The loan and credit card has become an integral part of modern day society. From short term, to long term and mortgages to student loans, they have become popular methods to securing finance.
But how did the loan come about? There has been no precise moment that loans and cards came about. They developed through lending of property, which usually included borrowing of metallic objects or live stock.
An earliest form of loan or lending can be dated back to the medieval period in the arrangement of an indentured loan or indentured servitude. This involved a deal arranged between a person of wealth and an underprivileged individual. The exchange would involve borrowing money that would be used for major expenses such as travel or real estate. Once this was acquired, the debt would be paid through the individual working off the debt over a period of several years. This can also be seen as the earliest noted form of slavery.
It is also interesting to note that in this period, interest on loans was forbidden through the 13th to 18th century by the Church and was deemed ‘sinful’.
The indentured loan meant that the servants had very little rights with the lender becoming very unfair and sometimes adding provisions on top of the debt, making life unbearable. This carried on as a form of slavery after slavery was abolished in Europe and the USA.
Banking started to developed during the middle ages as well and can be traced to Italian money lenders. These lenders would set up benches or ‘banca’ in the marketplace and would offer loans while adding interest. It is through this system that they became very wealthy people. The modern day work for bank derives from the Italian word ‘banca’. If they were unsuccessful, these lenders would break their benches. This was called ‘banca rupta’ which is where the term ‘bankrupt’ comes from.
The credit card started off as a way of acquiring purchases immediately, when there was not enough money. Retail and merchants would offer customers lines of credit, with a payment date.
The first form of the credit card came around in 1946. A New York banker named John Biggins devised the ‘Charge-It’ card for his customers. The payments had to be made locally and rather than the customer paying their bill with the merchant, the payment would be paid directly to the bank (the bank would pay the merchant instead and receive the customers’ payment). One of the terms for this card was that the customer had to be a member of Biggins’ bank.
Nowadays, modern day loans and cards are a lot fairer and easier to use, with a lot more regulations in place. Interest rates are much more controlled and the terms are a lot fairer. You won’t have to work a life of servitude to pay off the debt. The internet has made the credit card the number one method of payment and the places where you can use it are a lot less restricted. For further information, please click here
Harry Price has many hobbies – he’s an advid football fan and plays as a goalie for his local team.