Top APR Vs APY Differences: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Published on: 5 Apr 2024
Top APR Vs APY Differences: A Comprehensive Guide

The APR vs APY comparison is quite interesting as it focuses on interest calculations for two varied instruments. While the APY focuses on the gains you earn as an investor, the APR relates to the cost of availing credit. However, this isn’t the only difference between APR and APY and it is important to know all you can to make informed decisions. 

Read on for insights to compare the annual percentage yield vs the annual percentage rate. 

What is the APR?

APR commonly known as Annual Percentage Rate, dictates the cost of borrowing. It mainly applies when you avail of credit and it provides a more holistic overview of the amount you owe. 

This is because the APR includes all associated charges and fees applicable to the instrument. As such, you get a clearer picture of the total cost, which isn’t possible if you only assess the interest rate. Typically, the APR will include: 

  • Administrative fees
  • Documentation charges
  • Processing fees
  • Verification charges

This list isn’t exhaustive but highlights a few charges you incur when you opt for a loan. It is also important to note that there are two types of APRs based on the interest rate. 

  1. Variable APR: Here, the interest rate fluctuates based on macroeconomic factors and so the APR may be set within a range.
  2. Fixed APR: Here, the interest rate is set right from the start and the APR represents the actual cost of the credit you avail. 

Also Read: A Guide to Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

What is the APY?

APY is the abbreviation for ‘Annual Percentage Yield’ and it dictates the actual rate at which your money grows in the given timeframe. This is where the difference between APR and APY is most apparent, but like the APR, the APY offers a clearer representation. 

This is because the APY accounts for interest compounding, which affects the total earnings. For instance, suppose the interest rate you get is set at 8% for an investment of two years and the compounding frequency is quarterly. Then, the APY works out to 8.24%. 

Do note that this is only applicable to investment instruments that have a compounding frequency. For simple interest instruments, the APY and the interest rate are identical. 

Like the APR, the APY also has two types. 

  1. Variable APY: Here, the interest rates may change due to external factors and so the APY will fluctuate.
  2. Fixed APY: Here, the interest rate and the compounding frequency do not change and will remain the same until maturity. 

Annual Percentage Yield vs Annual Percentage Rate: Key Differences

The following table highlights the main differences between APR and APY. 

ApplicabilityLoans and revolving credit instrumentsInvestments 
Interest calculationDoes not account for interest compounding Accounts for interest compounding 
Formula((Interest + Fees / Loan amount) / Number of days in loan term)) x 365 x 100 (1 + r/n)n – 1
Here, r= interest raten= compounding frequency
LimitationsDoesn’t accurately represent the true cost of availing credit but it is a viable estimate to considerDoesn’t account for the risks and any other external factors that can affect interest earnings

Also Read: How to Manage Your Credit Card APR

APR vs APY: When Do the Differences Matter?

On comparing the annual percentage yield vs annual percentage rate differences, it is clear that these serve two very different purposes. The differences only matter when assessing the viability of loans and investment instruments. 

This is because: 

  • APY highlights the interest you earn from an investment
  • APR highlights the cost of borrowing with the interest rate as one of the contributing factors 

Remember, the APR and APY do not apply to the same instruments. You never have to choose between the two. As such, comparing the APR vs APY only helps when looking to understand more about the terms. 

With answers to popular questions such as, ‘What is APR?’, ‘What is APY?’ and others, you can make better decisions when investing or borrowing. When it comes to the latter, always choose lenders that focus on transparency and affordability. At Fibe, you can get Instant Personal Loan of up to ₹5 lakhs and without worrying about any hidden charges. 

What’s more, you enjoy a completely digital journey alongside a flexible repayment experience. The funds you get have no end-use restrictions and you can foreclose the loan at NIL extra charges too. Download our Personal Loan App or visit the website and get started today!  

FAQs About the Difference Between APR and APY

Are APY and APR the same?

No. A key difference between APR and APY is that they are used for two different purposes. APR represents the true cost of borrowing and APY represents the interest you can earn from investments. 

How do you calculate APR and APY?

You can calculate both the APR and APY using digital calculators or by using their respective formulae, which are: 

APR= ((Interest + Fees / Loan amount) / Number of days in loan term)) x 365 x 100 

APY= (1 + r/n)n – 1, where ‘r’ is the interest rate and ‘n’ is the compounding frequency

Is APR better than APY?

On comparing the APR vs APY, it is clear that the APR is better for assessing loans and credit instruments. On the other hand, the APY is better for investments because it accounts for interest compounding.


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