Interest Rates

  • Expensive surprise with reverse mortgage Bankrate.com - 4 hours ago

    When I applied for a reverse mortgage in May 2013, my home was appraised at $252,000. I had a mortgage balance of about $142,963. Within six months, the loan ballooned to $162,000, with interest totaling about $2,557 along with a mortgage insurance premium for $6,129. I'd like to know more about why you sought a reverse mortgage in the first place.

  • What to do if your tax refund is wrong Bankrate.com - 4 hours ago

    Why your refund might be an unexpected amount: Estimated tax payments were not credited properly. Since the letter and check or direct deposit usually don't arrive simultaneously, you can always call the IRS if you get a refund check and have questions about the amount. As you're waiting for the explanation letter to clear up the refund issue, you also have to decide what to do with the more, or less, money you received.

  • Report card on 403(b) plans: Have they improved? Bankrate.com - 4 hours ago

    "In a hospital system or in a public education system in the past, there may have been ... up to 25 vendors vying for the business," says Ed Hinders, vice president of CBIZ Retirement Plan Services in St. Louis. "Up until recently, (the complexity) was a barrier to entry for the average and even the above-average participant," says Certified Financial Planner David Boucher, principal at Longfellow Advisors in Boston. To bring those administrative duties down to a manageable size, many 403(b) plan sponsors have streamlined their provider pools down to a few or, in some cases, just one. "In the 401(k) world ... there is no such thing as multiple record keepers, vendors or providers on one plan," says Scott Senseney, vice president of client consulting and strategy at Fidelity Investments.

  • Major gains drive Australian share market to highest level since 2008 ABC - 6 hours ago

    The Australian share market has reached its highest level since the middle of 2008, with gains across most major sectors today. The All Ordinaries index has finished 35 points higher at 5,505, while the ...

  • $A falls on lower than expected inflation AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian dollar has fallen after lower than expected inflation figures reduced the likelihood of a rate hike in the near future. "When we got a downside surprise on the CPI, which goes against the recent trend of positive surprises for the economy and speculation that the RBA could hike rates, it drove the Aussie lower," Mr Been said. Meanwhile, the CPI figures saw Australian bond futures prices rally, Nomura head of macro products Jon Linton said.

  • Inflation corralled by slack jobs market AAP - 7 hours ago

    The measures of underlying inflation, which strip out extra-large rises and falls in the components of the consumer price index, averaged out at 0.55 per cent for the quarter and 2.65 per cent for the year. That's a very benign set of figures for the Reserve Bank of Australia, which tries to keep inflation in the two to three per cent range on average over time. And an expansion of the profit share of national income can allow prices to race ahead of labour costs for a time. But for those one-off increases to develop into ongoing prices rises, year after year, they need to feed back into labour costs, which are the biggest cost facing businesses.

  • Benign inflation good news for borrowers AAP - 8 hours ago
    Benign inflation good news for borrowers

    Lower than expected inflation will allow the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep the cash rate at a record low 2.5 per cent. The lower than expected figures, which followed surprisingly high inflation in the December quarter, would allow the RBA to keep the cash rate low, ANZ chief economist Ivan Colhoun said. The figures showed inflation was well and truly in check, said CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian. "At present inflation is not a threat to the economy, meaning that the Reserve Bank can comfortably keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels over the near term," he said.

  • Lower inflation good news for borrowers AAP - 12 hours ago
    Lower inflation good news for borrowers

    Lower than expected inflation means the Reserve Bank of Australia can keep the cash rate at its current low. The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, rose 2.9 per cent in the year to March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. The headline CPI was expected to rise by 0.8 per cent in the March quarter for an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 12 economists. The lower than expected figure would allow the RBA to keep the cash rate low, said ANZ chief economist Ivan Colhoun.

  • Inflation within target takes pressure off Reserve Bank ABC - 13 hours ago
    Inflation within target takes pressure off Reserve Bank

    Inflation has remained within the Reserve Bank's 2-3 per cent target, taking pressure off the RBA to consider early rate rises. Economist forecasts had centred on a consumer price rise of 3.2 per cent in the year to the end of March, but the Bureau of Statistics figures show inflation was 2.9 per cent over that period. Fuel prices rose 4.1 per cent as a short-lived dip in the Australian dollar combined with rising international petroleum prices to push the pump price higher.

  • Aust CPI rose 0.6% in the March qtr AAP - 13 hours ago
    Aust CPI rose 0.6% in the March qtr

    The headline CPI was expected to rise by 0.8 per cent in the March quarter for an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 12 economists. The ABS said seasonally adjusted CPI rose 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, and was up 2.9 per cent in the 12 months to March. The ABS calculates the trimmed mean and weighted median measures on behalf of the Reserve Bank of Australia, which uses them to gauge the underlying trend in inflation. The trimmed mean CPI rose 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, for an annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent.

  • Inflation expected to rise past 3% AAP - 13 hours ago
    Inflation expected to rise past 3%

    Inflation is expected have risen above the Reserve Bank of Australia's two to three per cent target range in the first months of 2014 but that alone won't spark an interest rate rise. The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the inflation figures on Wednesday. The high headline inflation figure is unlikely to concern the Reserve Bank because it's probably a one-off, National Australia Bank senior economist Spiros Papadopoulos said. The ABS calculates the trimmed mean and weighted median measures on behalf of the Reserve Bank of Australia, which uses them to gauge the underlying trend in inflation.

  • Aust bonds weaker ahead of CPI data AAP - 15 hours ago

    The Australian bond market is sightly weaker, ahead of the release of official March quarter consumer price index (CPI) figures later in the morning. The annual rate of inflation is expected to be 3.2 per cent, which is above the Reserve Bank of Australia's two to three per cent target range. St George chief economist Besa Deda said Australian bond futures and US Treasury bonds had a quiet overnight session, with very little economic data or events to drive price action. "The US two-year and 10-year Treasury bond yields finished relatively unchanged in another subdued session," she said.

  • Inflation expected to exceed Reserve Bank's comfort zone ABC - 16 hours ago
    Inflation expected to exceed Reserve Bank's comfort zone

    Economists expect today's official consumer price figures to show inflation has risen above the Reserve Bank's comfort zone. The figures to be released by the Bureau of Statistics at 11:30am (AEST) are expected to show the annual rate of inflation has drifted up to 3.2 per cent. The annual inflation rate was 2.7 per cent in the December quarter, when those figures were released in February. The Reserve Bank has an inflation target band of between 2-3 per cent, but Deutsche Bank economist Phil O'Donoghue says the RBA relies on the core inflation rate, which strips out the most volatile price movements.

  • Does staging really raise a home's price? Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    While that advice is a truism in the real estate business, an academic study says that staging: Likely doesn't raise the home's sale price. Study used virtual tours on computers Each tour focused on either wall color or furnishings, which are two of the most popular staging elements, according to study co-author Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William and Mary.

  • Pros, cons of going green and driving electric Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    While there are clear advantages and disadvantages to driving a purely electric car, or EV, as in electric vehicle, it would actually suit most Americans. "Studies show that most drivers travel less than 40 miles a day," says Mike Quincy, auto content specialist at Consumer Reports. Quick look: Electric car pros and cons Lower maintenance costs because there are fewer moving parts.

  • Electric vehicles from the 1800s to today Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Don't let the minimalist design or ultralow emissions fool you. Electric vehicles may look every bit like cars of the future, but they've been around for years. + expand all 1800s Earliest models 1830s ...

  • Get a deduction when using loans to pay tuition Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    He is using student loans to pay for school expenses. Can he use Form 8917, Tuition and Fees Deduction, even though he is getting student loans? Yes, your son can use Form 8917 even though he is getting student loans, since payments made with loans qualify as tuition payments. Form 8917 is used to calculate the tuition and fees deduction of up to $4,000 on his tax return.

  • Australian share market closes higher, banks enjoy gain while miners struggle ABC - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 6:28 PM AEST

    It was good news for the big banks but a tougher day for the miners in what was a generally positive result for the Australian share market on Thursday. The good fortune spread to the other major banks with the Commonwealth Bank adding 0.6 per cent and the National Australia Bank closing 0.4 per cent higher. It was tougher in the mining sector with Rio Tinto shares falling by 1 per cent. In company news, global credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's is warning a planned restructure of the shopping centre giant Westfield could make the company a riskier investment.

  • $A boosted by high inflation expectations AAP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 5:28 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar is higher amid market expectations of firm inflation figures for the March quarter. The Australian dollar climbed throughout the day from a low of 93.22 US cents to an intra-day high of 93.72 US cents. A lift in Asian equity markets along with investor positioning ahead of Wednesday's major data releases gave the Australian dollar a boost, Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Peter Dragicevich said. "A lot of the banks are expecting a relatively firm CPI number and our estimates have the annual rate of inflation moving above the Reserve Bank of Australia's target band for the first time since 2011.

  • Aust bond market awaits inflation data AAP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 5:06 PM AEST

    The Australian bond market is in a holding pattern ahead of the release of all important March quarter inflation figures and Chinese manufacturing data. The market was slightly weaker on Tuesday following stronger data in the US last week before the Easter break, ANZ head of interest rate research Tony Morriss said. "We've been pretty quiet today because of the Easter holiday and the proximity to the consumer price index numbers tomorrow," Mr Morriss said. Mr Morriss said a higher inflation number would see a sell-off on the bond market.

  • $A almost level ahead of inflation figures AAP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 12:52 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar has clawed back most of the losses made over the Easter weekend in quiet trade ahead of the release of local inflation figures. Westpac senior currency strategist Sean Callow said the Australian dollar has bounced from its two week low despite the fact that there are no economic data release or events to give traders guidance. The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday will release March quarter inflation figures, which are expected to show the annual rate of inflation rise above the Reserve Bank of Australia's two to three per cent target range.

  • Want a wealthy retirement? Follow the math Bankrate.com - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Millions of Americans are guilty of the same mistake when handling their money, says Edgar Norton, professor of finance at the College of Business at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. Norton says delaying gratification by saving more money today can allow you to spend more in retirement.

  • Need insurance to close on home? Bankrate.com - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    As I purchase a home, do I really need to have both hazard insurance and mortgage insurance? The hazard insurance is $62.50 and the mortgage insurance is $134.21. Hazard or homeowners insurance protects the value of your home by paying for home repairs in the event of a covered loss. Mortgage insurance protects the lender from loss if you stop making the mortgage payments.

  • Consumer financial security holds steady in April Bankrate.com - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Financial security ticked higher in April as consumers noted an improvement in job security, net worth and their financial situation over the past year, according to a monthly survey by Bankrate.com. Comfort levels with debt and savings deteriorated, however. Bankrate's Financial Security Index rose to 100.5 from 100.4 in April 2013. That's lower than March's reading of 102.2, but any index above 100 still indicates improved financial security over the past year.

  • April 2014 Financial Security Index charts Bankrate.com - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. From From April 3-6, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,010 adults living in the continental U.S. were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

  • What is hazard insurance? And do I need it? Bankrate.com - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    What is hazard insurance? Is it the same as homeowners insurance? Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as hazard insurance. I should say, however, that I have seen the term "hazard insurance" used incorrectly on mortgage loan applications.

  • Working widow wants Social Security bucks Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    My husband started collecting Social Security on April 1, 2013, at age 65. He died Sept. 14, 2013, after collecting only six months of Social Security benefits. I spoke with someone at the Social Security Administration office who told me that I make too much money and that I'm not entitled to any of my late husband's benefits. Whether you're a survivor or drawing benefits based on your own work record, you're subject to an earnings test when you receive Social Security benefits before your full retirement age of 66.

  • Can a car's brand image hurt its resale value? Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    I've never really paid attention to a car's brand image when I have bought a car, including any of the brand perception awards that some auto manufacturers advertise. But my current car doesn't have such a good image right now, thanks to some car recalls and some overall issues with the car brand. You can find out the resale value of car models that you're considering, but an unexpected event can put a dent in the price that you can ask for that car. According to ALG, which calculates so-called residual values and provides them to dealers, lenders and others in the industry, a car's brand image is a factor in calculating its resale value.

  • CD rates for April 17, 2014 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Mortgages CDs Auto Loans Home Equity Credit Cards Compare CD rates nationally and in your area. CDs 0.24% (1-year CD yields) 0.79% (5-year CD yields) Rates on certificates of deposit ...

  • Credit card interest rates for April 17, 2014 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Mortgages CDs Auto Loans Home Equity Credit Cards Find the best credit card offers available. Credit Cards 13.02% (all fixed) 15.61% (all variable) Credit card rates were unchanged ...

  • When does old debt fall off your credit report? Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Here's how you know if a debt has vanished: Check your credit reports. You can view your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, for free once each year. One warning though: Many companies advertise free credit reports, but in the fine print of the deal, you must sign up for some other service you may not want or need for a cost to get your free reports. AnnualCreditReport.com is where you should go for your free reports.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 22% Down 22% Unchanged 56% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 22% 22% 56% This week (April 17-23), 22 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates ...

  • Home equity loan rates for April 17, 2014 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Mortgages CDs Auto Loans Home Equity Credit Cards Find the best home equity rates in your area. Home Equity 4.92% (line of credit) 6.2% (loan) Rates on loans backed by home equity ...

  • Auto loan rates for April 17, 2014 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    Rates on new and used car loans were mostly stagnant this week, according to Bankrate's latest survey of interest rates. Only the rate on the average 48-month used car loan moved, dropping 1 basis point to 4.87 percent, but the average rate on a 36-month used car loan held steady this week at 4.79 percent. The average rate for a 36-month new car loan remained this week at 4.12 percent. Similarly, the average rates for a 60-month new car loan and a 48-month new car loan also stayed the same as last week, at 4.22 percent and 4.14 percent, respectively.

  • Mortgage rates may trend higher in 2014 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:00 PM AEST

    When the housing bubble burst, the fallout was worst in the so-called "sand states" -- California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. But with a nationwide housing recovery finally and firmly under way, those hard-hit markets are now seeing strong recoveries, according to Ryan D. Israelsen, assistant professor of finance at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Ind. Israelsen believes that trend is likely to continue throughout 2014, as long as the slow-but-steady economic recovery stays on track. However, the Federal Reserve's decision to "taper" its purchase of long-term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities means mortgage rates are likely to rise this year, he says.