Debt Coverage: How DSCR has Eclipsed LTV

March 9, 2023

Have you been hearing terms like debt coverage and DSCR more than ever before?

Did you already know about loan to value or LTV and are now wondering about this new alphabet soup?

Well, here is what is going on!

DSCR stands for Debt Service Coverage Ratio. It’s actually a very simple fraction. Your DSCR is your net operating income (NOI) divided by your annual debt payment. So, if your business netted $500,000 annually and you pay $400,000 yearly in mortgages and other long-term debt, your DSCR would be 1.25.

What to know about your Debt Coverage:

• What’s a good DSCR? “Good” DSCR figures can vary by industry and even location. In general, lenders are looking for a DSCR of at least 1.15. However, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, like ongoing long-term renovation, buyouts of partners and other issues.

Hey, I have a great LTV! We talk with our lending partners every day. Three or four years ago, the most important number in securing financing for our clients was the LTV or loan to value. This figure is a ratio that expresses the value of your property and business divided by the amount of the financing you are requesting. However, lenders are telling us now that they are not as concerned with LTV and are much more carefully eyeing DSCR!

• Why is DSCR as important or more important than LTV now?  Within the last several years, commercial real estate had been rising rapidly in all sectors from office space to hospitality to everything in between. But the changing economic climate has thrown disorder into many sectors. Lenders and appraisers have become much more conservative and are not assuming high valuations like they used to. Instead, they are looking at what is tangible and real: how much a business earns and how much it costs to pay for debt.

What happens if my DSCR is too low?  Sometimes a property’s debt service coverage ratio is below the lender’s minimum. At the same time, the client wants a loan at the upper limit of the LTV. When this happens, the lender will have to reduce the loan amount in order to maintain the minimum DSCR. This is referred to as the loan amount being debt service constrained.

Business and Personal Cash Flow: Lenders of course evaluate your business DSCR. But they also evaluate your global cash flow. They add up the income from all of your businesses and determine your expenses, including debt payments, both business and personal.

Don’t Forget Your EIDL!

• EIDL is Debt:  If you had an EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan), this shows up as debt on your balance sheet and is included in your DSCR calculations. Fortunately, the low rates on EIDL’s make the payments for them relatively affordable, but they do add to your indebtedness and affect the DSCR ratio.

What happens to my previous EIDL’s if I’m selling, buying or refinancing? This varies depending on your debt coverage and your circumstances. To learn more about these issues, see this blog about EIDL‘s and new loan transactions.

If you are considering a loan for purchase or refinance or construction and would like to discuss your plans, feel free to contact our team.  We can conduct a business evaluation and even prequalify you for a loan at no cost to you. We will help you determine your DSCR and LTV and match you to appropriate lenders for your projects.

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