Where Would I Put a Loss in for a Personal Loan That Is a Bad Debt

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Where Would I Put a Loss in for a Personal Loan That Is a Bad Debt?


Personal loans are a popular financial option for individuals seeking funds for various purposes, such as debt consolidation, home renovations, or unexpected expenses. However, not all personal loans end up being repaid on time, leading to bad debts for lenders. When a personal loan becomes a bad debt, it is crucial to understand where to record the loss associated with it. In this article, we will explore the appropriate place to put a loss for a personal loan that has turned into bad debt, along with a FAQ section to address common queries.

Where to Record a Loss:

1. Income Statement:
When a personal loan becomes a bad debt, the first place to record the loss is on the income statement. The loss is reported as an expense, usually referred to as “bad debt expense” or “loan loss provision.” By recording it on the income statement, the lender can accurately reflect the financial impact of the non-repayment on their overall profitability.

2. Allowance for Doubtful Accounts:
Another common place to record the loss for a bad debt personal loan is the “Allowance for Doubtful Accounts” on the balance sheet. This account represents an estimate of the potential losses from non-repayment of loans. The allowance is typically calculated based on historical data and the lender’s assessment of the likelihood of repayment. Any actual bad debt losses can be charged against this allowance.

3. Write-Offs:
In certain cases, when a personal loan is deemed uncollectible, the lender may choose to write off the loan entirely. This means recognizing the loan as a complete loss on the balance sheet. Writing off a loan removes it from the lender’s books, signifying that the chances of recovering the debt are minimal. The write-off is recorded as an expense on the income statement and simultaneously reduces the loan’s outstanding balance on the balance sheet.

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Q1: Can I claim a tax deduction for a bad debt personal loan?
A: Yes, in most cases, a bad debt personal loan can be claimed as a tax deduction. However, specific rules and limitations apply, and it is advisable to consult with a tax professional to ensure eligibility and accurate claiming.

Q2: What if the borrower later repays the bad debt personal loan?
A: If the borrower repays the personal loan after it has been classified as a bad debt, the lender can recognize the repayment as a recovery. The recovery should be recorded as income on the income statement and used to offset the previously recorded bad debt expense.

Q3: Are there any legal actions I can take against a borrower with a bad debt personal loan?
A: Depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances, lenders may have legal options to pursue collections or take legal action against borrowers who default on personal loans. It is essential to consult with legal professionals to understand the available options and consequences.

Q4: How does recording a bad debt personal loan affect my credit score?
A: When a personal loan becomes a bad debt, it can significantly impact both the lender’s and the borrower’s credit scores. For the lender, it may negatively affect their creditworthiness, making it harder to secure future loans. For the borrower, it can severely damage their credit score, making it challenging to obtain credit in the future.


When a personal loan turns into a bad debt, it is crucial to understand where to record the associated loss. Typically, the loss is recorded on the income statement as bad debt expense, on the balance sheet as an allowance for doubtful accounts, or through a write-off. It is important to consult with financial professionals to ensure accurate recording and to understand the potential tax implications and legal actions that can be taken. Managing bad debts is a challenging but necessary aspect of lending, and proper recording is essential for financial transparency and decision-making.

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