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Paul Tracy

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Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 2 million monthly readers. While there, Paul authored and edited thousands of financial research briefs, was published on Nasdaq. com, Yahoo Finance, and dozens of other prominent media outlets, and appeared as a guest expert at prominent radio shows and i...

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Updated August 5, 2020

What is a Lender?

A lender is a creditor or any entity to which you owe money for services provided.

How Does a Lender Work?

If you borrow money from XYZ Bank, XYZ Bank becomes your lender. Lenders are creditors, but not all creditors are lenders. For example, utility companies, health clubs, phone companies and credit card issuers can all be creditors if you have contracts with them or if they have performed services for which you have not yet paid.

Some lenders are more senior than others. For example, if Company XYZ issues bonds, the bondholders are essentially lenders who are senior to Company XYZ's shareholders. This means that should Company XYZ go bankrupt, the bondholders are entitled to repayment before the shareholders are.

In many cases, companies have several different types of debt, and some of these lenders may be subordinate to others. Some lenders may even be unsecured, meaning that the company has not pledged any collateral.

Why Does a Lender Matter?

Lenders may sue to obtain access to accounts or other assets if the borrower has not paid. Lenders may also place liens on the borrower's assets, meaning that the borrower cannot sell the assets without paying the lender first.  In addition, lenders could report the problem to a credit bureau, which may place the item on the borrower's credit report.

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