# Blended Rate

## Introduction

When it comes to borrowing money, understanding the different types of interest rates is crucial. One type that often confuses borrowers is the blended rate. In this article, we will explore what a blended rate is, how it is calculated, and why it is important for borrowers to be aware of it. We will also provide examples and case studies to illustrate the concept and offer valuable insights to help readers make informed financial decisions.

## What is a Blended Rate?

A blended rate is a type of interest rate that combines multiple interest rates into a single rate. It is commonly used in situations where a borrower has multiple loans or credit accounts with different interest rates. Instead of paying separate interest rates for each loan or account, the borrower pays a single interest rate that reflects the weighted average of all the individual rates.

For example, let's say you have two loans: one with an interest rate of 5% and another with an interest rate of 7%. If you were to calculate the blended rate, it would be the average of these two rates, weighted by the outstanding balances of each loan. So, if the first loan has a balance of \$10,000 and the second loan has a balance of \$20,000, the blended rate would be:

• (5% * \$10,000) + (7% * \$20,000) = \$500 + \$1,400 = \$1,900
• \$1,900 / (\$10,000 + \$20,000) = \$1,900 / \$30,000 = 6.33%

In this example, the blended rate would be 6.33%, which is the single interest rate that the borrower would pay on the combined balance of both loans.

## How is a Blended Rate Calculated?

To calculate a blended rate, you need to consider the individual interest rates and the outstanding balances of each loan or credit account. Here is a step-by-step process to calculate a blended rate:

1. Identify the individual interest rates for each loan or credit account.
2. Determine the outstanding balance of each loan or credit account.
3. Multiply each interest rate by its corresponding outstanding balance.
4. Add up the results from step 3.
5. Divide the total from step 4 by the sum of all outstanding balances.

Following these steps will give you the blended rate, which represents the weighted average of the individual interest rates.

## Why is the Blended Rate Important?

The blended rate is important for borrowers because it provides a clear picture of the overall cost of borrowing. By combining multiple interest rates into a single rate, borrowers can easily compare different loan options and make informed decisions based on the total cost of borrowing.

Here are a few reasons why the blended rate is important:

• Simplifies Comparison: When you have multiple loans or credit accounts, each with its own interest rate, it can be challenging to compare the overall cost of borrowing. The blended rate simplifies this process by providing a single rate that represents the average cost of borrowing.
• Helps with Debt Consolidation: If you have multiple loans or credit accounts with high-interest rates, consolidating them into a single loan with a lower blended rate can help you save money and simplify your finances.
• Affects Affordability: The blended rate directly impacts the affordability of borrowing. A higher blended rate means higher monthly payments and a larger overall interest cost.

## Example: Blended Rate in Practice

To further illustrate the concept of a blended rate, let's consider a real-life example:

John has three credit cards with the following interest rates and balances:

• Credit Card A: 15% interest rate, \$5,000 balance
• Credit Card B: 18% interest rate, \$3,000 balance
• Credit Card C: 12% interest rate, \$2,000 balance

To calculate the blended rate, we follow the steps mentioned earlier:

1. 15% * \$5,000 = \$750
2. 18% * \$3,000 = \$540
3. 12% * \$2,000 = \$240
4. \$750 + \$540 + \$240 = \$1,530
5. \$1,530 / (\$5,000 + \$3,000 + \$2,000) = \$1,530 / \$10,000 = 15.3%

In this example, John's blended rate would be 15.3%. This means that if he were to consolidate his credit card debt into a single loan, he would need to find a loan with an interest rate lower than 15.3% to save money.

## Case Study: Blended Rate for Mortgage Refinancing

Blended rates are not limited to credit cards or personal loans; they can also be relevant in mortgage refinancing. Let's consider a case study to understand how blended rates work in this context.

Sarah has a mortgage with an outstanding balance of \$200,000 and an interest rate of 4%. She is considering refinancing her mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates. However, she also has a home equity loan with an outstanding balance of \$50,000 and an interest rate of 6%.

If Sarah were to refinance her mortgage and consolidate her home equity loan, she would need to calculate the blended rate to determine the overall cost of borrowing. Let's assume she finds a new mortgage with an interest rate of 3.5%.

Following the steps mentioned earlier, we can calculate the blended rate:

1. 4% * \$200,000 = \$8,000
2. 6% * \$50,000 = \$3,000
3. \$8,000 + \$3,000 = \$11,000
4. \$11,000 / (\$200,000 + \$50,000) = \$11,000 / \$250,000 = 4.4%

In this case, Sarah's blended rate would be 4.4%. If she decides to refinance her mortgage and consolidate her home equity loan, she would need to ensure that the new mortgage rate is lower than 4.4% to make it a financially beneficial decision.

## Summary

Understanding the concept of a blended rate is essential for borrowers who have multiple loans or credit accounts. By calculating the weighted average of individual interest rates, borrowers can determine the overall cost of borrowing and make informed financial decisions.