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A creditor is a party (e.g. person, organization, company, or government) that claims that a second party owes the first party some property or service. The first party, in general, has provided some property or service to the second party under the assumption (usually enforced by contract) that the second party will return an equivalent property or service. The first party is frequently called a lender, and the second party is frequently called a debtor or borrower.

The term creditor is frequently used in the financial world, especially in reference to loans.

The term creditor derives from the notion of credit. In modern America, credit refers to a rating which indicates the ability of a borrower and likelihood to pay back his loan. In earlier times, credit also referred to reputation or trustworthiness.