Friday, December 28, 2007

Got Debt?

By JR Rooney

Debts, What Are They?

Debt is something that is owed. An individual or business owing a debt is called a debtor. The entity to whom a debt is owed is called a creditor. Debt is used to borrow purchasing power with a promise to repay at some point in the future. Many businesses use debt as a part of their overall corporate finance strategy.

Types Of Debt

There are many types of debt obligations. They include but are not limited to mortgages, HELOC, bonds, credit cards and promissory notes. It is very common to borrow large sums for major purchases, such as a mortgage or car loan, and repay it with an agreed premium interest rate over time, or all at once at a later date (balloon payment). The total amount of money outstanding is normally called a debt. The debt will increase via interest. In many systems of economics this effect is termed usury, in others, the term "usury" refers only to an excessive rate of interest, in excess of a reasonable profit for the risk accepted (think loan sharks).

Large organizations can issue debt in the form of securities, known as bonds. Each bond entitles the holder to interest and principal repayments. Bonds are traded in the bond markets, and are widely used as relatively safe investments.

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