Definition of Amortization Gartner Finance Glossary


The ending loan balance is the difference between the beginning loan balance and the principal portion. This represents the new debt balance owed based on the payment made for the new period.

Alternatively, depreciation is recorded by crediting an account called accumulated depreciation, a contra asset account. The historical cost fixed assets remains on a company’s books; however, the company also reports this contra asset amount to report a net reduced book value amount. Amortization is a way to pay off debt in equal installments that include varying amounts of interest and principal payments over the life of the loan. An amortization schedule is a fixed table that shows how much of your monthly payment goes toward interest and principal each month for the full term of the loan. Valuing intangible assets that were developed by your company is much more complex, because only certain expenses can be included.

NumPeriods — Number of payment periods scalar numeric

If you’re near the end of your loan term, your monthly mortgage payments build equity in your home quickly. Refinancing resets your mortgage amortization so that a large part of your payments once again goes toward interest, and the rate at which you build equity could slow.

What does amortization mean?

Amortization typically refers to the process of writing down the value of either a loan or an intangible asset. Amortization schedules are used by lenders, such as financial institutions, to present a loan repayment schedule based on a specific maturity date.

When a borrower takes out a mortgage, car loan, or personal loan, they usually make monthly payments to the lender; these are some of the most common uses of A part of the payment covers the interest due on the loan, and the remainder of the payment goes toward reducing the principal amount owed. Interest is computed on the current amount owed and thus will become progressively smaller as the principal decreases. The formulas for depreciation and amortization are different because of the use of salvage value. The depreciable base of a tangible asset is reduced by the salvage value. The amortization base of an intangible asset is not reduced by the salvage value.

Amortization in Business

Notice how the principal increases with every payment, while the monthly cost of interest decreases. Also, notice how much of your total monthly payment goes toward interest each month. For most mortgages, interest may make up the bulk of your payments for several years. Whether you should pay off your loan early depends on your individual circumstances. Paying off your loan early can save you a lot of money in interest. In general, the longer your loan term, the more in interest you’ll pay. Suppose you get a $200,000 home loan with an interest rate of 4%.

  • The expense amounts are then used as a tax deduction, reducing the tax liability of the business.
  • For example, if you make a monthly mortgage payment, a portion of that payment covers interest and a portion pays down your principal.
  • Most adjustable-rate mortgages have an introductory period between 5 and 7 years where the borrower pays a fixed interest rate that is usually lower than the market rate.
  • Calculating and maintaining supporting amortization schedules for both book and tax purposes can be complicated.
  • At the beginning of a fixed-rate mortgage, more of the monthly payment is applied to the interest.
  • Reducing term loans are usually structured as either equal payment or as equal amortizing (principal + interest).

He covers banking, loans, investing, mortgages, and more for The Balance. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado, and has worked for credit unions and large financial firms, in amortization addition to writing about personal finance for more than two decades. The borrower knows exactly how much their loan payment is, and the payment amount will be equal each period.

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