Bradford Toney
Updated At


The information provided in this content is furnished for informational purposes exclusively and should not be construed as an alternative to professional financial, legal, or tax advice. Each individual's circumstances differ, and if you have specific questions or believe you require professional advice, we encourage you to consult with a qualified professional in the respective field.

Our objective is to provide accurate, timely, and helpful information. Despite our efforts, this information may not be up to date or applicable in all circumstances. Any reliance you place on this information is therefore strictly at your own risk. We disclaim any liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. Please verify the accuracy of the content with an independent source.

Link to this heading

What is Principal?

In the world of business finance, the term "principal" refers to the original sum of money borrowed in a loan or put into an investment. It is the initial amount before any interest, dividends, or other returns are calculated.

For example, if you take out a loan for $10,000, the principal amount is $10,000. Similarly, if you invest $5,000 in a mutual fund, the principal amount is $5,000.

The principal can also refer to the remaining amount of the loan or investment after some payments or returns have been made. For instance, if you have paid off $2,000 of your $10,000 loan, the remaining principal is $8,000.

In essence, the principal is the foundation upon which financial transactions are built. It is the base amount from which profits are earned or debts are repaid.

Link to this heading

Principal vs. Interest

Principal and interest are two crucial terms in finance, especially in the context of loans and investments. While the principal is the original sum of money borrowed or invested, interest is the cost of borrowing that money or the return on that investment.

To put it simply, interest is the price you pay for using someone else's money (in the case of a loan) or the reward you get for letting someone else use your money (in the case of an investment).

While the principal amount remains constant unless payments are made towards it, interest is calculated periodically based on the remaining principal.

How to Calculate Principal

Calculating the principal amount in a loan or an investment is quite straightforward. It is the original amount borrowed or invested before any interest or returns are calculated.

For instance, if you take out a loan of $20,000 with an interest rate of 5%, the principal amount is $20,000. The interest is calculated on this principal amount.

If you make a payment towards the loan, the principal amount decreases. For example, if you pay off $5,000 of your $20,000 loan, the remaining principal is $15,000.

Link to this heading

Why is Principal Important?

The concept of principal is essential in business finance for several reasons:

  1. Determines Interest: The amount of interest you pay on a loan or earn on an investment is directly proportional to the principal amount. The larger the principal, the larger the interest.
  2. Affects Loan Repayments: Your loan repayments are calculated based on the principal amount. Paying off the principal reduces your debt and the amount of interest you need to pay in the future.
  3. Impacts Investment Returns: The return on your investment is also calculated based on the principal amount. A larger principal can potentially lead to larger returns.
  4. Helps in Financial Planning: Understanding the principal amount can help in financial planning. It can help you determine how much you need to save, invest, or borrow to meet your financial goals.

In simple terms, the principal is the original amount of money borrowed in a loan or invested. It is the base upon which interest is calculated and repayments or returns are made. Understanding the concept of principal is essential as it plays a key role in determining interest payments, loan repayments, investment returns, and overall financial planning.

We're making finance easy for everyone.
Consolidated finances have never been easier.
Get Started Today
Cassie Finance
Copyright 2024