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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Debt For Beginners

Debt is a sum of money that is owed or due. It can refer to an individual's personal financial obligation, such as a mortgage or credit card balance, or to a government or company's financial obligation, such as bonds or loans. In personal finance, debt is often considered to be negative, as it can be challenging to repay and can have a negative impact on credit scores. However, in business and government, debt can be used as a tool for financing growth and development.

Debt is generated when a borrower borrows money from a lender. The borrower may be an individual, a business, or a government. The lender may be a bank, a financial institution, or an individual. The borrower must then repay the debt, along with any interest or fees, to the lender over a specified period of time. There are many ways in which debt can be generated, including through loans, mortgages, credit cards, and bonds.

There are several different types of debt, each with its own characteristics and uses. Some common types of debt include:

  1. Secured debt: This type of debt is backed by collateral, such as a home for a mortgage or a car for an auto loan. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender can seize the collateral to repay the debt.

  2. Unsecured debt: This type of debt is not backed by collateral. Examples include credit card debt, personal loans, and medical debt.

  3. Short-term debt: This type of debt is typically due within a year. Examples include credit card balances, short-term loans, and trade payables.

  4. Long-term debt: This type of debt has a maturity of more than one year. Examples include mortgages, student loans, and bonds issued by companies and governments.

  5. Revolving debt: This type of debt allows the borrower to borrow again after paying down a portion of the debt. Credit cards are an example of revolving debt.

  6. Non-revolving debt: This type of debt does not allow the borrower to borrow again after paying down a portion of the debt. A personal loan is an example of non-revolving debt.

  7. Consumer debt: Debt incurred by individuals for personal expenses like housing, education, consumer goods, and healthcare.

  8. Corporate debt: Debt incurred by companies to finance their operations and growth.

  9. Sovereign debt: Debt incurred by governments to finance their budget deficits and other expenses.

Since our focus is on consumer debt, it is essential to clarify that oftentimes, consumer debt can overlap with other categories. Consumer debt can come in many forms, such as credit card debt, personal loans, auto loans, and student loans. It is typically repaid over a period of time, with the borrower making regular payments to the lender. The interest rates are also usually higher than other types of debt, such as mortgages or government bonds, as it is considered riskier for lenders.

Consumer debt is often extended based on the borrower's creditworthiness, which is determined by factors such as credit history, income, and employment status. Consumer debt can also impact an individual's credit score and, if not appropriately managed, can lead to financial difficulties.

This type of debt is often unsecured, meaning it is not backed by collateral, such as a car for an auto loan or a home for a home equity loan.

Read our posts to learn more about debt and its types. Contact us at for more information, or submit a case review request.



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