Debt-to-Equity D E Ratio Formula and How to Interpret It

how to calculate debt to assets ratio

The debt to Asset ratio formula calculates what percent of a Business’s asset is funded using debt. If you’re wondering how to calculate your debt-to-asset ratio, it’s actually a lot easier than you may think. All you’ll need is a current balance sheet that displays your asset and liability totals. Analyzing the debt to asset ratio over a period of years, together with other KPIs, would allow a potential investor or lender to analyze how stable a company is, and understand what they’re using debt for. We breakdown what the debt to asset ratio is and how SaaS and recurring revenue businesses can calculate that and use it as they’re looking for financing. However, you should consider that for banks, there is a financial risk in increasing its lending to a company that already has a high debt-to-asset ratio.

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Banks carry higher amounts of debt because they own substantial fixed assets in the form of branch networks. Higher D/E ratios can also tend to predominate in other capital-intensive sectors heavily reliant on debt financing, such as airlines and industrials. If a company has a negative D/E ratio, this means that it has negative shareholder equity. In most cases, this would be considered a sign of high risk and an incentive to seek bankruptcy protection. On the other hand, the typically steady preferred dividend, par value, and liquidation rights make preferred shares look more like debt.


Americans owe an average of $17.06 trillion in consumer debt — this is a massive number that can be tough to wrap your head around. That’s why it’s helpful to look at the American consumer debt landscape in terms of averages. Living without debt has become increasingly difficult and sometimes overwhelming for American consumers. Total household debt rose to an average of $17.06 trillion in the second quarter of 2023, with credit card balances alone reaching a high of $1.03 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This doesn’t mean that lenders won’t provide you funding if you exceed these numbers.

Google is no longer a technology start-up; it is an established company with proven revenue models that is easier to attract investors. Meanwhile, Hertz is a much smaller company that may not be as enticing to shareholders. Hertz may find the demands of investors are too great to secure financing, turning to financial institutions for its capital instead. A ratio greater than 1 shows that a considerable portion of the assets is funded by debt. A high ratio also indicates that a company may be putting itself at risk of defaulting on its loans if interest rates were to rise suddenly. Total-debt-to-total-assets is a leverage ratio that defines how much debt a company owns compared to its assets.

What is a debt to asset ratio calculation?

All accounting ratios are designed to provide insight into your company’s financial performance. The debt-to-asset ratio gives you insight into how much of your company’s assets are currently financed with debt, rather than with owner or shareholder equity. This ratio determines a company’s level of indebtedness, in other words, the proportion of its assets that is owned how to calculate debt to assets ratio by its creditors. It is one of three ratios that measure a company’s debt capacity, the other two being the debt service coverage ratio and the debt-to-equity ratio. In the consumer lending and mortgage business, two common debt ratios used to assess a borrower’s ability to repay a loan or mortgage are the gross debt service ratio and the total debt service ratio.

how to calculate debt to assets ratio

In general, a ratio around 0.3 to 0.6 is where many investors will feel comfortable, though a company’s specific situation may yield different results. As with all other ratios, the trend of the total-debt-to-total-assets ratio should be evaluated over time. This will help assess whether the company’s financial risk profile is improving or deteriorating. For example, an increasing trend indicates that a business is unwilling or unable to pay down its debt, which could indicate a default in the future. Total-debt-to-total-assets is a measure of the company’s assets that are financed by debt rather than equity.

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We can see below that for the fiscal year (FY) ended 2017, Apple had total liabilities of $241 billion (rounded) and total shareholders’ equity of $134 billion, according to the company’s 10-K statement. It’s a measure of how effectively a company uses shareholder equity to generate income. You might consider a good ROE to be one that increases steadily over time.

If your ratio is above 1, that means you do not currently have enough assets to pay off all your debts if they became due immediately. If your ratio is exactly 1, that means it would take all your available assets to pay off your current debt, and therefore the business would not be able to fund anything else. Some may question whether to include cash, goodwill, or intangibles in this part of the calculation. Therefore, the interest to be paid will lower the company’s profitability. In general, a bank will interpret a low ratio as a good indicator of your ability to repay debt or raise other loans to pursue new opportunities.

The underlying principle generally assumes that some leverage is good, but that too much places an organization at risk. Gearing ratios constitute a broad category of financial ratios, of which the D/E ratio is the best known. Financial ratios can help you pick the best stocks for your portfolio and build your wealth. We’ve briefly highlighted six of the most common and the easiest to calculate.

how to calculate debt to assets ratio

This can increase fixed charges, reduce earnings available for dividends, and pose a risk to shareholders. When buying a stock, you participate in the future earnings or the risk of loss of the company. Earnings per share (EPS) is a measure of the profitability of a company. This may be advantageous for creditors because they are likely to get their money back if the company defaults on loans. The company in this situation is highly leveraged which means that it is more susceptible to bankruptcy if it cannot repay its lenders.

Let’s take another example, this time; we are taking the financials of IFB industries. The company IFB Industries Ltd is into manufacturing and selling consumer durable goods such as Washing machines and Microwave ovens. The term Debt to Asset ratio is used to analyze what portion of Asset is funded by Debt capital.

  • Total consumer debt balances increased to $16.38 trillion in 2022, according to Experian.
  • Investors often use it to compare the leverage used by different companies in the same industry.
  • This means that for every dollar in equity, the firm has 42 cents in leverage.
  • You might consider a good ROE to be one that increases steadily over time.
  • In the banking and financial services sector, a relatively high D/E ratio is commonplace.
  • All company assets, including short-term, long-term, capital, tangible, or other.

With this information, investors can leverage historical data to make more informed investment decisions on where they think the company’s financial health may go. If the calculation yields a result greater than 1, this means the company is technically insolvent as it has more liabilities than all of its assets combined. A calculation of 0.5 (or 50%) means that 50% of the company’s assets are financed using debt (with the other half being financed through equity).

D/E Ratio vs. Gearing Ratio

Alternatively, a low debt to asset ratio indicates that the company is in strong financial standing because they have fewer liabilities and more total assets. This presents many positive aspects for the business, such as being perceived as less risky by lenders. When evaluating a business, the debt to asset ratio states how much of your expenses were paid for with credit, loans, or any other form of debt. This number demonstrates the financial status of a company and can measure its growth over time by showing the minimization of the debt to asset ratio over the years. Companies with high debt-to-asset ratios may be at risk, especially if interest rates are increasing.