What is a 'Default Premium'

A default premium is the additional amount a borrower must pay to compensate the lender for assuming default risk. A default premium is generally paid by all companies or borrowers indirectly, through the rate at which they must repay their obligation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Default Premium'

Typically the only borrower in the United States which would not pay a default premium would be the U.S. government. However in tumultuous times, even the U.S. Treasury has had to offer higher yields in order to borrow. The default premium is paid by companies with lower grade bonds or by individuals with poor credit.


As an illustration, companies with poor financials will tend to compensate investors for the additional risk by issuing bonds with high yields. Individuals with poor credit must pay higher interest rates in order to borrow money from the bank.

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