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Line of Credit (LOC)


A Line of Credit (LOC) is a flexible loan arrangement set by a financial institution, like a bank, which sets a maximum loan amount for a customer without a need for collateral. The customer can access this money at any time as long as they do not exceed the maximum amount specified in the agreement and meet any other requirements such as making timely minimum payments. This type of financing is commonly used for small businesses or for personal use to cover short-term capital needs or emergencies.


Line of Credit (LOC) can be phonetically transcribed as: /laɪn ɒv ‘krɛdɪt (ɛl oʊ siː)/

Key Takeaways

  1. Flexible Borrowing Option: A Line of Credit (LOC) is a flexible borrowing option where lenders, usually banks, set a maximum loan amount and borrowers can access as much or as little money as they need, up to the maximum set limit. Borrowers only pay interest on the money they actually borrow, not on the maximum limit.
  2. Interest Rates & Repayment: LOC typically has variable interest rates, which means the interest changes over the life of the loan. Repayment terms are also flexible, enabling borrowers to repay the balance in full or make minimum payments based on the outstanding balance.
  3. Usage: LOC can be used for various needs such as consolidating debts, making major purchases, funding small businesses, or as a financial cushion for unexpected expenses. However, it requires prudent financial management, as failure to make repayments can lead to mounting debt and potential legal issues.


A Line of Credit (LOC) is crucial in business and finance as it provides flexibility and readily available funds for businesses or individuals. Having a LOC means you have a pre-approved amount of money that you can draw from as needed. It acts similar to a credit card, enabling you to borrow only the funds you need, thus potentially minimizing interest costs. Furthermore, a LOC can help improve the credit score of the user if the funds are used responsibly and repaid on time. By cushioning the impact of unexpected costs and offering an opportunity to increase working capital, LOC plays a significant role in maintaining financial stability and promoting business growth.


A Line of Credit (LOC) serves as a convenient financial resource that individuals, businesses, or governments can use according to their specific needs, often for short-term capital or cash flow improvement purposes. It’s a pre-approved borrowing limit set by the lender which the borrower can dip into multiple times, up to the maximum limit, allowing the person or entity the flexibility to borrow and repay regularly, like a more flexible form of a business loan. Be it dealing with unexpected expenses, managing cash flow irregularities, investing in a project, or even purchasing inventory, a line of credit can provide the freedom and financial capacity to manage these depredations.Furthermore, LOCs are also vital for maintaining financial liquidity. Since it’s a form of revolving credit, it provides constant access to funds, helping to ensure steady operations in periods of financial instability. When borrowers pay down the value they’ve borrowed, those funds become available again without needing to reapply. Importantly, the interest is only applicable to the amount borrowed, and not on the entire credit line, which adds to its cost-effectiveness. Overall, the purpose of this facility is to guarantee available, flexible funds when they are needed, supporting both stability and growth.


1. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): This is a line of credit extended to a homeowner that uses the homeowner’s house as collateral. If the homeowner has substantial equity in their home, they may eligible for a sizable line of credit. They can borrow money against the line of credit, repaying the bank monthly with interest. 2. Business Line of Credit: Businesses, especially those that have variable or seasonal revenue may have established lines of credit with a financial institution. The LOC acts as a safety net, allowing the business to borrow when needed to meet short-term working capital requirements or unexpected expenses. The business only pays interest on the amount actually borrowed, not on the entire available line of credit.3. Personal Unsecured Line of Credit: Some banks offer lines of credit to individuals. These LOCs are typically unsecured, which means the individual doesn’t have to pledge any assets as collateral. These lines of credit can be useful in case of emergencies or unexpected expenses. The interest rates are usually higher on these types of LOCs due to their unsecured nature.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Line of Credit (LOC)?

A line of credit (LOC) is a flexible loan from a bank or a financial institution that lets individuals or businesses borrow an amount of money when they need it, as long as they don’t exceed the agreed loan amount.

How does a Line of Credit work?

A LOC works similar to a credit card. The borrower has a limit to how much they can borrow and can use the funds at any time. Interest is only charged on the amount of money borrowed, not the entire credit limit.

What types of Line of Credit are available?

There are several types of LOC available such as personal line of credit, business line of credit, home equity line of credit (HELOC), and demand line of credit.

What is the difference between a Line of Credit and a Loan?

A loan is a lump sum of money borrowed and paid back over a specified term with a fixed or variable interest rate. A LOC is a revolving account that lets borrowers draw, repay, and redraw from available funds.

How can I apply for a Line of Credit?

The application process for a LOC will depend on the bank or financial institution. Typically, it includes submitting a credit application, demonstrating the ability to repay the LOC, and often supplying some form of collateral.

What can a Line of Credit be used for?

A LOC can be used for a range of purposes such as consolidating debt, funding a business venture, home renovations, emergency funds, or unexpected expense coverage.

What happens if I exceed my Line of Credit?

If you exceed your LOC, your financial institution may charge you an overuse fee, increase your interest rate, or even freeze your account.

Related Finance Terms

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