What is APR?

Annual percentage rate (APR) is the official rate used to help you understand the price of borrowing.

It takes into account the interest rate and more charges of a credit offer.


All lenders have to tell you what their Annual percentage rate is before you sign a credit agreement.


How does APR work?

The annual percentage rate (APR) kicks in when you carry a balance on a loan and credit card.

While you’ll pay interest on some loan products, you may avoid APR interest if you utilize credit cards wisely. If you pay off your statement balance on a monthly basis, then credit card APR would not matter. That is because there will not be any need to calculate and pay interest. Once you carry a balance on your credit card, however, the annual percentage rate (APR) kicks in.

The APR starts out as a United States Prime Rate, which is an index used to set variable interest rates. The bank connected to that loan and credit card adds a margin to the United States Prime Rate. The APR is the total of these 2 numbers. Banks use a formula that includes every day and monthly periodic interest. The formula determines how much interest you pay on an outstanding balance.

Most accounts have more than one APR, every with their own rate and calculation.

Types of APR

There are APRs that are based on how you use the credit card. When you choose a credit card, it is a good idea to think about these rates in addition to the credit needs.

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Purchase APR

The rate applied to credit card purchases.

Cash advance APR

The price of borrowing cash from your credit card tends to be high. There can be a different APR for checks and certain kinds of cash advances. No grace periods.

Penalty APR

The high APR. It can be applied to certain balances when you violate the card terms as well as conditions like failing to make payments on time.


Introductory APR

(or promotional APR) Features a low APR for a limited time period. It may apply to particular transactions and balance transfers, cash advances, and any combination.


Balance transfer APR

It is the interest rate applied to balance transfers and can be equal to and greater than the purchase APR.


Why is APR important?

APR is essential because it prevents lenders from hiding any more prices, ensures you get a true representation of borrowing, and lets fair comparisons between lenders when considering a product. You may be assured that you’re getting yourself a great deal, and it makes the whole procedure a lot simpler.


What can affect your APR?

Lenders utilize data from your credit file to get a full image of your current borrowing or repayment history. If you have missed repayments on any past lending, including credit cards and mobile phone contracts, they’ll assume that lending to you carries great risks; this may affect the rate of interest offered.


Why APR matters

The amount of annual percentage rate (APR) determines how expensive your loan and credit card buying will be as you pay for it over time. The worse your credit is, the high your APR can be meaning the more money you can owe over time. There’s a difference in application or calculation to consider before taking out a loan and getting a credit card.

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When can you encounter APR?

You will probably encounter APRs at various points in your life. You will experience APRs when dealing with credit. Several kinds of credit products, like car loans and mortgages, can have one APR you have to pay attention to, but other kinds of debt can have multiple APRs. When you receive a credit, the card provides in the mail, they can list many different APRs. For instance, you can see a purchase APR listed in the card’s terms or conditions, but you can see a balance transfer APR, penalty APR and cash advance APR. Whenever you take out any kind of debt, ensure to find out the different kinds of APRs you can be charged and what triggers everyone. Some of the time, it is pretty straightforward. If you need help, ask the lender to explain when every APR applies.

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Having a good idea of what APR is may be particularly helpful when you are making a huge purchase and getting a credit card. You can use this info to make more informed decisions, particularly when comparing multiple loan options. It is important to remember, while a low-interest rate can be appealing, the APR on the loan can give you a good idea of what you will pay for the loan overall.


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