Prepayment Risk

Definition of 'Prepayment Risk'


The risk associated with the early unscheduled return of principal on a fixed-income security. Some fixed-income securities, such as mortgage-backed securities, have embedded call options which may be exercised by the issuer, or in the case of a mortgage-backed security, the borrower.

The yield-to-maturity of such securities cannot be known for certain at the time of purchase since the cash flows are not known. When principal is returned early, future interest payments will not be paid on that part of the principal. If the bond was purchased at a premium (a price greater than 100) the bond's yield will be less than what was estimated at the time of purchase.

Investopedia explains 'Prepayment Risk'


For a bond with an embedded call option, the higher a bond's interest rate relative to current interest rates, the higher the prepayment risk.

For example, on a mortgage-backed security, the higher the interest rate relative to current interest rates, the higher the probability that the underlying mortgages will be refinanced. Investors who pay a premium for a callable bond with a high interest rate take on prepayment risk. In addition to being highly correlated with falling interest rates, mortgage prepayments are highly correlated with rising home values, as rising home values provide incentive for borrowers to trade up in homes or use cash-out refinances, both leading to mortgage prepayments.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  2. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  3. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
  4. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
  5. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - TIPS

    A treasury security that is indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed.
  6. Gilt-Edged Switching

    The selling and repurchasing of certain high-grade stocks or bonds to capture profits. Gilt-edged switching involves gilt-edged security, which can be high-grade stock or bond issued by a financially stable company such as the Blue Chip companies or by certain governments.
Trading Center