A personal loan is an amount of money that you borrow for a specified length of time. You make fixed monthly payments, which reduce the amount of the loan until it is paid in full.

A line of credit is an open-ended revolving credit line with a specified credit limit. It is similar to a credit card account except you use special personalized checks or drafts to access the funds rather than a plastic card. Your payment is based on the payment amount option you choose and the amount of the line you have used. The account is always available to you up to your assigned preset credit limit.