Unearned Discount

DEFINITION of 'Unearned Discount'

Interest that has been collected on a loan by a lending institution but has not yet been counted as income (or earnings). Instead, it is initially recorded as a liability. If the loan is paid off early, the unearned interest portion must be returned to the borrower.


Also called unearned interest.

BREAKING DOWN 'Unearned Discount'

An unearned discount account recognizes interest deductions before being classified as income earned throughout the term of the outstanding debt. Over time, then, the unearned discount creates an increase in the lender's profit and a subsequent decrease in liability.