Revolving Credit: What Is It and How Does It Work?

by Stable MARK | Updated: December 4, 2022
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You've probably heard of revolving credit, but do you know what it is and how it works?

We're here to explain everything you need to know about this type of credit so that you can make the best decision for your financial needs.

Revolving Credit: What Is It And How Does It Work?
Image 1: Revolving Credit: What Is It And How Does It Work?

What Is Revolving Credit?

Revolving credit is a type of open-ended loan that allows you to borrow money up to a certain limit. You can then use that money as you see fit and pay it back over time. The great thing about revolving credit is that it's there when you need it – for example if you have an emergency expense or unexpected bill. And, once you've paid off the loan, you can borrow again up to your original limit. The interest rate on revolving credit is usually lower than the interest rate on other types of credit, such as credit cards.

How Does Revolving Credit Work?

When your application for revolving credit is approved, you will be given a credit limit. This is the maximum amount of money that you can borrow at any one time. You can use this money to make purchases or to cover expenses. You will need to make regular payments on your revolving credit account, but you can choose how much you want to pay each month. As long as you make at least the minimum payment, you can continue to use your revolving credit.

For example, let's say you have a credit limit of $1,000 and you borrow $500. You will only be charged interest on the $500 you have borrowed, and not on the full $1,000 credit limit. Another example is if your credit limit is $1,000 and you have already borrowed $500, you may be able to borrow an additional $250 if you need it.

The interest rate on revolving credit is usually lower than the interest rate on other types of credit, such as credit cards. This means that it can be a cheaper way to borrow money. However, if you do not repay your debt, the interest rates on revolving credit can be high, so it is important to make sure that you can afford the payments before taking out a loan.

Types of Revolving Credit

There are several types of revolving credit, each with its own set of features and benefits. This is a list of the most popular types:

Secured Revolving Credit

Secured revolving credit is when you put down collateral, such as a car or home, to back the loan. This type of loan has a lower interest rate because the lender has less risk. If you don't pay back the loan, the lender can take your security.

  • Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs): A HELOC is a type of loan that uses your home equity as collateral. This can be a great option if you need to access cash quickly or want a low-interest rate. Keep in mind that if you default on the loan, you could lose your home.

Unsecured Revolving Credit

Unsecured revolving credit is when you don't put down any collateral. This type of loan has a higher interest rate because the lender has more risk. If you default on the loan, the lender can't seize any of your assets.

  • Credit Cards: Credit cards are one of the most common forms of revolving credit. They typically have high-interest rates and provide flexible spending limits. However, they can also offer rewards programs and other perks that make them more attractive than other options.
  • Personal Lines of Credit: Personal loans are another option for borrowers who need cash quickly. They typically have fixed interest rates and repayment terms, which can make them easier to budget for than other types of loans. However, they may not be available to everyone, and they usually have higher interest rates than other options.

What Is The Relation Between Revolving Balances And The Interest?

Put simply, the higher your balance, the more interest you'll pay. That's because creditors calculate your interest based on your average daily balance. So if you have a high balance, you're paying more in interest.

Some credit cards have a grace period for new purchases, which means you won't be charged interest on new purchases if you pay off your entire balance within a certain number of days. However, there is no grace period for revolving balances - interest is charged from the date of your last statement until you pay it off in full.

Difference Between Revolving and Nonrevolving Credit

Revolving credit is a type of credit that allows you to borrow up to a certain amount, which is known as your credit limit. You can borrow and repay the money as many times as you like, as long as you don't exceed your credit limit.

Nonrevolving credit is a type of credit that you can only borrow once and must be repaid in installments in full within a set period, usually one to five years. Although the interest rate on nonrevolving credit is typically lower than revolving credit, you'll need to be able to repay the entire loan within the set timeframe.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Revolving Credit

The benefits of revolving credit include:

  • Flexibility - you can use the money for any purpose you deem fit
  • Convenience - you can access the money anytime, anywhere
  • Security - your payments are automatically deducted from your bank account
  • Low-interest rates - compared to other types of credit
  • No collateral required

The drawbacks of revolving credit include:

  • Interest rates are high when compared to other types of credit
  • possible debt trap - if you don't make your payments on time, you could end up in a deeper financial hole
  • possible late fees - if you don't make your payments on time, you could be charged late fees by the lender
  • possible damage to your credit score - if you don't make your payments on time, this can negatively impact your credit score

Tips For Staying In Control of Your Revolving Credit

If you're trying to get a handle on your finances, one of the first things you need to do is get a grip on your revolving credit. Here are some tips for staying in control of your revolving credit:

  1. Know your credit limit: This is the most important thing to remember when it comes to revolving credit. You need to know how much money you can borrow before you start using the loan. Otherwise, you could end up borrowing more than you can afford to repay and getting into financial trouble.
  2. Make regular payments: Once you've borrowed money from a revolving credit loan, it's important to make regular payments towards the loan so that you don't end up with a large balance that's difficult to repay. Try to pay more than the minimum payment each month so that you can reduce your debt quickly.
  3. Keep track of your spending: It's easy to lose track of how much money you're spending when you're using a revolving credit loan. That's why it's important to keep track of all of your purchases so that you know how much debt you're accumulating and whether or not you'll be able to repay your debt in full when it is due.
  4. Create a budget: If you don't have one already, now is the time to create a budget for yourself. When you have a clear idea of your incoming and outgoing funds, it becomes easier to manage your expenses in such a way. You won't overspend and put yourself into debt because of relying too much on your available credit. And finally…
  5. Pay off your debt as soon as possible: The sooner you pay off your outstanding balance, the fewer interest fees you will incur. So, try to make extra payments when you can to keep your finances under control and out of trouble.


If you're looking for a source of flexible, ongoing credit, then revolving credit may be the right option for you. Unlike an installment loan, which is paid off in a lump sum, revolving credit remains available as long as you keep up with your payments. This can make it a convenient option for managing your finances and covering unexpected expenses. Just be sure to stay within your credit limit so you don't end up paying more in interest than you need to.

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