What Does "Loan for Exchange" Mean?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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A loan for exchange is a type of lending arrangement that involves a lender extending some sort of personal property to a borrower, with the terms of the contract often placing some type of limitations on how that personal property may be used. The arrangement also commits the borrower to repay the loan with the use of some type of similar asset that has the same approximate value as the personal property loaned. Depending on the specifics of the loan for exchange agreement, the lender will collect little to no compensation in the form of interest from the transaction.

The structure of a loan for exchange may be in the form of an expressed or implied contract. Like any type of lend lease, this means that the lender may approve the loan for only limited purposes, and the borrower is committing to only making use of the personal property extended within the scope of those purposes. At other times, the terms may be somewhat broad, meaning that while the intended use may be implied, it is not expressly forbidden by the contract terms if the borrower uses the asset for another purpose.


The repayment of a loan for exchange is somewhat different from other types of western-style loans. While many forms of loans allow the lender to generate some profit from the assessment of interest over the life of the loan, a loan for exchange simple calls for the borrower to repay the debt with some asset that is like or very similar to the loaned asset, and is considered to carry a similar monetary value. For example, if the loan for exchange involves providing a borrower with a riding lawn mower, the borrower will later repay the loan with a riding lawn mower that is of similar size and has a similar range of features, although that mower may not be the same make and model as the one originally extended as part of the loan terms.

There are several advantages to a loan for exchange. Borrowers can often secure resources for immediate use that in turn can aid in generating revenue that can later be used to manage the repayment of the loan while also allowing the borrower to enjoy additional profits. Lenders can use this approach to protect an existing investment, ultimately making it possible to receive some benefit from the loan for exchange in an indirect manner. This means that if the investor in a delivery services chooses to lend a delivery van to that service, doing so allows the borrower to grow the business, eventually pay the loan with a new van, even as the stock held by the investor gains value in the marketplace.



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