Debt Dictionary

Debt Instrument

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A debt instrument refers to a kind of financial obligation in documented form, which describes the details of a debt assumed by the individual or party which has issued the document. In other words, a particular debt instrument takes a commitment from the issuer for reimbursing the debt in accordance with the agreed terms between a purchaser and the seller. Certain examples of debt instruments include:

• Corporate bonds
• Municipal bonds
• Commercial Papers
• Treasury Bills
• Certificates of Deposit

Relative advantages and disadvantages of debt instruments

In the United States, debt instruments which are considered the safest include U.S government bonds and notes. The more risk a bond carries, higher is the interest rate it should pay.

Some of the advantages in relation to debt instruments as investment option include:

• Debt instrument documents help effectively transfer the debt ownership. Creditors commonly trade debt instruments as a way for generating revenue and to keep liquidity high.
• Bonds as well as notes generally pay higher interest rates in comparison to savings accounts.
• On account of the fact that the government and corporate bonds are a trillion – dollar business, they may be taken to be as liquid investments.
• In case you desire against liquidation, you can use the debt instruments as collateral for taking loans.

Certain demerits associated with debt instruments for investment purposes include:

• Bonds and notes have less liquidity in comparison to savings accounts.
• The safety of the debt instruments is solely dependent on the issuer’s strength.
• With increase in interest rates, value of bonds which are low paying may drop temporarily until they mature and become payable.

Types of debt instruments

Certificate of Deposit: This is a common form of debt instrument which is bought by an investor. This is considered an investment with a low risk and allows an investor for making modest returns over a fixed time period. The value of the funds in bank possession is used to trade debt and permit the bank for remaining liquid. On account of this factor, the bank makes use of these funds in order to grow as well as offer full coverage along with providing an array of services for bank customers.

Bonds: Bonds are types of debt instruments which earn modest, but at the same time reliable returns for the purchaser. Bond issue can be made in a manner to pay off the amount for purchase or the face value along with the interest at some future date. Certain bonds even provide regular interest payments throughout its life. Meanwhile the purchaser gets to earn the return and enjoys total assurance of finally recouping even the original investment.

Commercial paper: These are documents like promissory notes which serve the purpose of documenting short term loans. The commercial paper describes the characteristics of the loan and also may include the due date for the note.

Mortgages and leases also belong to the category of debt instruments. Thus if a current debt may be traded within one or several entities, it can be considered as a debt instrument.

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