Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
system of retail credit in which the buyer makes periodic payments to an account to which his purchases and service charges have been debited. The service charge is based on the outstanding balance; if the buyer pays his entire balance, no service charge accrues. The total credit allowed the customer may be some multiple of a fixed monthly payment, or there may be no credit limit-the monthly payment varying with the outstanding balance. Revolving-credit plans are provided by many department stores and are an important feature of bank credit-card systems (see credit card).