A self-liquidating loan is a debt that is paid off from the cash flow generated by the assets originally acquired with the funds from the debt. The scheduled loan payments are typically structured to coincide with the cash flows generated by the underlying asset. These loans are structured to have a short duration, and are used to fund temporary increases in current assets.
For example, a seasonal business obtains a $100,000 loan to acquire inventory for its Christmas season. Once the inventory has been sold during the peak selling season, the resulting cash inflow is used to pay off the full amount of the loan. In anticipation of this cash inflow, the terms of the inventory loan are set to require payments only after the selling season has been concluded.