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The failure to make timely payment of interest or principal on a debt security or to otherwise comply with the provisions of a bond indenture. A breach of a covenant. In context of project financing, a technical default signals a project parameter is outside defined or agreed limits or a legal matter is not yet resolved.


The failure to make payments on a debt. One may default on any debt, such as a mortgage or a bond. Default is a very serious matter and may entitle the lender or bondholder to take possession of one's assets in order to recover the amount lost in principal and interest payments on the debt. Default also has a negative impact on one's creditworthiness in the future.


The failure to live up to the terms of a contract. Generally, default is used to indicate the inability of a borrower to pay the interest or principal on a debt when it is due. See also technical default.


If a person or institution responsible for repaying a loan or making an interest payment fails to meet that obligation on time, that person or institution is in default.

If you are in default, you may lose any property that you put up as collateral to get the loan. For example, if you fail to repay your car loan, your lender may repossess the car.

Defaulting has a negative impact on your credit history and your credit score, which generally makes it difficult to borrow again in the future. In fact, failure to pay on time is the single most important contributor to a poor credit history.

A bond issuer who defaults may not pay interest when it comes due or repay the principal at maturity, or both.


The failure to meet one's obligations in a timely manner. There are several important concepts relating to defaults in the real estate field:

• Leases and mortgages often differentiate between monetary defaults, such as failure to pay money when due, and nonmonetary defaults such as a failure to provide proof of insurance or copies of monthly financial statements. If so, there will be different notice provisions and grace periods for each.

• Unless a sale contract contains language that “time is of the essence,” or one party has made the other aware that time is critical, then a court will ordinarily award a purchaser a reasonable amount of time to complete closing, even if it is past the contract date.

• Some states have statutes allowing collection of attorneys' fees when there has been a default in the contract. Other states require specific language in the contract allowing for collection of attorneys' fees.


Failure of the borrower to honor the terms of the loan agreement.

Lenders usually view borrowers delinquent 90 days or more as in default.

See Payment Problems.

References in periodicals archive ?
The lower student loan default rate reflects ITT Tech's commitment to providing quality student support services.
During the hearing, petitioners' counsel said that the NAB issued notices to the petitioners for inquiry into a Rs 345 million loan default matter against them.
The national average for a loan default rate is about 14 percent.
LAHORE -- The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has offered help to the banking sector for controlling loan defaults and increasing percentage of recovery.
Department of Education, for fiscal year 2004 the national average student loan default rate rise to 5.
Despite the growing list of anecdotal horror stories which are heard from the Buy Side about sharply discounted secondary market valuations for CSFTs--structures, mind you, which often carry investment-grade ratings from the major credit rating agencies--the data for loan defaults and related losses at banks remain well below historical norms.
The disease of loan defaults took killing proportions from the late 1980s but systematic data are available only for the last few years.
Because the 401(k) loan default rate in that sample (10 percent) was associated with an unemployment rate that is roughly half of today's unemployment rate (4 percent versus 8 percent), and because 401(k) loan default rates are correlated with unemployment rates, Litan and Singer project significantly higher 401(k) loan default rates since the onset of the Great Recession in late 2008.
The community colleges are deeply committed to minimizing student loan defaults, and this commitment is reflected in the small number of students who receive loans at our 106 colleges.
Increasingly successful loan modifications and rising new issuance will not be enough to put a stop to rising CMBS loan defaults, which are likely to exceed 12% by the end of this year, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest annual fixed rate conduit loan default study.
In another case of willful loan default, the board has approved plea bargain of 611.