By Steven Finlay (auth.)
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Extra resources for Consumer Credit Fundamentals
While usury was a charge made by a lender to secure a proﬁt from the borrower – money made from money – interest was compensation for loss of the use of funds during the period of the loan. If the moneylender had not lent the money, they could have reaped a proﬁt from its productive or commercial use elsewhere and should therefore receive recompense for their loss (Homer and Sylla 1996 p. 73). Lending on interest once again became widely practised, particularly in support of expanding international trade, and helped support the resurgence of the medieval economy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
The key difference from a personal loan is that no cash is advanced to the customer – the credit is restricted. The customer signs an agreement, receives the goods and then makes regular repayments until the debt is satisﬁed. In some cases a deposit will be required in order to limit the overall exposure of the lender, with 10 or 20 percent a common amount. In the UK most retail credit agreements are undertaken on a credit sale basis – with the goods becoming the immediate property of the customer.
6 The cost of credit The cost of credit is the additional amount over and above the amount borrowed that the borrower has to pay. It includes interest, arrangement fees and any other charges. Some costs will be mandatory, required by the lender as an integral part of the credit agreement. Other costs, such as those for credit insurance, may be optional, with the borrower choosing whether or not they are included as part of the agreement. Interest is a charge made in proportion to the amount and term of the loan, expressed as a percentage of the total sum borrowed per unit time.