Effective Annual Interest Rate: Definition, Formula, and Example

The higher the interest rate—and to a lesser extent, the smaller the compounding periods—the greater the difference between the APR and APY. The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) of 1968 mandates that lenders disclose the APR they charge to borrowers. Credit card companies are allowed to advertise interest rates on a monthly basis, but they must clearly report the APR to customers before they sign an agreement. The effective annual interest rate is an important tool that allows the evaluation of the true return on an investment or true interest rate on a loan.

  • When interest compounds—interest accrues on the previously earned interest—the total interest amount can increase.
  • This interest rate does not take the effect of compound interest into account.
  • Conversely, if someone is looking at the APR on a savings account, it doesn’t illustrate the full impact of interest earned over time.
  • If this is annualized, with 52 seven-day periods in a year, the stated rate is 364%!

However, the more frequently the interest compounds, the higher the effective annual interest rate and the larger the difference between the two. The nominal interest rate is sometimes called the stated interest rate because it’s the interest rate that’s stated on the account. But your effective annual interest rate is 5.116% because that reflects how much interest you actually earned over the year. You also have to consider whether the interest compounds and, if it does, how frequently it compounds. When you include the effects of compounding, you can calculate the effective annual interest rate. If you only carry a balance on your credit card for one month’s period, you will be charged the equivalent yearly rate of 22.9%.


Stated Annual vs. Effective Annual Return: What’s the Difference?

It’s sometimes called the EAIR, annual equivalent rate (AER), the effective annual rate (EAR) or the effective interest rate (EIR). The purpose of the effective annual interest rate is to make interest rates comparable regardless of their compounding periods. Investors, savers, or borrowers can take nominal rates with different compounding periods (i.e. one that compounds weekly, one that compounds monthly) to see which will be most beneficial to them. Investors and borrowers should also be aware of the effective interest rate, which takes the concept of compounding into account. For example, a loan with a stated interest rate of 30%, compounded monthly, would have an effective annual interest rate of 34.48%.

  • For example, for a deposit at a stated rate of 10% compounded monthly, the effective annual interest rate would be 10.47%.
  • At the point when banks charge interest, the stated interest rate is frequently utilized rather than the effective annual interest rate to cause consumers to accept that they are paying a lower interest rate.
  • When dealing with investments, you may see the stated annual interest rate referred to as a coupon rate or face interest rate.
  • Suppose the stated annual interest rate on a savings account is 10%, and you put $1,000 into this savings account.

The daily periodic rate, on the other hand, is the interest charged on a loan’s balance on a daily basis—the APR divided by 365. Lenders and credit card providers are allowed to represent APR on a monthly basis, though, as long as the full 12-month APR is listed straight line depreciation definition somewhere before the agreement is signed. The effective annual interest rate allows you to determine the true return on investment (ROI). It is better for savers/investors to have a higher EAR, though it is worse for borrowers to have a higher EAR.

Credits & Deductions

Several economic stipulations can be derived from this formula, which lenders, borrowers, and investors may utilize to cultivate more informed financial decisions. Even if the nominal rate is positive, inflation can erode purchasing power so far that money loses its value when held onto. If you do use APR to compare mortgage offers, make sure you’re comparing offers for the exact same type of mortgage. Don’t compare the APR on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage to the APR on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, or to the APR on a 5/1 ARM, because the comparison won’t tell you anything. Federal Regulation Z, the Truth in Lending Act, requires lenders to disclose a loan’s APR when they advertise its interest rate.

Real Interest Rate

Conversely, if someone is looking at the APR on a savings account, it doesn’t illustrate the full impact of interest earned over time. The first offers you 7.24% compounded quarterly while the second offers you a lower rate of 7.18% but compounds interest weekly. The primary difference between the effective annual interest rate and a nominal interest rate is the compounding periods. The nominal interest rate is the stated interest rate that does not take into account the effects of compounding interest (or inflation). For this reason, it’s sometimes also called the “quoted” or “advertised” interest rate.

4 Stated versus Effective Rates

There are 13 four-week periods in a year, so even though the interest rate appears to be small, it amounts to 26% when annualized! We assumed no compounding to keep the illustration simple, but we further assume that you are not using this advance throughout the year. If you were, then periodic compounding would drive the effective rate even higher, to just over 29.3%. Let’s remain with our example of a credit card statement that indicates an interest rate of 1.5% per month on unpaid balances.

Interest Rates: Different Types and What They Mean to Borrowers

Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. Even if compounding occurs an infinite number of times—not just every second or microsecond, but continuously—the limit of compounding is reached. The interest rates announced today are computed from the federal short-term rate determined during January 2022 to take effect February 1, 2022, based on daily compounding.

Typically, when a bank quotes you an interest rate, it’s quoting the annual percentage rate (APR). In fact, banks must quote the APR as mandated in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). APR, or annual percentage rate, is a calculation that includes both a loan’s interest rate and a loan’s finance charges, expressed as an annual cost over the life of the loan.

EAR quotes are often not suitable for short-term investments as there are fewer compounding periods. More often, EAR is used for long-term investments as the impact of compounding may be significant. This approach may limit the vehicles in which EAR is calculated or communicated on. This is normally a higher interest rate due to the compounding interest that’s part of its calculation. If the interest rate is compounded, this means that the borrower owes not just the interest rate on the original debt, but also on any accrued interest. This situation favors the lender, who can earn substantially more than the base interest rate by forcing a borrower to accept frequent compounding, such as every month or quarter.


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