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What’s the Difference Between Interest Rate and APR?

When navigating the world of home loans, terms like “interest rate” and “APR” can be confusing for many Kansas City home buyers. However, grasping the difference between these two crucial aspects of a mortgage can save thousands of dollars annually. As reputable Kansas City Mortgage Lenders, we are here to define both terms and empower you to make informed decisions for your future.

Interest Rate and APR Defined:

Interest rates and APR are not synonymous; they represent distinct elements that significantly impact your mortgage.

  1. Interest Rate:
    The interest rate is the percentage that home buyers pay annually to borrow the mortgage amount. It can either be fixed or variable. A fixed interest rate remains constant throughout the loan’s duration, providing stability but may have higher initial payments. On the other hand, variable interest rates, also known as adjustable rates, start with lower initial payments during a fixed-rate period, but they can fluctuate afterward, potentially leading to higher payments.
  2. Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
    APR provides a comprehensive view of the total cost of your mortgage over its lifespan. It not only includes the interest rate but also encompasses other factors such as broker fees, closing costs, and discounts. The APR is expressed as a percentage, enabling home buyers to understand the true scope of expenses involved in their mortgage.

Pros and Cons of Fixed and Variable Interest Rates:

Both fixed and variable interest rates have their merits and drawbacks. Fixed-rate mortgages offer predictability and consistency, but monthly payments can be higher. Variable rate mortgages provide lower initial payments, but they may become burdensome as rates fluctuate.

Understanding APR’s Limitations:

While APR offers a more comprehensive picture of mortgage costs, it also comes with some limitations. Different lenders may calculate APR differently, leading to discrepancies in percentages. Additionally, APR assumes that borrowers will keep the loan for its entire life-cycle, potentially creating challenges if selling or refinancing the home in the future.

Leveraging Interest Rates and APR to Your Advantage:

Having a clear understanding of interest rates and APR empowers you to make smarter financial decisions. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, a low APR loan may be beneficial. However, if your future plans are uncertain, opting for a higher rate and APR might result in lower overall costs.


As you embark on your journey to homeownership in Kansas City, comprehending the difference between interest rates and APR is essential. Armed with this knowledge, you can make well-informed choices, secure the right mortgage, and plan for your financial future accordingly. At Metropolitan Mortgage, we have been assisting Kansas and Missouri residents in purchasing their dream homes since 1997. With our expertise and a variety of home loan options, take the first step toward your Mortgage Pre-Approval and find the home loan that best suits your needs.

Rick Woodruff
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