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What is APRC in Mortgages? Types, Benefits and Calculation

What is APRC in Mortgages? Types, Benefits and Calculation

If you’re hoping to purchase a property soon and have started researching, you will likely keep seeing the abbreviation “APRC”. This will be on almost every web page, document, and leaflet you read concerning taking out a loan to buy a home.

To ensure you make the best possible decision when investing in a property, it’s essential that you fully understand what this stands for, what it means, and how it can affect the overall cost of your home.

What does APRC stand for and what is its meaning?

APRC stands for Annual Percentage Rate of Charge. It’s a crucial tool for understanding the complete cost of a loan, specifically mortgages in the UK, over its entire term. It goes beyond the advertised interest rate by factoring in all associated fees.

APRC tells you:

  • Total annual cost of your loan: It combines the interest rate with all applicable fees like valuation, broker, arrangement, legal, product, and early repayment charges.
  • True comparison tool: By including all costs, APRC allows you to accurately compare different mortgages and identify the most affordable option, even with varying interest rates.
  • Standardized and mandatory: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) dictates a standard calculation method, ensuring consistency and making comparisons easier.

What is an example of an APRC?

Mortgage A offers a lower headline interest rate but high fees, resulting in an APRC of 5.5%. Mortgage B has a slightly higher interest rate but minimal fees, leading to an APRC of 5.2%. Though Mortgage A has a seemingly lower interest rate, the total cost due to high fees makes Mortgage B the more affordable option, thanks to its lower APRC.

What are the two types of APR?

There aren’t necessarily different “types” of APRC (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge) in the traditional sense, as it represents a single calculation encompassing the total cost of a loan over its term. However, depending on the context, there can be different ways to categorize or understand APRC based on specific factors:

  1. By Loan Type:
  • Mortgage APRC: This is the most common context for APRC, where it factors in all costs associated with a mortgage, including interest rate, fees, and charges.
  • Credit Card APRC: For credit cards, APRC can apply to different types of transactions, such as purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances, each with its rate.
  • Loan APRC: Other loan types, like personal or auto loans, can also have APRCs reflecting their total costs.
  1. By Interest Rate:
  • Fixed APRC: The rate remains constant throughout the loan term as long as you meet the terms.
  • Variable APRC: The rate can fluctuate based on an external index, like the prime rate, potentially affecting your payments.
  1. By Promotional Offers:
  • Introductory APRC: A temporarily lower rate offered for a specific period to attract borrowers.
  • Promotional APRC: Similar to introductory offers, but might be tied to specific conditions.
  1. By Risk Assessment:
  • Prime APRC: Offered to borrowers with good credit scores, typically resulting in lower rates.
  • Subprime APRC: Applied to borrowers with lower credit scores, usually leading to higher rates.

How is APRC calculated?

APRC, or Annual Percentage Rate of Charge, isn’t just a single number. It’s a calculated figure that reflects the total cost of a loan over its entire term, including the interest rate and all associated fees. Here’s a breakdown of the calculation process:

  1. Gather essential information:
  • Loan amount
  • Interest rate
  • Loan term
  • Fees and charges
  1. Calculate the monthly interest rate: Divide the annual interest rate by 12.
  2. Determine the number of monthly payments: Multiply the loan term (in years) by 12.
  3. Calculate the total finance charge: Add up all the fees.
  4. Calculate the monthly payment: Use a formula to determine the fixed payment based on loan amount, interest rate, and number of payments.
  5. Calculate the total cost of the loan: Multiply the monthly payment by the number of payments.
  6. Calculate the APRC:
  • Divide the total cost of the loan by the loan amount and then divide by the loan term.
  • Subtract 1 from the result and multiply by 100 to express it as a percentage.

The formula for APRC:

APRC = ((Total Cost of Loan / Loan Amount) / Loan Term – 1) * 100

What does APRC mean for me when applying for a mortgage?

APRC, or Annual Percentage Rate of Charge, is a price tag for your entire mortgage, not just the advertised interest rate. It considers all the costs involved, including:

  • Interest rate: This is the main chunk, not the whole story.
  • Fees: Origination fees, valuation fees, broker fees, legal fees, product fees, and even early repayment charges – they all add up.

By rolling everything into one percentage (APRC), you get a clearer picture of the true cost of the mortgage over its entire term. This helps you compare different options easily, even with varying rates of interest and fee structures.

Here’s what APRC means for you when applying for a mortgage:

  • Apples-to-apples comparison: Don’t get fooled by low headline rates – compare APRCs to see which mortgage truly costs less.
  • Budgeting accurately: Knowing the total cost upfront helps you plan your monthly payments and avoid surprises.
  • Making informed decisions: By understanding APRC, you can choose the mortgage that best fits your financial situation and goals.

Remember, a lower APRC generally means a cheaper mortgage. But don’t just focus on the number – consider other factors like the interest rate type (fixed vs. variable), loan term, and your circumstances.

How helpful is APRC for comparing the overall costs of mortgages?

APRC is very helpful for comparing the overall costs of mortgages, but it’s important to understand its limitations and use it in conjunction with other factors. 

  • Standardized calculation: Financial authorities like the FCA regulate the APRC calculation, ensuring consistency and fairness across different lenders.
  • Comprehensiveness: APRC incorporates the interest rate, fees, and charges, giving you a more accurate picture of the total cost over the loan term.
  • Easy comparison: Using a single percentage figure, you can easily compare different mortgage offers without doing complex calculations yourself.
  • Transparency: APRC helps you avoid misleading offers with low headline rates but high hidden fees.

What's the difference between APRC, APR, and AER?

All three terms: APRC, APR, and AER, deal with interest rates and costs associated with financial products, but they serve different purposes and apply to different contexts. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences:

APRC (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge):

  • Applies to: Primarily mortgages in the UK.
  • Focus: Total cost of the loan over its term, including interest rate and all associated fees and charges (origination fees, valuation fees, etc.).
  • Goal: Allows for accurate comparison of different mortgage options as it reflects the complete borrowing cost.
  • Calculation: Standardized formula regulated by financial authorities.

APR (Annual Percentage Rate):

  • Applies to: Various loans and credit products like personal loans, credit cards, and car loans.
  • Focus: Annualized interest rate charged on the borrowed amount.
  • Goal: Provides a basic understanding of the interest cost, but doesn’t include additional fees.
  • Calculation: Simpler than APRC, usually provided by lenders.

AER (Annual Equivalent Rate):

  • Applies to: Savings accounts and investments.
  • Focus: Reflects the true annual return you can expect considering the compounding effect of interest over the year (assuming interest is added regularly).
  • Goal: Enables easier comparison of different savings accounts by accounting for compounding.
  • Calculation: Standardized formula considering compounding frequency.





Applies to

Mortgages (UK)

Loans, credit

Savings, investments


Total cost with fees

Interest rate

Return considering compounding


Compare mortgage options

Understand basic interest cost

Compare savings account returns


Standardized, complex


Standardized, considers compounding

How can you find a loan with low APRC?

Finding a low APRC loan requires more than grabbing the lowest advertised rate. 

Boost your creditworthiness:

  • Check and improve your credit score – higher score = lower rates. Pay bills on time, manage debt, fix credit report errors.
  • Lower your debt utilization ratio by paying down existing debt.

Shop and compare:

  • Get quotes from diverse lenders: banks, credit unions, online lenders. Compare APRCs, rates, and terms.
  • Use online comparison tools to find offers based on your credit score, loan amount, and desired terms.
  • Negotiate with lenders if you have a good credit score or strong bargaining power.

Explore alternative options:

  • Secured loans with collateral like a car or house can offer lower rates.
  • Shorter loan terms mean higher monthly payments but lower overall interest costs due to less accrual.
  • Having someone with good credit co-sign your loan can improve your chances of a lower APRC.

Beware of hidden costs:

  • Factor in origination fees into your APRC comparison.
  • Ensure no prepayment penalties negate the benefit of a low APRC if you repay early.

Seek expert advice:

  • Financial advisors or mortgage brokers can guide you through the process, help with negotiations, and recommend suitable options based on your needs.

Is a higher or lower APRC better?

lower APRC is always better than a higher one when comparing loans or financial products like mortgages. This is because APRC represents the total annual cost of borrowing, including the interest rate and any associated fees. So, a lower APRC translates to a lower overall cost over the loan term.

Here’s why a lower APRC is preferable:

  • Saves you money: With a lower APRC, you pay less interest and fees, resulting in significant cost savings over the loan term.
  • Improves affordability: Lower monthly payments due to a lower APRC can make the loan more manageable and fit your budget more comfortably.
  • Makes comparison easier: When comparing different loan options, APRC helps you understand the true cost of each option, allowing you to choose the most affordable one.

Is it better for the borrower if the APR is higher?

No, it is never better for the borrower if the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is higher. A lower APR always signifies a better deal for the borrower, as it represents the total annual cost of borrowing, including the interest rate and any associated fees and charges.

What is a second APRC?

In the context of mortgages, the term “second APRC” can refer to two different things, depending on the specific situation:

  1. APRC2 in the UK Mortgage Illustration Document (ESIS):

This is the more common meaning, particularly in the UK.

  • What it is: In the UK, lenders are required to provide a Mortgage Illustration Document (ESIS) when offering a mortgage. This document includes details about the mortgage, including the first APRC, which reflects the current interest rate and fees.
  • Purpose: The second APRC (APRC2) is also included in the ESIS if the mortgage has a variable interest rate at any point during the term. This second APRC represents an illustrative example of the cost of the loan using a 20-year high interest rate.
  • How it’s calculated: The specific benchmark rate used for calculating APRC2 might be based on a reference rate set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or on a relevant external reference rate.
  1. Alternative Definition:

Less commonly, “second APRC” might be used by different lenders or financial institutions to refer to:

  • An additional APRC based on different loan scenarios: This could be an APRC calculated assuming different interest rate changes or using different fee assumptions.
  • A secondary loan product offered by the same lender: In some cases, a lender might offer a primary loan product with one APRC and a separate loan product with a different APRC that could be considered a “second APRC”.

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By Team

Hi, We write posts related to mortgages, new purchase, remortgage, BTL, commercial, etc. We answer all questions, queries, and topics related to the UK mortgage market.

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