Amortization Definition

amortization definition

Depreciation is used to spread the cost of long-term assets out over their lifespans. Like amortization, you can write off an expense over a longer time period to reduce your taxable income. However, there is a key difference in amortization vs. depreciation. Sometimes it’s helpful to see the numbers instead of reading about the process. It demonstrates how each payment affects the loan, how much you pay in interest, and how much you owe on the loan at any given time. This amortization schedule is for the beginning and end of an auto loan. The rate at which the balance decreases is called an amortization schedule.

For intangible assets, knowing the exact starting cost isn’t always easy. You may need a small business accountant or legal professional to help you. An equated monthly installment is a fixed payment amount made by a borrower to a lender at a specified date each calendar month. The risks of loss from investing in CFDs can be substantial and the value of your investments may fluctuate. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how this product works, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Amortization can be calculated using most modern financial calculators, spreadsheet software packages, such as Microsoft Excel, or online amortization charts. For monthly payments, the interest payment is calculated by multiplying the interest rate by the outstanding loan balance and dividing by twelve. The amount of principal due in a given month is the total monthly payment minus the interest payment for that month. A periodic payment plan to pay a debt by a certain date, in which interest and a portion of the principal is included in each payment. Since the largest portion of the early payments is interest , the principal doesn’t decline significantly until the latter stages of the loan term.

What Does “amortization” Mean In Real Estate?

Amortization may refer the liquidation of an interest-bearing debt through a series of periodic payments over a certain period. Paying in equal amounts is actually quite common when taking out a loan or a mortgage. The systematic reduction of a loan’s principal balance through equal payment amounts which cover interest and principal repayment. Amortization also refers to the repayment of a loan principal over the loan period. In this case, amortization means dividing the loan amount into payments until it is paid off.

What is an example of amortization?

Amortization is the practice of spreading an intangible asset’s cost over that asset’s useful life. Examples of intangible assets that are expensed through amortization might include: Patents and trademarks. Franchise agreements.

is determined by dividing the asset’s initial cost by its useful life, or the amount of time it is reasonable to consider the asset useful before needing to be replaced. So, if the forklift’s useful life is deemed to be ten years, it would depreciate $3,000 in value retained earnings every year. Justin Pritchard, CFP, is a fee-only advisor and an expert on banking. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado, and has worked for credit unions and large financial firms, in addition to writing about personal finance for nearly two decades.


Use amortization to match an asset’s expense to the amount of revenue it generates each year. Not all loans are designed in the same way, and much depends on who is receiving the loan, who is extending statement of retained earnings example the loan, and what the loan is for. However, amortized loans are popular with both lenders and recipients because they are designed to be paid off entirely within a certain amount of time.

The IRS has schedules dictating the total number of years in which to expense both tangible and intangible assets for tax purposes. A major part of the mortgage process involves looking at purchase price, interest rates and down payment amount. Together they help determine the mortgage, or loan, amount and how it will be financed, which is translated into a schedule known as amortization.

The payment requirement of the amortization of your standard mortgage is absolutely rigid. Skip a single one and you accumulate late charges until you make it up. If you skip May, for example, you make it up with two payments in June plus one late charge, and you record a 30-day delinquency in your credit file. If you can’t make it up until July, the price is three payments plus two late charges plus a 60-day delinquency report in your credit file. Amortization, in finance, the systematic repayment of a debt; in accounting, the systematic writing off of some account over a period of years. Amortization calculates how loans (like fixed-rate mortgages) are allocated towards principal and interest payments over the loan term. The distribution of the cost of an intangible asset, such as an intellectual property right, over the projected useful life of the asset.

amortization definition

It ensures that the recipient does not become weighed down with debt and the lender is paid back in a timely way. Some of each payment goes towards interest costs and some goes toward your loan balance. With the information laid out in an amortization table, it’s easy to evaluate different loan options. You can compare lenders, choose between a 15- or 30-year loan, or decide whether torefinance an existing loan. With most loans, you’ll get to skip all of the remaining interest charges if you pay them off early. Amortization is the process of spreading out a loan into a series of fixed payments.

Does Making Extra Principal Payments On A Mobile Home Do Any Good?

Depletion is an accrual accounting method used to allocate the cost of extracting natural resources such as timber, minerals, and oil from the earth. For example, an office building can be used for many years before it becomes rundown and is sold.

Prospective investors should confer with their personal tax advisors regarding the tax consequences based on their particular circumstances. Neither DiversyFund nor any of its affiliates assume responsibility for the tax consequences for any investor of any investment. This message is not a proposal to sell or the solicitation of interest in any security, which can only be made through official documents such as a private placement memorandum or a prospectus. Assume that you have a ten-year loan of $10,000 that you pay back monthly. Also, assume that the annual percentage interest rate on this loan is 5%.

For a tangible asset, such as machinery, the term depreciation is used. Over the period of the loan, the principal is paid back in full through the installment payments. Most commonly, the periods on commercial real estate loan include 20, 25 or 30 years. We record the amortization of intangible assets in the financial statements of a company as an expense. Negative amortization can occur if the payments fail to match the interest. In this case, the lender then adds outstanding interest to the total loan balance. As a consequence of adding interest, the total loan amount becomes larger than what it was originally.

Amortization is the practice of spreading an intangible asset’s cost over that asset’s useful life. Depreciation is an accounting amortization definition method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life and is used to account for declines in value over time.

More examples If you’re buying a home, remember to ask about the amortization schedule. If you default your amortization, your credit scorewill likely take a hit.

  • Conversely, a mortgage’s amortization schedule shows how the payment structure and balance changes over time.
  • These monthly interest allocations control the loan balance amortization.
  • Depreciation expenses a fixed asset over its useful life so that the purchase price will match against the income it earns.
  • Amortization is most commonly used for the gradual write-down of the cost of those intangible assets that have a specific useful life.
  • In the example above, the loan is paid on a monthly basis over ten years.

The cost of the building is spread out over the predicted life of the building, with a portion of the cost being expensed in each accounting year. Depreciation is the expensing of a fixed asset over its useful life. Written-down value is the value of an asset after accounting for depreciation or amortization. An index amortizing note is a structured note or debt obligation in which principal repayment is linked to a particular index. Amortization typically refers to the process of writing down the value of either a loan or an intangible asset. This article and related content is the property of The Sage Group plc or its contractors or its licensors (“Sage”). Please do not copy, reproduce, modify, distribute or disburse without express consent from Sage.

You can use the amortization schedule formula to calculate the payment for each period. In the example above, the loan is paid on a monthly basis over ten years. We amortize a loan when we use a part of each payment to pay interest. Subsequently, we use the remaining part to reduce the outstanding principal.

Words Near Amortization In The Dictionary

Below is an example of an amortization table for a $5,000 loan at 3% annual interest with a 1-year maturity. With each subsequent month, the monthly payment stays the same, but the loan balance decreases.

The key difference between all three methods involves the type of asset being expensed. Amortization and depreciation are similar concepts, in that both attempt to capture the cost of holding an asset over time. The main difference between them, however, is that amortization refers to intangible assets whereas depreciation refers to tangible assets. Examples of intangible assets include trademarks and patents; whereas tangible assets include equipment, buildings, vehicles, and other assets subject to physical wear and tear. The next month, the outstanding loan balance is calculated as the previous month’s outstanding balance minus the most recent principal payment. Amortizing a debt means to reduce the balance by paying principal and interest on an established schedule.

As time goes on, more and more of each payment goes towards your principal and you pay proportionately less in interest each month. The payment schedule of the loan, or term, determines how quickly it amortizes each month, with payments divided into equal amounts over the life of the loan. While borrowers pay more each month with a 15-year loan, they’ll end up paying less overall than they would if paying the same loan over 30 years. Each month, the total payment stays the same, while the portion going to principal increases and the portion going to interest decreases.

Amortization also refers to a business spreading out capital expenses for intangible assets over a certain period. By amortizing certain assets, the company pays less tax and may even post higher profits.

amortization definition

Common amortizing loans include auto loans, home loans, and personal loans. The term amortization is used in both accounting and in lending with completely different definitions and uses. Janet Berry-Johnson is a CPA with 10 years of experience in public accounting and writes about income taxes and small business accounting. You work hard at making your business a success because you love what you do—not because you love balancing the books. But accounting is a business essential that’s crucially important to your success. Sage Intacct Advanced financial management platform for professionals with a growing business.

What Does Amortization Mean?

It uses this data to provide a table that shows interest and principal paid to the lender each month, as well as the outstanding mortgage balance at any point during the life of the loan. In accounting, the amortization of intangible assets refers to distributing the cost of an intangible asset over time.

IG International Limited is licensed to conduct investment business and digital asset business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. A period in which a debt is reduced or paid off by regular payments. The action or process of reducing or paying off a debt with regular payments. The amortization table indicates how many payments must be made before the vehicle is paid in full.

This article and related content is provided as a general guidance for informational purposes only. Accordingly, Sage does not provide advice per the information included. This article and related content is not a substitute for the guidance of a lawyer , tax, or compliance professional. When in doubt, please consult your lawyer tax, or compliance professional for counsel.

First, amortization is used in the process of paying off debt through regular principal and interest payments over time. An amortization schedule is used to reduce the current balance on a loan, for example, a mortgage or car loan, through installment payments. The first is if a borrower refinances a loan, thereby changing the interest rate, repayment period and sometimes, through a down payment or a cash-out refinance, the balance as well. Second, a borrower might make a large extra payment and request a reamortization to recalculate the payments for the duration of the existing period based on the new lower balance.

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