Interest is a crucial part of any loan, and you’ll want to understand it to make smart financial decisions. But how do you calculate your interest rate? It’s not as hard as you think! In fact, it can be broken down into straightforward steps that anyone can follow.

Calculating Your Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

APR is the total cost of borrowing, consisting of interest and fees. When you take out a loan, the lender will quote you an annual percentage rate that reflects how much it will cost you to borrow money. This number can be confusing because it doesn’t tell you whether or not you’ll be paying your balance off in full at the end of each month—it simply tells you what it would cost if your payments were spread out over 12 months rather than paid back in full at once.

Calculating Interest on a Car Loan
You can use the same equation to figure out your personal loan interest rates.

In general, the APR will be higher than your interest rate. That’s because it includes other costs associated with lending money, like processing fees and insurance for the lender. It also shows what kind of risk you pose as a borrower—a lower-risk borrower will have a lower APR than those who are higher risk (more information here).

The difference between an APR and an interest rate is important to understand if you want to compare loans or shop around for better deals. Generally speaking, looking at APRs rather than interest rates will give you a more correct picture of how much money you’ll owe over time since it accounts for all costs associated with borrowing funds (like processing fees).

Calculating Interest on a Mortgage

When you compare mortgage interest rates, the quoted rate may not be the same as your APR. The reason is that your APR will depend on several factors. For example, it depends on the amount of money you borrow and how much time you take to pay off the loan. Another factor is whether there’s a prepayment penalty and how often you can make payments or skip payments without incurring fees or penalties for early repayment.

However, most mortgages are quoted as an annual percentage rate (APR). This means that if you borrow $100,000 over 30 years with an interest rate of 3%, this would cost you $71,857 in total (3% x 1 year x 30 years = 9%).

Calculating Interest on an Unsecured Loan

According to financial planners like Lantern by SoFi say, “Unsecured personal loans are lending options that don’t ask the borrower to put up collateral.” First, let’s get a handle on what interest is. Interest is the amount you pay to borrow money. It is expressed as a percentage of the principal and calculated on a daily, monthly or annual basis. The interest rate depends upon:

  • The type of loan (secured or unsecured)
  • The lender’s reputation and track record
  • Your credit score (good or bad)

Calculating interest rates is one of the most basic functions in finance. The ability to accurately calculate interest rates is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to understand how loans work and make good decisions about their own finances.