You know there are some people who buy something on credit but fail to pay it back or borrow some money from friends but don't give it back on time. In my native language, We have two words to describe such people and those who are opposite of them who pay their debts on time so they can be trusted when it comes to lending them some money.

I've been looking for English words, expressions, and idioms to describe such people and I found these.

Habitual defaulter

People who pay on the nail.

I need to confirm/reject these, and also to ask you for appropriate and common equivalents. If there are informal words for these please mention them.


2 Answers 2


A habitual or long-term defaulter might be called a deadbeat. This is especially used, for instance, for someone who fails to fulfill financial obligations other than loans, such as child support payments.


A defaulter is somebody who does not meet their commitments: it's mainly used about financial matters, but can be used in other ways too. It's a bit technical: not everybody would understand this.

Somebody who pays on the nail, pays immediately- even if you give them 28 days credit, they still pay immediately. If you want to refer to somebody who pays within the credit period, you can say that they pay on time, or they pay promptly: they are prompt payers.

The terms his credit is good or his credit is bad may also be appropriate. Finance companies use various metrics to work out a credit rating, but for ordinary people it's simply whether somebody pays on time.

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