debt load


Definition of debt load

: the amount of money that someone owes

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for debt load

debt load

Financial Definition of debt load

What It Is

Debt load is the total amount of debt that a company has on its balance sheet. All publicly traded companies must file financial statements, including balance sheets, every quarter.

How It Works

Let's look at a copy of Apple's balance sheet as compiled by Yahoo! Finance:

We can see that as of September 26, 2009, Apple had a debt load (the Total Liabilities line item) of almost $15.9 billion.

Why It Matters

Companies carry debt for any number of reasons, and looking at debt load in and of itself may not be very useful. In most cases, you want to look at debt load relative to another measure, like equity, cash flow or total assets.

Many analysts look at a company's debt ratio to gauge its financial health. You can calculate the debt ratio by dividing Total Debt by Total Assets. Apple's debt ratio as of September 26, 2009 was $15.9 billion / $47.5 billion = 33.5%. This tells us that only 33.5% of Apple's assets are financed with debt.

To learn more about why knowing a company's debt load is so vital to successful investing, check out The One Key Financial Statistic You Must Know.

Source: Investing Answers

Comments on debt load

What made you want to look up debt load? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!