What is a Promissory Note?

A sample Promissory Note is a loan agreement or a debt instrument. This is a contract between a borrower, who is looking for money and a lender, who is willing to provide the capital to the borrower. 

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A sample Promissory Note is a loan agreement or a debt instrument. This is a contract between a borrower, who is looking for money and a lender, who is willing to provide the capital to the borrower. 

Additionally, a commercial sample promissory note is one by which a company acts as a borrower. Conversely, a personal loan is secured by the income and assets of the individual requesting a loan. In all cases, lenders will want assurance of repayment. Thus, a promissory note is essential for this. For businesses, it is typically a means of short-term financing. Given that they are informal loans of a sort, these notes are subject to review by regulators, who will evaluate if a company can meet the mentioned promise of return. In cases where this is not done, the lender has to do their analysis and trust and that company is capable of servicing the debt. Promissory notes are also transferable and can be sold to another.

Types of Promissory Notes

There are generally two types of promissory notes: secured and unsecured notes. For secured notes, the borrower should provide collateral. The value of the collateral needs to be equal to or more than the amount being borrowed. For secured notes, no collateral is required. 

Parties involved

There are generally three parties involved in a promissory note. A Drawer, a Drawee, and a Payee.

What is in a Promissory Note?

Essentially, all loan agreements will contain details about the borrower and lender. As well as the amount that needs to be borrowed, and other terms and conditions for repayment.  Importantly, always ensure that the payment details are explicit. Especially in the off-chance that late payments or defaults are a possibility. Investors are usually taking on significant risk with the expectancy of a greater return as these bypass traditional forms of lending and formal institutions such as banks as well.

Details of the parties involved:

A promissory note must include the details of the parties including their legal names, the contact details of both including the addresses of all parties who are involved in the transaction.

Principal or Borrowing Amount

The principal amount to borrow is the actual money that will be lent to the borrower at the beginning of the loan.  Then, as the loan gets paid down, the principal balance will update to reflect the balance remaining.

Loan Term

Firstly, the term of the loan specifies how long the loan will be active. Also, how often the loan payments will need to be made.  Then, at the end of the loan term, it is typical that the remaining principal of the loan is paid off in full.  

Interest Rate

Essentially, the interest rate calculates the loan payment to make on the loan term.  Interest rates for typical loan agreements are specified as an annual or monthly number.  

Payment Details

Specifically, ensure that payment details in the sample promissory note are accurate.  These details specify when to make payments (for example, the 5th day of each month) and how to make them.

Late Fees and Default

Next, the promissory note can specify any fees to pay if the monthly payments are late. Importantly, in the unfortunate event that payments cannot be met consistently, the loan will be in default.  Specify in this area under what conditions the loan will be in default.

Collateral Requirements

Essentially, you can attain certain loans on the basis of collateral.  These are called secured loans.  Typically, the collateral is an asset that has monetary value.  Basically, the assets can be hard assets (cars, houses, etc.) or those assets can be less tangible. This includes assets like invoices and accounts receivables.  In essence, this collateral allows the lender to monetize the assets in the event of default.

When should you use a Promissory Note?

In reality, a promissory note protects the lender in the off chance that a borrower is not able to repay the obligation.  Also, as a borrower, this document provides a framework for the details of the loan and how the payments should be made.

Should I have a secured or unsecured loan?

Usually, the lender will specify whether or not the loan will be secured by collateral or be unsecured. Likely, this will be via a personal guarantee.  Essentially, the lender needs to make the decision on the basis of the background of the borrower and the risk tolerance of the lender.

The Pros and Cons of a Promissory Note

When someone is unable to get loans from a traditional lender, A promissory note can be quite useful in such a situation. However, a big disadvantage that promissory notes comes with is the risk associated with it. It can easily open up messy and confusing legal issues for both the payee as well as the issuer in the event a default occurs. Hence it is quite crucial to get a promissory note notarized.

How to Customize a Promissory Note

Promissory notes should custom fit the requirements of your transactions. There are quite a few different types of promissory notes such as real estate promissory notes, commercial promissory notes, demand promissory notes and so on. Each type of promissory note requires specific details to be put in. Promissory notes for transactions like mortgages and loans will also include details and information such as interest rates, amortization schedules, and others.

How to Collect on a Promissory Note

When money has been lent using a promissory note, it is ideally, expected that the loan will be repaid as per the terms of the note. But in the unfortunate instance where the terms of the note are not met, the first step is to make a written request for repayment. This could be arranged at 30, 60, and 90 days after the passing of the due date.

Promissory notes are often issued on the basis of trust and mutual understanding. Hence do talk to your borrower about making a partial payment or discuss an extended payment plan. Although not a favorable option, using a debt collector can also be one.  They will collect your note and usually take a percentage of the debt. Another way to collect on a promissory note is by selling the note to a debt collector. Legally, you always have the option to sue the borrower for the full amount.


To sum up, a promissory note protects both parties. Essentially, it provides a mutual understanding of how the loan will be repaid over time. For the lender, especially, use this template to mitigate any risk with the borrower involved.

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