Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Unsecured Creditors


Unsecured creditors are individuals or institutions that lend money without obtaining specified assets as collateral. This means in the event of a default by the borrower, they cannot claim any particular piece of property or asset to cover their loss. Such credit could include credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, and any other types of loans or credit without collateral.


The phonetics of the keyword ‘Unsecured Creditors’ is: ʌnˈsɪkiurɪd krɪˈdɪtorz

Key Takeaways

<ol>   <li>Unsecured creditors are individuals or institutions that lend money without obtaining specified assets as collateral. This means that they have lent money purely based on the borrower's creditworthiness and not any tangible assets that can be sold if the debtor defaults.</li>   <li>The risk with unsecured creditors is significantly higher compared to the secured ones. Since there's no asset secured against the credit, in case of non-payment or bankruptcy, they tend to be last in line to receive any payments, following secured creditors and investors.</li>   <li>Examples of unsecured credit include credit card debts, medical bills, utility bills and other types of loans or credit that are not secured through collateral. Unsecured creditors rely on the borrower's promise to repay the debt and may go to court to obtain a judgment against the debtor, if the funds are not repaid.</li></ol>   


Unsecured creditors are crucial in the context of business/finance mainly because their claims are not backed by any form of collateral. These creditors extend credit based on the debtor’s creditworthiness rather than having any guarantees of repayment in the form of assets. As opposed to secured creditors, they bear a higher risk because, in the event of a debtor’s default or bankruptcy, unsecured creditors get paid only after all secured creditors have been compensated, making them more susceptible to potential losses. Therefore, their role serves as a key indicator of a company’s creditworthiness and financial health from an investment and risk assessment perspective.


Unsecured creditors hold a special place in the realm of financial operations, specifically in the context of lending or debt. The primary role of unsecured creditors is to extend loans or credit without securing collateral as a safeguard against borrower default. The lending decision is usually based on the borrower’s creditworthiness, evaluated through credit scores, past payment history, and other financial measures. Common examples of unsecured creditors include credit card companies, utility companies, landlords, and hospitals. Unsecured creditors serve a crucial purpose in navigating financial challenges and fostering economic growth. Despite their inherent risk of no collateral, their willingness to lend stimulates consumer spending, which is foundational to economic activity. For businesses, credit from unsecured creditors can serve operational needs or finance expansions. However, in the event of bankruptcy, unsecured creditors are last in line for claiming assets after secured creditors and preferential creditors, reflecting a key element of providing unsecured credit. As a result, due to the high risk they undertake, interest rates on their lending are often higher than those of secured creditors.


1. Credit Card Companies: One of the most common examples of unsecured creditors in everyday life involves credit card companies. If you have a credit card, you’re borrowing money from the company every time you make a purchase. This is an unsecured debt because if you can’t pay off your balance, the credit card company can’t claim any of your property as repayment. All it can do is damage your credit score and possibly take legal action.2. Utility Companies: A utility company that provides you with water, electricity, or gas is also an unsecured creditor. You pay after the service is provided and if you don’t pay your utility bill, the company can’t take your property or belongings. Instead, they can cut off your service or take legal action to collect the debt.3. Medical Providers: If you receive medical services and can’t pay, medical providers become your unsecured creditors. They can send you bills and turn your account over to a collection agency if you can’t pay, but they generally can’t claim your property to cover the debt. They can however, take legal actions including legal suits to recover the payment.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Unsecured Creditor?

An unsecured creditor is an individual or institution that lends money without obtaining specified assets as collateral. This poses a higher risk to the creditor because it will only be repaid if the borrower fulfills the payment obligations.

What is the difference between a secured creditor and an unsecured creditor?

A secured creditor has a claim to assets as collateral for the debt they’ve issued. On the other hand, an unsecured creditor doesn’t have any collateral, the loan is only backed by a contractual obligation from the debt holder.

What are some examples of unsecured debt?

Common forms of unsecured debt include credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, and the debt that accrues from a service or rental agreement, among others.

What happens if an unsecured debt is not repaid?

When an unsecured debt is not repaid, the creditor may contact a debt collection agency, take legal action or write off the debt. It can also negatively impact the debtor’s credit score.

In the case of bankruptcy, how are unsecured creditors treated?

In a bankruptcy, unsecured creditors are usually one of the last in line to receive any payments, after secured creditors and priority debts. They often receive only a fraction of what they’re owed or sometimes, nothing at all.

Can unsecured creditors seize assets if the debt is not paid?

No, unsecured creditors cannot seize assets directly if the debt is unpaid. However, if they obtain a court judgment against the debtor, they could be granted the right to seize assets or garnish wages.

What rights do unsecured creditors have?

Unsecured creditors have the right to sue the borrower for non-payment, engage a debt collection agency, or sell the debt to a third party. The rights of the unsecured creditors usually depend on the terms and conditions laid out in the credit agreement.

Is credit card debt considered unsecured creditor debt?

Yes, credit card debt is one of the most common types of unsecured debt. The credit card issuer lends you money with the agreement you’ll repay it, plus interest, but they do not take any collateral to secure the debt.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More