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What is a Creditor?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Creditors are entities that provide some form of credit to a debtor or borrower. A creditor can be an individual, a credit card issuer, a bank, or even a corporation. In most situations where a creditor extends services to a debtor, there is the expectation of some type of recompense to be delivered according to terms and conditions agreed upon by the two parties.

There are many different examples of how creditors work. For example, some will only lend money or extended credit card privileges if there is some type of property or asset offered by the borrower. Generally known as secured credit, this approach helps to decrease the risk to the individual or entity that is extending the loan or credit, since there is always the option of laying claim to the pledged asset in the event that the borrower defaults on the agreement.

Other creditors choose to not require the pledging of some type of asset in exchange for extending a loan or credit to a borrower. This approach is normally referred to as unsecured credit. In this scenario, the creditor has enough information to indicate there is an acceptable amount of certainty that the debtor will repay the full amount of the debt in a timely manner. Many credit cards are issued on this premise, as well as some personal loans.

In most cases, the debtor and creditor both commit to a contractual agreement in order to establish the lending relationship. A typical contract will include provisions that clearly spell out the responsibilities and rights of both parties, in regard to the business deal. This includes the terms of repayment that the borrower agrees to, the amount of interest that the lender is allowed to charge on the outstanding balance, and the types of ancillary fees and charges that are bundled into the total amount due over the life of the contract. Creating a document of this type is to the benefit of both the debtor and the creditor, since the terms and conditions contained in the contract define what each party can do in the event that the other party fails to honor the basics of the agreement.

Various creditors choose to focus on specific types of lending activity. Some prefer to provide mortgages to individuals and companies. Others focus their attention on creating and offering credit card deals to qualified candidates. Still others address the market of short-term loans, including personal loans obtained from a bank, as well as payday loans that are usually due within two to four weeks. In most countries, regulatory agencies structure specific rules and standards that lenders must follow in order to offer their services to potential creditors.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

By DinoLeash — On Apr 03, 2011

@dega2010- I just wanted to add that the law only applies to debt collection agencies or attorneys acting on behalf of the creditor. You cannot use that particular law for your original creditors such as a mortgage company or credit card company. You can only do it if they have turned you over to a collection agency or an attorney.

By calabama71 — On Apr 02, 2011

@dega2010- Your friend told you correctly. There is a law that was passed by Congress called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This law protects the rights of debtors. In a nutshell, if you tell a creditor to stop calling you, they have to stop.

The next time they call, tell them that you would like for them to stop calling you at home and at work. After your conversation, send them a certified letter saying the same thing. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they can still call you if you do not submit a request in writing.

If they continue to call, let them know that you are aware of the law. Tell them that you will file a complaint with the FTC if it continues.

By dega2010 — On Apr 02, 2011

My husband lost his job a couple of months ago and we have fallen behind on some of our bills. One of our creditors is giving us a really hard time. They call me at my job. They call our house up to ten times a day. They call at night. One of my friends told me that there was some kind of creditor harassment laws to prevent them from calling all the time. Is that true?

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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