What is credit? The word credit has several meanings in regard to the financial world and industry. But the word as you should know is most commonly referred to as a contractual agreement when a borrower receives a stipulated sum of money or something else that holds value and then commits to repaying the lender at a much later date and most typically with interest.
What Is Credit
The word credit also can refer to the creditworthiness or the credit history of an individual or a company. In the world of accounting, on the other hand, the word refers to a special type of bookkeeping entry. With that being said, I will be explaining the meaning and definitions of credit in various factors of life and areas of industries.
Credit in Lending and Borrowing
The word credit represents an agreement that exists between a creditor (lender) and a borrower (debtor). The debtor in question promises to repay the lender, at most times with interest, or get to risk financial or legal penalties. Extending credit is one very practice that dates back thousands of years, even to the dawn of human civilization, as per the anthropologist David Graeber in his book Debt: The First 5000 Years.
There are several different forms of credit. And the most common examples include car loans, mortgages, personal loans, as well as lines of credit. Essentially, when the bank or other forms of financial institutions makes a loan, it “credits” money directly to the borrower, who must then pay it back at a future date.
Credit cards may just be the most ubiquitous example of credit in today’s world, thus allowing consumers to buy just about anything on credit. The card-issuing bank in question serves as an intermediary between buyer and seller, thus paying the seller in full while in the process extending credit to the buyer, who then may repay the debt over time while incurring interest charges until it is paid off completely.
Similarly, if buyers get products or services from a seller who does not require payment until very much later, that is yet another form of credit. For instance, when a restaurant gets a truckload of produce from a wholesaler who will bill the restaurant for it in a month’s time, the wholesaler is directly providing the restaurant owner with a form of credit.
What Is a Letter Credit
A letter of credit which is at most times used in international trade is a letter from a bank that guarantees that a seller will receive the full amount that is due from a buyer by a certain date that is agreed upon. And in the event that the buyer fails to do so, the bank in question is on the hook for the money.
What Is a Credit Limit
A credit limit as you should know represents the maximum amount of credit that a lender (in this case a credit card company) will extend (such as to a credit card holder). And once the borrower gets to the limit they are then unable to make any further purchases until they get to repay some portion of their balance. The term in question is also used in connection with lines of credit as well as buy now, pay later loans.
What Is a Line Of Credit
A line of credit as in this post refers to a loan from a bank or other form of financial institution that makes a certain amount of credit available to the borrower for them to draw on as much as needed, rather than just taking all at once. One typical instance is the home equity line of credit (HELOC), which lets owners borrow against the value of their home for renovations or other reasons and purposes.
What Is a Revolving Credit
Revolving credit as you should know involves a loan with no fixed end date with a credit card account being a very good example. And as long as the account is really in good standing, the borrower in question can continue to borrow against it, up to whatever credit limit has been established by the credit issuer. As the borrower then makes payments toward the balance, the account is repeatedly replenished. These types of loans are at most times referred to as open-end credit. Mortgages as well as car loans, by contrast, are considered closed-end credit just because they come to an end on a certain date.
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