A cash sweep is the use of a borrower’s excess free cash flow to pay down a loan’s principal balance or build a reserve account for the benefit of the lender. Commonly used in situations where a borrower’s cash flow is uncertain or volatile, a lender may implement a cash sweep provision to protect itself from the financial risk that may occur in years where a borrower’s cash flow may not be sufficient enough to satisfy its financial obligations to the lender.
A cash sweep is commonly activated in scenarios where a borrower fails to meet certain financial requirements or loan covenants as laid out in the loan terms. These may include failure to meet a minimum debt service coverage ratio, leverage ratio, or debt to equity ratio.
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