What’s the Difference Between APR and Cents on the Dollar?

Business loans can be a vital resource for entrepreneurs looking to expand their operations or manage their day-to-day finances. However, before diving into the world of business loans, it’s crucial to understand the terminologies associated with them. In this article, we will explore the essential difference between APR (Annual Percentage Rate) and Cents on the Dollar, shedding light on how these terms affect the cost of borrowing.


Unveiling APR: The True Cost of Borrowing

APR is a term that often crops up when discussing business loans. It stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and it’s a powerful tool for comparing the cost of borrowing between different lenders. So, what exactly is APR, and how does it affect your loan?

APR encompasses not only the interest rate but also any additional fees and charges that might be associated with your loan. These can include origination fees, processing fees, and even certain insurance costs. When you look at the APR, you get a comprehensive view of the actual cost of your loan, making it an excellent metric for comparing different loan offers.


Cents on the Dollar: A Simplified Cost Breakdown

In contrast to APR, Cents on the Dollar is a more straightforward way of understanding the cost of borrowing. This metric tells you exactly how much you will repay for every dollar you borrow. For instance, if a loan has a Cents on the Dollar rate of 5 cents, you will repay $1.05 for every dollar borrowed.

The advantage of Cents on the Dollar is its simplicity. It provides a clear and concise understanding of the cost, making it easier for borrowers to calculate and compare loan options.

Cents on the Dollar is also referred to as fixed rate or factor rate. There is no compounding interest and it allows you to see the max total payback. 

For example: 
If your business is approved for $20,000 over 12 months with a fixed rate (cents on the dollar) of 1.30. The max total payback is $26,000 ($20,000 x 1.30). The total interest would be $6,000. $26,000 is then divided by 52 weeks in the year for a weekly payment of $500. 

When comparing fixed rate and APR on shorter term products you will want to keep in mind that APR is mainly used to compare long term products with compounding interest such as mortgages and car loans. The APR % will always be high with shorter term products even though the cost could actually be worth moving forward with. Most lenders use Cents on the Dollar so it’s crystal clear what the max total payback could be if you held the balance the entirety of the term length. 


Comparing the Two

Now that we understand the basics of APR and Cents on the Dollar, let’s see how they compare in real-life scenarios.

Imagine you have two loan offers: Loan A with an APR of 6% and Loan B with an APR of 5%. On the surface, Loan B may seem like the better option. However, when you delve deeper and look at the Cents on the Dollar for both loans, you might discover that Loan A actually costs you less for each dollar borrowed.

In this example, Loan A has an equivalent Cents on the Dollar rate of 25 cents, whereas Loan B has 27 cents. This means Loan A is the more cost-effective choice, even though it has a slightly higher APR.


Making Informed Decisions

Understanding the difference between APR and Cents on the Dollar is crucial for making informed decisions when it comes to business loans. While APR provides a comprehensive view of the cost, Cents on the Dollar simplifies the cost calculation.

To ensure you make the best choice for your business, consider your financial situation and your preferences. If you prefer a straightforward, easy-to-understand metric, Cents on the Dollar might be the way to go. However, if you want a more detailed breakdown of costs, APR is the better option.

In conclusion, both APR and Cents on the Dollar play vital roles in determining the cost of business loans. The key is to use them effectively to compare and evaluate different loan offers, ultimately choosing the one that best suits your financial needs.