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Handling loans, debts and advances

Loans

A loan, including a loan to the campaign from a member of the candidate’s family, is considered a contribution to the extent of the outstanding balance of the loan. (Bank loans, however, are not considered contributions if made in the ordinary course of business and on a basis that assures repayment.) 

An unpaid loan, when added to other contributions from the same contributor, must not exceed the contribution limit. Repayments made on the loan reduce the amount of the contribution. Once repaid in full, a loan no longer counts against the contributor’s contribution limit. However, a loan exceeding the limit is unlawful even if it is repaid in full. 

Besides being reported as a contribution, a loan must be continuously reported until it is fully repaid.

Debts

Debts and obligations must be reported continuously until repaid. 

Unpaid bills and written contracts or agreements to make expenditures are considered debts. 

Debts and obligations (other than loans) are reported as debts owed to or by the committee on Schedule D. A debt of $500 or less is reportable once it has been outstanding 60 days from the date incurred (the date of the transaction, not the date the bill is received). A debt exceeding $500 must be reported in the report covering the date on which the debt was incurred.

Learn how to report a debt in the filing reports section

Advances

When an individual uses personal funds (or personal credit) to pay for a campaign expense, that payment is generally an in-kind contribution from that individual. 

Although such expenses are considered in-kind contributions until reimbursed, special reporting rules apply when individuals pay for campaign expenses and later receive reimbursement.