   # What’s the Difference Between Interest Rate and APR?

Interest rate and APR, or annual percentage rate, are two important terms that are commonly used in the world of finance and credit. While they are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two different things. Understanding the difference between interest rate and APR can be important for consumers who are considering taking out a loan or other type of credit.

Interest rate is the amount of money that a borrower must pay to a lender in order to borrow money. The interest rate is typically expressed as a percentage of the amount of money that is borrowed. For example, if a borrower takes out a loan for \$100 with an interest rate of 10%, the borrower will have to pay the lender \$10 in interest over the life of the loan.

APR, on the other hand, is the annual percentage rate of interest that is charged on a loan. The APR is a broader measure of the cost of borrowing money, and it takes into account not only the interest rate, but also any additional fees and charges that the borrower must pay. For example, if a lender charges a origination fee, a prepayment penalty, or other fees in addition to the interest rate, the APR will be higher than the interest rate.

One key difference between interest rate and APR is that interest rate is a fixed amount, while APR can change over time. The interest rate on a loan is typically set at the time that the loan is taken out, and it will remain the same for the life of the loan. On the other hand, the APR on a loan can change over time, depending on the terms of the loan and the market conditions.

Another important difference between interest rate and APR is that interest rate is only applied to the principal amount of the loan, while APR is applied to the entire amount of the loan. For example, if a borrower takes out a loan for \$100 with an interest rate of 10%, the borrower will only have to pay interest on the \$100 that was borrowed. However, if the lender charges a fee of \$10 in addition to the interest rate, the APR on the loan would be higher than the interest rate, because the fee would be included in the calculation of the APR.

In conclusion, interest rate and APR are two important terms that are commonly used in the world of finance and credit. While they are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two different things. Interest rate is the amount of money that a borrower must pay to a lender in order to borrow money, while APR is the annual percentage rate of interest that is charged on a loan. Understanding the difference between interest rate and APR can be important for consumers who are considering taking out a loan or other type of credit.