APR, which stands for annual percentage rate, is a little trickier. It often includes fees charged in connection with the loan and is designed to reflect the total cost of the loan over time . With respect to credit cards, which operate as short-term loans, it’s used to calculate the interest that accumulates daily.
When most people shop for financial products, all they focus on is the listed interest rate. Human eyes instinctively dismiss the fine print, which usually includes the terms apr (annual percentage.
The interest rate on a loan is the amount you pay in interest on your principal balance, expressed on an annual basis. A mortgage at 4.5 percent, for instance, means you pay 4.5 percent interest per year on your mortgage balance.
The two rates on your car loan paperwork are there to make it easier to understand your loan. One of your rates (the lower of your two) is simply your interest rate and the other is your APR, or annual percentage rate. Each rate tells you a different part of the same story. Let’s look at what each rate stands for and how you can compare them.
APR (or annual percentage rate) is the higher of the two rates and reflects your total cost of financing your vehicle per year including fees and interest accrued to the day of your first payment (APRs are useful for comparing loan offers from different lenders because they reflect the total cost of financing)
While an annual percentage rate accounts for the various costs of getting a mortgage, an interest rate is simply the amount a lender charges you to finance the purchase of your home. It’s expressed as a percentage of your loan amount but it doesn’t include any of the fees and points that are part of an APR calculation.
APR, on the other hand, gives you a more comprehensive look at how much you’ll pay when you borrow money for a loan by factoring in these costs and expressing the total price of borrowing money in terms of an interest rate. When it comes to APR vs. interest rate, the APR more accurately represents the true cost of the loan.
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