#### What Is The Cost Of Debt?

# What Is The Cost Of Debt?

**Cost Of Debt: **A company’s cost of debt is the effective interest rate a company pays on its debt obligations, including bonds, mortgages, and any other forms of debt the company may have. Because interest expense is deductible, it’s generally more useful to determine a company’s after-tax cost of debt. along with cost of equity, makes up a company’s cost of capital.

debt can be useful when assessing a company’s credit situation, and when combined with the size of the debt, it can be a good indicator of overall financial health. For instance, $1 billion in debt at 3% interest is actually less costly than $500 million at 7%, so knowing both the size *and* cost of a company’s debt can give you a clearer picture of its financial situation.

The cost of debts is the return that a company provides to its debtholders and creditors. These capital providers need to be compensated for any risk exposure that comes with lending to a company. Since observable interest rates play a big role in quantifying it is relatively more straightforward to calculate the cost of debt than the cost of equity. Not only does the cost debt, as a rate, reflect the default risk of a company, it also reflects the level of interest rates in the market. In addition, it is an integral part of calculating a company’s Weighted Average Cost of Capital or WACC.

## Cost Of Debt Formula

The cost of debts is the minimum rate of return that the debt holder will accept for the risk taken. Cost of debt is the effective interest rate that the company pays on its current liabilities to the creditor and debt holders. Generally, it is referred to as after-tax cost of debts. The difference between the before-tax cost of debt and the after-tax cost of debt is depended on the fact that interest expenses are deductible. It is an integral part of WACC i.e. weight average cost of capital. Cost of capital of the company is the sum of the cost of debt plus cost of equity. And Cost of debt is 1 minus tax rate into interest expense.

## How To Calculate Cost Of Debt

In order to calculate a company’s cost debts, you’ll need two pieces of information: the effective interest rate it pays on its debt and its marginal tax rate.

Many companies publish their average debt interest rate, but if not, it’s fairly easy to calculate using the company’s financial statements. On the income statement, you can find the total interest the company paid (note: If you’re looking at a quarterly income statement, multiply this figure by four in order to annualize the data). Then, on the balance sheet, you can find the total amount of debt the company is carrying. Divide the annual interest by total debt and then multiply the result by 100, and you’ll get the effective interest rate on the company’s debt obligations.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a *perfect* calculation, as the amount of debt a company carries can vary throughout the year. If you’d like a more reliable result, then you can use the average of the company’s debt load from its four most recent quarterly balance sheets.

Next, determine the company’s marginal tax rate (federal and state combined). For most large corporations, the federal marginal tax rate is 35%, as this rate applies to all income over $18.33 million. State corporate income taxes range from 0% to 12% as of 2016.

Finally, to calculate the after-tax cost of, simply subtract the company’s marginal tax rate from one and then multiply the result by the effective tax rate you found earlier.

## After-Tax Cost Of Debt

Cost is the total amount of interest that a company pays on loans, credit cards, bonds, and other forms of debt. Since companies can deduct the interest paid on business debt, the cost is typically calculated after taxes. The most common cost formula is:

**Cost of Debt = Interest Expense (1 – Tax Rate)**

The health of your business finances depends in large part on the cost of capital that your business takes on. By calculating the cost, you can figure out not only the true cost of a specific loan but also whether you can justify taking on that debt given your business’s goals.

Whether you want to launch a new product, open another storefront, or hire a new employee, debt has to help your business grow and increase your company’s profits. Otherwise, the debt simply isn’t worth the cost. The understanding cost will help you know whether to pull the trigger.

Find out the formula for cost, see how to use the formula with a few examples, and learn how to lower your borrowing costs and become a smarter borrower.

## How To Find Cost Of Debt

Wondering how much that loan costs you? You should understand the cost. Cost of debt is the total amount of interest that a company pays over the full term of a loan. The cost accounts for tax deductions that the company can claim on interest expenses. Business owners can use cost to evaluate how a loan can increase profits.

Determining the cost is important when you’re shopping around for a business loan. You might have heard of the saying, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.” This is often true for small businesses. In order to move the needle, business owners often need to rely on business loans. But there comes a tipping point where there’s too much debt and not enough growth. Cost helps you identify this tipping point.

When you calculate the cost, you can compare that to the income growth that will come from the capital. For instance, if you can use a $10,000 low-interest-rate loan to create a new product that’ll generate three times as much revenue, then the loan is probably worth the cost. But if the income potential of the loan doesn’t surpass the cost, you’re better off getting another loan or adapting your expectations.

Prospective lenders might also evaluate your cost by looking at projections in your business plan. If your cost is too high, the lender might not approve you for the loan, unless you can propose a different use of funds with higher growth potential.

## Pretax Cost Of Debt

The other approach is to look at the credit rating of the firm found from credit rating agencies like S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch. A yield spread over US treasuries can be determined based on that given rating. That yield spread can then be added to the risk-free rate to find the cost of the company. This approach is particularly useful for private companies that don’t have a directly observable cost in the market. Simply put, a company with no current market data will have to look at its current or implied credit rating and comparable debts to estimate its cost of debt. When comparing, the capital structure of the company should be in line with its peers.

When neither the YTM nor the debt-rating approach works, the analyst can estimate a rating for the company. This happens in situations where the company doesn’t have a bond or credit rating, or where it has multiple ratings. We would look at the leverage ratios of the company, in particular, its interest coverage ratio. A higher number for this ratio means a safer borrower. The yield spread can then be estimated from that rating.