sum of money

A letter of credit vs line of credit is issued by the bank to the seller upon request of the buyer while a line of credit is an instrument used by the customer or borrower to request funds from the financial institution. Once approved, the borrower can utilize the funds as a line of credit. Unlike term loans, the borrowers incur interest charges only on the withdrawn funds. Borrowers can reuse the facility by partial or full repayment as many times as possible.

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You interest only on the amount you borrow, and you can borrow again and again, as long as you don’t owe more than the limit. Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options. The businesses whether they are small, medium or large, require working capital funds some or other day for their day to day operations. Always innovative, Mitzsheva is currently developing a cutting-edge budgeting app for newlyweds. Stand out and gain a competitive edge as a commercial banker, loan officer or credit analyst with advanced knowledge, real-world analysis skills, and career confidence. CAs, experts and businesses can get GST ready with Clear GST software & certification course.

Revolving vs. Non-Revolving Lines of Credit

In a letter of credit, usually, four parties are involved in the process – the buyer, buyer’s bank, seller, and seller’s bank. The opposite is the line of credit, which provides much flexibility. The borrower can use funds up to a fixed amount for whichever purpose he likes. He can use it to pay creditors, buy raw materials, pay for utility or even buy machinery if he has the required limit. What guarantees payment under the bill of exchange if the drawee is unable to pay at the predetermined point in the future? I assume the tradeability of the BoE is otherwise much dependent on the credit worthiness of the drawee.

Pursuit has more than 15 funding options available for small businesses. Every day, we help entrepreneurs find the best funding solution to meet their needs and we can help you, too. In other words, as the word standby itself suggests, a Letter of Credit is the primary document, and deals happen with that document mostly. And Standby Letter of Credit is a secondary document, used only once the primary document fails.


After these terms are completed and confirmed, the bank will transfer the funds. The letter of credit ensures the payment will be made as long as the services are performed. The letter of credit basically substitutes the bank’s credit for that of its client, ensuring correct and timely payment. The difference between the letter of credit and line of credit is that a Letter of credit is a document issued by the bank to the seller on request of the buyer. Whereas the line of credit is a financial instrument that helps the customer to borrow a maximum amount from the bank. Letters of credit are used to make payments to the seller during international transactions while the customer to borrow loans uses the line of credit.

It is often used as a negotiation tool in business, as well as assurance. Without a letter of credit, there is a chance the seller may question the buyer’s ability to pay after shipping goods, while the buyer may worry about losing money if the seller never ships the goods. A letter of credit allows peace of mind when conducting transactions. In such a situation, the purchaser will get paid with the money that was spent by him or her with the help of a letter of credit. Usually, a letter of credit supports a beneficiary or a seller in an exchange agreement where the bank will make sure that the seller receives the amount from the purchaser or from the issuing bank itself. Most HELOCs come with a specific drawing period—usually up to 10 years.

The Requirement of Issuing Bank

As letters of credit are risky credit facilities and involve cross-border parties, banks do not approve the facility easily. It is an expensive and complex credit facility that is normally used by large businesses involved in international trade. Generally, a bill of exchange is used in international trade activities where one party will pay a fixed amount of funds to another party at a predetermined date in the future. The bill of exchange will facilitate a line of credit for international traders. The party who writes up the bill of exchange is known as the drawer, and the party that is to pay the sum of money is known as the drawee.

In this case, the bank or financial institution agrees to make it instead on their behalf. The fundamental principle of all letters of credit is that letters of credit deal with documents and not with goods. The payment obligation is independent from the underlying contract of sale or any other contract in the transaction.

Elements of letter of credit:

However, like anything else related to banking, trade, and business there are some pros and cons to acknowledge. There are many different letters of credit including one called a revolving letter of credit. Ask Any Difference is made to provide differences and comparisons of terms, products and services.

personal finance

It provides a payment assurance to the seller that the buyer will pay for the goods supplied, and his money will not be at stake. This is irrespective of the situation of the buyer, which means the bank assures payment. A letter of credit is a written assurance, or commitment, that the bank of a buyer or importer gives to the bank of a seller or exporter. The buyer’s bank is referred to as the issuing bank, while the seller’s bank is referred to as the accepting bank.

Difference between Line of Credit and Letter of Credit

Personal LOCs are used for emergencies, weddings and other events, overdraft protection, travel and entertainment, and to help smooth out bumps for those with irregular income. This means that the borrower does not promise the lender any collateral to back the LOC. One notable exception is a home equity line of credit , which is secured by the equity in the borrower’s home. From the lender’s perspective, secured LOCs are attractive because they provide a way to recoup the advanced funds in the event of nonpayment.

  • Among the various forms of letters of credit are a revolving letter of credit, a commercial letter of credit, and a confirmed letter of credit.
  • Legal writers have failed to satisfactorily reconcile the bank’s obligation to pay on behalf of the applicant with any contractually-founded, academic analysis.
  • In order to qualify, a borrower must meet the lender’s minimum credit and income thresholds.
  • Letter of credit used to make payment to the seller by the buyer in an international trade transaction.
  • While businesses mainly use a letter of credit for foreign country transactions, they may also use it for domestic transactions.
  • A line of credit on the other hand is an instrument that offers support to a business or an individual, through financial loans.

An ILOC is a method of facilitating a transaction between a purchaser and vendor with the help of their respective banks. The purchaser requests an ILOC from his bank, which is then despatched to the seller’s financial institution. In addition to providing credit threat safety, an ILOC sometimes also specifies essential details of the transaction, such as worth, fee phrases, and time and place for delivery of products.

Banks will typically require collateral from the purchaser for issuing a letter of credit and will charge a fee which is often a percentage of the amount covered by the letter of credit. LCs assist to make sure that the individual on the other side of the deal performs specific actions. Banks guarantee payment and hold onto the money until it may be proven that those necessities are satisfied. To set up a documentary letter of credit score, the party making the fee typically applies for a letter of credit score with an area bank. In some circumstances, a letter of credit will require the documents to be collected. Other types of effected cost is the direct cost the place the provider ships the products and waits for the client to remit the invoice, on open account terms.


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It is because the Issuing Bank needs funds immediately when an LC is redeemed. For example, a company purchases materials from a supplier and receives the goods on the same day. The bill will be delivered with the shipment of goods, but the company may have up to 30 days to pay it.

The Bills of Exchange which are drawn and payable after a period, are called usance bills. Under acceptance credit, these usance bills are accepted upon presentation and eventually honoured on their respective due dates. Examples include paying for a wedding, a vacation, or an unexpected financial emergency. An open LOC can invite overspending, leading to an inability to make payments. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, interest paid on a HELOC is only deductible if the funds are used to “buy, build or substantially improve” the property that serves as collateral for the HELOC.

Characteristic of Letter of credit:

At maturity, the bill of exchange will become a negotiable payment instrument that can be traded, and the holder of the bill of exchange will receive payment. The bank also checks the instructions to ensure that the documents submitted by the seller comprise no errors. A letter of credit score is a document given by a financial institution to its customer guaranteeing payment to a seller upon the presentation of documents.

Let us summarize the key similarities and differences in a letter of credit and line of credit. The banks can impose further covenants to restrict cash usage by the borrower. It works as a form of financial guarantee for the beneficiary i.e., the seller. Both these instruments can be used as a method of payment to the seller. Also, the buyer can present both the instruments as a guarantee of payment to the seller. Both letter of credit and line of credit are a form of credit extension from the bank.

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