Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR): Explained

What is it, how to calculate it, formula, why it's important

As the CFO of my company, one of the most crucial and pressing responsibilities that I need to take care of is the financial stability of the firm. And one of the most vital financial measures that I use to assess that stability is the Debt Service Coverage Ratio, or DSCR for short. I know, I know - the jargon can be intimidating, but don't worry, I'm here to break it down for you.

What is the DSCR?

So, what exactly is the DSCR? Simply put, it's a metric that measures the capacity of a company to repay its debt obligations. In other words, it's a ratio that shows how much cash the company generates to cover its debt payments. The DSCR is calculated by dividing the company's net operating income by the total amount of its debt payments due during a particular period.

Let me give you an example. Suppose a company generates $500,000 in net operating income and has $200,000 in debt payments due over the next year. The DSCR for that company would be 2.5 ($500,000/$200,000), which is a good sign. Generally, a DSCR of 1.25 or higher is considered healthy and indicates that the company has sufficient cash flow to meet its debt obligations.

Why is the DSCR Important?

Okay, so now you know what the DSCR is, but why does it matter so much? Well, the DSCR is a key metric that lenders look at when deciding whether to approve a loan or line of credit for a company. If a company has a low DSCR, it is considered to be a high-risk borrower and may not be able to secure financing at favorable rates.

Moreover, a low DSCR can signal financial distress and insolvency, which is never a good thing for any company. By monitoring the DSCR, the CFO can get a clear picture of the company's financial health and take steps to ensure that it remains solvent and profitable.

How to Improve Your Company's DSCR?

Now that you understand the importance of DSCR, you may be wondering how to improve it for your own company. There are several strategies that a CFO can implement to increase DSCR:

  • Reduce expenses: By cutting costs and optimizing operations, you can increase net operating income.
  • Improve revenue: By boosting sales and diversifying your revenue streams, you can generate more cash flow to cover debt payments.
  • Refinance debt: If you have high-interest debt, consider refinancing or consolidating it to lower your debt payments.
  • Sell assets: If you have non-essential assets, such as extra office space or equipment, consider selling them to generate cash.

By implementing these strategies, you can not only improve your DSCR but also strengthen your company's financial position in general.


As a CFO, the DSCR is one of the most critical financial metrics that I use to ensure the stability and success of my company. By understanding and monitoring the DSCR, I can make informed decisions to strengthen the financial position of the company and secure financing at favorable rates. Remember, a healthy DSCR is a sign of a healthy company.

So, there you have it - a quick and easy guide to understanding the Debt Service Coverage Ratio. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

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