Understanding the Significance of Liquidity Ratio in Lending

Lenders perform detailed credit analysis before offering loans or debts. They give loans to borrowers with no or minimal chances of default. Among the many factors used for analysing the creditworthiness of the borrower, the liquidity ratio is an important one. Lenders check the liquidity ratios of companies and individuals to choose borrowers with minimal credit risk. The liquidity ratio is a financial parameter that highlights the financial positions of the borrower. Continue reading to understand what are liquidity ratios in detail.

What Are Liquidity Ratios?

Liquidity ratios are financial parameters that help analyse a borrower’s capacity to pay short-term loans or debts. You can determine the capacity of a company or an individual to fulfil short-term loan commitments without any external financing. Lenders use the liquidity ratio to determine the financial position of the borrower before extending loans. A company with a poor liquidity ratio might fail to fulfil short-term loan commitments. Lenders might not offer more loans to the company when it is already struggling to pay off existing loans. When companies fail to pay off short-term loans, they lose their credibility to get more loans.

Types of Liquidity Ratios

Before we delve deeper, it is essential to understand the types of liquidity ratios, which are as follows:

  • Current Ratio

    It determines the financial strength of a company or an individual at any point. It helps determine the ratio between the value of all assets under holding and current liabilities. Usually, lenders prefer a current ratio of 2:1 or higher.

  • Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio determines the relation between current assets and liabilities, similar to the current ratio. However, it modifies the current assets to include only cash. Assets other than cash are not included in the quick ratio. A quick ratio of 1:1 or higher is preferred by lenders.

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  • Absolute Liquidity Ratio

    It determined the ratio between cash reserves and liabilities. It also adds marketable securities and cash reserves to clearly understand the borrower’s financial position.

  • Basic Defense Ratio

    You must add cash reserves, marketable securities, and receivables first to find the basic defense ratio. The sum must be divided by current liabilities to get the ratio.

Importance of Liquidity Ratios

Now that you have understood the liquidity ratios meaning, let us understand their importance. As discussed above, it can determine the capacity of the borrower to pay off short-term loans without any assistance from any other lender. These ratios are usually the relationship between the assets and liabilities of a company. However, the total assets might be modified based on its type.

The liquidity ratios formula is simple, dividing the assets by the total liabilities. Lenders can access the financial statements of a company to know its assets, liabilities, and other details. Loan processors can quickly determine the creditworthiness of a borrower with the help of these ratios.

Lenders cannot offer loans to companies that might fail to repay in the future. They calculate a company’s financial strength and ability to repay. Companies with ratios are a red flag for lenders or investors.

Limitations of Liquid Ratio

Besides being an important financial parameter, it has some limitations. It only provides a value to gauge the financial strength of the company. It is not concerned with the quality of the liquidity strength. To calculate the complete liquidity strength of a company, you must consider a few other factors. Many other accounting metrics exist to evaluate a company’s liquidity strength.

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It is crucial to note that it considers a company’s inventory to get the values. There might be a chance of miscalculation, thus leading to inaccurate results. Also, all the information required to calculate it can be found in the balance sheet of a company. Credit analysts often go beyond the balance sheet of companies to know their real financial position. It is better to use this metric together with other metrics to get a clear picture.


Liquidity ratios can help determine the financial position of a borrower. Lenders often use them to determine the ability of the borrower to pay existing short-term loans. However, they might not denote the quality of the liquidity strength of a company. As a result, loan processors use these ratios with other parameters to get a clear picture.

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