What are Debt Funds in India? -Type, Advantages, Risks

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What Are the Different Types of Debt Funds in India?

Debt Mutual Funds play a crucial role in the world of investments. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down what Debt Mutual Funds are, explore their types based on investment horizon, and understand their advantages and risks.

What are Debt Mutual Funds?

Let's begin by understanding what debt mutual funds are. Debt mutual funds are mutual funds that invest in fixed-income securities such as government bonds, corporate bonds, and treasury bills.

These funds provide investors with a fixed interest rate and are generally less risky compared to equity mutual funds.

How Does A Debt Fund Work?

Debt funds are mutual funds that buy and hold securities with varying credit ratings. The credit rating of securities indicates the potential for the issuer not to pay interest or principal as agreed upon in terms of the underlying financial instrument. A debt fund is managed by an individual who only buys credit instruments with good ratings. A higher credit score indicates that a debtor is likely to make timely interest and principal payments.

Higher-rated debt funds' investments are more stable than those in lower-rated assets. Maturity is also affected by the fund manager's investment plan and the prevailing interest rate environment. Fund managers typically invest more in long-term securities when interest rates are expected to decline. Conversely, he is likely to put his money into short-term securities during an interest rate hike.

Types of Debt Funds

The list of debt funds types in India is gigantic. They are classified primarily by the length of time until their invested instruments mature. The many kinds of debt funds are as follows:

Dynamic Bond Portfolios

These are 'dynamic' investments, as their name implies. If interest rates change, the fund manager will adjust the portfolio accordingly. Average maturities for dynamic bond funds vary because the funds can respond to interest rate calls by investing in assets with varying maturities.

Income Funds

Income funds make an interest rate prediction and invest mostly in long-term bonds. As a result, these funds are steadier than dynamic bond funds. The typical lifespan of an income fund is between five and six years.

Short-Term Debt Funds

Debt funds having a maturity of one to three years typically invest in such short-term products. For this reason, cautious investors should consider short-term funds less vulnerable to market fluctuations in interest rates. Here’s a list of examples of debt funds examples.

Liquid Funds

Funds classified as "liquid," typically invest in short-term debt instruments with 91 days or less maturity. Thus, they are practically risk-free. For the most part, liquid investments have been profitable. If you're looking for savings account alternative that offers the same convenience as a money market fund but with a higher yield, look no further. Mutual fund firms often issue special debit cards that can be used immediately to withdraw cash from liquid mutual fund accounts. Liquid funds are one of the quickest and safest types of the debt market.

Gilt Fund

Gilt funds only buy government bonds or notes, which are extremely safe investments due to their excellent ratings and little default risk and can be considered as the. Gilt funds are a good option for risk-averse fixed-income investors because governments rarely default on the loans they acquire in the form of debt instruments.

Credit Opportunity Fund

These money market funds have only been around for a short time. Credit opportunity funds are not required to invest following the maturities of debt instruments, unlike most debt funds. These investments target greater yields by betting on credit risks or buying lower-rated bonds with higher interest rates. Debt funds that invest in credit possibilities tend to take on more danger.

Fixed Maturity Plans

Often known as fixed maturity plans (FMP), closed-end debt funds have a predetermined maturity date. Aside from equities, these funds also put money into corporate and government bonds. Your investment in an FMP will be locked in for a specific period. This timeframe may be measured in months or years. Only during the initial offering period is it possible to invest. It's similar to a savings deposit in that it can produce large returns while minimizing taxes, but that is no guarantee.

Why Should You Invest in Debt Funds?

Debt funds have a lot to offer investors, especially those who have kept their money in bank deposits up until now or are just starting out.

  • Investing in a debt fund provides exposure to professional management and market returns. The best part is you can invest in any debt fund market you like investing your money in. 
  • An allocation to the top-performing debt funds in India helps add consistency to an investing portfolio while reducing risk because debt funds are safer than equity funds.
  • Debt funds are offered in various maturities and credit risk profiles, giving investors a wide range of investment alternatives. Investing in funds with a shorter duration results in more consistent and reliable income. Interest and capital gains are the two main sources of revenue for longer-duration funds.
  • Debt funds are highly liquid, meaning they can be redeemed quickly (often within one or two business days) if the investor chooses.

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Advantages and Risks of Debt Mutual Funds

Let's now explore the advantages and risks associated with Debt Mutual Funds:


  1. Stability: Debt Mutual Funds offer relatively stable returns as they primarily invest in fixed-income securities.
  2. Regular Income: These funds can generate regular income for investors.
  3. Tax Efficiency: Short-term debt funds can provide tax efficiency benefits.


  1. Credit Risk: There is a risk of default by bond issuers, which can impact the performance of Debt Mutual Funds.
  2. Interest Rate Risk: Fluctuations in interest rates can lead to changes in bond prices and affect the overall returns.
  3. Liquidity Risk: Debt Mutual Funds also carry the risk of liquidity, which refers to the ease of buying or selling fund units.

It's important to carefully assess the credit quality of the debt instruments held by the fund and understand the potential risks involved before investing. Consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and help you make informed investment decisions.

Remember, debt mutual funds are suitable for investors seeking stable returns and income generation with relatively lower risk compared to equity investments.


The Indian Debt fund market is a good place to put your money. If you're looking for a long-term investment, this offers a better return than equity. There are many types of debt mutual funds in India. The risk, returns, fee, maturity time, and tax on profits are all significant considerations when selecting the best debt fund for you. Have a joyful experience with your financial investment.

  • Is it good to invest in debt funds?

  • Are Debt funds tax-free?

  • How do debt mutual funds generate returns?

  • Can I redeem my investment in debt mutual funds before maturity?

  • Are debt mutual funds risk-free?