Interest Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Interest, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Interest?

1\. Any right or priviledge a person has over the property whether his/her personal or others. 2. It also refers to the compansation paid for the use or borrowing of the money, normally as a percentage of the amount borrowed.

History and Meaning of Interest

Interest is a term used to describe compensation paid by a borrower to a lender for the use of their money. It is typically calculated as a percentage of the total amount borrowed, and the rate of interest can vary depending on a range of factors including the creditworthiness of the borrower and prevailing market conditions.

The concept of interest has been around for centuries, with records of lending and borrowing featuring in ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome. In medieval Europe, the charging of interest on loans was generally viewed as a sin and was prohibited by the Catholic Church. However, in the Renaissance period, the practice became more accepted as the idea of commerce and trade began to gain prominence.

In the modern era, interest rates are a key economic indicator and are closely monitored by governments and central banks. Changes in interest rates can have a significant impact on the economy and can influence the availability of credit, inflation, and employment levels.

Examples of Interest

Here are some examples of how the term interest might be used in different contexts:

  • "The interest rate on my mortgage has gone up, so my monthly payments have increased."
  • "I'm earning 3% interest on my savings account at the moment."
  • "The credit card company charged me a high rate of interest on the balance I didn't pay off."
  • "As a lender, I charge an interest rate of 10% on the loans I provide to borrowers."

Legal Terms Similar to Interest

Here are some legal terms that are related to interest:

  • Usury: The charging of an excessive rate of interest on a loan. This is typically considered unethical or unlawful.
  • APR: Stands for Annual Percentage Rate. This is a standardized way of representing the cost of borrowing money, taking into account both the interest rate and any other fees or charges associated with the loan.
  • Compound interest: This refers to a type of interest where the principal amount of a loan or investment is increased by the addition of previously accrued interest. In other words, interest is earned on interest.