Debt Relief

Definition of 'Debt Relief'


The reorganization of debt in any shape or form, so as to provide the indebted party with a measure of relief, either fully or partially, from a huge debt burden. Debt relief can take a number of forms: reducing the outstanding principal amount (either partly or fully), lowering the interest rate on loans due, extending the term of the loan and so on.

Creditors may only be willing to consider debt relief measures when the repercussions of debt default by the indebted party or parties are perceived as being so severe that debt mitigation is a better alternative. Debt relief may be extended to any highly-indebted party, from individuals and small businesses, to large companies, municipalities and sovereign nations.

Investopedia explains 'Debt Relief'


The obvious drawbacks of debt relief are that it may encourage imprudent and reckless behavior by fiscally irresponsible parties, who may embark on borrowing sprees in the expectation that their creditors will eventually bail them out. In addition, creditors have to incur needless losses on debt relief measures through no fault of their own.

In a number of situations, however, debt relief may be the only alternative. For example, if a sovereign nation with a massive debt load is finding it difficult to service its borrowings, its creditors may be amenable to restructuring the debt and providing relief, rather than risk the nation defaulting on its obligations and increasing global systemic risk.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  2. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  3. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  4. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  5. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  6. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Trading Center