DEFINITION of 'Negative Amortization Limit'

A provision in certain loan contracts that limits the amount of negative amortization that can take place. A loan negatively amortizes when scheduled payments are made that are less than the interest charge due on the loan at the time. When a payment is made that is less than the interest charge due, deferred interest is created and added to the loan's principal balance, creating negative amortization. A negative amortization limit states that the principal balance of a loan cannot exceed a certain amount, usually designated as a percentage of the original loan balance.

BREAKING DOWN 'Negative Amortization Limit'

When a negative amortization limit is reached on a loan, a recasting of the loan's payments is triggered so that a new amortization schedule is established and the loan will be paid off by the end of its term. A negative amortization limit prevents a loan's principal balance from becoming too large, causing excessively large payment increases to pay back the loan by the end of its term.

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