DSCR Formula

Updated on May 10, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What is DSCR Formula?

The DSCR (Debt service coverage ratio) formula provides an intuitive understanding of the debt repayment capacity of the company. It is calculated as the ratio of Net Operating Income to Total Debt Service. In simpler words, the net DSCR formula shows the financial health of the company and the use of its cash flow.

DSCR formula

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If the ratio is above 1, it indicates that the company has efficient resources and generates sufficient income to meet its debt obligations. Lenders often look at DSCR to assess the risks associated with providing loans. Therefore, a higher number on this metric makes it easier to secure loans for businesses.

Key Takeaways

  1. DSCR helps an investor comprehend the debt-fulfilling ability of a company. It helps the investor understand the fiscal state of a company and check whether the company is established or not.
  2. One can calculate DSCR by dividing the company’s net operating income by the total debt service. The value that is thus generated is interpreted in two ways; if the ratio is more than one, the ratio is good, and it suggests that the company can fulfill its debt using its income. 
  3. A DSCR ratio of less than one indicates that the company cannot pay its debts using its current earnings and that it isn’t a well-established company. 
  4. A high DSCR ratio indicates that the company has higher odds of qualifying for a loan and a better chance to get a lower interest rate, and the business is flourishing.


The Debt service coverage ratio formula simply takes in net operating income and divides it by the debt service (Interests, sinking funds, tax expense).

It must include all the debt obligation in hand like the following:

Most lenders use operating income, which is equivalent to EBIT. But some also use EBITDA to calculate the ratio.

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Let us understand the formula that shall act as the building block for our understanding of the concept and its intricacies.

DSCR Formula = Net Operating Income / Total Debt service

Net operating income is calculated as a company’s revenue minus its operating expenses. In most cases, lenders use net operating profit, which is the same as the net operating income. Total debt service is the current debt obligations like loans, sinking funds that need to be paid in the coming year.

How To Calculate?

The calculation of the net DSCR formula is a simple three-step process which is explain below.

  1. Identify Net Operating Income (NOI): Subtract operating expenses from revenue, excluding taxes and interest.
  2. Determine Total Debt Service (TDS): Sum all debt-related payments, including principal and interest.
  3. Apply the Formula: Use the formula DSCR = NOI / TDS.

DSCR (Debt Service Coverage Ratio) Video Explanation



Let’s see some simple to advanced examples to understand it better.

You can download this DSCR Formula Excel Template here – DSCR Formula Excel Template

Example #1

Let’s suppose a real estate developer wants to take a loan from a local bank. Then, the lender will first want to calculate the DSCR to determine the ability of the borrower to repay the loan. The real estate developer discloses that it has an operating income of $200,000 per year and has to pay a yearly interest of $70,000 on the loan he had taken. Therefore, the lender will calculate DSCR to determine whether to grant a loan to the real estate developer.

  • DSCR = 200,000 / 70,000
  • DSCR = 2.857

A DSCR of 2.857 is a good DSCR for granting a loan to a real estate developer.

Now, if the developer has also lease payments to pay then of $5000, then the debt service will increase to $75000.The new DSCR will be as follows:-

  • DSCR= 200,000 / 75,000
  • DSCR = 2.66

Therefore the DSCR decreased with an increase in debt service payments.

Example #2

Calculate the DSCR for company X, which has the following Income Statement.

DSCR Formula example 2.1

The operating income is calculated by subtracting the expenses from the gross profit.

The debt services will account for the interest expenses and income tax expenses.

Therefore, Operating Income = $13000

Debt Service = $5000

So, the calculation of DSCR will be as follows –

DSCR Formula example 2.2
  • DSCR =   13000 / 5000

DSCR will be –

DSCR Formula example 2.3
  • DSCR =   2.6

A DSCR of 2.6 indicates that the company has enough cash to cover its debt obligations.

Example #3

We will calculate the debt service coverage ratio of ILandFS Engineering and Construction Company. We can get the operating profit data, equivalent to operating income and debt service, from the profit & loss statement, which is available in money control.

DSCR Formula example 3.1

Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/

The net operating profit is ₹160.92 in the year 2018.

As for the debt service, we can see that it needs to pay interests that is 396.03.

Therefore calculation of the DSCR formula will be as follows –

DSCR Formula example 3.2
  • DSCR = 160.92 / 396.03

DSCR will be

DSCR Formula example 3.3
  • DSCR =    0.406

A DSCR of 0.406 indicates that the company doesn’t have enough cash to cover its debt obligations.

Example #4

We will calculate the debt service coverage ratio of MEP Infrastructure Developers. We can get the operating profit and debt service data from the profit & loss statement, which is available in money control.

example 4.1

Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/

The net operating profit is ₹218.26 in the year 2018.

As for the debt service, we can see that it needs to pay interests and taxes, which is ₹50.04.

Calculation of DSCR will be as follows –

example 4.2
  • DSCR = 218.26 / 50.04

DSCR will be

example 4.3
  • DSCR =   4.361

A DSCR of 4.361 indicates that the company has enough cash to cover its debt obligations.

DSCR Calculator

You can use the following DSCR calculator.

Net Operating Income
Total Debt Service
DSCR Formula

DSCR Formula =
Net Operating Income
Total Debt Service
= 0


Let us understand the importance of net and gross DSCR formula through the points below.

  • DSCR is both important to creditors and investors, but creditors analyze it more as it determines the ability of the lender to repay the current debt.
  • The DSCR ratio will determine whether the borrower will get their loan approved and the terms and conditions of the loan.
  • It shows that the company is able to manage its financial resources effectively and have a balanced approach to debt.
  • It helps creditors assess the risks of lending money to companies.
  • It shows that the company is able to clear its debt obligations through revenue generated through its operating income itself.
  • A higher DSCR value indicates that the company is better equipped to handle economic downturns. This is an extremely positive sign for investors and stakeholders.

How to Interpret?

Now that we understand the concept of net DSCR formula in detail, it is also important for us to know how to interpret the numbers that are derived through the application of the formula. Let us do so through the discussion below.

A DSCR ratio of 1 and above is a good ratio. The higher, the better.

  • A ratio higher than one indicates that it is generating sufficient cash flow to cover its debt service.
  • A ratio less than 1 indicates that there is insufficient cash to cover the debt obligations.

A DSCR of 0.85 indicates that there is only enough operating income to cover 85% of the debt payments.

Most lenders look for a DSCR ratio of 1.15 or more depending on the company’s economic conditions.

A lender will never want to make a loss by giving a loan to a borrower who may never be able to repay. The DSCR ratio gives an insight into the company’s cash flow and how much cash the company has to repay its loan.

It is of great importance in real estate or commercial lending, as this ratio gives us an idea of the maximum loan amount a lender can get.


The benefits of a good DSCR are as follows:

  • Higher chances of qualifying for a loan
  • Better chances to get a lower interest rate.
  • Businesses can manage debt obligations in a better way.

Therefore higher the ratio, the better it is.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to calculate DSCR in Excel?

Since this concept has a clear-cut formula that analysts can use to understand the outcome, it can easily be calculated in excel by dividing the company’s total net operating income by its total debt service.

What is a good DSCR for a rental property?

The formula for calculating DSCR for rental property is divided using PITIA constituting monthly principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and association dues by the gross monthly rent. Therefore, the above 1.2 ratios are considered good and appropriate for the investor to decide.

Can someone externally improve their debt service coverage ratio?

If the interest rate is reduced, the interest amount would decrease, reducing the installment. It thus limits the denominator (total debt service) and improves the DSCR ratio.

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