Amortization (business)

Early 19th-century German ledger
In business, amortization refers to spreading payments over multiple periods. The term is used for two separate processes: amortization of loans and amortization of assets. In the latter case it refers to allocating the cost of an intangible asset over a period of time.

In lending, amortization is the distribution of loan repayments into multiple cash flow installments, as determined by an amortization schedule. Unlike other repayment models, each repayment installment consists of both principal and interest. Amortization is chiefly used in loan repayments (a common example being a mortgage loan) and in sinking funds. Payments are divided into equal amounts for the duration of the loan, making it the simplest repayment model. A greater amount of the payment is applied to interest at the beginning of the amortization schedule, while more money is applied to principal at the end. Commonly it is known as EMI or Equated Monthly Installment.

or, equivalently,

where: P is the principal amount borrowed, A is the periodic amortization payment, r is the periodic interest rate divided by 100 (nominal annual interest rate also divided by 12 in case of monthly installments), and n is the total number of payments (for a 30-year loan with monthly payments n = 30 × 12 = 360).

Negative amortization (also called deferred interest) occurs if the payments made do not cover the interest due. The remaining interest owed is added to the outstanding loan balance, making it larger than the original loan amount.

If the repayment model for a loan is "fully amortized," then the very last payment (which, if the schedule was calculated correctly, should be equal to all others) pays off all remaining principal and interest on the loan. If the repayment model on a loan is not fully amortized, then the last payment due may be a large balloon payment of all remaining principal and interest. If the borrower lacks the funds or assets to immediately make that payment, or adequate credit to refinance the balance into a new loan, the borrower may end up in default.

This page was last edited on 25 September 2017, at 13:55.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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