Understanding debentures is crucial to diversify your investment portfolio without giving up guaranteed income. Compared to alternatives in the same investment class, this form of asset may offer higher returns.  

Company debentures are medium to long-term borrowing instruments in business finance. Both the government and big businesses provide this. Debentures typically operate at a fixed interest rate and rely on the credibility of the issuing authorities.  

What is a debenture? 

Debentures are long-term debt instruments issued by governments and enterprises to raise more money or funds. No tangible assets or security are needed to support the debt because the issuer’s total creditworthiness and reputation are sufficient. The lender receives remuneration in the form of coupons or interest rates. 

Debentures issued by the government include treasury bonds and treasury bills. Since the government may recover the debt using tax funds, these are risk-free investments. Corporate debentures are most frequently used for long-term loans with fixed interest rates and repayment dates. 

Understanding debentures 

A company or government will issue debentures to the general public to raise finance. For instance, a government might raise money to build public highways. In contrast to shareholders, who are the owners, holders of debentures are the issuing company’s debtors. 

Debenture holders receive interest payments for their investments in the debt instrument, just like bondholders do. And unless they are of the floating variety, coupon, and interest rates are typically fixed.  

An investment is less hazardous because a set interest rate protects it from market volatility. Since debentures are primarily unsecured financial instruments, they do not permit a claim against the issuer’s assets.  

Stable, low-risk, and superior revenues more than make up for the lack of collateral. Also, investors are drawn to financially sound businesses with solid credit ratings because they signal the security of their investments. Also, with floating interest rates, incomes gain when rates rise. 

Types of debentures 


The following are the types of debentures: 

  • Secured and unsecured debentures 

A secured debenture places a charge on the company’s assets, thereby mortgaging such assets. Unsecured debentures carry no charge or security over the company’s assets. 

  • Convertible and non-convertible debentures 

At a predetermined period, convertible debentures are exchanged into equity shares. A non-convertible debenture, on the other hand, is not converted into equity shares. 

  • Registered and bearer debentures 

A registered debenture is listed in the company’s register of debenture holders. These must be transferred using a standard form of payment. By contrast, a bearer debenture can be transferred by simple delivery. 

  • First and second debenture 

The first debenture is a debenture that matures before another debenture. After the first debenture has been repaid, the second debenture is paid. 

Features of a debenture 

The following are the features of a debenture: 

  • A debenture is a preferred investment choice since the return is established at a fixed rate of income, and a charge guarantees the investment against the company’s assets. All investors choose fixed-return investments with reduced risk. 
  • Debenture holders receive preference when paying back the borrowed money if the company is liquidated. 
  • The concerned company must repay the obligations to the holders of debentures at a predetermined interest rate regardless of whether it makes a profit or losses. 
  • Debentures of a holding company do not represent ownership of the corporation. As a result, holders of debentures are not allowed to vote or oversee the issuing authority. Nonetheless, they can take legal action against the organisation in the event of a default return. 
  • Debentures offer a greater return than investing in shares because of their higher face value. 

Pros and cons of debentures 

The following are the pros of a debenture: 

  • They are preferred by investors who want fixed income with lower risk. 
  • Debentures do not have voting rights; therefore, funding through them does not affect the management control held by equity shareholders. 
  • The business doesn’t use its income as collateral for debentures. 
  • When sales and earnings are quite stable, it makes sense to issue debentures. 
  • They are less expensive to finance than preferred or equity capital because the interest on debentures is tax deductible. 

The following are the cons of a debenture: 

  • Each company has a certain amount of borrowing capacity. The ability of a company to borrow money in the future is enabled through the issuance of debentures. 
  • Redeemable debentures require the corporation to make arrangements for repayment on the designated date, even when the company is experiencing financial distress. 
  • Debentures permanently lower the ability of a firm to produce money. As a result, when the company’s earnings vary, the risk increases. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Debentures are likewise subject to interest rate risk. In this risk scenario, investors hold fixed-rate debts even when market interest rates are rising. These investors may find that the returns on their loan are less than what are given by other investments paying the current, higher market rate. 


Debentures are debt instruments not backed by collateral and are typically issued by a corporation. Debentures are often used to finance expansion or other major projects. Government bonds and treasury bills are examples of debentures. 

Large enterprises, financial institutions, and government organisations issue bonds, which are debt financial securities backed by assets or collateral. Private firms can issue debt instruments called debentures, but no substantial assets or security are used to support them. 


Debentures may provide predictable returns and are comparatively less risky financial instruments. Before investing in them, it’s crucial to investigate the issuer’s financial standing, credibility, type, rate of return, and time horizon of the debentures. 


Debentures are long-term debt instruments that are typically structured as bonds. Companies generally issue them to raise capital, and their assets usually secure them. Debentures typically have a fixed term and pay interest at a fixed rate. At the end of the term, the principal amount of the debenture is typically repaid to the investors. 

Debentures are long-term loans with a five- to ten-year maturity dates. As they are unsecured, the issuer often charges a greater interest rate than they would for a secured loan or bond to counteract their elevated risk. 

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