At its core, a mortgage interest rate refers to the amount paid each year to borrow money. Interest rates involve only a percentage rate on the outstanding balance of the loan. On the other hand, APRs describe the overall cost of borrowing money from a lender. An APR generally includes the mortgage interest rate, but it also takes into account factors such as mortgage broker fees and points. As such, the APR of a mortgage is almost always higher than the interest rate alone. With adjustable rate loans, however, the maximum interest rate may exceed the APR at an earlier time. For this reason, prospective homeowners should consider more than just the APR when deciding between mortgages.