What is a Put Swaption

A put swaption is a position on an interest rate swap that gives an entity the right to pay a fixed rate of interest and receive a floating rate of interest from the swap counterparty. Put swaptions are for entities seeking floating rate interest payments in an interest rate swap deal. Put swaptions can also be called payer swaptions.


Put swaptions are one position an entity can take in an interest rate swap. Swaption market participants are generally large companies and financial institutions. These companies seek to manage some of the risk from debt they have taken on their balance sheets.

Interest Rate Swaps

Interest rate swaps can be valuable transactions for large entities seeking to manage risks from rising interest on debt they have accumulated on their balance sheets. Put swaptions are one leg of an interest rate swap that involves payment of a fixed rate for the return of a floating rate. Interest rate swaps often involve swapping fixed rate debt for floating rate debt for the benefit of managing outstanding debt risk. Generally, counterparties in an interest rate swap deal will take either the put swaption or the call swaption position. The put swaption position pays a fixed rate and receives a floating rate. The call swaption position pays the floating rate and receives the fixed rate. In interest rate swaps the difference between the rates is settled in cash on each date on which debt repayment is due.

Put Swaption Considerations

The buyer of a put swaption expects interest rates to rise and is hedging against this possibility. As an example, consider an institution that has a large amount of floating-rate debt and wishes to hedge its exposure to rising interest rates. With a put swaption, the institution converts its floating-rate liability to a fixed-rate one for the duration of the swap. Thus, the payer swaption can now plan to pay a fixed rate on their balance sheet debt and receive the floating rate from the call swaption position. If interest rates rise, the put swaption can benefit by receiving additional interest. Neither position has a guaranteed profit and, if interest rates fall below the put swaption payer's fixed rate, they stand to lose from the adverse market move.

Call Swaptions

Call swaptions are the inverse position to put swaptions and may also be called receiver swaptions. A call swaption position believes interest rates may decrease and is willing to pay the floating rate for the chance to profit from the fixed rate differential.