Why does a country go into debt?
Debt is typical for people, whether from student loans, credit cards, or general bills. The obligation is not limited to a single person but can affect an entire country. Most countries are in billions, if not Trillion dollars of debt.
A country balances its funds with the earnings it receives and the amount of spending it gives out. Most of the payments come from the taxes taken from the citizens. This money gets divided into different sections that the government uses to build and pay for additional infrastructure or programs.
The government will also spend money on imports and construction and give out aid which might add up to more than it collects. This is when the nation will fall into a deficit and borrow or create more money to compensate.
A government can find this money in several ways: borrowing money from citizens, loans from other countries, and loans from itself. The government would issue bonds citizens could purchase to borrow money from the government. There would be a bond return on a future date, so the people would be enticed to buy them, knowing they will get money back.
A country may also seek aid from foreign countries. They can borrow money from banks, investors, and other institutions. However, this can be called sovereign debt when they borrow too much money. This is when a country promises to pay back the money lent, usually in a foreign currency. The condition with this is that the investors must decide if the nation is stable enough that they will be able to pay back the money. This means poorer countries will have a higher interest rate because it is riskier to provide aid. With that being said, this is a common practice in times of need.
If the government is desperate, they can also borrow money from themselves. This can be done in two ways, the first from other parts of the government. Some of these areas may get more money from taxes than they need, so it can be deposited where required. The government can also print more money. However, this usually leads to disaster, causing hyperinflation, meaning there will be a high cost of living.
An example of a country in debt is Ukraine. Ukraine has been hit hard in recent years by Covid-19 and the Invasion of Russia. From these disasters, aid has been received from all over the world. However, this does not come for free. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has supported Ukraine under the World Bank conditions and the European Commissions. With the building, aid comes building debt, which could lead Ukraine into a debt default. Again, because of all the conflicts and growing limitations, investors could pull their support and money, leaving Ukraine in an even more devastating state.
A country in debt is not necessarily a scary or bad thing. However, when a country has received something from another nation, this always comes with strings attached.