# Understanding Interest Rates

The price or amount that someone pays for the transitory use of someone else's funds is called interest. Interest could also mean the payment that someone receives for giving up the ability to spend money temporarily for the purpose of lending the money to someone else. The definitions clearly describe the relationship between a lender and a borrower. Lenders would not willingly allow anyone to borrow or allow him or herself the sacrifice of not spending money if there is no interest. On the other hand, borrowers would be only too happy to spend if they do not have to worry about interest rates.

If, for example, you intend to borrow \$ 100 per year, the interest rate would be 10 percent per year. This is due to the fact that interest rates are expressed as percents per year. In the end, you would have to pay the \$ 100 you owe and an additional \$ 10 in interest.

There are reasons why interest rates exist, but they are different from the perspectives of a lender and a borrower. From a lender's point of view, an interest rate makes up for increasing prices of goods. This is a means to compensate him for giving up his power to purchase by lending his money to others. An interest rate also makes up for the risk that a lender makes in having his money borrowed. For bank lenders, an interest rate allows them to stay in business. The profit from interest rates allows banks to continue running. From a borrower's point of view, an interest rate allows him to spend now, rather than later on items. Interest rates also allow a borrower to make a larger or a more expensive purchase such as a house or a car. By availing of interest rates, education becomes affordable to some borrowers. Willingness to pay interest allows business borrowers to purchase equipment, buildings and inventories to make investments and increase their profits. Some borrowers are willing to pay interest rates because they are after associated tax advantages. An example of this is the mortgage interest, which is tax deductible. During the calculation of the income tax, the mortgage interest is subtracted. Banks, on the other hand, are willing to pay interest rates to their depositors. This is because the deposits allow them to lend money at higher interest rates and get larger profits in return. Also, it is a known fact that banks tend to charge higher interest rates on loans than on deposits.

Moreover, interest rates are income to people who are willing to forego the use of their money. As mentioned earlier, banks give interest rates to their depositors. Similarly, you will gain interest income if you purchase a US Savings Bond. On the other hand, if you think about it, an interest rate is a cost to borrowers. If the money loaned is not fully paid, interest rates have to be paid. Lastly, an interest rate is a means to move funds to where they could earn the highest rates.