What is an "unsecured" creditor?

An unsecured creditor is one who does not have a security interest in the debt. Basically, one has a security interest if there is collateral to collect, should the debtor default on the loan. For example, a mortgage is secured by the house and property, a car loan is secured by the car itself. A personal loan is an example of an unsecured loan. Credit card debt is unsecured, but it normally carries much higher interest rates and the burden of this becomes crushing when a person sinks deeper and deeper into debt.