DEFINITION of 'Standby Line of Credit'
A sum of money, not to exceed a predetermined amount, that can be borrowed in part or in full from a credit granting institution if the borrower needs it. In contrast, an outright loan would be a lump sum of money that the borrower intended to use for certain.
BREAKING DOWN 'Standby Line of Credit'
A business might establish a standby line of credit with a financial institution in situations where the business needed to guarantee its ability to pay a certain amount of money to a client if the business fails to fully perform on a contract. In this situation, the standby line of credit would act as a performance bond. The standby line of credit might be used as a backup source of funding in case the primary source fails.