What is an Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?

Annual Percentage Rate APR
What is an Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?

It is a finance charge expressed as an annual rate. The term annual percentage rate of charge (APR), corresponding sometimes to a nominal APR and sometimes to an effective APR (EAPR), is the interest rate for a whole year (annualized), rather than just a monthly fee/rate, as applied on a loan or mortgage loan. In some countries or legal jurisdictions, those terms have formal, legal definitions, however in the United States:

  • The simple-interest rate is the nominal APR (for a year).
  • The effective APR is the fee+compound interest rate (calculated across a year).

How the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Works

An interest rate is a percentage rate stated as an annual percentage rate. It works out what proportion of the principle you’ll pay each year by factoring in items like monthly payments. APR is also the yearly rate of interest paid on investments, excluding interest compounded over the course of the year.

The annual percentage rate (APR) is derived by multiplying the periodic interest rate by the number of periods in a year. It makes no mention of how many times the rate is applied to the balance.

Definition of Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 

The Truth in Lending Act (which is enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Regulation Z of the Act) governs the computation and disclosure of APR in the United States. In the United States, the annual percentage rate (APR) is calculated by multiplying the periodic (for example, monthly) interest rate by the number of compounding periods in a year (also known as the nominal interest rate); however, because the APR must include certain non-interest charges and fees, it necessitates a more detailed calculation. Within three days of applying for a mortgage, the APR must be revealed to the borrower. The APR is found on the truth in lending disclosure statement, which also includes an amortization schedule, and is normally mailed to the borrower.

Disadvantages of Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The annual percentage rate (APR) isn’t necessarily a true indication of the entire cost of borrowing. In fact, it’s possible that it understates the true cost of a loan. Because the computations are based on long-term repayment schedules, this is the case. APR calculations spread charges and fees excessively thinly for loans that are repaid faster or have shorter payback periods. The average yearly impact of mortgage closing expenses, for example, is substantially lower when such charges are assumed to be spread over 30 years rather than seven to ten years.

What Is a Good APR?

What constitutes a “good” APR will be determined by factors such as market competition, the central bank’s prime interest rate, and the borrower’s credit score. Companies in competitive industries will occasionally offer very low APRs on their loans when prime rates are low.

Although these low rates may appear appealing, clients should double-check whether they are permanent or just introductory rates that will revert to a higher APR once a certain period has passed. Furthermore, reduced APRs may be limited to customers with really good credit scores.

APR Mortgage calculator

To calculate APR use our Georgia Mortgage Calculators to simplify the work. Often Lenders employ a common calculation. Its purpose is to assist borrowers in comparing various loan possibilities. A loan with a lower reported interest rate, for example, may be a poor bargain if the costs are excessive. Similarly, a loan with a higher advertised rate but low fees could be a great deal. These expenses are factored into the annual percentage rate (APR). Then you may compare loans with various fees, rates, and terms.


For more information on Annual Percentage Rates, contact the mortgage experts at Mortgage Rates Today!

Last Updated on 05/25/2022 by Mark Verhoeven

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