Interest Income

The compensation received by an entity for lending its money or allowing another entity to use it

Author: Hassan Saab
Hassan Saab
Hassan Saab
Investment Banking | Corporate Finance

Prior to becoming a Founder for Curiocity, Hassan worked for Houlihan Lokey as an Investment Banking Analyst focusing on sellside and buyside M&A, restructurings, financings and strategic advisory engagements across industry groups.

Hassan holds a BS from the University of Pennsylvania in Economics.

Reviewed By: Elliot Meade
Elliot Meade
Elliot Meade
Private Equity | Investment Banking

Elliot currently works as a Private Equity Associate at Greenridge Investment Partners, a middle market fund based in Austin, TX. He was previously an Analyst in Piper Jaffray's Leveraged Finance group, working across all industry verticals on LBOs, acquisition financings, refinancings, and recapitalizations. Prior to Piper Jaffray, he spent 2 years at Citi in the Leveraged Finance Credit Portfolio group focused on origination and ongoing credit monitoring of outstanding loans and was also a member of the Columbia recruiting committee for the Investment Banking Division for incoming summer and full-time analysts.

Elliot has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Columbia University.

Last Updated:October 4, 2023

What is Interest Income?

The compensation received by an entity for lending its money or allowing another entity to use it is known as interest income. 

The interest income is calculated by multiplying the principal amount by the interest rate applied, considering the number of months or years the money is lent. 

Mortgage, personal, and auto loans are the main sources of interest income for consumer banks. 

For the simple fact that it is an income account, interest income is often taxable and shown on the income statement. In the income statement, the two categories "Income from Operations" and "Other Income" are often listed separately. 

In this situation, the way interest earning is presented will primarily depend on the nature of the business's core activity.

The kinds of loans that banks manage can affect NII as well. For instance, personal loans have interest rates that are much greater than mortgages. Mortgages have longer payment terms, though.

The interest that the bank charges for borrowing the account holder's money will be shown on the account statement at the end of each month. 

It is significant to remember that banks use "fractional banking," which means they can only use a portion of the funds from consumer deposit accounts for lending purposes.

Additionally, since they are based on the use of the company's funds (such as accounts receivable) by a third party (the customer), penalties paid by customers on past-due accounts receivable may be regarded as interest income. 

To determine the return on investment that a business is earning, the total interest income can be compared to the investments' balance.

Assets Generating Interest Income

Once you purchase the asset, there isn't much more to do in income investing. The finest kind of passive investment is buying and holding. 

There are numerous strategies to invest for income as well as different sorts of investment assets. Here is a list of the most typical ones.

1. Bonds

Online traders can buy and sell income-producing assets like bonds and bond index funds. Treasury bills don't offer high interest rates, but because Treasury bills are backed by the US government, there is almost no chance of losing the invested money. 

Bond index funds that invest in investment-grade corporate bonds or high-yield bond funds may be of interest to investors who are willing to take on additional Risk in exchange for a little higher income.

2. Private Equity Investing 

The Blackstone Group is the biggest private equity firm in the world, yet private equity investing is open to everyone, regardless of wealth or the presence of a family office. 

Creating a limited liability company is one approach to investing private capital in real estate to produce recurring income (LLC). 

Members of an LLC may lend money to the LLC to buy a property and receive a monthly principal and interest payment, or they may pool their funds to buy a rental property and split any earnings.

PE firms also provide capital to emerging businesses and startups in the form of debt. The interest on these kinds of debt is very high, usually in the double digits. 

Debt provided by the PE firms is usually convertible. If the business fails to repay the debt, it gets converted into equity shares at a predetermined ratio.

Bank Deposits

Bank deposits are probably the most popular way of investing in interest payments. The Bank provides a fixed rate of interest to their customers for depositing their money into the Bank. The Bank then uses these funds to further lend at higher rates.

Bank deposits are some of the lowest interest-bearing instruments out there, so they shouldn’t be considered an individual's first choice for investment.

1. Savings Accounts 

Risk-averse investors have the option of using savings accounts. The ability to withdraw money from a savings account at any moment makes it incredibly liquid.

Savings accounts frequently offer better interest rates than checking accounts, in addition to giving you rapid access to your money when you need it. 

Even some savings accounts with an APY higher than money market accounts can be available. Savings account APYs are only 0.06 percent on average, but high-yield savings accounts can offer up to 0.6 percent.

Deposits placed in a financial institution covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are covered up to $250,000, reducing the Risk of capital loss.

2. Money market accounts

Similar to CDs, money market accounts provide somewhat higher interest rates than savings accounts and are likewise FDIC-insured. 

However, money market accounts, unlike CDs, can be closed at any moment without incurring a fee, making money very liquid. 

A money market account often allows for the withdrawal of funds using a check or debit card, though there may be a cap on the total amount of withdrawals allowed in a given time frame.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bank Deposit

The Bank is a financial institution that offers you an interest rate on your money only by depositing it in a savings account. In addition, it is a safe investment and an affordable one.

Some of the advantages are: 

1. Safer investment option

Bank deposits are guaranteed up to a certain amount. This means even in the event of liquidation, the depositor’s principal is completely safe up to a certain amount.

2. Minimum Amount of Investment

You can see that a savings account is also the most cost-effective investing option by looking through the various available choices. Simply maintain the minimum balance in your account to continue receiving interest.

Most investors simply consider an option's benefits when choosing an investment strategy. But it's crucial to understand the advantages and disadvantages of what you choose if you want to make an informed investment decision. Therefore, some of the disadvantages are:

1. Low Rates

Compared to other accounts or investments like money market accounts or certificates of deposits, interest rates are lower (CD).

2. Floating Rates

Interest rates on savings accounts are flexible, which means that financial institutions are permitted to set and alter interest rates as they see fit. The rates on high-interest savings accounts will generally follow changes in the federal rate.

3. No Inflation Protection

If the interest rate on your savings account isn't competitive, inflation may be eating away at the value of the money you've earned, leaving you with a balance that will be worth less in a year than it does now.

4. High Risk in some countries

Depends on the deposits of foreign currencies in their banking system to back their national currency. This strategy costs some depositors to lose all their savings within days, like in Lebanon, for example. The whole banking sector collapsed within one week. 

Net Interest Income

A bank's profitability is evaluated using net interest income (NII). It is determined by subtracting interest expense from interest income from the bank's interest-earning assets and interest expense from the bank's interest-bearing liabilities.

   Net Interest Income = Interest Income – Interest Expense

The loans that a bank makes to its clients make up the majority of its interest-earning assets. Deposits made by customers, along with any borrowings from other banks and the financial markets, often make up interest-bearing liabilities. 

As a result, the size, composition, and financing mix of the bank's loan book will all have an impact on NII. Alterations in interest rates may also have an impact on it.

You might think of NII as the term "gross profit" in the world of banking. Before accounting for other business costs, it assesses the profitability of the bank's core operations.

The ratio of net interest revenue to the average interest-earning assets is used to determine the net interest margin. As a result, fluctuations in the size of the loan book won't skew analyses of the bank's profitability over time or comparisons with other banks.

Net Interest Margin

The size and composition of the bank's loan book, the bank's mix of financing, and the current interest rates are just a few of the variables that might have an impact on NII. 

Similar in concept to net interest spread, net interest margin does not account for the possibility that the earning assets and the borrowed funds may be different instruments with different volumes.

Instead, the net interest spread measures the nominal average difference between borrowing and lending rates.

Analysts frequently calculate net interest margins to understand profitability trends for a bank better or when doing peer analyses of banks. The following formula is used to get the net interest margin:

Net Interest Margin = Net Interest Income for Period / Average Interest Earning Assets for Period

Net interest revenue alone will be of little help in determining a bank's profitability if its loan book is expanding over time or if we want to compare banks with varying volumes of loan books.

How to begin with assets that generate revenue

To ensure various reliable income streams, many successful business owners use income-producing assets. 

Investors can make sure they are consistently making money over time by keeping a diversified portfolio of assets that provide income. 

The best thing about income-generating assets is that novice investors can also invest in them. Anyone may start investing now with the proper research and preparation. 

There are possibilities to accumulate wealth using income-producing assets and achieve financial freedom, whether you are just out of college or are close to retirement. 

To purchase an asset or account that will generate income in the future, one must invest in income-generating assets. These assets are desirable because they can produce steady, dependable income over time. 

Money saved by holding down a full-time day job, money placed aside in a retirement account, or cash raised from business partners can all be used to invest in assets that generate income. 

The marketing director at DiggityMarketing, Nathan, agrees that assets that generate money can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Mutual funds with monthly income, high-interest savings accounts, fixed deposits, real estate, and dividend-paying equities are a few examples of assets that can provide income, according to Nathan.

Investors can progressively construct a broad investment portfolio that provides regular recurring income by reinvesting money acquired from income-producing assets in new income-producing assets. 

Interest Income Vs. Dividends Income

There is no right or incorrect response regarding the comparison of interest vs. dividend income. Your investment objectives and risk tolerance will determine everything. 

Though generally thought to be safer than dividend income, interest earnings can also be less lucrative. Although dividend income has the potential to be more rewarding, it is often more variable than interest earnings.

Taxation also is very different for both incomes. Interest is straightaway taxed at your income tax level with some concessions for various groups like senior citizens, etc. Dividends are usually taxed at a lower rate; the US has a 15% tax rate on dividends.

On the financial statement, both the interest & dividend received are shown as other income; in some cases, like lending institutions where interest is the major income, it is shown as revenue.

Interest income is a fantastic choice if you're seeking a secure investment that will produce a consistent flow of money. 

However, dividend income is a fantastic choice if you're willing to assume more risk in exchange for the potential for more significant returns. 

In the end, it's up to you to choose the income stream that will best serve your investing objectives.

Researched and authored by Charbel Yammine | LinkedIn

Reviewed and edited by Aditya Salunke | LinkedIn

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