Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Principal

What it is:

In finance,  principal refers to the face amount of a debt instrument or an amount of money borrowed.

How it works (Example):

For example, if you borrow $25,000 from XYZ Bank to purchase a car, the principal balance is $25,000. As time goes by and you make payments on the loan, the principal balance goes down.

For bonds, principal generally refers to the bond's face value or the par value. Thus, a bond with a $10,000 face value represents a $10,000 loan to the issuer (i.e., $10,000 of principal). It is usually equal to the amount the bondholder receives on the bond's maturity date.

Why it Matters:

Interest oThe definition of principal on InvestingAnswersn any loan, bond or not, typically accrues on the outstanding principal balance. That is, the lower the principal outstanding, the less total interest the lender earns.

Related Terms View All
  • Junk Fees
    Let's say John and Jane Doe buy a house and receive the Truth in Lending Act statement at...
  • Depreciated Cost
    Another term for depreciated cost is net book value. The formula for depreciated cost is...
  • War Babies
    Let's assume Company XYZ builds jets for the Navy, and Company ABC builds guns for the...
  • Weak Sister
    Let's say John Doe's portfolio contains five stocks: Company A, Company B, Company C,...
  • Price Basing
    Price basing happens all the time in the media when it comes to gasoline prices. For...