DEFINITION of 'Impaired Credit'

A deterioration in the creditworthiness of an individual or entity. This is usually reflected through a lower credit score, in the case of an individual, or a reduction in the credit rating assigned to an entity by a rating agency or lender. The borrower whose credit has been impaired will generally have lesser accessibility to credit facilities and will have to pay a higher rate of interest on loans. Impaired credit may either be a temporary situation that can be reversed, or an early sign that the borrower faces a major financial crisis down the road.

BREAKING DOWN 'Impaired Credit'

Impaired credit is usually the result of financial stress brought on by a change in circumstances for an individual or entity. In the case of an individual, impaired credit may be the end result of a job loss, long illness, a steep decline in asset prices and so on. For a corporate entity, creditworthiness may decline if its financial position deteriorates over time due to poor management, increased competition or a weak economy.


Impaired credit, whether at the personal level or at the corporate level, may need drastic changes to be made in order to alleviate financial stress and improve the balance sheet. These changes generally include reducing expenses, selling assets and using cash flow to pay down outstanding debt to bring it to a manageable level.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How is impairment loss calculated?

    Learn how companies re-evaluate their assets and compare them against book values to recognize impairment and why this strategy ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do businesses determine if an asset may be impaired?

    Find out how a business should determine if an asset may be impaired in accordance with the generally accepted accounting ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do accountants record impaired assets?

    Learn why accountants need to identify and record impaired assets, how impairments are measured and how they impact financial ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between a credit bureau and a credit rating agency?

    Learn the differences between credit bureaus that report on individuals' creditworthiness and credit rating agencies that ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are some ways a business owner can reduce unlimited liability?

    Understand how a fixed asset becomes impaired. Learn the accounting practices of impairing a fixed asset, and how it's recognized ... Read Answer >>
  6. How are impaired assets treated under U.S. accounting rules?

    Learn how to identify, test and measure impaired assets under the generally accepted accounting principles, Statement 144 ... Read Answer >>
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