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Fillable Form IOU Template

An IOU Form, “I Owe You,” is a written acknowledgment of debt to another party.


What is an IOU Form?

An IOU Form, abbreviated from the phrase “I Owe You,” is a written acknowledgment of debt to another party. It is an informal document and sometimes it is not a legally binding one, but it offers a simple solution when two parties want to record a transaction without the hassle of complicated paperwork. People that tend to use an IOU are trustworthy and close individuals, typically business partners, friends, or family members.

This form gained a bad reputation from movies as it was mostly depicted as a paper or a bar napkin with words scribbled on it signed by drunken people, who casually made an agreement one night. In reality, this simple document is very powerful as one can use it to enter into an agreement with someone else.

It is also easy to make and is very customizable to fit the needs of both parties and can include anything they agree on. The more specific the IOU the more likely it is enforceable. If you’re loaning or lending a substantial amount to someone, no matter how close you are to the person, this document is important.

Does an IOU stand up in court?

The IOU serves as written proof of debt and if the borrower signed this, it will serve as evidence in court. As documentary evidence of the debt, an IOU with signatures will sometimes be as good as a promissory note but with a simpler format and wording. This means that you can use this document in court as needed. But it is important to know that a promissory note includes more information such as the steps the borrower needs to take to pay back the loan.

If you have any doubts about the IOU template, consult with a lawyer. A lawyer can explain to you all of the legal details associated with IOUs, no matter how small they are. Also, a lawyer can offer suggestions about any legal actions you may take in case of an issue.

Who needs an IOU Form?

  • People who loan a certain amount of money to a person and they want their agreement in writing.
  • People who borrow a certain amount of money from a person and they want the terms of their agreement in writing.
  • The loan includes relevant payment information like interests which they need to specify.
  • People who have transacted with the same person in the past and they accept an IOU note.
  • People who don’t have enough money to pay for an item, so they give the merchant an IOU form for the balance.
  • People who need to borrow a specific amount of money to make a down payment.

How to fill out an IOU Form?

Before filling out the form, make sure that the information given is correct. Write as legible as possible to avoid errors and the possible need for corrections.

Step 1: Indicate the amount.

Step 2: Put the date when the agreement was made.

Step 3: Enter the name of the Debtor or Borrower, the Creditor or Lender, and the amount of the loan (which is advised to be in written and numeric form).

  • This can also include the home or business addresses, and the contact details of the parties involved – the lender and the borrower.

Step 4: Payment Information

This requires information pertaining to when the loan will be repaid There is a due date to be stated.

  • Do note that for this IOU Form, all payments under are applied first to accrued interest and then to the balance of the outstanding principal.
  • When it comes to the payment information, you can be as specific as you want as it depends on you.

Step 5: Payment Schedule

Write when the successive payment will be made or is due on the given day of each month.

  • This varies if the loan is being paid off with one lump sum payment without monthly installments or if the borrower will pay back the loan with monthly installments until the loan is paid off.

Step 6: Interest Rate

Provide the interest rate per annum accruing daily from the date of the note and until maturity.

Step 7: Governing Law

Write down the State of which laws will be acknowledged.

Step 8: Signatures of the people involved.

Get the required signatures from the people involved.

  • An IOU is written evidence of a debt. If signed by the borrower, it is even better evidence. But for an even safer transaction signatures from both the Lender and Borrower is needed.
  • In the given fillable form, even the signature of a third party such as a witness is required to sign, with a total of four signatures.
  • In some states, a Notary Public and a Witness are needed to sign off on the IOU as well to be valid. Check with your state to make sure you are aware of the laws.

In this fillable form, a Notary Acknowledgement is also provided. It is recommended that you have your IOU Form be notarized so it can be used in court, in case that will be necessary.


  • Provide the State and County.
  • Name of the Notary Public.
  • Name of the one who signed the foregoing instrument.
  • Date of the signing.
  • Signature of the Notary Public.
  • The expiration date of the commission.

Termination of an IOU Form:

If you want, you can provide details about what happens when the borrower does not pay the loan. For instance, the lender gains ownership of the collateral, acceleration of the debt, or collecting additional costs.

Where to file an IOU Form?

Both the Debtor or Borrower and the Creditor or Lender should have copies of the IOU Form, as well as legal help for an extra precautionary measure. Even if your state laws do not require the signature of a notary public on the document to become valid, it’s still recommended to have it notarized as it gives a higher level of protection to both you and the borrower. You should both be with the notary public during the signing of the IOU.

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