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. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. In the context of the NYSE and FINRA, after an investor has bought securities on margin, the minimum required level of margin is 25% of the total market value of the securities in the margin account.
  2. Leased Bank Guarantee

    A bank guarantee that is leased to a third party for a specific fee. The issuing bank will conduct due diligence on the creditworthiness of the customer looking to secure a bank guarantee, then lease a guarantee to that customer for a set amount of money and over a set period of time, typically less than two years.
  3. Degree Of Financial Leverage - DFL

    A ratio that measures the sensitivity of a company’s earnings per share (EPS) to fluctuations in its operating income, as a result of changes in its capital structure. Degree of Financial Leverage (DFL) measures the percentage change in EPS for a unit change in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
  4. Jeff Bezos

    Self-made billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for founding online retail giant Amazon.com.
  5. Re-fracking

    Re-fracking is the practice of returning to older wells that had been fracked in the recent past to capitalize on newer, more effective extraction technology. Re-fracking can be effective on especially tight oil deposits – where the shale products low yields – to extend their productivity.
  6. TIMP (acronym)

    'TIMP' is an acronym that stands for 'Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and Philippines.' Similar to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the acronym was coined by and investor/economist to group fast-growing emerging market economies in similar states of economic development.
Trading Center