Why didn’t I get the interest rate advertised?

Seen a great interest rate on a loan or credit card? Unfortunately it might not be the one you are offered

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When you see an advert for a credit card you’ll see an interest rate alongside it too and you’ll see this interest is a representative APR. In other words, there is quite a high chance you won’t get it.

An APR stands for an annual percentage rate and that means the total cost of interest plus fees over the year. A representative APR only has to be offered to 51% of successful applicants and we don’t know how many there are of those.

A credit card provider will first have to assess whether it wants to lend to you at all. It will do that by looking at your credit report which it will access through one of a number of credit reference agencies. Your score might be good enough for the provider to offer you a credit card, but it doesn’t mean to say it will be at that all important representative APR that you saw advertised.

The actual rate you are offered will depend on where your credit score fits in with that providers lending criteria which you won’t be privy to. Whether you accept the more expensive rate you are offered or not is up to you but any application for credit will show on your credit report.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use MoneySuperMarket’s Smart Search tool which won’t leave a footprint on your credit file. Simply click ‘Will I get this card?’ next to each deal on the credit card tables and you will get an idea of whether you will be accepted or not. But not every provider uses this approach, the rate advertised is the rate you will get, you’ll either qualify or you won’t.

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