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What is Debt Financing?

When a company needs to pay for something, it can pay with cash, or it may finance the purchase. Financing means that it gets the money from other businesses or sources, in return for obligations. Companies that are short on cash may need financing to pay for short-term needs or long-term capital expenditures.

There are two kinds of financing—debt financing and equity financing.

Equity financing means the company raises money by selling ownership shares in the business.

Debt financing happens when a company gets a loan and promises to repay the loan over time, with interest. Debt financing can come from a lender’s loan or from selling bonds to the public.

Loans usually require the borrower to offer collateral to guarantee repayment. This is called a secured loan. If the borrower defaults on a secured loan, the lender can take the collateral as repayment.

Various assets may be acceptable as collateral. For example, accounts receivable, real estate, equipment, securities, mortgages, inventory and merchandise might be acceptable to the lender. Having other people or companies sign as guarantors or endorsers may also work to secure a loan.

Selling bonds or commercial paper in the capital markets is another way to raise money through debt financing. This may at times be more economical or easier than taking a bank loan.

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