Difference WikiBusiness

Difference Between Debt and Equity

Main Difference

The main difference between Debt and Equity is that Debt involves borrowing a fixed sum from a moneylender, which is then paid back with interest and Equity is the sale of a percentage of the business to an investor, in trade or exchange for capital.

Debt vs. Equity

Debt is called a mean source of financing since it saves on taxes whereas equity is called the convenient method of funding or financing for businesses that don’t have securities. Debt holders obtain a pre-determined interest rate along with the principal amount conversely equity shareholders get a dividend on the profits the business makes, but it’s not mandatory. Debt holders not given any ownership of the company. However, equity shareholders gave ownership of the company. Whatever of profit or loss, the company must pay debt holders. Whereas, equity shareholders only receive dividends when the company generates profits. Debt holders don’t have any voting rights, but equity shareholders have voting rights for making significant decisions in the business.


Comparison Chart

Capital owned by the company towards another party is known as DebtCapital elevated by the company by issuing shares is known as Equity
Status of Holders
Term loan, Debentures, Bonds, etc.Shares and Stocks.
Nature of Return
Fixed and regularVariable and irregular
Comparatively short termLong term
What Is It?
Loan FundsOwn Funds
Necessary to secure loans, but funds can be raised otherwise also.Not required

What is Debt?

Debt is a total of money borrowed by one party from another. Many corporations and individuals use debt as a method of making large buys that they could not afford under normal circumstances. A debt agreement gives the borrowing party permission to borrow money under the condition that it is to be fund back at a later date, usually with interest. The most common composes of debt are loans, including mortgages and auto loans, and credit card debt. According to the terms of a loan, the borrower is needed to repay the balance of the loan by a certain date, generally several years in the future. The terms of the loan also specify the amount of interest that the borrower is needed to pay annually, explained as a percentage of the loan amount. Interest used as a way to ensure that the lender compensated for taking on the risk of the loan though also encouraging the borrower to repay the loan quickly to limit his total interest expense.


Credit card debt work in the same way as a loan, except that the borrowed amount converts over time according to the borrower’s need, up to a predetermined limit, and has a rolling, or open-ended, repayment date. As well as loans and credit card debt, companies that require to borrow funds have other debt options. Bonds and commercial paper are ordinary types of corporate debt that are not available to individuals.

What is Equity?

Equity is normally accountable as shareholder equity (also known as shareholders’ equity) which illustrates the amount of money that would be back to a company’s shareholders if all of the assets bump off or liquidate and all of the company’s loan was refunded. Equity is base on a company’s balance sheet and is one of the most regular financial metrics employed by analysts to evaluate the financial health of a company. Shareholder equity can also illustrate the book value of a company. There are many types of equity, but equity typically refers to shareholder equity, which provides the amount of money that would be back to a company’s shareholders if all of the resources or capital liquidated and all of the company’s debt was paid off. We can think of equity as a level of liability in any asset after subtracting all debts related to that asset. Equity presents the shareholders’ stake in the company.


Equity used as capital for a company, which could be to buy assets and fund operations. Stockholder equity has two main derivations. The first is from the money at first invested in a company and further investments made later. In the public markets, the first time a company issues shares on the leading market, this equity is used to whether to start operations or in the case of an established company, for growth capital.

Key Differences

  1. Debt is the company’s responsibility which needs to paid back after a specific period. Money elevated by the company by issuing shares to the general public, which kept for a long period is known as Equity.
  2. Debt attests money owed by the company toward another person or entity. Conversely, Equity attests the capital owned by the company.
  3. Debt holders are the creditors, but equity holders are the owners of the company.
  4. Debt can be in the form of mortgage term loans, debentures, and bonds, but equity can be in the kind of shares and stock.
  5. Revert on debt is fixed and regular, but it is just the opposite in the case of return on equity.
  6. Debt is the borrowed fund while equity-owned fund.
  7. Debt can be concealed for a limited period and should be repaid after the expiry of that term. On the other hand, equity kept conceals for a long period.
  8. Debt bears a low risk in comparison to equity.
  9. Debt can be guaranteed or unbolted, while equity is always unsecured.
  10. Return on debt is famous as interest which is a charge against profit. In contrary to the return on equity is called a dividend which is an appropriation of profit.


It is vital for all companies to sustain a balance between debt and equity funds. The standard debt-equity ratio is 2:1, i.e. equity ought to always be twice of the debt; only then it can be supposed that the company can cover its losses efficiently.