The prime rate is an interest rate determined by individual banks. It is often used as a reference rate (also called the base rate) for many types of loans, including loans to small businesses and credit card loans.

A: The prime rate is an interest rate that most banks use to set the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit cards, which determines how much interest you’ll pay on purchases and other transactions made with your credit card.

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"Prime rate" may not be a household term, but it is an everyday consumer concern, given its impact on variable credit card APRs, adjustable-rate mortgages and interest rates overall. When the prime rate shifts, it affects the lending environment – and it has an impact on how much consumers pay in interest for the money they borrow.

What is the prime rate? The prime rate is the interest rate that most big US banks give to their most creditworthy borrowers, fluctuates based on the state of the lending market and overall economy. If you have strong credit and overall personal financials, you could qualify for a loan based on the prime rate alone.

The prime rate is a federal interest rate; it does not vary from state to state and is published in the Wall Street Journal. The discount rate is not publicized in a general publication.

Get the current WSJ prime rate and learn how it works. Plus, find out what types of loans use the prime rate and how it's calculated.

Street Finance: What is the prime lending rate? How it’s used: The prime rate is an important index used by banks to set rates on many consumer loan products, such as credit cards or auto loans. If you see that the prime rate has gone up, your.

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