A loan is a type of debt. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the lender and the borrower.
In a loan, the borrower initially receives or borrows an amount of money, called the principal, from the lender, and is obligated to pay back or repay an equal amount of money to the lender at a later time. Typically, the money is paid back in regular installments, or partial repayments; in an annuity, each installment is the same amount. The loan is generally provided at a cost, referred to as interest on the debt, which provides an incentive for the lender to engage in the loan. In a legal loan, each of these obligations and restrictions is enforced by contract, which can also place the borrower under additional restrictions known as loan covenants.
Types of loans
A secured loan is a loan in which the borrower pledges some asset (e.g. a car or property) as collateral for the loan.
A mortgage loan is a very common type of debt instrument, used by many individuals to purchase housing. In this arrangement, the money is used to purchase the property. The financial institution, however, is given security — a lien on the title to the house — until the mortgage is paid off in full. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the bank would have the legal right to repossess the house and sell it, to recover sums owing to it.
Unsecured loans are monetary loans that are not secured against the borrower's assets. These may be available from financial institutions under many different guises or marketing packages:
* credit card debt
* personal loans
* bank overdrafts
* credit facilities or lines of credit
* corporate bonds
The interest rates applicable to these different forms may vary depending on the lender and the borrower. These may or may not be regulated by law.
Demand loans are short term loans that are atypical in that they do not have fixed dates for repayment and carry a floating interest rate which varies according to the prime rate. They can be "called" for repayment by the lending institution at any time. Demand loans may be unsecured or secured