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Loan Note


A loan note is a type of contract that documents a legal obligation to repay borrowed money with interest at a specific future date. It is similar to a promissory note but is typically more detailed and includes specific terms and conditions. Essentially, it’s a written promise to pay the debt under agreed-upon terms.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Loan Note” is: lōn nōt

Key Takeaways

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  1. Definition: A Loan Note is a written promise to pay a debt. It’s a type of contract between the lender and the borrower, specifying the amount of money borrowed, the interest rate, repayment terms, and the maturity date.
  2. Key Elements: Main components of a loan note are principal amount, interest rate, commencement date, and repayment schedule. It can also include covenants, or obligations of the borrower, to comply with certain conditions.
  3. Use: Loan Notes are typically used for business financing. For instance, startups and businesses often issue loan notes to raise capital for their growth and operations. It’s legally binding and enforceable, providing legal protection to lenders.

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A Loan Note is a crucial financial instrument in business and finance as it legally documents a promise or an agreement of a borrower to repay a certain amount to the lender on the specified date or under predetermined terms. As such, it holds legal and financial significance. The loan note contains critical information like the rate of interest, the maturity date, and any collateral or guarantees. It serves as crucial evidence of debt and the lender can use it to claim their rights if the borrower fails to repay. Furthermore, loan notes can be traded in the secondary market, increasing the liquidity and flexibility for investors. Hence, the loan note is an important tool in managing and structifying debts and investments.


The purpose of a loan note is to serve as a written promise for a borrowed sum of money, dictating how the loan will be repaid. Issued primarily by companies looking to raise capital, loan notes stand as an official and legally binding promise to repay funds at a fixed interest rate, in a predetermined amount of time. Loan notes act as a more formal tool for companies as opposed to an informal IOU, and are often applied in situations where more than just a mere promise is required.While loan notes can be issued for both short and long term purposes, they are predominantly utilized for longer term financial agreements where a higher assurance of repayment is needed. In practice, a company might issue a loan note to an investor, agreeing to repay the loan with a fixed interest rate after a specified amount of time or as per a repayment schedule. This not only assists in financial forecasting but also provides extra security for the investor, making the loan note an essential financial tool for both borrowing and lending entities.


1. Mortgage Loan Note: This is a common example in the real estate industry. When a person applies for a mortgage to buy a house, they sign a loan note stating that they agree to repay the loan. The note details the loan amount, interest rate, the repayment schedule, and any penalties for non-payment.2. Student Loan Note: This is seen in the education sector. Students getting a loan for their education sign a loan note specifying the terms of the loan repayment. This includes the amount borrowed, the interest rate, and how long they have to repay the loan. Often, the repayment begins after the student has left school.3. Business Loan Note: In the business world, a company might need additional capital for expansion, inventory, or to manage cash flow. A business loan note is signed by the company agreeing to pay back the loan within a specified timeframe at a given interest rate.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Loan Note?

A loan note is a type of financial instrument; it is a written agreement with a promise from the issuer/borrower to pay the individual or entity (the lender) a specific amount on a certain date or upon demand, together with agreed upon interest.

Is a loan note similar to a bond?

Yes, both are forms of an IOU from the issuer to the investor. The critical difference is that bonds are often tradable and may have secondary markets, unlike loan notes which are often held until maturity.

How does a loan note work?

In a loan note, the issuer borrows money from the lender. The note serves as a contract detailing the terms of the loan, including how and when the loan must be repaid and any interest included in the repayment.

Is a loan note legally binding?

Yes, a loan note is a legally binding document outlining the terms of the loan between the lender and the borrower. If the borrower defaults or fails to meet the terms outlined in the note, legal action may be taken by the lender.

What is considered a short-term loan note?

A short-term loan note is defined as a note that is payable in less than one year.

What usually happens when a loan note is not paid?

If a loan note is not paid, the lender may take legal action to reclaim the debt. This action might include obtaining assets equivalent to the loan’s value or going through a collection process, depending on the terms of the loan note.

What is the difference between a secured and an unsecured loan note?

A secured loan note is backed by the borrower’s assets. If the borrower defaults, the lender can claim these assets as repayment. An unsecured loan note, on the other hand, is not backed by any assets, making it a riskier option for the lender.

What is a convertible loan note?

A convertible loan note is a type of loan note where the debt can be converted into equity of the issuing company at a later date and under specific conditions. It is often used as a form of short-term financing for companies, particularly in venture capital scenarios.

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