What is the 'Net Charge-Off Rate'

The net charge-off rate is the dollar amount representing the difference between gross charge-offs and any subsequent recoveries of delinquent debt. The net charge-off is often a percentage representing that amount of debt that a company believes it will never collect compared to average receivables. Debt that is unlikely to be recovered is often written off and classified as gross charge-offs. If, at a later debt, some money is recovered on the debt, the amount is subtracted from the gross charge-offs to compute the net charge-off value.

BREAKING DOWN 'Net Charge-Off Rate'

Bad debt or poor credit quality loans are regularly charged off as bad debt and purged from the books, often on a monthly or quarterly basis. If and when part of the debt is repaid, the net charge-off can be calculated by finding the difference the gross charge-offs and the repaid debt. A negative value for net charge-offs indicates that recoveries are greater than charge-offs during a particular.

For example, if a bank lends $1 million in one year but only expects to get back $900,000, then the gross charge-off is $100,000. If the bank recovered $25,000 from the year before, it is added to the gross charge-off to get a net charge off of $75,000. The net charge-off rate is based on statists identifying what debt is likely to become default. A credit card company, for example, may post a 10.31% net charge off rate, meaning that, for the specified period, the company expects that 10.31% of its debt will never be recovered.

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