I wonder if "owed" and "due" mean the opposite in the following quote from Wikipedia?

In banking and accountancy, the outstanding balance is the amount of money owed, (or due), that remains in a deposit account (or a loan account) at a given date, after all past remittances, payments and withdrawal have been accounted for. It can be positive (then, in the balance sheet of a firm, it is an asset) or negative (a liability).

I think owed and due both mean someone owes someone else another something. But in the quote, it looks like owed means someone else owes someone something, and due means someone owes someone else something. I am confused.


  • Thank you for this question! It helped me a lot. I could not understand what "due" means in amounts due. Now, I know even more that there is amount owed as well as amount due. May 28, 2021 at 18:23

3 Answers 3


Owed and due are closely related.

Owed, without more explanation, means the total amount of debt obligated to be paid by A to B

Due means the amount of debt that is expected to be paid by a given date (a due date) from A to B.

At times they are the same, at times due is a subset of owed. This assumes that the person owing is also the person from whom payment is due. In legal jargon, they are often used together in the phrase due and owing.

  • Thanks! In the quote "the amount of money owed, (or due), that remains in a deposit account (or a loan account) at a given date", If I understand correctly, deposit account shows the money a customer lend to the bank, and load account shows the money the bank lend to the customer. So don't owed and due mean the opposite?
    – Tim
    Sep 5, 2012 at 13:33
  • Thanks! Can you relate to deposit and loan accounts?
    – Tim
    Sep 5, 2012 at 13:42
  • Deposit and loan accounts both represent available funds, but are fundamentally different, and owed and due can mean different things depending on context. If I receive periodic advances from a bank, an amount is due from the bank, it is an obligation on them, but ultimately is becomes my debt. Now we are getting into legal and business analysis rather than language.
    – bib
    Sep 5, 2012 at 13:58
  • 2
    See also the general theory of the Commercial Transaction Frame. Sep 5, 2012 at 14:33

"Owed" and "due" can apply in either direction: You may owe the bank money or they may owe you money. In your example, I think they are just indicating that "due" here is a synonym for "owed", though broader context may indicate a more specific meaning is intended.

As Bib indicates, "amount due" is the amount that someone is obligated to pay as of a specific date, which may or may not be the total obligation.


The Wikipedia quote does not state "due" is opposed to "owed", but pertains to mean that owed and due are interchangeable. We all know the amount due to the merchant, is the amount owed by the customer. The amount owed, is therefore the amount owed by a merchant to a customer.

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