Find out about APR. What APR means  and why it differs from the interest rateThe basicsOK, to start with, APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. The APR rate isn't just the interest rate applied to a loan; but also includes any fees and charges too. The APR for credit always has to be shown, with the idea that you can easily compare the cost to you of one loan or credit against another.Tell me moreRight then, let's look at a standard loan. We'll make a few assumptions for this example. First of all we'll assume the loan is for 1 year. We'll also assume the interest rate on the loan is 10% (not necessarily the APR  we'll come back to that...). Now let's say we want to borrow £1,000, and there's no other fees. The total amount you pay is £1,100 (which is the £1,000 loan + 10% interest). In this case the APR is 10%; the same as the interest rate.OK so far? Now let's add a fee in. The figures will stay the same as before: £1,000 loan. 10% interest rate. One year repayment period. The total interest payable is £100, as before (which is £1,000 x 10%). But on top of this you've got a £100 "setup fee". So now we're paying back £200 in charges (£100 in interest and £100 in setup fees). The APR would be worked out as the loan amount, divided by the total interest payable plus the fees. Let me show the example: (£1,000 loan) / (£100 interest + £100 charges) = 0.20 For completeness, we'll multiply the answer by 100: 0.20 x 100  20% So the APR is 20%. While the interest rate is 10%. This is why a cheaper interest rate isn't always a cheaper loan! The last bitHopefully this has cleared things up a little. APRs get a tad more confusing for short term, or "pay day" loans  but we'll cover that in a later instalment.
