All You Need to Know About Annual percentage rate (APR)

Top tips for borrowing money? Don’t only look at the interest rate! If you want to compare the true costs of borrowing, you should always refer to the Annual percentage rate (APR) instead of the interest rate. Not sure what APR is? Read on to find out more about APR.

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What is APR ?

Annual percentage rate (APR) is expressed as a percentage of the loan amount and it reflects the cost of borrowing over one year. It does not only take into consideration the interest rate but also all the extra charges that come along with the loan like late charges, administrative fees, etc. Therefore, you can easily compare which lender offers a better rate.

How to calculate APR?

A simplified APR formula is as follows:  Interst Rate x 12 monthsx1.9 (fixed number)


In general, the lower the APR, the lower the borrowing costs are. For example, a personal loan with a 17.5% APR is cheaper than the one with a 20% APR.

Is Monthly Flat Rate or APR More Objective When It Comes to Taking Out a Loan?

ItemMonthly Flat Rate APR
Definition Calculate the total interest expense for an unsecured loanCalculate all costs for an unsecured loan, including interest rate and extra charges
Borrowing Cost No,Cannot reflect all the costs of borrowing Yes Reflects the cost of borrowing over one year

Example: If you are going to take out a HK$60,000 loan with interest rate of 0.5% and a loan set up fee of 2% for 24 months, you will need to pay:


Situation 1: Considering Monthly Interest


Monthly Interest=HK$60,000 x 0.5% = HK$300 


Total Interest for the entire tenor:24 x HK$300 = HK$7,200



Situation 2: Considering APR 


The APR is 13.99% in this case, according to the method specified in the guidelines set out in the Code of Banking Practice.


Monthly Interest=HK$60,000 x 0.5% = HK$300 


Total Interest for the entire tenor: 24 x HK$300 = HK$7,200 


Loan Set Up Fee:HK$60,000 x 2% = HK$1,200 


Therefore, you can only get HK$58,800 (less the loan set up fee) instead of HK$60,000. 


In the 24-month payment term, you will repay HK$2,800 monthly (See formula: HK$60,000 + HK$7,200/ 24= HK$2,800). 



If you only consider monthly interest, you will not have taken the loan set up fee into account when comparing the costs of borrowing. 



Are loans with 0% APR the Best Loans?

In general, the lower the APR, the lower the borrowing cost. However, it is important to read the terms and conditions that come with the offer. A really low APR usually only lasts for a limited period of time or it only applies to selected customers.

Disadvantages of Comparing APR

Sometimes, APR cannot accurately reflect the total cost of borrowing because the calculations are based on long-term repayment tenor. The charges are spread too thin with APR calculations for loans with short tenor.

Low APR Loans in Hong Kong

MoneySmart Exclusive
MoneySmart Exclusive

Citi Tax Season Loan

APR*
1.78%
Total Amount Payable
HK$100,744
Total Interest Payable
HK$744
Monthly Payment
HK$8,395

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Valid until 31 Jan 2023
Citi Tax Season Loan's APR is as low as 1.38%!
MoneySmart Exclusive
1-minute approval and same day disbursement
MoneySmart Exclusive
1-minute approval and same day disbursement

DBS Tax Season Loan

APR*
7.08%
Total Amount Payable
HK$101,680
Total Interest Payable
HK$1,680
Monthly Payment
HK$8,473

New customers who successfully apply and drawdown DBS Tax Season Loan via MoneySmart can get up to HK$8,000 rewards + Extra up to HK$10,000 Supermarket Cash Voucher/Apple Gift Card! Get up to a total HK$18,000 reward!

Valid until 31 Jan 2023
Citi Tax Season Loan's APR is as low as 1.33%
MoneySmart Exclusive
APR* (Inclusive of $3,000 cash rebate)
1.28%
Total Amount Payable
HK$100,960
Total Interest Payable
HK$960
Monthly Payment
HK$8,413

【MoneySmart Exclusive Offer】Up to HK$4,000 rewards upon successful application and drawdown of WeLab Bank designated personal loan via MoneySmart!
From now until 31 January 2023, customers enter referral code "NLSMRT" to successfully apply for loan and draw down the loan could win you up to HK$4,000 rewards (Including $3,000 draw down cash rebate from WeLab Bank and HK$1,000 supermarket vouchers from MoneySmart)!



*Upon your submission of the gift redemption form, you acknowledge and agree the information entered in this form may be shared to business partners for validation and that business partners may share their results back to us for fulfilment purposes in accordance with our “Privacy Policy

Valid until 31 Jan 2023
MoneySmart Exclusive
MoneySmart Exclusive

PrimeCredit Fixed Loan

APR*
1.18%
Total Amount Payable
HK$100,600
Total Interest Payable
HK$600
Monthly Payment
HK$8,383
 【MoneySmart Exclusive Offer】Up to HK$12,000 Cash Bonus will be rewarded for successful application! 
Valid until 28 Feb 2023
MoneySmart Exclusive
Income proof free for designated loan amount
MoneySmart Exclusive
Income proof free for designated loan amount

WeLend Personal Loan

The lowest APR
1.88%
Total Amount Payable
HK$102,160
Total Interest Payable
HK$2,160
Monthly Payment
HK$8,513
 Selected customers can receive up to HK$16,000 Cash Rebate upon successful draw down! 
Valid until 05 Feb 2023

FAQ

What is an APR?

Annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the cost of borrowing over a year, taking into account the interest rate and the additional charges that come along with the loan like late charges, administrative fees, etc.

What is the average APR of loans in Hong Kong?

For bank loans, the APR is usually between 1.3%-3% and for loans provided by Money Lenders , the APR is usually 4-7%.