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A creditor lends money. Since it is not a gift, the creditor (a bank, person, country, corporation) is owed the money, and likely interest or some other premium, by the debtor.

Expanded Definition

You might want to hide from creditors, but you don't want them to disappear. The entities that provide credit allow the world of finance and investing to go 'round. Creditors offer secured debt and unsecured debt. Secured means the borrower puts up collateral (like a house or car) that the lender can seize and sell if the debt is not repaid. Unsecured debt does not have collateral. Laws, however, give certain creditors priority over others if a debtor goes into bankruptcy.

Nations are sometimes termed creditor or debtor nations based on their trade balance and the amount of borrowing and lending they do to other countries.

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