Debt to Asset Ratio: Definition & Formula

It represents the proportion (or the percentage of) assets that are financed by interest bearing liabilities, as opposed to being funded by suppliers or shareholders. As a result it’s slightly more popular with lenders, who are less likely to extend additional credit to a borrower with a very high debt to asset ratio. Based on the financial statement, ABC Co., Ltd has total assets of $ 50 million and Total debt of $ 30 million. Changes in long-term debt and assets tend to affect D/E ratio the most because the numbers involved tend to be larger than for short-term debt and short-term assets. If investors want to evaluate a company’s short-term leverage and its ability to meet debt obligations that must be paid over a year or less, they can use other ratios. It simply means that the company has decided to prioritize raising money by issuing stock to investors instead of taking out loans at a bank.

Because the total debt to assets ratio includes more of a company’s liabilities, this number is almost always higher than a company’s long-term debt to assets ratio. Long-term debt can be measured in a variety of ways, one of which is a ratio comparing funded debt to capitalization or financial structure. This is a measure of a company’s long-term obligations in comparison with shareholder equity ownership. To measure a company’s capitalization ratio, long-term debt is divided by the sum of long-term debt and shareholder equity.

Perhaps 53.6% isn’t so bad after all when you consider that the industry average was about 75%. The result is that Starbucks has an easy time borrowing money—creditors trust that it is in a solid financial position and can be expected to pay them back in full. Below are some examples of things that are and are not considered debt. Personal D/E ratio is often used when an individual or a small business is applying for a loan. Lenders use the D/E figure to assess a loan applicant’s ability to continue making loan payments in the event of a temporary loss of income. The FMA/MA syllabus introduces candidates to performance measurement and requires candidates to be able to ‘Discuss and calculate measures of financial performance and non-financial measures’.

How the Debt Ratio Varies by Industry

For example, an increasing debt-to-asset ratio may indicate that a company is overburdened with debt and may eventually be facing default risk. To find a business’s debt ratio, divide the total debts of the business by the total assets of the business. The debt ratio is a fundamental solvency ratio because creditors are always concerned about being repaid.

In practice a company’s current ratio and quick ratio should be considered alongside the company’s operating cash flow. Investors use the ratio to evaluate whether the company has enough funds to meet its current debt obligations and to assess whether the company can pay a return on its investment. Creditors use the ratio to see how much debt the company already has and whether the company can repay its existing debt. This will determine whether additional loans will be extended to the firm. A company with a high degree of leverage may thus find it more difficult to stay afloat during a recession than one with low leverage.

  • A high debt-equity ratio can be good because it shows that a firm can easily service its debt obligations (through cash flow) and is using the leverage to increase equity returns.
  • Each industry has its own benchmarks for debt, but .5 is reasonable ratio.
  • The use of leverage is beneficial during times when the firm is earning profits, as they become amplified.
  • The higher the ratio, the higher the degree of leverage (DoL) and, consequently, the higher the risk of investing in that company.

The appropriate debt ratio depends on the industry and factors that are unique to the company. The debt ratio indicates the percentage of the total asset amounts (as reported on the balance sheet) that is owed to creditors. From this, we can infer you should be vigilant while comparing debt ratios and that the same should be done for companies in the same industry and industry benchmarks.

Based on this indicator, top management recognizes whether the company has sufficient resources to meet its obligations. One must always spend according to what he has and borrow according to what he can repay. It is a basic life rule which should be thoroughly applied in businesses and organizations. The debt ratio is a simple financial indicator that represents a debt to capital.

Alternatively, if we know the equity ratio we can easily compute for the debt ratio by subtracting it from 1 or 100%. Equity ratio is equal to 26.41% (equity of 4,120 divided by assets of 15,600). Below is a short video tutorial that explains how leverage impacts a company and how to calculate the debt/equity ratio with an example. If the debt to equity ratio gets too high, the cost of borrowing will skyrocket, as will the cost of equity, and the company’s WACC will get extremely high, driving down its share price.

Free Financial Statements Cheat Sheet

The debt ratio defines the relationship between a company’s debts and assets, and holds significant relevance in financial analysis. Companies with high debt ratios might be viewed as having higher financial risk, potentially impacting their credit ratings or borrowing costs. In the context of the debt ratio, total assets serve as an indicator of a company’s overall resources that could be utilized to repay its debt, if necessary. The concept of comparing total assets to total debt also relates to entities that may not be businesses. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture keeps a close eye on how the relationship between farmland assets, debt, and equity change over time.

Can A Company’s Total-Debt-to-Total-Asset Ratio Be Too High?

For every industry, the benchmark Debt ratio may vary, but the 0.50 Debt ratio of a company can be reasonable. This shows that the company has two times the assets of its liabilities. Or we can say the company’s liabilities are 50 % of its total assets. If a company has a Debt Ratio greater than 0.50, then the company is called a Leveraged Company.

Total-Debt-to-Total-Assets Formula

Debt ratio is the financial ratio that measures the company debt to total assets. It measures how much the company uses debt to support its operation compare to other sources of finance such as share equity and retaining earning. Debt is the amount that the company borrows from bank or creditor, company has obligation to pay back the principle and interest base on schedule. The company’s top management can use the debt ratio formula to make the company’s top-level decisions related to its capital structure and future funding. Whether they want to raise funds from external sources like loans or debts or through equity.


The platform works exceptionally well for small businesses that are just getting started and have to figure out many things. As a result of this software, they are able to remain on top of their client’s requirements by monitoring a timely delivery. An online accounting and invoicing application, Deskera Books is designed to make your life easier. This all-in-one solution allows you to track invoices, expenses, and view all your financial documents from one central location. A balanced capital structure often indicates sound financial management and strategic thinking about the cost of capital. This understanding is crucial for investors and analysts to ascertain a company’s financing strategy.

Conversely, technology startups might have lower capital needs and, subsequently, lower debt ratios. Comparing a company’s debt ratio with industry benchmarks is crucial to assess its relative financial health. The debt-to-equity ratio, often used in conjunction with the debt ratio, compares a company’s total debt to its total equity. This can include long-term obligations, such as mortgages or other loans, and short-term debt like revolving credit lines and accounts payable. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1.5 would indicate that the company in question has $1.50 of debt for every $1 of equity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top