The customer loan is a short-term trade loan based on a contractual agreement between a customer as the lender and a supplier as the borrower who creates services, whereby the customer already makes payments before receiving the supplier's service. Often one speaks of buyer credit, buyer credit, down payment, customer down payment, prepayment credit.
The customer loan is a frequently used financing alternative where there is a considerable amount of time - sometimes more than a year - between the planning and completion of a service and the service is geared to the special needs of a customer, e.g. in large-scale plant construction, large machine construction, housing construction, shipbuilding . It can serve the supplier primarily for the following purposes:
The supplier can influence his liquidity favorably, since the buyer participates in covering his capital requirements.
The advance payment offers a certain security that the customer is still interested in the service and that it will be accepted.
The prepayment offers a certain security for the solvency of the buyer.
The amount of the customer loan and the time or times of its payment are regulated differently in practice. You can e.g. B. from the industry standard Terms of payment, but also depend on the supplier's market position and order situation.
A bank guarantee is often used as security for customer loans. Otherwise, contractual penalties or guarantees can be agreed.