This paper argues, in contrast to some previous scholarship, that debt bondage was not practiced in Egypt’s Late Period (c. 8th–5th centuries BC). The phenomena of self-sales into slavery and the inclusion of children in lists of security in loan contracts have been offered as evidence of debt bondage in past studies: in the former, arguing that self-sales were a means to satisfy debts; in the latter, that seizure of children into bondage was precipitated by default on a debt. But there is no evidence for these manifestations of debt bondage in practice. In an examination of all relevant self-sales and loan contracts of the period, it can be shown that in no case was a person seized for security or in distraint, and that self-sales did not occur specifically as a result of debtor default. In practice, creditors likely pursued punitive measures such as fine or high interest rather than the potentially expensive and troublesome seizure of debtors. The conditional clauses regarding seizure or distraint reflected in loan documents must thus be regarded as notional rather than actionable, more representative of the social rather than financial capital at stake when one defaulted on a debt. Excluding debt bondage from the Egyptian socio-economic landscape of the period opens the discussion to the implications for social practice, family life, and credit systems.