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Nonaccrual Loan


A Nonaccrual Loan is a loan where the borrower has not made scheduled payments of interest or principal for a specific period, typically 90 days or more. As a result, the lender ceases to accrue interest on the loan in their accounting books due to the unlikelihood of payment. This signifies high risk of default, making it a troubled debt for the lender.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Nonaccrual Loan” is: “Nahn-uh-krool lohn”

Key Takeaways

Here are three main takeaways about Nonaccrual Loans:

  1. Definition: A nonaccrual loan is a loan on which the interest income cannot be counted until it is actually received. Financial institutions classify a loan as nonaccrual when there’s doubt about the borrower’s ability to make future interest or principal payments.
  2. Risks: Nonaccrual loans represent a higher risk of default for financial institutions. Due to high levels of risk, these types of loans often affect the lender’s financial health negatively and increase administrative costs associated with more rigorous loan management and collections processes.
  3. Impact on Borrowers: Borrowers with a nonaccrual loan usually face higher financing costs or difficulty obtaining future credit. This can lead to financial distress for the borrower, which may end up requiring restructuring or modification of the loan terms.


A nonaccrual loan is a significant term in business and finance because it refers to a loan on which interest accrual is stopped due to the high probability of default by the borrower. The stoppage happens when the loan’s principal or interest has remained unpaid for a considerable period, usually 90 days, and the lender deems that further accumulation of interest is unlikely. This status of nonaccrual is important because it affects the lender’s income recognition and hence impacts the financial health of their business. It serves as a key indicator of a financial institution’s credit quality and provides insights to regulators and investors about potential losses and risks on the institution’s balance sheet.


Nonaccrual loans are a vital part of the lending institution’s risk assessment and management protocol, thanks to their role as potent indicators of potential threats to projected earnings and profits. To elaborate, when a loan becomes a nonaccrual loan, it means that the creditor believes that the debtor won’t be able to fulfill their repayment obligation. This status change from a performing to a non-performing loan puts the lender on alert about the possibility that they may not recuperate the loan proceeds. Thus, the loan is placed on “nonaccrual” status, effectively halting the accumulation of the income from interest that the lender was expecting to receive on the loan.The purpose of having the nonaccrual loan category is not merely declaring a loan as being in bad health. It is an essential part of regulatory compliance, financial reporting, and portfolio risk management for financial institutions. If a loan is placed on nonaccrual status, the financial institutions stop recognizing interest income from such loans on their financial statements, thereby creating a more accurate picture of their financial health. Furthermore, to protect against the potential loss that this could bring, lenders often set aside a certain amount of money, known as a loan loss provision, thereby safeguarding their financial stability.


1. Example 1: Residential Mortgage – Suppose an individual has taken out a mortgage loan to purchase a house in Seattle. Due to unforeseen financial crises such as sudden job loss, the borrower fails to comply with the payment terms and after successive missed payments, the bank decides to put the mortgage loan on nonaccrual status. This means the bank has stopped recognizing the accrued interest and will not record it as income until the borrower resumes the repayments or the loan is settled in some manner. 2. Example 2: Commercial Business Loan – Imagine a manufacturing company in Chicago which took out a large business loan to expand its operations. An unexpected downturn in the market leads to lower product sales and the company struggles to repay the loan. After several months with no payment, the lending bank places this business loan under nonaccrual status. The bank does not expect to earn further interest and will only record income if the company resumes payment or the debt is otherwise resolved.3. Example 3: Personal Loan – A person in New York takes out a personal loan for a huge family event. However, due to losing a job, they begin to miss the loan repayments. After repeated failed attempts to collect payments, the lending institution shifts the loan to nonaccrual status. Until the person resumes payments or arranges another settlement, the bank will stop accruing interest on its financial statements.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Nonaccrual Loan?

A Nonaccrual Loan is a loan whereby the interest or principal payment is not being collected or accrued because the payment terms are in default or the borrower is likely to default.

Why are Nonaccrual Loans important in finance and business?

Nonaccrual Loans represent a liability or risk for lenders because the chances of repayment are often lower. These loans often impact a financial institution’s bottom-line negatively.

How is a Nonaccrual loan classified?

A loan is typically classified as a Nonaccrual Loan when there is reason to believe that the borrower will not be able to continue making the required interest or principal payments.

What happens when a loan is placed on nonaccrual status?

When a loan is put on nonaccrual status, it means that the bank has stopped accruing interest on the loan in their accounting books, based on the assumption that the loan may not be fully repaid.

How are Nonaccrual Loans treated in accounting?

In accounting, the accrued interest from Nonaccrual Loans is typically reversed against current period income. In this case, the original income from the interest is removed from the financial statements.

What can cause a loan to turn into a Nonaccrual Loan?

A loan can become a Nonaccrual Loan due to various reasons such as borrower financial hardship, failing businesses or other economic factors that hinder the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.

What impact does a Nonaccrual Loan have on a financial institution’s balance sheet?

The presence of Nonaccrual Loans may negatively impact a financial institution’s balance sheet as they represent assets that the bank may never realize. It may also indicate a higher risk profile which might decrease the bank’s value to investors.

Can Interest on a Nonaccrual Loan be recovered?

Yes, if the borrower starts making payments again or the lender can recover amounts from collateral, it is possible for the financial institution to recover previously uncollected interest.

Related Finance Terms

  • Loan Default: It refers to the failure to pay back a loan according to the agreed upon terms.
  • Financial Impairment: It’s a condition where the value of an asset decreases to an extent that it cannot be recovered.
  • Collateral: An asset pledged as a security for repayment of a loan, in case of a default.
  • Charged-Off Loans: These are debts that a creditor has declared unlikely to be collected, hence removed from their balance sheets.
  • Loan loss reserves: These are funds that banks set aside as an allowance for bad debts or loans which are unlikely to be repaid.

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