Besides a standard loan for which a loan agreement is drawn up, there is another popular type of loan, the demand loan. That is a short term loan, with a period of repayment for up to 180 days. The date for the repayment of the loan is not fixed, and the interest rate for it is a floating one. The demand loan offers advantages for both borrowers and lenders. The lender can demand the repayment of the loan at any time, and on the other hand, the borrower does not need to adhere to a repayment in installments, as the repayment should be made for the entire amount. Furthermore, demand loans are easier to qualify for.
"Investment banks" create loan agreements that cater to the needs of the investors whose funds they attempt to attract; "investors" are always sophisticated and accredited organizations not subject to bank regulatory supervision and the need to cater to the public trust. Investment banking activities are supervised by the SEC and their main focus is on whether the correct or proper disclosures are made to the parties who provide the funds.
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.
Loan agreements, like any contract, reflect an "offer," the "acceptance of the offer," "consideration," and can only involve situations that are "legal" (a term loan agreement involving heroin drug sales is not "legal"). Loan agreements are documented via their commitment letters, agreements that reflect the understandings reached between the involved parties, a promissory note, and a collateral agreement (such as a mortgage or a personal guarantee). Loan agreements offered by regulated banks are different from those that are offered by finance companies in that banks receive a "banking charter" granted as a privilege and involving the "public trust."
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