Financial Terms
Interest payments

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Definition of Interest payments

Interest Payments Image 1

Interest payments

Contractual debt payments based on the coupon rate of interest and the principal amount.

Related Terms:

Agency pass-throughs

Mortgage pass-through securities whose principal and interest payments are
guaranteed by government agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") and Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae").

Bearer bond

Bonds that are not registered on the books of the issuer. Such bonds are held in physical form by
the owner, who receives interest payments by physically detaching coupons from the bond certificate and
delivering them to the paying agent.

Coupon payments

A bond's interest payments.

Debt relief

Reducing the principal and/or interest payments on LDC loans.

Default risk

Also referred to as credit risk (as gauged by commercial rating companies), the risk that an
issuer of a bond may be unable to make timely principal and interest payments.

Earnings yield

The ratio of earnings per share after allowing for tax and interest payments on fixed interest
debt, to the current share price. The inverse of the price/earnings ratio. It's the Total Twelve Months earnings
divided by number of outstanding shares, divided by the recent price, multiplied by 100. The end result is
shown in percentage.


Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on which registered holders receive separate principal and
interest payments on each of their certificates, usually directly from the servicer of the MBS pool. GNMA-I
mortgage-backed securities are single-issuer pools.

Interest Payments Image 2


Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on which registered holders receive an aggregate principal and
interest payment from a central paying agent on all of their certificates. Principal and interest payments are
disbursed on the 20th day of the month. GNMA-II MBS are backed by multiple-issuer pools or custom pools
(one issuer but different interest rates that may vary within one percentage point). Multiple-issuer pools are
known as "Jumbos." Jumbo pools are generally longer and offer certain mortgages that are more
geographically diverse than single-issuer pools. Jumbo pool mortgage interest rates may vary within one
percentage point.

Interest-only strip (IO)

A security based solely on the interest payments form a pool of mortgages, Treasury
bonds, or other bonds. Once the principal on the mortgages or bonds has been repaid, interest payments stop
and the value of the IO falls to zero.

Interest rate swap

A binding agreement between counterparties to exchange periodic interest payments on
some predetermined dollar principal, which is called the notional principal amount. For example, one party
will pay fixed and receive variable.

Interest subsidy

A firm's deduction of the interest payments on its debt from its earnings before it calculates
its tax bill under current tax law.

Interest tax shield

The reduction in income taxes that results from the tax-deductibility of interest payments.

Level pay

The characteristic of the scheduled principal and interest payments due under a mortgage such that
total monthly payment of P&I is the same while characteristically the principal payment component of the
monthly payment becomes gradually greater while the monthly interest payment becomes less.

MBS servicing

The requirement that the mortgage servicer maintain payment of the full amount of
contractually due principal and interest payments whether or not actually collected.

Modified pass-throughs

Agency pass-throughs that guarantee (1) timely interest payments and (2) principal
payments as collected, but no later than a specified time after they are due. Related: fully modified passthroughs

Notional principal amount

In an interest rate swap, the predetermined dollar principal on which the
exchanged interest payments are based.

Interest Payments Image 3

Other long term liabilities

Value of leases, future employee benefits, deferred taxes and other obligations
not requiring interest payments that must be paid over a period of more than 1 year.

Pass-through securities

A pool of fixed-income securities backed by a package of assets (i.e. mortgages)
where the holder receives the principal and interest payments. Related: mortgage pass-through security

Registered bond

A bond whose issuer records ownership and interest payments. Differs from a bearer bond
which is traded without record of ownership and whose possession is the only evidence of ownership.

Reinvestment rate

The rate at which an investor assumes interest payments made on a debt security can be
reinvested over the life of that security.

Scheduled cash flows

The mortgage principal and interest payments due to be paid under the terms of the
mortgage not including possible prepayments.

Times-interest-earned ratio

Earnings before interest and tax, divided by interest payments.

times interest earned

A ratio that tests the ability of a business to make
interest payments on its debt, which is calculated by dividing annual
earnings before interest and income tax by the interest expense for the
year. There is no particular rule for this ratio, such as 3 or 4 times, but
obviously the ratio should be higher than 1.

Zero-coupon Bond

A security that makes no interest payments; it is sold at a discount
at issue and then repaid at face value at maturity


The expected life of a fixed-income security considering its coupon
yield, interest payments, maturity, and call features. As market interest rates
rise, the duration of a financial instrument decreases. See Macaulay duration.

Issue date

The date a security is first offered for sale. That date usually
determines when interest payments, known as coupons, are made.


The interest payments paid to the bondholder.

interest tax shield

Tax savings resulting from deductibility of interest payments.

weighted-average cost of capital (WACC)

Expected rate of return on a portfolio of all the firm’s securities, adjusted for tax savings due to interest payments.


A financial asset taking the form of a promise by a borrower to repay a specified amount (the bond's face value) on a maturity date and to make fixed periodic interest payments.


Usually a fixed interest security under which the issuer contracts to pay the lender a fixed principal amount at a stated date in the future, and a series of interest payments, either semi-annually or annually. interest payments may vary through the life of bond.


A debt security issued by a government or company. You receive regular interest payments at specified rates while you hold the bond and you receive the face value when it matures. Short-term bonds mature in less than five years; medium-term bonds mature in six to ten years; and long-term bonds mature in eleven years or greater.

fractional interest discount

the combined discounts for lack of control and marketability. g the constant growth rate in cash flows or net income used in the ADF, Gordon model, or present value factor.

Accrued interest

The accumulated coupon interest earned but not yet paid to the seller of a bond by the
buyer (unless the bond is in default).

Amortizing interest rate swap

Swap in which the principal or national amount rises (falls) as interest rates
rise (decline).

Balance of payments

A statistical compilation formulated by a sovereign nation of all economic transactions
between residents of that nation and residents of all other nations during a stipulated period of time, usually a
calendar year.

Base interest rate

Related: Benchmark interest rate.

Benchmark interest rate

Also called the base interest rate, it is the minimum interest rate investors will
demand for investing in a non-Treasury security. It is also tied to the yield to maturity offered on a
comparable-maturity Treasury security that was most recently issued ("on-the-run").

Best-interests-of-creditors test

The requirement that a claim holder voting against a plan of reorganization
must receive at least as much as he would have if the debtor were liquidated.

Capitalized interest

interest that is not immediately expensed, but rather is considered as an asset and is then
amortized through the income statement over time.

Cash flow after interest and taxes

Net income plus depreciation.

Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS)

A computerized clearing system for sterling funds
that began operations in 1984. It includes 14 member banks, nearly 450 participating banks, and is one of the
clearing companies within the structure of the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS).

Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS)

An international wire transfer system for high-value
payments operated by a group of major banks.

Compound interest

interest paid on previously earned interest as well as on the principal.

Covered interest arbitrage

A portfolio manager invests dollars in an instrument denominated in a foreign
currency and hedges his resulting foreign exchange risk by selling the proceeds of the investment forward for

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)

A financial measure defined as revenues less cost of goods sold
and selling, general, and administrative expenses. In other words, operating and non-operating profit before
the deduction of interest and income taxes.

Effective annual interest rate

An annual measure of the time value of money that fully reflects the effects of

Equilibrium rate of interest

The interest rate that clears the market. Also called the market-clearing interest

Forward interest rate

interest rate fixed today on a loan to be made at some future date.

Gross interest

interest earned before taxes are deducted.


The price paid for borrowing money. It is expressed as a percentage rate over a period of time and
reflects the rate of exchange of present consumption for future consumption. Also, a share or title in property.

Interest coverage ratio

The ratio of the earnings before interest and taxes to the annual interest expense. This
ratio measures a firm's ability to pay interest.

Interest coverage test

A debt limitation that prohibits the issuance of additional long-term debt if the issuer's
interest coverage would, as a result of the issue, fall below some specified minimum.

Interest equalization tax

Tax on foreign investment by residents of the U.S. which was abolished in 1974.

Interest on interest

interest earned on reinvestment of each interest payment on money invested.
See: compound interest.

Interest rate agreement

An agreement whereby one party, for an upfront premium, agrees to compensate the
other at specific time periods if a designated interest rate (the reference rate) is different from a predetermined
level (the strike rate).

Interest rate cap

Also called an interest rate ceiling, an interest rate agreement in which payments are made
when the reference rate exceeds the strike rate.

Interest rate ceiling

Related: interest rate cap.

Interest rate floor

An interest rate agreement in which payments are made when the reference rate falls
below the strike rate.

Interest rate on debt

The firm's cost of debt capital.

Interest rate parity theorem

interest rate differential between two countries is equal to the difference
between the forward foreign exchange rate and the spot rate.

Interest rate risk

The risk that a security's value changes due to a change in interest rates. For example, a
bond's price drops as interest rates rise. For a depository institution, also called funding risk, the risk that
spread income will suffer because of a change in interest rates.

Lag response of prepayments

There is typically a lag of about three months between the time the weighted
average coupon of an MBS pool has crossed the threshold for refinancing and an acceleration in prepayment
speed is observed.

Nominal interest rate

The interest rate unadjusted for inflation.

Open interest

The total number of derivative contracts traded that not yet been liquidated either by an
offsetting derivative transaction or by delivery. Related: liquidation

Payments netting

Reducing fund transfers between affiliates to only a netted amount. Netting can be done on
a bilateral basis (between pairs of affiliates), or on a multi-lateral basis (taking all affiliates together).

Payments pattern

escribes the lagged collection pattern of receivables, for instance the probability that a
72-day-old account will still be unpaid when it is 73-days-old.

Pooling of interests

An accounting method for reporting acquisitions accomplished through the use of equity.
The combined assets of the merged entity are consolidated using book value, as opposed to the purchase
method, which uses market value. The merging entities' financial results are combined as though the two
entities have always been a single entity.


payments made in excess of scheduled mortgage principal repayments.

Rate of interest

The rate, as a proportion of the principal, at which interest is computed.

Real interest rate

The rate of interest excluding the effect of inflation; that is, the rate that is earned in terms
of constant-purchasing-power dollars. interest rate expressed in terms of real goods, i.e. nominal interest rate
adjusted for inflation.

Short interest

This is the total number of shares of a security that investors have borrowed, then sold in the
hope that the security will fall in value. An investor then buys back the shares and pockets the difference as profit.

Simple interest

interest calculated only on the initial investment. Related:compound interest.

Spot interest rate

interest rate fixed today on a loan that is made today. Related: forward interest rates.

Stated annual interest rate

The interest rate expressed as a per annum percentage, by which interest
payment is determined.

True interest cost

For a security such as commercial paper that is sold on a discount basis, the coupon rate
required to provide an identical return assuming a coupon-bearing instrument of like maturity that pays
interest in arrears.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)

The operating profit before deducting interest and tax.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)

The operating profit before deducting interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.


The cost of money, received on investments or paid on borrowings.

Profit before interest and taxes (PBIT)


Interest income

Income that a company receives in the form of interest, usually as the result of keeping money in interest-bearing accounts at financial institutions and the lending of money to other companies.

Interest payable

The amount of interest that is owed but has not been paid at the end of a period.

earnings before interest and income tax (EBIT)

A measure of profit that
equals sales revenue for the period minus cost-of-goods-sold expense
and all operating expenses—but before deducting interest and income
tax expenses. It is a measure of the operating profit of a business before
considering the cost of its debt capital and income tax.

Accrued Interest

The amount of interest accumulated on a debt security between
interest paying dates

Compound Interest

interest paid on principal and on interest earned in previous

Effective Interest Rate

The rate of interest actually earned on an investment. It is
calculated as the ratio of the total amount of interest actually
earned for one year divided by the amount of the principal.

Nominal Interest Rate

The rate of interest quoted, or stated, to be paid on a security

Real Interest Rate

The rate of interest paid on an investment adjusted for inflation

Simple Interest

interest paid only on the principal; calculated by multiplying the
interest rate by the principal

Times Interest Earned Ratio

A measure of how well a company is able to meet its interest
payments based on the cash generated by its operations. It is
calculated by dividing the earnings before interest and taxes by the
total interest charges incurred by the firm.

compound interest

a method of determining interest in which interest that was earned in prior periods is added to the original investment so that, in each successive period, interest is earned on both principal and interest

simple interest

a method of determining interest in which interest is earned only on the original investment (or principal) amount


The cost of funds loaned to an entity. It can also refer to the equity ownership
of an investor in a business entity.

Pooling of interests

An method for accounting for a business combination. When used, the expenses of the combination are charged against income at once, and the net
income of the acquired company is added to the full-year reported results of the acquiring company.

compound interest

interest earned on interest.

effective annual interest rate

interest rate that is annualized using compound interest.

interest rate parity

Theory that forward premium equals interest rate differential.

nominal interest rate

Rate at which money invested grows.

real interest rate

Rate at which the purchasing power of an investment increases.







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