1. Summary
  2. Subordinated Debt
  3. Senior Debt
  4. Difference between Subordinated Debt and Senior Debt
  5. Reporting Subordinated Debt
  6. Types of Subordinated Debt
  7. Other Accounting Issues


A business wants capital to grow, however, the owners could also be reluctant to dilute their share of the firm by supplying stock to boost cash. Meanwhile, banks could also take up the chance of disposition cash to little or mid-size companies. In these things, subordinated debt may be a funding choice your firm might want to use to boost required capital once different sources aren’t forthcoming.

Subordinated Debt

Should a business become insolvent, creditors are paid off 1st before homeowners get any cash. The debts the firm owes are stratified, with the best priority or senior debt being paid 1st. Lower priority debt obligations are subordinate to the senior debt as a result they are paid solely once senior debts are cleared in the event the business is liquidated. Every debt is subordinate to all or any different debts with a better priority. For instance, a secured loan is senior debt, and bonds are subordinate to that.

Senior Debt

Senior debt is usually secured. Secured debt is debt secured by the assets or different collateral of an organization and may embody liens and claims on bound assets. When an organization files for bankruptcy, the issuers of senior debt, generally bondholders or banks that have issued revolving lines of credit, have the simplest likelihood of being repaid. Next in line are junior debt holders, most well-liked stockholders, and customary stockholders. In some cases, these parties are paid by marketing collateral that has been commanded for debt compensation.

Difference between Subordinated Debt and Senior Debt

The distinction between subordinated debt and senior debt is the priority during which a firm in bankruptcy pays the debt claims. If an organization has each subordinated debt and senior debt and must file for bankruptcy or face liquidation, the senior debt is paid back before the subordinated debt. Once the senior debt is paid back, the corporate then repay the subordinated debt.

  • Subordinated debt and senior debt take issue in terms of their priority if a firm faces bankruptcy or liquidation.
  • Subordinated debt, or junior debt, is a smaller amount of a priority than senior debt in terms of repayments.
  • Senior debt is usually secured and is a lot of probably to be paid back whereas subordinated debt isn’t secured and is a lot of risks.
  • Senior debt has the best priority and, therefore, very cheap risk. Thus, this kind of debt generally carries or offers lower interest rates. Meanwhile, subordinated debt carries higher interest rates given its lower priority throughout payback.

Reporting Subordinated Debt

The record lists a firm’s assets followed by its liabilities and owners’ or shareholders’ equity. As borrowed cash, subordinated debt goes within the liabilities section. Current liabilities are listed first. Typically, senior debt is entered on the record next. Subordinated debt is listed last within the liabilities section in drizzling order of priority. Once a business eliminates a loan or sells bonds that are subordinated debt, the money or property non-heritable with the borrowed funds is side capital and goes within the assets section.

Types of Subordinated Debt

  • Loan or Bond: A bond acknowledged by a bank may well be a junior debt. This is often an artless choice for several banks as a result of interest payments being tax-deductible. A study within the year 1999 found that banks issue such a debt to grow their risk level. But, they solely provide such a loan to massive firms and solely once assessing their money flows and creditability.
  • Mezzanine Debt: This debt ranks above the ordinary shares of stock at the time of the payment. It’s referred to as a hybrid debt.
  • Asset-backed Security: An investor problems this sort of debt in tranches or parts. The senior tranches rank high within terms of payment, an example is an asset-backed security.
  • Common Stock: Preferred shares are celebrated to rank above the common shares, whereas debentures rank higher than preferred shares.

Other Accounting Issues

Interest on subordinated debt should be paid on an everyday schedule. As an example, bond interest payments are generally due every six months. Interest is an expense, not a liability. As in expense, subordinated debt interest is reportable on a firm’s operating statement and not on the record. Subordinated debt interest may be a tax-deductible expense on the operating statement. Also, the money received doesn’t increase the firm’s equity, which means it’s not financial gain and therefore incurs no liabilities that have to be reportable on the operating statement.

Pros and Cons

Subordinated debt has the advantage that the owner’s share of the business isn’t diluted by side equity. The cash raised may be used for any purpose allowed by the terms of the borrowing agreement, however generally corporations use subordinated debt to finance growth. For instance, a retail business may use subordinated debt to feature new store locations. Banks holding senior debt with the business might look favourably on subordinated debt as a result of it will increase the full assets on the record on the market to pay off the debt within the event the firm fails. On the drawback, subordinated debt carries a lot of risk for lenders then tends to possess high-interest rates. Plus, management should take care of the firm’s money resources are decent to service the side debt.