# Debt Service Coverage Ratio

Debt ratios Print Email

Definition

The debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) has different interpretations in different fields. In corporate finance, for example, the debt-service coverage ratio can be explained as the amount of assessable cash flow to congregate the annual interest and principal payments on debt, not forgetting the sinking fund payments. On the other hand, as explained in Government finance, the debt-service coverage ratio refers to the requisite amount of export earnings for meeting up the annual interest and principal payments on the external debts of a country.

Personal finance, on the contrary, explains it as a ratio which is used by bank loan officers to determine income property loans. The ratio is considered to be ideal if it is above 1 thus indicating that the property is producing income which is sufficient to pay back its debts.

Calculation (Formula)

The formula used for calculating the debt service coverage ratio is:

DSCR = Net Operating Income / Total Debt Service

Generally, the debt service coverage ratio is calculated as -

DSCR = (Annual Net Income + Interest Expense + Amortization&Depreciation + Other discretionary and non-cash items like non contractual provided by the management)/ (Principal Repayment + Interest Payments + Lease Payments)

Thus, to calculate the debt service coverage ratio of a company or business entity, it is, at the first point, essential to calculate the net operating income of the company.

Interpretation

A debt service coverage ratio which is below 1 indicates a negative cash flow. For example, a debt service coverage ratio of 0.92 indicates that the company’s net operating income is enough to cover only 92% of its annual debt payments. However, in personal finance context, it indicates that the borrower would have to look into his/her personal income and funds every month so as to keep the project afloat. The lenders, however, usually frown on a negative cash flow while some might allow it if, in case, the borrower is having sound income outside.

The debt service coverage ratio is, therefore, a benchmark used to measure the cash producing ability of a business entity to cover its debt payments. A higher debt service coverage ratio makes it easier to obtain a loan.

### See also

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Quote Guest, 1 January, 2016

• DSCR formula  = (Annual Net Income + Interest Expense + Amortization&Depreciation + Other discretionary and non-cash items like non contractual provided by the management)/ (Principal Repayment + Interest Payments + Lease Payments.
• VIEW for Comments  : In Denominator of above formula 'Principal Repayment' means  repayments due ( current  maturities ) of Term Loans only  and not Short Term / Working Capital  Financing by banks . Interest payments to mean both in respect long term & short term financing and the Lease payments .
Quote Guest, 2 June, 2016
What is the ratio if your debt is zero?  Do you set the debt at \$1 artificially so you are dividing by zero?
Quote Guest, 13 January, 2017
What is appropriate calculation
i. Dscr= (Net Profit after Tax+ Depreciation+ Amortisation+ Interest Expenses)/Interest + Principal ?
ii Dscr=(Net Profit after Tax+ Depreciation+ Amortisation+ Interest Expenses+ Net change in NWC)/nterest + Principal ?

which is approriate for project financing say company having receivable /payable where finacing is done for both short term and long term ?
Quote Guest, 21 January, 2017
I like to know how to make report on DSCR for CONTRACTOR for Bank  loan. Could you please Guide me for same.?
Quote Guest, 1 June, 2017
We should take interest and principal amount of relevant year or previous year?
Quote PRASAD R, 4 July, 2018
why we are considering PAT instead of PBT for calculation of DSCR ?
Quote Guest, 27 July, 2019
should we consider interest on working capital loan in DSCR calculations.
or only interest on term loan?
Quote , 25 March, 2020
Thanks for great explanation...
Quote , 29 March, 2020
Well Explained..
Quote Guest, 12 June, 2020
Is this correct thinking?  If you want to measure how an entity performed for the last fiscal year,  the denominator would be interest expense plus principal repaid during the last fiscal year.  If you want to measure prospectively, the denominator would be interest expense plus current maturities of long term debt. Thank you!
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