Financial Accounting Concepts

What is Credit Risk?

Credit risk is a term used to describe the potential financial loss a lender may experience when a borrower fails to repay a loan or credit.

In other words, it is the risk of default on a loan or the risk of loss of principal or interest. Credit risk is a significant concern for banks, financial institutions, and investors providing loans, bonds, or other credit products to businesses or individuals.

Credit risk can be categorized into two main types: individual credit risk and portfolio credit risk. Individual credit risk refers to the risk associated with a particular borrower, while portfolio credit risk refers to the risk associated with a portfolio of loans or investments.

Individual Credit Risk

Individual credit risk is the risk of default by a particular borrower. It is typically assessed by evaluating the borrower’s creditworthiness, including factors such as credit history, income, and debt-to-income ratio. Lenders use this information to determine the likelihood of the borrower repaying the loan and the interest owed.

Lenders also use credit scores to assess individual credit risk. Credit scores are calculated based on a borrower’s credit history, including their payment history, outstanding debt, and length of credit history. A higher credit score indicates a lower risk of default, while a lower credit score indicates a higher risk of default.

Portfolio Credit Risk

Portfolio credit risk is the risk associated with a portfolio of loans or investments. It is the risk that a significant number of borrowers within the portfolio will default on their loans or investments. Portfolio credit risk is often assessed by evaluating the credit quality of individual loans or investments within the portfolio.

One way that lenders and investors manage portfolio credit risk is through diversification. By spreading their loans or investments across a diverse range of borrowers or industries, lenders can reduce the risk of default on their portfolios.


Credit risk refers to the potential financial loss that may arise from the failure of a borrower or counterparty to fulfill their obligations to repay borrowed funds. In other words, it is the possibility that a borrower may default on a loan or fail to make payments as per the agreed terms. Credit risk is an essential aspect considered by lenders and financial institutions when determining the interest rate, loan amount, or whether to extend credit to an individual or business. Assessing and managing credit risk is crucial for maintaining the financial stability and profitability of lending organizations.

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