Dividend vs Interest: Difference and Comparison

Dividend and interest are two terms used by corporates in accounting. A dividend is an amount a company pays to all its shareholders with its annual profit.

Interest is the sum a borrower has agreed to pay along with the amount that he/she borrowed from an individual/institution.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dividends are payments made by corporations to their shareholders, distributing a portion of the company’s profits; interest is the cost of borrowing money or the return on an investment, such as a savings account or bond.
  2. Dividends are not guaranteed and depend on a company’s financial performance; interest is predetermined and paid at a fixed or variable rate.
  3. Both dividends and interest provide income to investors, but dividends are associated with stock ownership, while interest is tied to debt instruments or deposit accounts.

Dividend vs Interest

The difference between a Dividend and Interest is that dividend is the amount repaid to the shareholders proportionally from the profit gained. In contrast, interest is the amount to be paid back to the lender along with the capital borrowed from them.

Dividends vs Interest

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The dividend is the money paid to a company’s investors and shareholders from the annual profit. It is by expecting this amount; a businessman invests in a firm.

This profit is distributed and distributed among the investors proportionally according to their capital. Usually, a company is prohibited from distributing dividends from the money.

In the finance sector, interest is the amount a borrower has to pay back to the lender and the borrowed amount. Interest is a source of income for the lenders from the money they lend.

Interest rates differ from firm to firm and are divided into simple interest and compound interest.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonDividendInterest
FocusThe dividend is the repayment of the amount gained from a firm by the financial support of investors.Interest is the amount the lender fixes as a fee for the amount they lend.
ChargeThe money repaid is from profit earned. Hence there is no surety for the complete repayment of the capital invested.Interest is an added amount along with the capital invested. Hence the amount repaid is always higher than the amount lent.
RegulationInvestors know the money they can reinvest from the dividend amount in the firm.The borrower can pre-plan the amount they must repay from the interest amount.
ChoiceThe dividend is from the profit amount, so the firm doesn’t need to repay it.The interest amount is fixed at the time of borrowing, so it is compulsory to repay it.
CalculationThere is no fixed formula for calculating the dividend. It is proportionally given to the shareholders according to the money invested by them.Simple interest and compound interest are the two methods by which the interest amount is calculated.


What is Dividend?

The dividend is the process of distribution of the profit amount of a company to its shareholders. It is paid only from the profit a firm makes. Hence, the invested amount cannot be obtained back in one go.

This process of distribution of dividend amounts takes place annually. Sometimes the profit is not entirely transferred as dividends, and the amount is reinvested.

The distribution of profits can be done by any means. Mainly the profit is distributed in cash and deposit amounts. Sometimes the firm may organize dividend reinvestment plans.

Here the dividend amount goes into the investment of underlying equity. Another method is by repurchase, where a part of the share is returned as dividends. Asset transfers can also be shared as dividends.

The person, who is eligible for dividends, has to pay tax to the government for collecting it. This tax amount is acquired from the stakes issued by the dividend tax.

If a corporation pays dividends to its shareholders, no tax deductions are given to it. The amount paid as dividend tax differs from one country to another.

Dividends are evidence of the development of a business. The more dividends a shareholder receives, the more money they reinvest.

Although the payment method differs, the amount to be paid is compensated proportionally from the profit earned, and hence higher profit means a higher dividend amount.


What is Interest?

Interest is the amount to be paid and the principal amount after a certain borrowing period. The lender fixes this amount at the time of lending the principal amount.

Interest is an added income for the lender as it increases the amount they get back at the time of repayment. Since the rate increases as per a fixed margin, the borrower should carefully check the interest amount before borrowing.

Interest is not a positive aspect for the borrower, so the amount should be calculated beforehand. If the interest amount is too high, the borrower can be in debt as the amount to be repaid dynamically increases.

Borrowing an amount is a high-risk business; hence, most banks calculate the amount for their customers.

Interest can be calculated in detail using simple interest and compound interest. It is the lender’s wish to choose between these two.

In the case of simple interest, the interest amount remains the same irrespective of the time taken to repay. Compound interest increases when the time is taken to repay the principal amount increases.

SI = P[1+ RT]

CI = P[1 + R/n]nt


  1. SI = Simple Interest
  2. CI = Compound Interest
  3. P = Principal amount
  4. R = Interest rate
  5. T = Period
  6. n = Number of times the interest is applied per period
  7. t =  Number of periods elapsed

Main Differences Between Dividends and Interest

  1. The dividend is the profit amount that can be shared by all the company’s investors, whereas interest is the amount that has to be repaid along with the principal amount lent.
  2. There is no surety about a company’s profit; hence, the dividend cannot be promised. Interest is a promised amount whose rate is fixed when the money is lent.
  3. The dividend amount of a company is evidence of the growth of the company, and hence investors tend to reinvest if profit is high. The interest rate is used to pre-plan the money that must be repaid.
  4. The dividend amount is not from the capital investment; hence, investors cannot always expect a high profit. The interest amount acts as a fee for the principal amount lent; therefore, the lender consistently profits.
  5. The dividend of an individual is paid back according to the money invested by them. The interest amount is calculated using the fixed method among simple and compound interest.
Difference Between Dividend and Interest
  1. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/taxation/taxation-of-dividend-interest-and-capital-gain-income_5k3wh96w246k-en
  2. https://serval.unil.ch/resource/serval:BIB_0AE104867012.P001/REF.pdf

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Dividend vs Interest: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article’s comparison table effectively encapsulates the core disparities between dividends and interest. A clearly delineated piece of work.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better, Gthompson. The article’s ability to distill complex financial concepts into a user-friendly format is truly commendable.

  2. The article appears to oversimplify some aspects of dividends and interest. It would benefit from a more in-depth discussion of the complexities involved.

    1. I agree, Sally. While it’s a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the topic, some deeper analysis would enhance the overall value of the content.

    2. The article could have delved deeper into the tax implications of dividends and interest. It left me wanting more information on that aspect.

  3. This article’s comparison table made it simple to grasp the distinctions between dividends and interest. A well-constructed piece, indeed!

    1. Avatar of Griffiths Wayne
      Griffiths Wayne

      I couldn’t agree more, Vicky. The structured format of the comparison table facilitated a comprehensive understanding of the topics in question.

  4. Avatar of Elsie Saunders
    Elsie Saunders

    This article effectively distinguishes dividends from interest, shedding light on their financial implications. I found it extremely enlightening.

    1. Avatar of Katie Phillips
      Katie Phillips

      Indeed, Elsie. The clarity of the content is certainly praiseworthy. I feel more confident in understanding dividends and interest after reading.

    2. Absolutely, Elsie. The article’s ability to clearly differentiate between these two concepts is commendable.

  5. The article’s detailed breakdown of dividends and interest provides a strong foundation for understanding these fundamental financial concepts. Solid elucidation.

    1. Agreed, Connor44. The comprehensive elucidation of these concepts serves as an excellent reference point for both newcomers and seasoned individuals in the financial domain.

  6. While the article presents a basic differentiation between dividends and interest, it lacks an in-depth exploration of the nuanced components of these financial elements.

    1. I concur, Gkhan. A more intricate analysis of dividends and interest would contribute to a more enriching and comprehensive comprehension of these financial aspects.

  7. The language and tone of the article made it accessible and enjoyable to read. It’s always refreshing to come across well-articulated financial content.

    1. Indeed, Cclark. The lucidity of the article’s language and structure facilitated a smooth comprehension of the intricate subject matter.

    2. Avatar of Rowena Roberts
      Rowena Roberts

      Absolutely, Cclark. The clarity and eloquence with which the content was presented showcases its high quality and value.

  8. Avatar of Stevens Mason
    Stevens Mason

    The article’s coverage of the taxation aspects of dividends and interest is notably informative. A nuanced perspective on an essential financial matter.

    1. Avatar of Olivia Thompson
      Olivia Thompson

      Indeed, Stevens Mason. The inclusion of taxation implications adds substantial depth to the article’s analysis.

  9. Very informative and well-explained comparison! I appreciate the clear distinction between dividends and interest. This article was a great read!

    1. Yes, the article provided an excellent summary of dividends and interest. The detailed comparison table was particularly useful.

  10. The article has succeeded in delivering a thorough comparison of dividends and interest. A well-structured and informative piece, indeed!

    1. Absolutely, Zach Turner. The informative nature of the content renders it a valuable reference point for those seeking clarity on dividends and interest.

    2. Indeed, Zach Turner. The article’s comprehensive coverage of dividends and interest establishes its value as an educational resource in financial literacy.

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