Line of Credit

Bradford Toney
Updated At


The information provided in this content is furnished for informational purposes exclusively and should not be construed as an alternative to professional financial, legal, or tax advice. Each individual's circumstances differ, and if you have specific questions or believe you require professional advice, we encourage you to consult with a qualified professional in the respective field.

Our objective is to provide accurate, timely, and helpful information. Despite our efforts, this information may not be up to date or applicable in all circumstances. Any reliance you place on this information is therefore strictly at your own risk. We disclaim any liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. Please verify the accuracy of the content with an independent source.

Link to this heading

What is a Line of Credit?

A line of credit is a versatile financial tool provided by banks and other financial institutions. It's a type of arrangement where the lender offers a certain amount of credit to the borrower, but the borrower is not obliged to use the entire amount. Instead, they can borrow as much as they need, whenever they need it, up to the credit limit.

There are two main types of lines of credit:

  1. Secured Line of Credit: This requires collateral, like a home or other valuable asset, which the lender can claim if you fail to repay the loan. Because of the collateral, these lines of credit typically have lower interest rates.
  2. Unsecured Line of Credit: This does not require collateral, but it usually comes with higher interest rates due to the increased risk for the lender.

The main features of a line of credit include flexibility in use, interest only on the amount used, and the ability to reuse the credit as it is repaid.

Link to this heading

Line of Credit vs. Term Loan

A line of credit and a term loan are both useful financing options, but they serve different purposes and have different terms.

A line of credit is more flexible. You can borrow up to a certain limit, repay the borrowed amount, and then borrow again. Interest is only charged on the amount you borrow, and not on the total credit limit.

On the other hand, a term loan is a lump sum of money that you borrow upfront and repay over a set period of time, with interest. The interest is calculated on the total loan amount, regardless of how much of the loan you have spent.

The key difference lies in the flexibility and repayment structure. A line of credit offers more flexibility but may come with higher interest rates, while a term loan provides a fixed amount of money with a set repayment schedule.

Link to this heading

How to Calculate Interest on a Line of Credit

Calculating the interest on a line of credit is relatively straightforward. You'll need to know the amount you've borrowed, the annual interest rate, and the amount of time you've had the borrowed money.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Step 1: Divide the annual interest rate by 100 to convert it to a decimal.
  2. Step 2: Multiply the amount you've borrowed by the decimal interest rate.
  3. Step 3: Multiply the result by the number of days you've had the borrowed money, then divide by 365 to get the interest amount.

Remember, you only pay interest on the amount you've borrowed, not on the total credit limit.

Link to this heading

Why is a Line of Credit Important?

A line of credit is important for several reasons:

  1. Flexibility: It allows you to borrow only what you need, when you need it.
  2. Lower Interest Costs: You pay interest only on the amount you borrow, not on the total credit limit.
  3. Continuous Access to Funds: As you repay the borrowed amount, you can borrow again up to the credit limit.
  4. Emergency Buffer: It can serve as a financial safety net in case of unexpected expenses.

In simple terms, a line of credit is like a flexible loan from the bank. Think of it as a credit card with a higher limit. You can borrow money up to a certain limit, repay it, and then borrow again. You only pay interest on the amount you've borrowed. It's a handy tool for managing cash flow, covering unexpected expenses, or financing small projects.

Tambe, N. (2023, July 4). What is line of credit and how does it work? Forbes Advisor INDIA.

Majaski, C. (2023, May 4). Loan vs. Line of Credit: What's the Difference? Investopedia.

Segal, T. (2022c, June 22). Term loan Definition, Types, and common Attributes. Investopedia.

Simpson, S. D. (2023, September 8). Lines of credit: When to use them and when to avoid them. Investopedia.

We're making finance easy for everyone.
Consolidated finances have never been easier.
Get Started Today
Cassie Finance
Copyright 2024