What it is:
How it works (Example):
Let’s say Company XYZ plans to purchase another company for $20 million. It only has $2 million in coupon of, say 5%, which is very attractive to investors. However, because there is no associated with the , there is a chance that if the acquisition doesn't work out and Company XYZ stops making payments, they may have little compensation if the company is liquidated., so it $18 million in unsecured notes. The unsecured notes have a
If that collateral attached, the has nothing to seize when the borrower stops making the payments. Sure, the lender can sue and recover his or her that way, but that is a more expensive and time consuming.doesn't have any
Why it Matters:
An unsecured note is backed by little more than a promise to pay. Unsecured notes are riskier than secured(and even ) because the does not have the ability to seize an right away if a borrower fails to repay the (and there isn't even an insurance policy backing the ). Creditors may of course sue to obtain access to accounts or other assets if the borrower has not paid, but that is more expensive than requiring up front.
Regardless, this lack of security increases the creditor’s risk, which in turn increases the interest rates on unsecured notes.