Understand Your APR

Make sure that you understand your Annual Percentage Rate or APR before taking out a cash advance or transferring a balance to a credit card to avoid making costly financial mistakes. Most people do not realize the significance of the fact that the APR is most often different from the interest rates that you see on debt consolidation loan, credit card or home mortgage documents. The difference is pretty simple. The APR is the rate that you pay on the money you actually receive, with the extra fees you pay calculated into the interest costs. Interest rates, on the other hand, are the rates that you pay on the total balance (with the fees included). This is why many state and federal laws now require disclosure of the annual percentage rate, in addition to the interest rate charged be fully disclosed on home loans and other financing. When considering any loan or credit offering, always be sure to look at the APR first. It is will what you will be paying for what you truly receive.

Please also note: Credit cards can have up to three different APR’s: One for cash advances, another for credit card balance transfers and yet another for new purchases! By comparing the APR for each of your credit cards before taking out a cash advance, or by transferring a large credit balance from one card to another, will help you avoid making an already bad situation even worse!

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