APR vs. Interest Rate

APR and Interest Rate – what do these mean?

Taking out a loan is a good way to make a necessary purchase that you could otherwise not afford. In the case of buying a car, a car loan or some sort of refinancing always comes in handy.

It’s pertinent that one has all the necessary information before they take such financial actions. Getting a loan is especially convenient when there’s minimal risk of losing out, due to certain reasons, ignorance especially.

A great way to ensure you’re fully informed and ready to make such decisions is to understand the differences between an APR and Interest Rate.


An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of a loan to a borrower which includes charges as fees. Fees included here are closing cost, mortgage insurance, loan origination fees, discount points, loan-processing fee, and several other fees.

The APR is expressed as a percentage and it applies to credit cards, investment, cars, and mortgages.

Interest Rate

A borrower is charged a percentage of the total amount borrowed. An interest rate is charged annually and also expressed as a percentage.

Similar to the APR, credit cards and other kinds of loan investments are covered here. However, unlike the APR, there is no fee attached to the Interest Rate.

APR vs. Interest Rate

When it comes to differentiating between an APR and Interest Rate, it’s a bit dicey as they have subtle differences.

  • The Interest Rate is the cost of borrowing the principal loan amount while the APR is also the cost of borrowing the loan including other fees.
  • The APR is considered more than the Interest Rate because it informs one of varied costs (fees) while the Interest
  • Rate is mainly the loan’s cost.
    he Interest Rate is often much less than the APR when the other associating costs of borrowing are considered.

Relevance of APRs and Interest Rates on car loans

Borrowing money will cost you. To know the actual cost, APR and Interest rates are good determiners.

When you run both numbers on loan offers by lenders, it’s easy to understand how your financial condition is settled. The same goes for an auto loan.

APR on an auto loan

Before taking out a car loan, figure out the best option for financing it. The APR on a car is the annual cost payment to finance a vehicle, as well as fees, expressed as a percentage.

APRs vary by lenders, therefore, lenders are expected to disclose written APR offers including the terms of line of credit or terms of the loan before finalizing on one.

Until you’ve shopped around and compared APR loans and terms from other lenders, you may need to hold out on picking a loan.

Here’s what you need to know about APRs on car loans –

  • {“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“3f5c6330-a264-47b9-8031-dfb89d91d5c5″],”srcRootClientId”:””}It runs annually.
  • The amount borrowed is expressed in the dollar amount.
  • Its cost rate and varied fees are expressed in the dollar amount as well.
  • It’s the total payment to make if you go ahead with the lender’s charge.

Lower APR auto loan

To get a lower APR charge on your new car loan, the following should guide you –

  • A good way to lower your APR is to make the lender take less risk on you. You can do this by having a good credit score or putting more money down on the loan.
  • While a lender can give you their charge, it’s not fixed. APRs are negotiable. Look for other lenders who will provide you with other options.
  • Car pricing determines the final APR. You wouldn’t have to borrow more if the cost of the car is lower. Negotiate the cost of the car with the dealer.
  • Repaying the loan before the agreed time will significantly lower the APR. Perhaps, consider increasing monthly payment.
  • Pairing with a partner helps strengthen the credit application. Some lenders may have room for that. Request the possibility of having a co-borrower.

Interest Rate on Auto Loans

To reiterate, Interest Rates are annual payments that don’t involve extra fees such as the cost of initiating a loan. The interest Rate on your potential car loans depends on the strength of your credit.

Interest Rates are rather inconsistent. You’d have to consider this as it could rise or fall depending on certain economic factors such as inflation.

Currently, this rate is pegged at 4.17% for 60 months on new car loans.

The same car for a 48-month loan period has an interest rate of 4.16%.

36 months on a used car has an Interest rate of 4.47%. (Bankrate Figures).

Lower Interest Rate Cost

Fortunately, it’s possible to lower the interest rate on your auto loans. Below are a few guides to follow –

  • Tidy up your credit report. Ensure it is devoid of errors. More importantly, make sure your credit score is great. Otherwise, find someone with a better credit score to act as a co-signer.
  • Car pricing also comes into play here. Find a cheaper dealer so you don’t need to take out a big loan. The smaller the loan amount, the lower the Interest rate will likely be.
  • Find a cheaper lender as well. But just because they cost less than others doesn’t mean you should not negotiate. Always negotiate for a lower rate. You might get lucky.

Ultimately, an uninformed borrower might make mistakes that can put a real damper on their finances. It doesn’t help that APRs and Interest Rates may be unclear to a borrower.

However, a proper understanding is important to make the right financial decision. The post above should help with that.

If you’re in the market for a new car, prepare and make the right decision for your new car financing. A great way to go is to reach out to Prieto Automotive.

Our service has partnered with the right platforms to provide the best financing solutions for you. With us, there’s something for everyone and we’ll be sure to help you figure out your car loan situation.

Contact Prieto Automotive for more information.


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