What characterizes most consumer lending is that it is intended to be relatively short-term. It rarely extends for more than ten years. It may take many different forms: Credit card purchases are a form of consumer loan, even if the consumer pays the purchase back at the end of the month . Short-term loans to help cover bill payments, , or even the so-called 'paycheck' loans made just to cover a consumer's salary payment are all forms of consumer lending, .

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