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The saying "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch", means that things which appear to be free are always paid for in some way. This certainly applies to credit, which is never in fact free.
Credit is the granting of a loan and the creation of debt. It is any form of deferred payment, which allows one party to provide resources to another party where that second party does not reimburse the first party immediately (thereby generating a debt), but instead arranges either to repay or return those resources (or other materials of equal value) at a later date.
Providing credit is rarely a benign, charitable act (ever heard of a charitable bank or pawnbroker?). Most often it's a means to earn money by encouraging others to incur debt and pay interest for the privilege. Where ‘free credit’ is concerned, that interest is hidden in the up-front cost of the goods and the penalties that occur should the debt not be paid in time. You'll notice that retailers that offer ‘free credit’ have regular sales to clear product from their floors. You won't get credit for free on these items though, as the credit loading has been removed to achieve a cash price.
Remember that offering a cheaper cash price on a ‘free credit’ item would dishonest.. If the credit really is free then you should get free credit on the reduced cash price too (the credit is ‘free’, remember). But you won't.
harvey norman nz