Why is debt cheaper than equity?

Why is debt cheaper than equity?

Why is debt cheaper than equity?



Debt and equity are two common forms of financing for businesses. When a company needs capital to fund its operations or expansion, it can choose to raise funds through debt or equity. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, debt is generally considered cheaper than equity. In this article, we will explore the reasons why debt is often a more cost-effective financing option for businesses.

Lower Cost of Capital

One of the primary reasons why debt is cheaper than equity is the lower cost of capital associated with borrowing money. When a company issues debt, such as bonds or loans, it agrees to pay interest to the lenders. The interest rate on debt is typically lower than the expected return demanded by equity investors. This is because lenders have a higher claim on the company’s assets and cash flows in the event of bankruptcy or liquidation.

Tax Advantage: Another factor that makes debt cheaper than equity is the tax advantage it offers. In many countries, interest payments on debt are tax-deductible expenses for businesses. This means that the company can reduce its taxable income by deducting the interest payments from its revenue. As a result, the effective cost of debt is further reduced, making it a more attractive financing option for businesses.

Fixed Obligations

Debt provides businesses with a fixed obligation to repay the borrowed amount along with interest over a specified period. This predictability allows companies to plan their cash flows and budget accordingly. Equity, on the other hand, does not impose any fixed repayment obligations. Equity investors only receive returns when the company generates profits and decides to distribute dividends. This uncertainty makes equity more risky and, consequently, more expensive for businesses.

Ownership and Control

Equity financing involves selling a portion of the company’s ownership to investors in exchange for capital. This dilution of ownership can result in a loss of control for existing shareholders. On the other hand, debt financing does not dilute ownership or control. The lenders do not have any voting rights or decision-making power in the company’s operations. This aspect of debt financing makes it more attractive to businesses that want to retain control and avoid dilution of ownership.


Debt financing offers more flexibility compared to equity financing. When a company takes on debt, it has a contractual obligation to repay the borrowed amount, but it has the freedom to use the funds as it sees fit. On the other hand, equity investors often have specific expectations and demands regarding how the capital should be utilized. This flexibility allows companies to make strategic decisions without external interference, making debt a more desirable option for many businesses.


In conclusion, debt is generally cheaper than equity due to several factors. The lower cost of capital, tax advantages, fixed obligations, ownership and control considerations, and flexibility make debt a more cost-effective financing option for businesses. However, it is important to note that the optimal capital structure for a company depends on various factors, including its financial health, growth prospects, and risk appetite. Businesses should carefully evaluate their financing options and consider the specific needs and circumstances before deciding between debt and equity.


– Investopedia: www.investopedia.com
– The Balance: www.thebalance.com
– Corporate Finance Institute: www.corporatefinanceinstitute.com