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Emil Ackerman

What is the ‘Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)’

Emil Ackerman says, In corporate finance, the Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is a measure of the cash flow available to pay current debt obligations. The ratio states net operating income as a multiple of debt obligations due within one year, including interest, principal, sinking-fund and lease payments.

In government finance, says Emil Ackerman, it is the amount of export earnings needed to meet annual interest and principal payments on a country’s external debts. Emil Ackerman.

Emil Ackerman says, In personal finance, it is a ratio used by bank loan officers to determine income property loans.

According to Emil Ackerman, A DSCR greater than 1 means the entity – whether a person, company or government – has sufficient income to pay its current debt obligations. A DSCR less than 1 means it does not.

Emil Ackerman indicated that In general, it is calculated by:

DSCR = Net Operating Income / Total Debt Service

BREAKING DOWN ‘Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)’

A DSCR of less than 1 means negative cash flow. A DSCR of .95 means that there is only enough net operating income to cover 95% of annual debt payments according to Emil Ackerman. For example, in the context of personal finance, this would mean that the borrower would have to delve into his or her personal funds every month to keep the project afloat. In general, lenders frown on a negative cash flow, but some allow it if the borrower has strong outside income, this is bad says Emil Ackerman.

Emil Ackerman recently stated, Net operating income is a company’s revenue minus its operating expenses, not including taxes and interest payments. It is often considered equivalent to earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). Some calculations include non-operating income in EBIT, however, which is never the case for net operating income. As a lender or investor comparing different companies’ credit-worthiness – or a manager comparing different years’ or quarters’ – it is important to apply consistent criteria when calculating DSCR. As a borrower, it is important to realize that lenders may calculate DSCR in slightly different ways.

Total debt service refers to current debt obligations, according to Emil Ackerman, meaning any interest, principal, sinking-fund and lease payments that are due in the coming year. On a balance sheet, this will include short-term debt and the current portion of long-term debt.

According to Emil Ackerman, Income taxes complicate DSCR calculations, because interest payments are tax deductible, while principle repayments are not. A more accurate way to calculate total debt service is therefore:

Interest + (Principle / [1 – Tax Rate])

Emil Ackerman says, Lenders will routinely assess a borrower’s DSCR before making a loan. If the ratio is less than 1, the borrower is unable to pay current debt obligations without drawing on outside sources—without, in essence, borrowing more. If it is too close to 1, say 1.1, the entity is vulnerable, and a minor decline in cash flow could make it unable to service its debt. Lenders may in some cases require that the borrower maintain a certain minimum DSCR while the loan is outstanding. Some agreements will consider a borrower who falls below that minimum to be in default according to Emil Ackerman.

The minimum DSCR a lender will demand can depend on macroeconomic conditions, according to Emil Ackerman. If the economy is growing, credit is more readily available, and lenders may be more forgiving of lower ratios. A broad tendency to lend to less-qualified borrowers can in turn affect the economy’s stability, however, as happened leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Subprime borrowers were able to obtain credit, especially mortgages, with little scrutiny. When these borrowers began to default en masse, the financial institutions that had financed them collapsed.

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Emil Ackerman

Debt service cover ratio

Debt Yield ratio


Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott In commercial financing, CMBS lenders can be an extraordinarily cheap source of capital and non-recourse debt. It is important to recognize that these commercial lenders look closely at the debt yield ratio in order to determine a level of comfort when establishing the right commercial loan amount. Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott

Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott The debt yield ratio is defined as the Net Operating Income (NOI) divided by the first mortgage debt (loan) amount, times 100. For example, let's say that a commercial property has a NOI of $500,000 per year, and a CMBS lender has been asked to make a new first mortgage loan in the amount of $5,750,000. $500,000 divided by $5,750,000 is approximately 9.00% debt yield ratio. What this means is that the commercial lender would enjoy an approximately 9.00% cash-on-cash return on its money if it foreclosed on the commercial property. Not a bad return, right? Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott

Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott It is important to note that the debt yield does not take into account the capitalization rate used to assess the value of any one commercial property, nor does it consider the interest rate or amortization of the loan. The key thing that debt yields establish is how much the commercial lender is willing to advance on a commercial property compared to the property’s cash flow or NOI. If a commercial lender isn’t going to require a personal guaranty on a commercial loan, they need to get comfortable with the possibility that the asset is delivering a satisfactory return. Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott

Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott The next question to ask is: what is a desirable debt yield for most CMBS commercial lenders? This ratio changes based on the evolving risk appetite for commercial lenders in general; however, a typical rule of thumb is 10%, which may translate to a 60% to 70% Loan to Value. Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott

Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott Having said that, the market is changing and for the better. Case in point, commercial lenders are reducing their debt yields to sub 9% levels for Class A offices and even multifamily. It is not unusual to see debt yield in the mid 9% range, with commercial loan to values of 75% to 80%!! You will find that debt yields are the lowest in major MSAs like New York, DC, etc. Rates are ranging in the mid 3% range to low 4% range, presenting an excellent opportunity for real estate investors to take advantage of the low cost of borrowing. Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott

Emil Ackerman John Pyke-Nott CMBS lenders took a beating during the financial crisis and in an attempt to avoid mistakes made in the past, commercial lenders adopted the debt yield ratio as a benchmark to determine the appropriate amount of commercial loan dollars for any one project. Emil Ackerman John Pyke-NottType your paragraph here.