What’s a representative example?
Whenever you borrow money, you'll usually find there's an interest rate applied. This is typically expressed on a yearly or ‘per annum’ basis, otherwise known as the annual percentage rate of charge or APR for short.
In really basic terms, the APR is the yearly cost of borrowing shown as a percentage, including interest charges and any annual fees that apply.
A representative example is provided to show the representative APR for a particular credit card or loan. All lenders display examples in the same way, which should make it easier for you to compare products.
However, there are some differences between the representative examples for each product type:
Credit card representative examples
The representative example shows you the standard costs which would apply to most successful credit card applicants (at least 51%).
- The purchase (not transfer) rate and whether it’s fixed or variable.
- The representative APR and whether it’s fixed or variable.
- The amount of any annual fee (if applicable).
- An example borrowing amount of £1,200
It doesn't include:
- Any other fees, such as default or transfer fees.
- The amount of credit you might be offered.
The figure of £1,200 is used so it’s easy to compare credit cards. However, this doesn’t mean £1,200 is the credit limit you’d be offered.
Bear in mind any rates, promotional offers, and the credit limit you’re offered are subject to security and credit checks if you go on to submit a full credit application.
What credit cards might I be offered with MBNA?
You can get a sneak peek by using Clever Check, our credit card eligibility checker:
In just a few minutes, see which MBNA credit cards you’re eligible to apply for, your estimated credit limit - all without affecting your credit rating. Your Clever Check results will include details of any promotional offers, along with a representative APR and example to help you understand the costs.
It’s a quick and easy way to see if we can meet your borrowing needs before you spend time completing a full application.
Personal loan representative examples
The representative example shows information that is representative of a loan to which the Representative APR applies.
- An example borrowing amount (the Representative example will vary from lender to lender and also financial promotion even with the same lender, so for the purposes of comparison see if a quote is available).
- An example loan term e.g. 48 months.
- A monthly repayment amount and the total repayable over the term.
- The annual interest rate and whether it’s fixed or variable.
The figure of £10,000 isn’t a suggested borrowing amount. It’s simply used to make comparing one personal loan with another a little bit easier. The representative APR is the APR that applies to the majority of loans written in response to a financial promotion.
What else should I consider?
While representative APRs and representative examples make it easier to compare products, it isn’t the only thing to consider.
It’s important you read through the terms and conditions of the product you’re interested in, checking for things like additional fees and charges that apply.
The representative APR/example takes into account any annual fee payable (where applicable), but not things like default fees on missed payments, transfer fees, or non-sterling transaction fees on credit cards.
Introductory offers and variable rates
The representative APR/example doesn’t take promotional offers or variable rates into account either, so it’s important to bear that in mind.
When you’re browsing for credit cards, look for the standard interest rates which apply at the end of any introductory offer period, as well as comparing promotional offers. On some credit cards you could start paying a low interest rate or no interest at all.
The rate usually increases after a certain amount of time. This is fairly standard practice but, to avoid paying more interest than necessary, consider whether you’ll be able to pay off your credit card balance before the promotional period ends.
Credit card rewards
The representative APR/example doesn’t take things like reward points or cash back into account either, but these are offered by some types of credit card.
If these are important features for you, then you’ll also want to compare how many points or how much cash back you’d receive for every £1 you spend on the card, if there are any restrictions (e.g. if you have to spend a certain amount or can only spend at certain retailers), when points expire, and what you can use them for.
How useful is a representative example?
The short answer is, pretty useful. Although it doesn’t factor in all of the potential costs, it does give you enough information to make a fair assessment and comparison of credit cards or personal loans, in an easy to understand way used by all credit providers.
What’s the best borrowing option for you?
As with any financial decision, consider:
- Whether this is the right option for you.
- The risks of taking on too much debt.
- The cost and time it’ll take to repay anything you borrow.
Important: the contents of these pages are not intended to be taken as financial advice or recommendation made by MBNA. You should seek independent financial advice if unsure about your financial needs.