An installment loan is a type of agreement or contract involving a loan that is repaid over time with a set number of scheduled payments; normally at least two payments are made towards the loan. The term of loan may be as little as a few months and as long as 30 years. A mortgage loan, for example, is a type of installment loan.
The term is most strongly associated with traditional consumer loans, originated and serviced locally, and repaid over time by regular payments of principal and interest. These “installment loans” are generally considered to be safe and affordable alternatives to payday and title loans, and to open ended credit such as credit cards.