you have?

You may have more than one loan at the same time. You may have multiple loans from the same lender, or you may have loans from multiple lenders, but always make sure you can comfortably afford the installments.

What happens if you pay off an installment loan early?

Some lenders offer free early loan payback options, which means you can pay back your installment loan earlier, without any penalties. You’ll also save on interest, because the longer you take to pay, the more interest you pay as well.

Where can I get an installment loan?

There are hundreds of lenders in the U.S. and a good option is to compare loan offers online. You can compare personalized loan offers, rates, and repayment terms, to find the best loan for your needs.


Lorien is the Country Manager for Financer US and has a strong background in finance and digital marketing. She is a fintech enthusiast and a lover of all things digital.

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Last Updated: October 21, 2021

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