What Is Trade Credit?

by Axton Global
Sinosure Trade Credit
In the dynamic world of global trade, the concept of trade credit plays a pivotal role in facilitating transactions and fostering robust business relationships. Trade credit is a financing arrangement that allows buyers to obtain goods or services with the commitment to pay the seller at a later agreed-upon date. This financial tool provides flexibility and promotes smoother transactions between parties. In this article, we delve into the fundamentals of trade credit and its significance in the realm of global commerce.

Trade Credit Definition

Trade credit is a form of short-term credit extended by a seller to a buyer, allowing the buyer to defer payment for a specified period after the goods or services are received. It is essentially a financial agreement that provides flexibility in payment terms, enabling businesses to maintain cash flow and optimize working capital.

Key Components of Trade Credit

Credit Terms

The terms of trade credit include the agreed-upon period within which the buyer must settle the outstanding amount. Common credit terms are up to 120 days, indicating the number of days allowed for payment.

Credit Limit

Sellers often set a credit limit for each buyer, determining the maximum amount of credit extended. This limit is influenced by factors such as the buyer's creditworthiness and financial stability.

Interest Rates

In some cases, sellers may charge interest on overdue payments. The interest rates are typically outlined in the credit agreement and serve as an incentive for buyers to adhere to the agreed-upon payment terms.
How to Get Trade Credits for Imports from China
With Sinosure insurance, you can get 120-days trade credit for your import from China.

Benefits of Trade Credit in Global Trade

  1. Cash Flow Management: Trade credit allows buyers to manage their cash flow more effectively by deferring payments and allocating funds strategically.
  2. Relationship Building: Offering favorable trade credit terms can strengthen relationships between buyers and sellers. It fosters trust and encourages repeat business.
  3. Market Competitiveness: Businesses that provide attractive trade credit terms may gain a competitive edge in the market, attracting more buyers and fostering long-term partnerships.
  4. Flexibility in Transactions: Trade credit provides flexibility in transactions, allowing buyers to secure goods or services promptly without immediate financial strain.

Challenges and Considerations

  1. Credit Risk: Sellers face the risk of non-payment or delayed payment, emphasizing the importance of conducting thorough credit assessments on buyers.
  2. Interest Costs: Buyers may incur interest costs if payments are delayed, impacting their overall expenses.
  3. Impact on Working Capital: Sellers must carefully manage the balance between offering trade credit and maintaining sufficient working capital for their operations.

Sinosure Trade Credit Insurance Services for Imports from China

To secure trade credit for imports, an importer can opt for the services of export credit insurance companies. For example, for imports from China, there is a common mechanism - Sinosure.

Sinosure, or China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, provides coverage for commercial and political risks of non-payment. With Sinosure guarantee, Chinese suppliers are more open to offer trade credits for their buyers. Buyers, on their side, can easily defer payments and manage their cash flow. So, Sinosure export credit insurance products prove invaluable in fostering trust and facilitating smoother international trade relations between importers and exporters.

Trade Credit Q&A

What are the most common terms for trade credits?
Buyers typically have payment terms ranging from seven to 120 days. A percentage discount is offered for early payments made before the agreed-upon date.

What Type of Credit Is Trade Credit?
Trade credit is a form of commercial financing allowing businesses to buy goods without immediate payment. It comes with a 0% borrowing cost, making it a cost-effective financial tool.

What Are the Types of Trade Credit?
Trade credits can be in the form of open accounts, promissory notes, or bills payable.
  • Open accounts involve an informal agreement where goods and invoices are sent by the seller.
  • Promissory notes are formal agreements with terms, including payment dates, signed and returned by the buyer.
  • Bills payable are financial instruments drawn by the seller and accepted by the buyer with an agreed payment date.

Is Trade Credit Expensive?
In its basic form, trade credit is not expensive, serving as an interest-free loan for the buyer. However, late payments can incur high costs through late fees or interest rates, making it potentially expensive if payment is delayed beyond the agreed-upon date.


Trade credit is a fundamental component of global trade, facilitating the movement of goods and services across borders. Its ability to provide flexibility in payment terms, support cash flow management, and foster relationships makes it a valuable tool for businesses engaged in international commerce. However, careful consideration of credit terms, limits, and potential risks is essential to ensure a harmonious and mutually beneficial trade credit arrangement for both buyers and sellers in the interconnected world of global trade.

We help importers from all over the world to improve their trading terms with Chinese suppliers and extend payments to the supplier for 90 to 120 days using the Sinosure credit insurance tool

We help companies to obtain a new Sinosure credit limit, increase existing credit and provide comprehensive consulting services regarding Sinosure credit insurance
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Our Services
Register your company with Sinosure to access trade credits from suppliers.
Get a new Sinosure credit limit for your company.

Increase your company's existing Sinosure credit limit if you need to supply more goods.