Annual Interest Rate
by Debt Jerk
Question: I wanted to know about annual interest rates. Who’s job is it to know the rates. The numbers seem different than what is advertised. My boyfriend recently bought a TV and he just signed the papers and did not really understand the cost or rates. Renee Falls Church, Virgina
Answer: The “True Annual Interest Rate” sometimes called APR is something as a consumer you need to find out before making any purchase on credit. As the use of installment credit (using credit cards and paying minimums) has increased, a great deal of confusion has developed over interest rates. As a result, it has become extremely difficult and sometimes impossible for consumers to compare the cost to him on credit cards, credit from the bank, the credit union, the department store and other sources.
“Truth-in-lending” legislation has been updated many times since it was proposed in 1961 and there have been extensive hearings on the bill. Proponents say that the consumer “has the right to know.” Opponents (some lenders and retail establishments) argue, among other things, that it is impossible to figure accurately what the true annual interest rate would be on installment payments as they are commonly set up. There is some truth in this claim, but the consumer could be given much more exact information about interest rates than he usually is given.
As a consumer it is very important that you get yourself educated on the “True Cost” of borrowing before buying an item.