installment buying



A system by which a buyer pays for a thing in regular installments while enjoying the use of it.

During the repayment period, ownership (title) of the item does not pass to the buyer. Upon the full payment of the loan, the title passes to the buyer. Installment buying is a social innovation that expands the economy with additional income. Cyrus McCormack (1809-84, one of the inventors of the harvesting machine) pioneered it in the early 19th century US, and Issac Singer (1811-75, one of the inventors of the sewing machine) made it a common practice. The UK term is hire purchase.

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