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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 September 30, 2020

What is a Loan From the Bank?

A loan is a sum of money that is borrowed by an individual or business from a lender (typically a financial institution or another party with money).

How Does a Loan Work? How do I Calculate My Loan Payments?

Under a typical loan agreement, the lender expects the borrower to repay the loan over an agreed-upon period of time and/or with the expectation that they will pay back the loan regularly (often every month).

For individuals, loans can be personal loans, mortgages or lines of credit. You can use a loan calculator to see how much your monthly payments would be on any type of loan, including mortgage loans and car loans.

In the business world, bank loans and corporate or government bonds are the most common.

Let's assume Company XYZ has invented a new product that will revolutionize the widget market. The company is sure there will be demand from billions of people around the world, and therefore it needs to build a new factory.

If Company XYZ's funds for constructing the factory were limited to its cash on hand, say $200,000, it certainly could not build the kind of factory it needs to capitalize on this tremendous opportunity and would thus be very limited in its output and profits (and would leave the market wide open for competitors to fill the void). With a loan, however, Company XYZ could build the factory and take advantage of the profit potential of its product. The debt essentially magnifies the profits.

How to Analyze Business Loans in Investing

A loan is a liability, meaning the lender has a claim on a company’s assets. Loan payments due within one year are generally classified as short-term debt on a company’s balance sheet. Loan payments due in more than one year are considered long-term debt.

It is important to note that loans commonly come to mind when one considers liabilities, but not all liabilities are loans. Companies may incur other types of liabilities, including (but not limited to) upcoming payroll, bonuses, legal settlements, payments to vendors, certain derivatives, contracts, certain types of leases, and required stock redemptions. Common balance sheet categories for liabilities include accounts payable, accrued expenses, and debt.

Information about a company’s debt is a key component of accurate financial reporting and a crucial part of thorough financial analysis. Excessive debt can ruin a company but is not always detrimental. The use of debt financing can magnify profits that would have otherwise gone unrealized.
 

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Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. 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.

If you have a question about Loan, then please ask Paul.

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