Make your Free
IOU Form

  • Answer simple questions to make your document
  • Sign & share your document online
  • Save progress and finish on any device; download & print at home

How it works

  • Build your
  • Save, print
    & share
  • Sign it &
    Make it legal
Sample IOU Form Form Template
How it Works
Build your Document
Save, Print & Share
Sign it & make it legal


rocket lawyer 5 star rating

Kasia M.

"Rocket Lawyer is a helpful tool for professionals who need legal documents at an affordable price."

IOU Form basics

“I Owe You(s)” or IOUs are often thought of as informal loan agreements, but both the lender and the borrower can benefit from having a written and signed agreement. Sometimes IOU Forms are called Debt Acknowledgment Forms, but they perform the same function.

Use the IOU Form document if:

  • You are loaning a person money and want a record of the agreement.
  • You are accepting a loan from someone and want the terms in writing.
  • The loan includes interests and payment information that needs to be outlined.

A signed IOU Form shows the lender that the borrower is, in good faith, planning on paying back the loan. And if they don't, they have a legal document that can be used to recover what is owed to them.

Other names for this document:

I Owe You Form, Debt Acknowledgement Form

What should be included in an IOU agreement?

If you want more than just a handshake to define the terms of the loan, you'll want to make a written IOU agreement that at least includes the names of the people involved, the loan amount, signatures and the date. But unless the loan is small, you'll likely want to include more such as:

  • Contact information
    Names, addresses and phone numbers for the lender and borrower.
  • Payment information
    The amount of the minimum payment, payment due dates, late dates, late fees and interest rates. What is allowed as acceptable payment such as cash, bank deposit, online payment or other. Terms of early pay-off if needed.
  • Termination details
    What happens if the loan is not repaid according to the agreement. It may include taking possession of collateral, acceleration of debt (full balance due in full) and collection costs.

Does an IOU contract need witnesses or to be notarized?

Not all states require other witnesses to sign the contract for it to be enforceable, but if the loan is large it is recommended. It's simple to find notary services in your area and often your bank or credit union has one on staff. It may be free or low-priced depending on the services you use.

Why do I need a formal IOU Agreement?

Some may worry that formal paperwork might put a strain on good relationships, such as family members or good friends loaning money. However, many more relationships have been damaged by someone not paying back a loan than someone asking for a written agreement. It is in everyone's best interest to make the IOU contract. The only time a lender does not need an agreement is if they are 100 percent willing to let the money or property go whether they get paid or not.

One of the biggest negative sides to personal loans not being repaid is the strain it puts on the relationship and even other related parties. Friendships can dissolve and family gossip can flare up from loan situations that go sour. Not only does the IOU provide security for the lender, but it also gives the borrower a minute to pause and reflect on whether the risk of taking on the loan is worth ruining relationships if they can't pay it back.

IOU forms are simple to make, add an extra layer of protection for the lender and clearly define the terms of the agreement to the borrower. And if the loan is large, it can generate much more confidence than a verbal agreement.

Read {{ showMore ? 'Less' : 'More' }}

Sample IOU Form

More than just a template, our step-by-step interview process makes it easy to create an IOU Form.

Save, sign, print, and download your document when you are done.

Get legal advice

From Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorneys.

Characters remaining: 600

Ready to make your Free IOU Form?

Your document is free within your one week membership trial.

Meet ALL your legal needs with a Rocket Lawyer membership.
Document Defense®
Have an attorney ready to defend your document
Document Review
Review up to 6 documents a year with an attorney
Ask a Lawyer
Get 2 Q&A sessions with an attorney every month
1-on-1 Legal Advice
Enjoy 30-minute consultations  on each new legal matter
Exclusive Discounts
Save on additional legal services from our nationwide network of lawyers
Unlimited Documents
Access hundreds of legal documents, plus extra features like electronic signatures