Line of credit
A line of credit is credit source extended to a government, business or individual by a bank or other financial institution. A line of credit may take several forms, such as overdraft protection, demand loan, special purpose, export packing credit, term loan, discounting, purchase of commercial bills, traditional revolving credit card account, etc. It is effectively a source of funds that can readily be tapped at the borrower's discretion. Interest is paid only on money actually withdrawn. (However, the borrower may be required to pay an unused line fee, often an annualized percentage fee on the money not withdrawn.) Lines of credit can be secured by collateral, or may be unsecured.
Lines of credit are often extended by banks, financial institutions and other licensed consumer lenders to creditworthy customers (though certain special-purpose lines of credit may not have creditworthiness requirements) to address liquidity problems; such a line of credit is often called a personal line of credit. The term is also used to mean the credit limit of a customer, that is, the maximum amount of credit a customer is allowed.