Investors, savers, or borrowers can take nominal rates with different compounding periods (e.g., one that compounds weekly, one that compounds monthly) to see which will be most beneficial to them. For example, for a deposit at a stated rate of 10% compounded monthly, the effective annual interest rate would be 10.47%. Banks will advertise the effective annual interest rate of 10.47% rather than the stated interest rate of 10%. The real interest rate is so named, because unlike the nominal rate, it factors inflation into the equation, to give investors a more accurate measure of their buying power, after they redeem their positions. If an annually compounding bond lists a 6% nominal yield and the inflation rate is 4%, then the real rate of interest is actually only 2%.

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EAR quotes are often unsuitable for short-term investments because there are fewer compounding periods. More often, EAR is used for long-term investments as the impact of compounding may be significant. Taxes can significantly reduce the actual returns on investments or savings, and it’s important to factor them into any analysis. Though a given individual may truly earn at the EAR, their true return may be reduced by 20% or higher based on what individual tax bracket they reside in. That’s why the effective annual interest rate is an important financial concept to understand.

## Real Interest Rate

Nominal interest rates are typically expressed on an annual basis, such as 5%, 7%, or 10%, and they represent the percentage of the loan amount or investment principal that must be paid as interest during a specific period. Unlike the real interest rate, the effective interest rate does not take inflation into account. If inflation is 1.8%, a Treasury bond (T-bond) with a 2% effective interest rate has a real interest rate of 0.2% or the effective rate minus the inflation rate. An interest-bearing asset also has a higher effective interest rate as more compounding occurs.

In the United Kingdom, the Consumer Credit Act is a law that regulates consumer credit agreements and protects borrowers. It applies to various credit arrangements, including loans, credit cards, and hire-purchase agreements. The Act requires lenders to provide clear and transparent information to consumers about the cost of credit, including the total amount repayable, the interest rate, and any fees or charges. It sets rules on credit advertising and marketing practices, ensuring that consumers are not misled or subjected to unfair practices. Nominal interest rates refer to the interest rates that are unadjusted for inflation. In other words, it is the stated or quoted interest rate on a loan or investment without taking into account the impact of inflation or deflation over time.

Even if the nominal rate is positive, inflation can erode purchasing power so far that money loses its value when held onto. It is also called the effective interest rate, the effective rate, or the annual equivalent rate (AER). In the case of compounding, the EAR is always higher than the stated annual interest rate.

## Effective Interest Rate Formula

Consequently, as a bond’s book value increases, the amount of interest expense increases. Although it can be done by hand, most investors will use a financial calculator, spreadsheet, or online program. Moreover, investment websites https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/chart-of-accounts/ and other financial resources regularly publish the effective annual interest rate of a loan or investment. This figure is also often included in the prospectus and marketing documents prepared by the security issuers.

1. If inflation is 1.8%, a Treasury bond (T-bond) with a 2% effective interest rate has a real interest rate of 0.2% or the effective rate minus the inflation rate.
2. When a discounted bond is sold, the amount of the bond’s discount must be amortized to interest expense over the life of the bond.
3. This figure is also often included in the prospectus and marketing documents prepared by the security issuers.
4. It also reflects the real percentage rate owed in interest on a loan, a credit card, or any other debt.
5. The more compounding periods there are, the higher the ultimate effective interest rate.
6. The real interest rate is so named, because unlike the nominal rate, it factors inflation into the equation, to give investors a more accurate measure of their buying power, after they redeem their positions.

Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. Several economic stipulations can be derived from this formula, which lenders, borrowers, and investors may utilize to cultivate more informed financial decisions. Charlene Rhinehart is a CPA , CFE, chair of an Illinois CPA Society committee, and has a degree in accounting and finance from DePaul University. Access and download collection of free Templates to help power your productivity and performance. Even if compounding occurs an infinite number of times—not just every second or microsecond, but continuously—the limit of compounding is reached.

It is the compound interest payable annually in arrears, based on the nominal interest rate. It is used to compare the interest rates between loans with different compounding periods. A certificate of deposit (CD), a savings account, or a loan offer may be advertised with its nominal interest rate and effective annual interest rate.

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When banks are paying interest on your deposit account, the EAR is advertised to look more attractive than the stated interest rate. The effective interest rate is a more accurate figure of actual interest earned on an investment or the interest paid on a loan. The effective interest method of amortization causes the bond’s book value to increase from \$95,000 January 1, 2017, to \$100,000 prior to the bond’s maturity. The issuer must make interest payments of \$3,000 every six months the bond is outstanding. This method is used for bonds sold at a discount or premium; the amount of the bond discount or premium is amortized to interest expense over the bond’s life. EAR can be used to evaluate interest payable on a loan or any debt or to assess earnings from an investment, such as a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) or savings account.

The EAR calculation assumes that the interest rate will be constant throughout the entire period (i.e., the full year) and that there are no fluctuations in rates. However, in reality, interest rates can change frequently and rapidly, often impacting how much will it cost to hire an accountant to do my taxes the overall rate of return. Most EAR calculations also do not consider the impact of transaction, service, or account maintenance fees. Understand the psychological marketing approach of communicating effective annual interest rates.

In accounting, the effective interest method examines the relationship between an asset’s book value and related interest. In lending, the effective annual interest rate might refer to an interest calculation wherein compounding occurs more than once a year. In capital finance and economics, the effective interest rate for an instrument might refer to the yield based on the purchase price. The purpose of the effective annual interest rate is to make interest rates comparable regardless of their compounding periods.

Since a loan by a borrower is an investment for the lender, both terms can apply to the same transaction, depending on the point of view. For a zero-coupon bond such as a US treasury bill, an annual effective discount rate may be specified instead of an effective interest rate, because zero coupon bonds trade at a discount from their face values. For example, for a loan at a stated interest rate of 30%, compounded monthly, the effective annual interest rate would be 34.48%. Banks will typically advertise the stated interest rate of 30% rather than the effective interest rate of 34.48%.