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Finance for Everyone: Debt (Coursera)

In Debt, we take on one of the most challenging financial questions that remains unresolved: How much to borrow? We start by demonstrating why using debt has always been and continues to be a great temptation, particularly when borrowing costs are historically low.

We identify conditions for selecting the optimal amount of debt for a corporation looking to maximize its value. You’ll become fluent in related concepts like norms and benchmarks. You will explore these and other factors that influence debt for individuals and for public sector organizations -including governments, who are the largest consumers of debt. Like pollution, debt creates systemic risks even for the people and organizations that don’t create it. This course discusses the imperative of limiting and reducing debt and the costs to all of us if we don’t. We build on case based learning giving you opportunities to interpret, uncover and acquire financial information that is often hidden or missing. We also summarize important threads from previous courses to give you a deep and cohesive understanding of when debt works for you and when it becomes your worst enemy.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1. Explain ways in which debt can be useful or detrimental to the individual, the company, and the country.

2. Relate important financial concepts and issues to experiences in your daily life or the real world.

3. Perform financial calculations with accuracy.

4. Build confidence in your ability to manage debt.

5. Engage in research in order to increase your knowledge of particular financial issues/scenarios.

6. Engage with news, issues, and communities that matters to you, inclusive of concepts of finance and debt.

7. Assess finance issues (ex. the debt position of a given entity) with confidence.

8. Analyze how financial concepts are applied by organizations.

Course 4 of 5 in the Finance for Everyone Specialization.