Definition of Creditor
A creditor could be a bank, supplier or person that has provided money, goods, or services to a company and expects to be paid at a later date. In other words, the company owes money to its creditors and the amounts should be reported on the company's balance sheet as either a current liability or a non-current (or long-term) liability.
Examples of Creditors
Some creditors, such as banks and other lenders, have lent money to the company and will require the company to sign a written promissory note for the amount owed. When a promissory note is required, the company borrowing the money will record and report the amount owed as Notes Payable.
If the creditor is a vendor or supplier that did not require the company to sign a promissory note, the amount owed is likely to to be reported as Accounts Payable or Accrued Liabilities.
Other creditors include the company's employees (who are owed wages and bonuses), governments (who are owed taxes), and customers (who made deposits or other prepayments).
Some creditors are referred to as secured creditors because they have a registered lien on some of the company's assets. A creditor without a lien (or other legal claim) on the company's assets is an unsecured creditor.