Short-term expenses, like payroll and quarterly taxes, are usually top of mind as you budget for your business. That alone can feel like a lot to handle, but you can’t stop there. As you take on long-term debts to grow your business, keeping them organized is critical.

Tracking a long-term debt gets a lot easier with a business debt schedule. So, what is a debt schedule for a business? And how do you create and leverage one at your company? Let’s find out.

What is a business debt schedule?

A business debt schedule is a table that lays out all of your business’s long-term debt. Generally, your business debt schedule should include the following:

  • Most types of business loans, including term loans, equipment financing and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
  • Contracts
  • Leases for assets like real estate, equipment and company vehicles
  • Notes payable
  • Bonds
  • Any other payments your business is required to make on a long-term, periodic basis
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Short-term expenses, such as payroll, taxes and accounts payable, don’t go on your debt schedule. That way, the business debt schedule gives you a big-picture overview of your company’s debt burden.

Why use a business debt schedule

What is a business debt schedule’s purpose for the company creating it? It does a few key things. It enables you to:

  • Avoid missing payments: First and foremost, your debt schedule helps you stay on top of your company’s repayment of debt. Nothing could compromise your business’s financial future faster than tanking its credit score or having key assets seized because of a default. With a business debt schedule, you see what you owe, when you need to pay it and whom you need to pay, making it easier to ensure you’re not missing payments.
  • Strategize those payments: The debt schedule also lets you see which debts may be most helpful to pay off soonest, like those with high-interest rates or fees. With everything in one place, you can see which debts you should prioritize if you have extra money to pay your liabilities down.
  • Evaluate refinancing: In some cases, it might make sense to refinance or consolidate your long-term debt. Your debt schedule can make evaluating whether that’s right for your business easier.
  • Make better borrowing decisions: A debt schedule can help determine when your business can take on new debt. For example, it can help you calculate your debt-service coverage ratio (DSCR) to ensure taking on new debt wouldn’t tip you over an acceptable ratio.

To ensure you get all of these benefits, make it a point to update your debt schedule regularly.

What to include in a business debt schedule

What is a business debt schedule supposed to include? You should feature any fees or important dates related to the debt, including:

  • Creditor: The bank, investor, credit union or other lenders that hold your business debt.
  • Original amount: The amount of the business debt initially issued by the creditor.
  • Origination date: The date on which that debt was first issued.
  • Current balance: How much you currently owe.
  • Interest rate: How much interest you pay the creditor.
  • Payment amount: How much you owe and how frequently, often biweekly, monthly or quarterly.
  • Status: Whether repayment of debt is current or delinquent.
  • Maturity date: The final date by which the full amount of the debt needs to be repaid.
  • Security or collateral: Whether you used collateral or a personal guarantee to secure the debt.

You might also want to include a notes column to add details like why your business took out the debt or any details about its repayment. Including additional information about any additional loan fees, such as prepayment penalties, can also be helpful.

As a general rule, listing debts by their maturity date can be helpful, putting the debts due first at the top of the business debt schedule and allowing you to prioritize the most pressing liabilities.

Business debt schedule example

There are several ways to make a debt schedule. Some accounting software can automate it for you or you could create it in an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet. The SBA also has a downloadable PDF debt schedule template.

Creditor Original amount Origination date Current balance Interest rate Payment amount Maturity date Security/collateral
Equipment financing lender $15,000 1/8/2023 $14,179.30 8.20% $305.58 1/8/2028 Commercial oven
Bank name $100,000 2/1/2021 $80,045.56 3.01% $966.07 (monthly) 2/1/2031 Personal guarantee

The bottom line

A business debt schedule gives you a clear picture of your business’s long-term debt and how it might impact your company over the years.

If you’re considering taking on new business debt, don’t forget to evaluate it against your debt schedule and use a business loan calculator to ensure it’s beneficial for your business.

Frequently asked questions

  • A debt schedule isn’t made via calculation. Instead, it’s a table you fill in with details to get an overview of your long-term business debt. That said, while it doesn’t require calculation, you should update it periodically.
  • Business debt could be anything from a long-term loan to specialized financing, like equipment financing. If your business borrows a chunk of money and will be repaying it for more than a year, it should generally go on your debt schedule.
  • No. Business credit cards are a revolving line of credit, meaning they are short-term debt.