There are many types of loans, and depending on your credit score and history and the purpose of the loan, you should be able to find a loan to fit your needs.
One of the most common types of loans is called a secured installment loan. These are used to finance higher priced items like homes and cars. A bank or credit union will lend you the money that you need to purchase the home or car, and then over a period of time (usually five or six years for cars and thirty years for homes) you will make regular payments or installments.
Normally, the payments will be the same amount and due at the same time every month, and by the end of the loan term, you will have paid off the loan and the interest. There are, however, exceptions to this type of loan structure especially in the mortgage industry. Some mortgage loans have been set up so that the lendee pays a set amount every month for a short period of time like two to ten years. During this time frame, they only pay interest on the loan, and when the term is complete, they owe the balance which is called a balloon payment.
This type of loan is only feasible when house prices are constantly rising because if the house price falls then the borrower's balloon payment will be much more than they will be able to obtain by selling the home. There are other vagaries in the home mortgage market like ARMs, or adjustable rate mortgages, where the lender's interest rate changes two or three years into the loan.
Another loan type is an unsecured loan. These include money that is borrowed for more intangible purposes which means that these loans are not backed up by an asset like mortgages or car loans. Although some debt consolidation loans are structured like installment loans as far as repayment terms are concerned, most unsecured loans are considered revolving debt. That means that as long as the relationship between the lender and the borrower remains amicable and the account stays open that the borrower can repay and reuse their credit according to his or her own discretion. These loan types include credit cards, bank overdraft accounts, and bank lines of credit. Typically, these products have higher interest rates than the secured loans discussed previously.
Drawing characteristics from both of the above categories, a HELOC or home equity line of credit, is a revolving debt that works much like a regular line of credit but is guaranteed by your home equity which is the market value of your home minus the remaining amount due on your mortgage.
Other loan types target borrowers with poor credit and include payday loans and cash advances which offer consumers fast money for a very short loan term with very high interest rates.
Those are the basic types of loans that are currently available in today's marketplace. Some companies offer most of these loans in some form or another while other companies specialize in one or two loan products. Before applying for a loan, consult a trusted advisor or professional in the finance industry to make sure that you are getting the best loan for your needs.