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The Beginners Guide to Installment Payments and Plans and Financing

Paying for big-ticket items in one lump sum isn’t a realistic option for many shoppers. Thankfully, many businesses now offer installment payment plans that empower consumers to make these purchases confidently.

With all the options available, how can you know what type of consumer financing to offer to your customers and clientele?

We’ve compiled a guide to installment payments and plans that help you choose the right option for your business.

What Are Installment Plans?

In today’s marketplace, a shopper must typically have the financial resources to pay for goods or services in a lump sum payment, or they must have enough credit to own a credit card. But for many shoppers, the reality is that they have neither. If limited income is tied up in day-to-day living expenses, or if an individual has bad or no credit, then they don’t have a payment option for items with a higher price.

Installment payment plans are the solution to these issues. By offering installment payment plans, your business makes big-ticket purchases accessible for shoppers regardless of their credit history or ability to pay in cash.

United Consumer Financial Services has provided installment plans to businesses like yours for over 40 years. Partnering with UCFS for your installment loan solutions allows you to offer exceptional payment solutions that meet your customers’ needs.

When you utilize consumer financing through UCFS, your shoppers pay off their installment loans over a determined period of time. As a result, they have access to affordable installment payments that empower them to make purchases without the burden of significant spending all at once.

Different Types of Installment Payment Plans

Installment plans allow more shoppers to purchase the goods or services you offer. Many of the loans individuals take out today are repaid through installment payment plans. The following loans are different types of installment payment plans:

  • Mortgages
  • Student Loans
  • Auto Loans
  • Personal Loans

The above loan types are common means for shoppers to purchase the assets, items, or services they desire. Other than mortgage loans, where the interest rate can sometimes change, all the above installment loans are typically fixed-rate loans.

As a business owner or distributor, you might find that your shoppers come to you with credit cards or personal loans to pay for the goods or services you provide. Unfortunately, these payment methods can often compromise individuals due to sky-high interest rates. UCFS’s installment payment plans offer reasonable, competitive rates that allow your shoppers to make their purchases without astronomical interest that inhibits their planned monthly spending.

Secured vs. Unsecured Installment Payment Plans

Consumers have two options with most contract loans: secured and unsecured installment plans. Unfortunately, both types of plans pose potential threats or roadblocks to your buyers. Please read below to learn about these options, then continue to explain how installment contracts through UCFS more effectively meet consumer needs.

Secured Installment Payment Plans

Some installment loans are secured, meaning they are collateralized. For example, mortgage loans are collateralized with the house being purchased by the loan. The same is true for auto loans: the car being bought is the collateral for the auto loan. To obtain this type of loan, a buyer must put up something of value.

Unsecured Installment Payment Plans

Unsecured loans are granted without the demand for collateral. Instead, these loans are typically made based on the borrower’s credit score, signifying their ability to repay the loan. As a result, the interest rate on an unsecured loan is usually slightly higher than the interest on a secured loan.

As you can see, these types of installment payment plans require collateral or a sign of creditworthiness. If your shoppers have neither and lack the cash on hand to pay for their purchase in one lump sum, they are left without purchase options.

However, when you partner with UCFS to offer installment payment plans, your buyers don’t need collateral or excellent credit to enjoy the goods they want and deserve. Application is simple and fast and can be done at the point-of-sale. Notice of approval is given quickly, usually in just minutes. Shoppers can then confidently proceed with their purchase. They can start service right away or walk away with the items they want along with affordable, scheduled payment plans, and you enjoy the benefits of accessible payment options.

Benefits of Offering Installment Plans to Customers

Both buyers and sellers alike benefit from installment plans. Below we examine the ways installment payments and plans help your business thrive.

  1. Accessibility – Accessibility doesn’t only benefit your shoppers. By offering installment payment plans, you position your goods or services within reach of a greater number of consumers. When shoppers know you offer installment payment options, they are confident to purchase with your business. They have access to your service or goods, and you, in turn, make more sales.
  1. Fast Credit Approval – When making a sale, time is of the essence in virtually every industry. By partnering with UCFS for installment plans, your customers receive fast notice of approval, many times in just a few minutes. A fast credit approval means buyers don’t have to postpone their purchases, and you as the merchant can move more products and even increase your average order value –– according to some studies, between 30 and 50 percent.
  1. Competitive Rates – UCFS offers reasonable consumer rates for our installment plans. Comparable to credit card rates, UCFS’s rates enable buyers to bring home big-ticket items without the threat of predatory interest rates. 
  1. Consistent Low Monthly Payments – UCFS allows you to set your timeline for customer loan repayment. Your shoppers enjoy consistent, planned payments that won’t take them by surprise, unlike other loan options with interest that can fluctuate. By providing consistency and predictability, you incentivize buyers to choose your business over your competition.
  1. No Registration Fee – As a merchant or distributor, you won’t be encumbered by registration fees, set up fees, or ongoing monthly fees. At UCFS, you know what to expect without these added fees.
  1. Get Paid Quickly – You know that consistent cashflow keeps your business running. Partnering with UCFS to provide installment payment plans prevents lapses in cashflow. Your business is promptly paid within just a few days after your customer signs their contract, providing you with the resources needed to grow and innovate.


Installment payments and payment plans allow you to offer affordable finance solutions to your customers. Regardless of your industry or market, you can benefit from financing services through UCFS. Installment payment plans empower both you and your consumer.

Contact the team at UCFS today to learn more about consumer financing services that will help your business –– and customers –– thrive.