Interest refers to the cost or compensation paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of borrowed money or the delay in the repayment of a debt. It is essentially the price of borrowing or lending money. Interest can be earned by lenders (such as banks or individuals who lend money) or paid by borrowers (such as individuals, businesses, or governments who borrow money). Lenders receive interest as income or profit for lending their funds, while borrowers pay interest as an expense or cost of borrowing.