Toxic Debt

Definition of 'Toxic Debt'


Debt that has a lower chance of being repaid with interest. Toxic debt is toxic to the person or institution that will receive the payments.

This debt generally adheres to one of the following criteria: default rates for the particular debt are in the double digits, more debt is accumulated than what can comfortably be paid back, the interest rates of the obligation are subject to discretionary changes. Any debt could potentially be considered "toxic," if it imposes harm onto the financial position of the holder.

Investopedia explains 'Toxic Debt'


Debt is not always bad, especially if you are the lender and the borrower is making the payments. If the payments on these loans stop coming in, or are expected to stop, the debt becomes known as toxic debt. The historical costs of toxic debt securities are higher than the current market price. This can often result from unjustified high credit ratings which implies that the risk of default on the security is much lower than fundamental analysis would suggest. Junk bonds are not classified as toxic debt upon purchase, because the buyer is aware of the underlying risk of these securities.



Related Video for 'Toxic Debt'

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  2. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Trading Center