How to Calculate Cost of Debt With Examples

How to Calculate Cost of Debt With Examples


Most managers start with the return that an equity investor would demand on a risk-free investment. Some 46% of our survey participants use the 10-year rate, 12% go for the five-year rate, 11% prefer the 30-year bond, and 16% use the three-month rate. When this article was drafted, the 90-day Treasury note yielded 0.05%, the 10-year note yielded 2.25%, and the 30-year yield was more than 100 basis points higher than the 10-year rate. It’s impossible to determine the precise effect of these miscalculations, but the magnitude starts to become clear if you look at how companies typically respond when their cost of capital drops by 1%. That’s obviously consequential, particularly in the current economic environment. Say, for instance, an investment of $20 million in a new project promises to produce positive annual cash flows of $3.25 million for 10 years.

  • If splitting your payment into 2 transactions, a minimum payment of $350 is required for the first transaction.
  • The risk-free rate of return is the US Treasury bond rate converted to a local nominal rate of interest.
  • Depending on the information accessible, there are a few different approaches to assessing a company’s cost of debt.
  • In other words, it measures the amount of money that the business has to spend to produce each unit of output.

While we now know that the cost of debt is how much a business pays to a lender to borrow money, the cost of equity works differently. As mentioned, there are two ways to calculate the cost of your loans, depending on whether you look at it as a pre- or post-tax cost. Now, back to that formula for your cost of debt that includes any tax cost at your corporate tax rate. The cost of equity is the rate of return required on an investment in equity or for a particular project or investment. Companies such as Tesla and Gamestop carry higher costs of debt, too; for example, Tesla currently carries a cost of debt of 4.21%, which reflects the poor credit rating the company currently carries.

What is the formula for calculating the cost of debt?

We need to add the market value of equity and the estimated market value of debt, and that’s it. It’s difficult to calculate the market value of debt because very few firms have their debt in outstanding bonds. Initial Public OfferingsAn initial public offering occurs when a private company makes its shares available to the general public for the first time. IPO is a means of raising capital for companies by allowing them to trade their shares on the stock exchange. With an increase in income of the business, one can avail more debt as he can afford it.

Because interest expense is deductible, it’s generally more useful to determine a company’s after-tax cost of debt. Cost of debt, along with cost of equity, makes up a company’s cost of capital. Companies typically calculate cost of debt to better understand cost of capital. This information is crucial in helping investors determine if a business is too risky. The WACC must take into account the weight of each component of a company’s capital structure.

The loan can be taken for multiple reasons, from issuing bonds to buying prime machinery to generate revenue and grow business. It helps to know the actual cost of debt, and debt helps to justify the cost of debt in the business. The effective interest rate is the weighted average interest rate we just calculated. The lower your interest rates, the lower your company’s cost of debt will be — you want the lowest cost of debt possible. As a business owner, you can look into your weighted average cost of capital using your financial statements to make sure it’s spread out across different sources of capital. With debt equity, a company takes out financing, which could be small business loans, merchant cash advances, invoice financing, or any other type of financing.

How To Calculate the Cost of Debt Capital

While simply having any debt at all is by no means a bad thing for a business, being over-leveraged or possessing debt with too high of interest rates can damage a business’ financial health. Therefore, the final step is to tax-affect the YTM, which comes out to an estimated 4.2% cost of debt once again, as shown by our completed model output. With that said, the cost of debt must reflect the “current” cost of borrowing, which is a function of the company’s credit profile right now (e.g. credit ratios, scores from credit agencies). Remember the discounted cash flow method of valuing companies is on a “forward-looking” basis and the estimated value is a function of discounting future free cash flows to the present day. Debt and equity are two ways that businesses make money, but they are very different.


To get our total interest, we’ll multiply each loan by its annual interest rate, then add up the results. If you’re just focusing on your loan’s monthly payment and not diving in deeper to analyze the true cost you’re paying, you might be spending more than necessary on your debt financing. The key difference between the pretax cost of debt and the after-tax cost of debt is the fact that interest expense is tax-deductible. Calculating the cost of debt using the after-tax cost of debt formula is a simple process once you know where to find the inputs and the reasoning behind the line items. Okay, now that we have some numbers, we can calculate our after-tax cost of debt for Microsoft. To better understand the impact of tax savings on the cost of debt and earnings, let’s look at a simple example.

Interest paid on debt is tax deductible by the firm; in bankruptcy, bondholders are paid before shareholders as the firm’s assets are liquidated. Default risk, the likelihood the firm will fail to repay interest and principal on a timely basis, can be measured by the firm’s credit rating. Default rates vary from an average of 0.52% for AAA-rated firms over a 15-year period to 54.38% for those rated CCC by Standard & Poor’s Corporation.

What Is Cost of Capital?

The after-tax cost of debt is lower than the pre-tax cost of debt. 1The specific financial calculator in these examples is the Texas Instruments BA II PlusTM Professional model, but you can use other financial calculators for these types of calculations. The statement of changes in equity reflects information about the increases or decreases in each component of a company’s equity over a period.

They also use it to analyze the potential risk of future business decisions. The weightings used in the WACC are ratios of the market values of various forms of debt and equity used in a company’s financing. However, based on market behavior in aggregate and the unpredictability in question, the debt holders might reasonably expect some level of return on investment. To keep the debt holder committed, companies must be able to deliver returns that meet or exceed this level, such as robust stock prices and dividends.

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It will also help you determine if taking out another loan is a smart decision. The effective interest rate is defined as the blended average interest rate paid by a company on all its debt obligations, denoted in the form of a percentage. The YTM refers to the internal rate of return of a bond, which is a more accurate approximation of the current, updated interest rate if the company tried to raise debt as of today. For example, a bank might lend $1 million in debt capital to a company at an annual interest rate of 6.0% with a ten-year term.

2 The Costs of Debt and Equity Capital

To calculate your total debt cost, add up all loans, balances on credit cards, and other financing tools your company has. Then, calculate the interest rate expense for each for the year and add those up. Next, divide your total interest by your total debt to get your cost of debt. The after-tax cost of debt is the interest paid on debt less any income tax savings due to deductible interest expenses. To calculate the after-tax cost of debt, subtract a company’s effective tax rate from one, and multiply the difference by its cost of debt.


Businesses generate equity by releasing shares for investors to buy. Each of these shareholders gains a percentage of ownership in the company by investing. The cost of equity doesn’t need to be paid back each month like the cost of debt. Instead, repayment is generated through returns on shares, like dividends and valuations.

D/E Ratio’s Limitations

So, for example, if the trading value was $84.83 for a face value of $100, then the market value of debt will be $84.83 million. A bank looks at your business plan and tells you that it will lend you the loan, but there is one thing that you need to do. Bank says that you need to pay 10% interest over and above the principal amount you borrow. Choosing the best way to borrow capital for your business is a unique challenge. It’s important to know what options are available to you when risking the future of your business and personal livelihood.

The cost of debt can be calculated before and after taxes, as interest expenses are tax-deductible. Additionally, the cost of debt is used to calculate other important financial metrics, such as the weighted average cost of capital . With this knowledge, you’ll be much better equipped to identify your true cost of capital. In bankruptcy, bondholders are paid before shareholders as the firm’s assets are liquidated. Default rates vary from an average of 0.52 percent of AAA-rated firms for the 15-year period ending in 2001 to 54.38 percent for those rated CCC by Standard and Poor’s Corporation .

Trade receivables, also referred to as accounts receivable, are amounts owed to a company by its customers for products and services already delivered. Receivables are reported net of the allowance for doubtful accounts. Use Wafeq to keep all your expenses and revenues on track to run a better business. Businesses in some sectors, such as utilities, consumer goods, and banking, frequently have high D/E ratios. Analysts and investors frequently alter the D/E ratio to obtain a clearer picture and to ease comparisons.

If the company’s return is far more than the Weighted Average Cost of Capital, then the company is doing pretty well. But if there is a slight profit or no profit, the investors need to think twice before investing in the company. Volatility profiles based on trailing-three-year calculations of the standard deviation of service investment returns.

Calculating a business’s weighted average cost of capital , which assesses how well a business must perform to appease all of its stakeholders, includes calculating the cost of debt. Measuring the cost of debt is useful for understanding the overall interest rate that a company pays to employ this sort of debt. It also proves helpful in determining the company’s risk level compared to others.

Investors should also check out other valuation ratios to make the final decision. Book Value Of DebtThe book value of debt is the total amount the company owes, which is recorded in the company’s books. It is used in liquidity ratios compared to the company’s total assets to check if the organization has enough support to overcome its debt. Financial RatiosFinancial ratios are indications of a company’s financial performance.

In theory, the market-risk premium should be the same at any given moment for all investors. That’s because it’s an estimate of how much extra return, over the risk-free rate, investors expect will justify putting money in the stock market as a whole. For investment grade bonds, the difference between the expected rate of return and the promised rate of return is small. The promised rate of return assumes that the interest and principal are paid on time. At this point, knowing about the WACC of your debt is also crucial. Multiply each loan by the interest expense rate to find out the weighted average interest rate of expense.

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A company’s capital structure manages how a company finances its overall operations and growth through different sources. The better the company’s credit rating, the safer the investment, and therefore the lower interest payments they need to offer for their bonds. That is why Microsoft offers lower interest rates than Hertz, which was on the verge of bankruptcy earlier. Simply put, the cost of debt is the after-tax rate a company would pay today for its long-term debt.

Therefore, a high D/E ratio indicates that a firm relies heavily on debt funding and is frequently linked to high investment risk. The growth that is financed with debt may result in higher earnings, and shareholders can expect to gain if the incremental profit increase outweighs the corresponding increase in debt payment costs. Acquirer Inc., a US-based corporation, wants to purchase Target Inc.

accounting equation ValuationDiscounted cash flow analysis is a method of analyzing the present value of a company, investment, or cash flow by adjusting future cash flows to the time value of money. The Balance SheetA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders’ equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner’s capital equals the total assets of the company. In exchange for investing, shareholders get a percentage of ownership in the company, plus returns. Knowing your cost of debt can help you understand what you’re paying for the privilege of having fast access to cash.

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