The loan agreements originated by commercial banks, savings banks, finance companies, insurance organizations, and investment banks are very different from each other and all feed a different purpose. "Commercial banks" and "Savings banks," because they accept deposits and benefit from FDIC insurance, generate loans that incorporate the concepts of the "public trust." Prior to interstate banking, that "public trust" was easily measured by State bank regulators who could see how local deposits were used to fund the working capital needs of local industry and businesses, and the benefits associated with those organization's employment.
In certain cases where you have repaid some installments of a previous student loan independently, you would be given the authority of branching away the Co-borrower. This is known as Co-Borrower Release and by doing so, you ensure that the loan repayment is entirely yours. This also puts you in a position where you are not hit by the Credit History of your Co-Borrower. Both of you are separate entities speaking from the loan perspective and you would hence need to take charge of repaying your loan off.
Loan agreements fall into two main types, according to the type of lender, and according to the type of facility. With respect to the type of lender, there are bilateral loans and syndicated loans. Syndicated loans are provided by groups of lenders, and their structuring and arrangement, as well as their administration, are carried out by more than one bank, commercial or investment ones, and the lending banks are also referred to as arrangers.
For commercial banks and large finance companies, "loan agreements" are usually not categorized although "loan portfolios" are often broadly characterized into "personal" and "commercial" loans while the "commercial" category is then subdivided into "industrial" and "commercial real estate" loans. "Industrial" loans are those that depend on the cashflow and creditworthiness of the company and the widgets or service that it sells. "Commercial real estate" loans are those that repay loans but that depend on the rental revenues paid by tenants who lease space, usually for extended times. More granular categorizations of loan portfolios exist but these are always variations around the larger themes.
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