Personal Loans 101: Understanding APR

November 8, 2012
By Nadjha Johnson, America Saves Intern

The nature of traditional installment loans can be complicated and misleading. Luckily, The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF) has created a financial literacy initiative called Personal Loans 101. Personal Loans 101 educates potential borrowers, policymakers, and other interested parties on the framework of installment loans.

In today’s world, almost everyone needs access to credit. Whether it is to make a small purchase, pay for an unexpected emergency, repair the car or obtain a mortgage on your first home, everyone must have access to affordable credit.

But how do you choose the best loan to fit your individual circumstances? If you are like most Americans, you want a loan that is relatively easy to obtain and understand. You do not want to go through a lengthy, complicated and confusing process to determine what loan or credit product best meets your needs. You want an easy way to compare them. The latest brochure from AFSAEF: Understanding APR defines Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and explains how to calculate the true value of loans. The brochure includes:

  • A comparison of different loan products by finance charge and APR.
  • Rule of thumb explaining that a smaller loan or one with a longer term has a lower APR than a larger loan or one with a shorter term.
  • A monthly spending worksheet and comparison shopping sheet to help consumers understand how much they can afford and what loan is best for them.

This Kit is FREE so don't hesitate to take advantage of this helpful information.

Personal Loans 101 makes information available to under-banked Americans that will allow individuals and families to make safe, well-informed decisions about short-term loans. It is centered on the development and promotion of a set of print and online materials, produced quarterly intended to give potential borrowers and other interested parties a comprehensive understanding of personal loan options, upon which sound borrowing decisions can be made.

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