What does current portion of long term debt mean?

Definition of Current Portion of Long-Term Debt

The current portion of long-term debt is the amount of principal that will be due within one year of the date of the balance sheet. This amount is reported on the balance sheet as one of the company's current liabilities. (A company in an industry where the operating cycle is longer than one year, will report the amount of principal due within the length of the operating cycle as a current liability.)

Example of Current Portion of Long Term Debt

Let's assume that a company has just borrowed $100,000 and signed a note requiring monthly payments of principal and interest for 48 months. Let's also assume that the loan repayment schedule shows that the monthly principal payments for the 12 months after the date of the balance sheet add up to $18,000. The current liability section of the balance sheet will report Current portion of long term debt of $18,000. The remaining amount of principal due at the balance sheet date will be reported as a noncurrent or long-term liability.