# Installment Debt

## What it is:

Installment debt refers to any loan that is repaid by the borrower in periodic (usually monthly) installments that include principal and interest.

## How it works (Example):

Installment debt, also called an installment loan, is granted to the borrower with a preset number of monthly payments of equal amount. These amounts are amortized to include a certain amount of principal and interest calculated over a set number of months. Once the borrower successfully submits all of these payments in their entirety, the loan is paid off.

To illustrate, suppose someone takes out a loan for \$1000 at an interest rate of 10% (or 0.10) annually to be repaid in 12 monthly installments.

\$1000 + (\$1000*0.10) =
\$1000 (principal) + \$100 (interest) =
\$1100 to be repaid in 12 installments
\$1100/12 months = \$91.66 per month

The borrower must pay 12 monthly installments of \$91.66 each. This \$91.66 comprises a portion of principal and a portion of interest. When the borrower pays the twelfth and final installment, he will have completely repaid the loan.

## Why it Matters:

When someone takes out a loan, his interest obligations accrue periodically at a specified rate. If left unpaid, the interest simply continues to accrue, requiring the borrower to repay more and more. An installment loan provides the borrower with a structured number of manageable, albeit mandatory, periodic installments.  The structure of the loan also provides assurance to the lender that his or her loan will be repaid.