Complete Guide To Corporate Finance


Loans And Amortization - Amortization

There are two types of amortization. One relates to the way certain business expenses are deducted, which we discussed in Section 2. The other relates to the way a loan is repaid, which we'll discuss here. Amortization describes the paying off of debt in regular installments over a period of time. An amortized loan has scheduled periodic payments of both principal and interest. With a self-amortizing loan, the periodic payments consist of both principal and interest in an amount such that the loan will be paid off by the end of a scheduled term. Assuming the loan is a fixed-rate loan, the amount of each payment and the breakdown of the principal and the interest that comprise each payment can be known in advance. If the loan is an adjustable-rate loan, it can still be self-amortizing, but because the interest rate is subject to change, the amount and breakdown of each payment cannot be known in advance.

Borrowers who choose fully amortized loans are less likely to experience "payment shock" than borrowers who choose loans that are not fully amortized. Payments on loans that are not initially fully amortized must at some point become amortized over the remaining term of the loan in order for the outstanding principal balance to be repaid. The shorter the remaining term, the larger the increase required in the periodic payments to amortize the loan over the remaining term.

With a fully amortizing loan, the principal balance decreases with each payment. With a negatively amortizing loan, the principal balance increases each month because the payments fail to cover the interest due. The unpaid interest, called "deferred interest," is added to the loan's principal, which ultimately causes the borrower to owe more money.

For example, consider a loan with an 8% annual interest rate, a remaining principal balance of $100,000, and a provision that allows the borrower to make $500 payments at a certain number of scheduled payment dates. The interest due on the loan at the next scheduled payment would be: 0.08 / 12 x 100,000 = $666.67. If the borrower makes a $500 payment, $166.67 in deferred interest ($666.67 - $500) will be added to the principal balance of the loan for a total remaining principal balance of $100,166.67. The next month's interest charge would be based on this new principal balance amount, and the calculation would continue each month leading to increases in the loan's principal balance or negative amortization.

Negative amortization cannot continue indefinitely. At some point, the loan must start to amortize over its remaining term. Typically, negatively amortizing loans have scheduled dates when the payments are recalculated, so that the loan will amortize over its remaining term, or they have a negative amortization limit which states that when the principal balance of the loan reaches a certain contractual limit the payments will be recalculated.

With a non-amortizing loan, payments on the principal are not made, while interest payments or minimum payments are made regularly. As a result, the value of principal does not decrease at all over the life of the loan. The principal is then paid as a lump sum at the maturity of the loan. Examples of non-amortizing loan agreements are balloon mortgages and deferred interest programs.

An amortization schedule is a chart showing a complete breakdown of periodic blended loan payments. It shows the amount of principal and the amount of interest that comprise each payment so that the loan will be paid off at the end of its term. Early in the schedule, the majority of each periodic payment is interest. Later in the schedule, the majority of each periodic payment is put toward the principal.

If you know the term of a loan and the total periodic payment, an easy way to calculate an amortization schedule is to do the following: Starting in month one, multiply the loan balance by the periodic interest rate. This will be the interest amount of the first month's payment. Subtract that amount from the total payment, which will give you the principal amount.

To calculate the next month's interest and principal payments, subtract the principal payment made in month one from the loan balance, and then repeat the steps from above.

As an alternative, you can let a loan amortization calculator do the work for you.

Introduction To Bonds
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Financial Planner

    Identify the key differences between a career in accounting and financial planning, and learn how your personality dictates which is the better choice for you.
  2. Investing Basics

    What Does In Specie Mean?

    In specie describes the distribution of an asset in its physical form instead of cash.
  3. Economics

    Calculating Days Working Capital

    A company’s days working capital ratio shows how many days it takes to convert working capital into revenue.
  4. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  6. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Controller

    Learn about the differences between controllers and accountants, how the two are related and which is the best career choice for aspiring bookkeepers.
  7. Professionals

    What is Cash Basis Accounting?

    Cash basis accounting recognizes revenues and expenses at the time cash is paid or received.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    What's a Good Profit Margin for a Mature Business?

    How to determine if the amount you clear dovetails with the competition.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Chile's GDP

    Chile has become one of the great economic success stories of Latin America.
  10. Investing

    Watch Your Duration When Rates Rise

    While recent market volatility is leading investors to look for the nearest exit, here are some suggestions for bond exposure in attractive sectors.
  1. Put-Call Parity

    A principle that defines the relationship between the price of ...
  2. Encumbrance

    A claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. ...
  3. Alpha

    Alpha is used in finance to represent two things: 1. a measure ...
  4. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based ...
  5. Profit and Loss Statement (P&L)

    A financial statement that summarizes the revenues, costs and ...
  6. Linear Relationship

    A statistical term used to describe the directly proportional ...
  1. What should I study in school to prepare for a career in corporate finance?

    Depending on which area you want to specialize in, corporate finance can be one of the most competitive fields in business. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a company issue preference shares instead of common shares?

    Preference shares, or preferred stock, act as a hybrid between common shares and bond issues. As with any produced good or ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between cost of debt capital and cost of equity?

    In corporate finance, capital – the money a business uses to fund operations – comes from two sources: debt and equity. While ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between gross profit, operating profit and net income?

    The terms profit and income are often used interchangeably in day-to-day life. In corporate finance, however, these terms ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does working capital include salaries?

    A company accrues unpaid salaries on its balance sheet as part of accounts payable, which is a current liability account, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Student loans, federal and private: what's the difference?

    The cost of a college education now rivals many home prices, making student loans a huge debt that many young people face ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!