What is an Interest Bearing Note?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2019
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An interest bearing note is a financial instrument that is sometimes used as a type of loan between a lender and a borrower. The instrument was sometimes used in the United States during the 19th century, especially during the country’s Civil War, in conjunction with the paper money issued by several states during that turbulent period. The interest bearing note continues to be a viable loan type in a number of areas around the world, and may be used by governments as well as institutional lenders to provide loans to qualified individuals.

With an interest bearing note, a lender provides a borrower with a loan of a specific amount of money. Typically, the lender will qualify the borrower before granting the loan, checking credit ratings and other references. The interest bearing note will be assigned a rate of interest, with both the interest and the principal amount of the loan due in full by a certain date. Depending on the nature of the note itself, the borrower may use a payment schedule breaking the amount due into several payments, with the last payment due on the maturity date of the loan. At other times, the borrower may make payments on an irregular basis, making the final payment and settling the loan on or before the due date.


While there are exceptions, an interest bearing note is normally a long-term debt obligation. This means that the loan will have a duration that is longer than a period of one year. Some common examples include mortgages, car loans and even signature loans that are structured with a maturity date of a year or more. Most governments have specific regulations in place that help to regulate the interest rates applied to the loans, providing consumers with some protection in terms of what lenders may charge for their services. In addition, lenders must also comply with specific regulations in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan, and there is a need to declare the loan in default and gain control of any collateral pledged by the borrower at the time the loan was granted.

An interest bearing note may also be a debt instrument issued by a government entity, such as a treasury note or a government bond. In this scenario, the buyer of the note holds it for a period of time, and can redeem it along with any accrued interest once the note has matured. Governments sometimes used this process as a means of raising money for a specific project, such as building schools or funding some other type of ongoing process that ultimately benefits its citizens.


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