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. The borrower initially receives an amount of money from the lender, which they pay back, usually but not always in regular installments, to the lender. This service is generally provided at a cost, referred to as interest on the debt. A borrower may be subject to certain restrictions known as loan covenants under the terms of the loan.
Acting as a provider of loans is one of the principal tasks for financial institutions. For other institutions, issuing of debt contracts such as bonds is a typical source of funding. Bank loans and credit are one way to increase the money supply. Legally, a loan is a contractual promise of a debtor to repay a sum of money in exchange for the promise of a creditor to give another sum of money.
Here are some of the different type of loans that borrowers usually take:
- 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.
- Auto Loans. In some instances, a loan taken out to purchase a new or used car may be secured by the car, in much the same way as a mortgage is secured by housing. The duration of the loan period is considerably shorter — often corresponding to the useful life of the car. There are two types of auto loans, direct and indirect. A direct auto loan is where a bank gives the loan directly to a consumer. An indirect auto loan is where a car dealership acts as an intermediary between the bank or financial institution and the consumer.
- A type of loan especially used in limited partnership agreements is the recourse note.
A stock hedge loan is a special type of securities lending whereby the stock of a borrower is hedged by the lender against loss, using options or other hedging strategies to reduce lender risk.
- Unsecured loans are monetary loans that are not secured against the borrowers assets. These may be available from financial institutions under many different guises or marketing packages like a credit card, personal loans, bank overdrafts, credit facilities or lines of credit and corporate bonds.
- Predatory lending is one form of abuse in the granting of loans. It usually involves granting a loan in order to put the borrower in a position that one can gain advantage over him or her. Where the moneylender is not authorized, it could be considered a loan shark.