What is APR and how Does It Impact My Mortgage?

If you’ve ever gone shopping for a home mortgage or refinance you’ve probably seen an interest rate advertised as, for instance, “Rate: 2.65%; APR: 2.7%.” The annual percentage rate (APR) represents the average annual finance charge you’ll be paying on the loan when including all the fees and costs associated with getting that loan. This can include things like closing costs, broker fees and discount points (a lower interest rate charged in exchange for an additional upfront fee). The APR is usually higher than the interest rate. The APR is a valuable number to know so you can compare directly the total costs of loans that might have widely varying terms. Here is an example of how this works.

Let’s say you want to borrow $200,000 to finance your home purchase. The closing costs, broker fees, etc. come to another $5,000. So, you are actually borrowing $205,000. The original interest rate was 5 percent, meaning an annual interest payment of $10,000. But including the additional $5,000 will yield an annual interest payment of $10,250 (5 percent of $205,000). Dividing the $10,250 by $200,000 will show an APR of 5.125%. If you’re comparing two mortgage loans, generally the one with the lower APR is the better deal as it means that the lender has lower upfront fees than the other lender.

You also encounter APR on credit cards. This is the cost associated with the credit card company financing your financial activities. Lenders may charge one APR for purchases, another for cash advances and a third for balance transfers. How you plan to use your credit card will determine which APR you should pay the most attention to. If you pay off your balance each month, you won’t incur any APR charges for purchases, though you still may for balance transfers and cash advances. Sometimes credit cards will offer introductory specials with 0 percent APR, so you’ll want to investigate those as well.

Published by AmandaMccarty

I have been in the real estate business in the Southwest Florida market for many successful years and will be here for many more! This longevity and confidence comes from my real estate services to a great many buyers and sellers, and their recommendations to others that result in repeat and referral business that keeps me productive and successful. As a full service Fort Myers real estate professional, I work with buyers, sellers and investors in real estate transactions spanning all of the price ranges and property types. Residential Single Family – My residential single family services connect buyers with sellers every day, and I do it with professionalism and a total dedication to my clients. This property type is the majority of my market transactions, but by far not the only one in which I have expertise. Condominiums – While condominiums are residential, they’re a very different market focus, and I am an expert in evaluating condos and helping buyers and sellers to cope with the special financing and homeowner concerns for this property type. Multi–family – Investors are great clients for me. Multi–family properties are a very unique market. The detailed return on investment and valuation calculations investors need to evaluate properties for rental are second nature to me. Commercial – Whether it’s a shopping mall, a small office building or a restaurant space, I'm your commercial property specialist. Contact me for your commercial property needs in the Fort Myers real estate markets. Vacant Land – Land is a very special property class. It’s relatively easy to show a gourmet cook a wonderful commercial kitchen in a home and see their eyes light up. It’s more of a challenge to help a buyer or seller to realize the potential in a piece of land. I'm the best at it in the Fort Myers real estate markets. Call me at 239-682-5442 or email me to start a discussion of your needs. Or, fill out this quick form and tell me about your property interests and an overview of your needs.

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