Difference Between Bonds and Debentures (With Table)

Be it a tiny business, a large corporation, or the government itself, the necessity for money to keep things running is universally acknowledged. Borrowing is one of the most popular methods of obtaining funds. There are numerous various ways to borrow money, the most common of which being bonds and debentures.

With a detailed table and appropriate definitions, this article will help you grasp the characteristics, meanings, and, most significantly, the distinctions between bonds and debentures.

Bonds vs Debentures

The difference between bonds and debentures is that bonds are secured and usually offered by reputed private and government organizations hence, bonds are more formal and involve collaterals whereas debentures are risky and can be secured as well as insecure. Debentures are offered by private organizations only and do not involve any collateral as they are much less formal when compared to bonds.

The most frequent form of financial pervasiveness used by private companies and governments is the bond. It acts as a promissory note here between the provider and the investor. An investor lends a quantity of cash in exchange for the prospect of repayment at a later period. Throughout the bond’s tenure, the investor usually gets regular interest payments.

Bonds are typically regarded as a pretty secure asset in the investing world. Government and corporate bonds with high ratings have a low chance of default. Nevertheless, each bond, whether issued by a government agency or a municipality, will have its credit score.

Debentures, on the other hand, are an unprotected bond or any other financial instrument with no security and collateral. Because debentures lack security, they need to rely on the issuer’s performance and success for support. Debentures are commonly issued by companies to raise money or funds. A fixed charge or a current liability can be granted by a debenture. A permanent fee is usually placed on a physical item, such as real estate or property.

Comparison Table Between Bonds and Debentures

Parameters of ComparisonBondsDebentures
MeaningsAn investor lends a quantity of cash in exchange for the prospect of repayment at a later period. The bondholder receives interest payments in installments for a long tenure.It is an unprotected bond or any other financial instrument with no security and collateral. Because debentures lack security, they need to rely on the issuer’s trust and reliance.
CollateralBonds are collateral based and the signed up collateral must be liquidated only if the bondholder allows it.No collateral is involved in the process.
SecurityVery secure.Can be secured or unsecured.
TenureLong tenure can reach upto 5-10 yearsShort tenure can range from months to a few years.
Offered ByGovernment and reputed private organisations.Private organisations.

What is Bonds?

Since it is backed by collateral and security, a bond is a safe investment. When a bond is issued, a commodity is promised as collateral for the loan, so that if the issuance refuses or fails to pay, the creditors can sell the item to pay off their debts.

Bonds can be issued for a specific length of time. The interest on the principal amount of a bond is paid out in dividends at regular periods. Let’s assume you’ve invested Rs.20,000 in a 5-year bond with a 10% rate of interest (ROI). So, at the end of each month, you’ll get an Rs. 2000 ticket, and after the time, you’ll get back Rs. 20,000 back. For retirees, bonds can be exploited as a monthly source of revenue.

Bonds are generally regarded as secure, though unspectacular, assets that provide a fixed rate of return. Experienced financial advisers generally advise their clients to retain a portion of money in bonds and to raise that percentage.

A Bond is considered a safe refuge for investment throughout most situations since it is secured by property and written documents for consultation and numerous creditworthiness organizations assess the company regularly. Bondholders, once again, have the highest claim to the resources. During the winding-up of the company, creditors can exercise their rights.

What is Debentures?

Debentures are different from other types of bonds in that they have a clear function and defined objective. While both bonds and debentures are being used to secure financing, debentures are traditionally done to cover the costs of a forthcoming project or to fund a planned corporate investment.

Convertible bonds are a common type of long-term funding used by businesses. Investors will receive a floating or fixed dividend rate return on their debentures, as well as a repayment date. When the annual bill is due, the firm will usually pay interest before paying dividends to shareholders.

So because the holder hopes to pay back loans first from revenues of the startup they helped fund, debentures are also known as income bonds. Debentures are not backed by tangible assets or security. These are completely guaranteed by the borrower’s full repayment.

Some debt securities, like other securities, are convertible, which means they may be exchanged for business stock, while others are not. Convertibles are preferred by most investors, who are willing to accept a little smaller profit in exchange for them. The company may issue debentures to fulfill a particular requirement, such as anticipated expenses or growth costs. The capital raised here is decided to borrow capital thus the debenture holders are treated as financial creditors of the organization.

Main Differences Between Bonds and Debentures

  1. Bonds are more secured compared to unsecured debentures.
  2. Bonds are based on collaterals and properties whereas debentures are not based on collaterals.
  3. Bonds are usually issued by government organizations whereas debentures are preferred by private organizations.
  4. At the time of liquidation, the bondholders are always given preference whereas the debenture-holders are not consulted before liquidation.
  5. Bonds are issued for long-term tenure whereas debentures are issued for a short period with a relatively higher ROI.


Both bonds and debentures are types of debt money, but the structure of the two tools differs. A bond has security backing i.e collaterals and properties, but a debenture does not. However, the potential of earnings of debentures is always substantial. You may surely acquire debentures for a higher return if you can judge the trustworthiness of the debenture issuer. Bonds, on the other hand, are a better choice if you are new to investing and into the phase of retirement. So, it must not be judged singularly on the basis of security, debentures can be a great option if the lender is trustworthy and the amount necessary is large in number.


  1. https://www.ig.com/en-ch/glossary-trading-terms/debentures-definition
  2. https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/investment-products/bonds-or-fixed-income-products/bonds
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