Definition of Installment Debt

Dec 30, 2023 By Susan Kelly

A loan that requires periodic payments from the borrower is called an instalment debt. An instalment loan payment typically consists of a fixed amount each month applied toward principal and interest. Since this is an amortized loan, the lender must draw up a normal amortization plan outlining payments for the loan term. For example, most mortgages and auto loans are instalment debts since they are due in equal monthly payments.

Learn About Repaying Your Debt in Installments

Financing large purchases like homes, vehicles, and appliances is best done through an instalment loan. Lenders prefer instalment debt since issuers get consistent cash flow throughout the life of the loan thanks to amortization payments made at regular intervals.

The monthly payment amount toward the debt instalments is calculated using the amortization plan. The total principle issued, the interest rate, the amount of any down payment, and the number of payments are all used to calculate the amortization plan.

Exceptions and Cautions

One of the most common loans issued by financial institutions is the instalment loan. Monthly principal and interest payments provide a steady income stream to lenders, who can use this to set up a typical amortization schedule. In addition, a bank's capital can grow if it accepts high-quality loans as qualifying loans, with special safeguards and the possibility of sale on the secondary market.

The Various Forms of Installment Debt

A large portion of a lender's business comes from providing conventional loans, such as those for mortgages and vehicle financing. Most of these loans have conservative underwriting and use regular amortization schedules to reduce principal and interest over the life of the loan.

A wide range of higher-risk alternative lenders in the credit market provides alternative instalment debt loans. Short-term loans such as payday advances are one example. They offer lower principal amounts and charge higher interest rates based on the borrower's place of employment and regular paycheck amount. There is also an amortization plan for these loans, but the underlying components carry significantly greater danger.

Comparing Personal Loans to Installment Debt

Instalment loans are a loan in which the borrower and lender agree on a repayment schedule that typically involves multiple payments rather than just one. In the case of a mortgage, for instance, the borrower pays back the loan principal and interest in equal monthly payments. Common instalment loans include federal student and home mortgage loans. Payments due on loans are broken up into equal amounts over time and are considered instalment debt.

Examining the Pros and Cons of Revolving Credit

There are benefits and drawbacks to taking on instalment debt, just as with any other type of borrowing. Instalment loans are an excellent option for borrowing a significant sum of money and making manageable monthly payments, as is the case, for instance, when purchasing a home. On the contrary, if you despise being indebted for a very long time, a personal loan that you can borrow and repay in full may be preferable.

A lender will often establish a repayment schedule for an instalment loan. The monthly payments of an instalment loan can easily be worked into a monthly budget.


Loans paid back in instalments are known as "instalment loans." Large sums of money, such as those needed to buy a home or car, can be borrowed through instalment loans. In most cases, the amount of your monthly payment on an instalment loan will be consistent, easing the financial strain on your budget.


The amount of money owed on an instalment loan is typically quite large, making a lump sum payment unrealistic. Interest on a loan with monthly payments accumulates over time. Paying up your loan early may result in a penalty cost from some lenders.

To what extent can I negotiate a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service?

If you owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you can work out a payment plan with them called an instalment agreement.

What is the IRS's interest rate for payment plans?

For delinquent taxes by up to 10 days, the Internal Revenue Service adds a penalty of 0.5 per cent per day. However, "if you file your return by its due date and request an instalment arrangement, the one-half of 1% rate lowers to one-quarter of 1% for any month while an instalment agreement is in force," as stated on the site.

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