Interest Rates

  • How do I get a fair payout on a wrecked car? Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    My wife's car was totaled recently, and the insurance adjuster is not offering a payout for the car that reflects some of the optional equipment that it had. How do I get the adjuster to give me a fair insurance payout on the car? Any paperwork, such as the car's window sticker, or documents that outlined the car's features when you purchased it, should be submitted to the insurance company, as well. It is also a good idea to calculate the value of the car on several auto information websites, such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com, to compare the value there with what your car insurance company is offering.

  • Will I save on car insurance when I turn 25? Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    You could save on auto insurance. "Generally, once you turn 25, your rates are going to be a little better," says Robert Passmore, senior director of personal lines for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. So once your 25th birthday rolls around, be sure to ask your insurer to take a new look at your premium, says Amy Bach, executive director of the insurance consumer group United Policyholders. I turned 25 recently and was eager to take advantage of a lower car insurance premium.

  • 6 steps to making the right bid on a home Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    "Still, some people list their houses too high, so it's more important to know the house's true value rather than worry about offending a seller seeking too much," says Benjamin Clark, former president of the Avondale, Arizona-based National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents.

  • Home seller wants homebuyer to pay for repairs Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    You need someone who represents your interests exclusively, Jo Ann. Read more Real Estate Adviser columns and more stories about real estate.

  • Why pay extra toward mortgage principal? Bankrate.com - Fri, Apr 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, with its associated amortization schedule, can't you achieve a significantly higher "return" by making additional principal payments at the top end of the amortization schedule? For example, say your mortgage payment is $1,000, comprising $100 toward the principal and $900 in interest. From a strictly financial point of view, you will want to pay down or pay off the mortgage if you expect the after-tax returns on your investments to be less than the effective rate on your mortgage. The effective rate includes any realized tax benefits from the mortgage interest deduction.

  • Should I save $5K bonus or use it for car loan? Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Should I save my bonus or use it to pay off my car loan? I also contribute $500 a month to my retirement plans. The extra bonus can be applied to any of these areas, but I was wondering: To reduce my debt, should I pay off the car loan? Given that you have all the rest of your financial ducks in a row, the main incentive for paying off your car loan early would be to save on the loan's interest.

  • Get ahead financially by saving for different goals Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The economy may be slowly limping back to life, but many American families still find it difficult to sock away money for a new car, college or retirement. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, co-authors of "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan," advocate this financial formula for success: Spend 50 percent of your paycheck on the "must-haves," 30 percent on "wants" and use the remaining 20 percent to service debt and save money. "We've grown so accustomed to spending money that it really is time to take a second look at our budgets and start pulling in the reins a little bit," says CFP professional Kelly Campbell, CEO at Campbell Wealth Management in Alexandria, Virginia. While this money technically does not go toward any of your short-, medium- or long-term savings goals, it does act as a deterrent to tapping such important accounts as a 401(k) if you lose your job.

  • Use Social Security to pay off second mortgage? Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    I will be 66 next month and will start collecting $2,351 a month in Social Security. I owe about $55,000 on a second mortgage at 6.875 percent. By using all my Social Security, I can pay off the second mortgage in two years. Should I use Social Security to pay off my second mortgage?

  • CD rates for April 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Compare CD rates nationally and in your area. CDs 1-year CD yields: 0.27% 5-year CD yields: 0.88% Certificate of deposit rates were mostly unchanged in Bankrate's national survey ...

  • Credit card interest rates for April 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Credit card rates were mixed this week, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of interest rates. The average annual percentage rate, or APR, for fixed-rate credit cards was 13.02 percent, while the APR for variable-rate credit cards rose 4 basis points to 15.82 percent. The APR for fixed-rate credit cards has held steady for more than two years, while the APR for variable-rate credit cards has been rising steadily through April.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 10% Down 30% Unchanged 60% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 10% 30% 60% This week (April 16-22), 10 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates ...

  • What to do if your tax refund is wrong Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Through early April, the IRS has sent out more than 77 million tax refunds. In most cases, the refund amounts are just what the filers expect.

  • National mortgage rates for April 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best mortgage rates in your area. Mortgages 30-year fixed: 3.79% Average points: 0.21 Mortgage rates were mixed week, according to Bankrate's latest survey of interest rates. ...

  • Mortgage rates fall as retail sales falter Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage rates slipped this week after it became clear that Americans shopped less than expected in March, convincing investors that an interest rate hike remains further down the road than they previously had thought. Still, the lower rates didn't bring out the borrowers, who slowed their pace of applications. It also backed the belief that the Federal Reserve will further delay increasing the federal funds rate, which is near zero and is a benchmark for interest rates on business and consumer loans, including mortgages. "We're thinking September, and I won't rule out December or even next year," says Paul Edelstein, director of U.S. financial economics at IHS.

  • Home equity loan rates for April 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best home equity rates in your area. Home Equity Line of credit: 4.69% Loan: 5.97% Rates on loans backed by home equity were mixed this week, according to Bankrate's latest ...

  • Auto loan rates for April 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Apr 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best auto rates in your area. Auto Loans 60-month, new car: 4.37% 36-month, used car: 5.17% Most auto loan rates rose for a second straight week, according to Bankrate's ...

  • What you should know about land loans Bankrate.com - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    How do I go about finding the best interest rate for a land loan? For lenders, land loans are riskier because the loan's collateral, the property, isn't being used for housing, at least in the near term. Because of that risk, down payments and interest rates are higher for land loans than for mortgage loans.

  • Time's up! It's tax deadline day Bankrate.com - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:00 PM AEST
    Time's up! It's tax deadline day

    Taxes Tax Filing Time's Up! It's Tax Deadline Day You've put off filing for 3 1/2 months, but any more procrastination could cost you. So don't just sit there. Actually, do sit there just a bit longer. ...

  • Who gets Mom's leftover reverse mortgage? Bankrate.com - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    She had a reverse mortgage on her home. When she died, she still had about $40,000 in funds available on the reverse mortgage line of credit. The principal balance on the loan is now approximately $204,000. I understand heirs are not responsible for repaying the difference in the loan if the assessment is far less than what is actually owed on the reverse mortgage.

  • Is closing a credit card a good or bad move? Bankrate.com - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Credit Cards Is closing a credit card good or bad? I've been told that canceling credit cards I no longer use will help my credit score because of the credit limits. I've also been told that I should not cancel my credit cards I no longer use because it will help with my credit score because of the credit history. Closing credit cards will never help your credit score.

  • Should you wait for your dream home or settle? Bankrate.com - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Real Estate Should you wait for your dream home or settle? Every homebuyer has a dream house: the one that offers the perfect combination of location, size, condition and price. These days, it's entirely ...

  • Quiz: If you were a car, what would you be? Bankrate.com - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Think car commercials, "Fast and Furious" movies, James Bond flicks, and of course, looking forward to that magical age of 16 when you can finally get your driver's license. Americans have an ...

  • Petrol price rises spark consumer gloom AAP - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 6:29 PM AEST
    Petrol price rises spark consumer gloom

    Consumer confidence is getting weaker ahead of the federal budget as a bounce in petrol prices dampens people's enthusiasm to go shopping. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans rising petrol prices were partly to blame for causing the gloom. Petrol pump prices averaged $1.34 a litre in April, a steep climb from the lows of around $1.10 they reached in February following a plunge in global oil prices. "We partly attributed the eight per cent jump in the confidence index in February to the sharp fall in petrol prices," Mr Evans said.

  • Housing growth to lower SA prices AAP - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 5:18 PM AEST

    Strong growth in home construction in South Australia will help take the pressure off house prices, the SA Property Council says. Figures released on Wednesday put residential construction up 13.1 per ...

  • Aust bonds firmer as US data disappoints AAP - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 8:44 AM AEST

    The Australian bond market is slightly firmer after the release of weaker than expected US economic data. US retail spending jumped 0.9 per cent in March, and was short of market expectations. Over the ...

  • Business credit demand perks up: Veda AAP - Wed, Apr 15, 2015 7:26 AM AEST

    Business loans jumped 7.8 per cent, the strongest pace since December 2013, while asset finance applications rose 2.2 per cent - the first increase since June 2013. Veda's general manager for commercial credit Moses Samaha says its credit demand index has historically proven to be a lead indicator of how the overall economy is performing. "However, despite these promising signs, business investment is being held back by soft business credit growth in the mining states," he said on Wednesday.

  • Do I include income from inheritance on tax form? Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Remember, your basis is reported at the fair market value on the date of death, so this should hopefully help minimize any tax gain you might have. Cost basis is the original value of an asset (generally the purchase price), plus any commission, adjusted for stock splits, dividends and capital distributions. This may be deductible as a medical expense on Schedule A if your mother can be claimed as a dependent on your tax return.

  • Tax bill too big? IRS offers payment options Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 8:00 PM AEST
    Tax bill too big? IRS offers payment options

    If this year's tax-filing deadline will be a "pay" day for you and you don't have the cash, the IRS gives you several payment options. First, even if you can't pay your tax bill, go ahead and file your return on time. Some taxpayers find the easiest way to pay, either part of what they owe or their full tax bill, is with a credit card.

  • Will my 401(k) be safe if I file for bankruptcy? Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    I am retired and am struggling with credit card debt. You can file bankruptcy, not pay one penny on your credit card debt and keep your 401(k). I have filed bankruptcy petitions for clients with less in credit card debt than money in a 401(k) or retirement account. Many people feel this is a morally or ethically corrupt scenario in which we all pay for higher interest rates and credit card fees while this person wipes out all of his or her debt.

  • 4 ways to turn a car into a Wi-Fi hot spot Bankrate.com - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    "The best solution may be to keep the car you have and get a portable Wi-Fi hot spot," says Ron Montoya, consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. Using your smartphone to create a mobile hot spot may seem like the easiest choice, and it is certainly one that is very popular. A built-in car hot spot can't go with you unless you are in or very near the car. Mobile hot spots are small, square or rectangular-shaped routers that allow multiple devices to connect to the Internet simultaneously.

  • Sydney property boom may stall rate cut AAP - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 4:54 PM AEST
    Sydney property boom may stall rate cut

    Sydney's soaring property prices are not expected to slow any time soon, possibly putting the brakes on further rate cuts from the Reserve Bank. Prices in Sydney have grown at the equivalent of an annual pace of 25 per cent since the RBA's February rate cut, property valuation firm Propell says in its latest housing report. "Sydney remains the biggest headache of the RBA as it seeks to balance the needs for economic growth against boom conditions in Sydney," the report said. A rate cut is widely expected to occur in May, but that could be delayed as the RBA tries to keep a lid on Sydney property prices, Propell said.

  • Business confidence and conditions rise AAP - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 4:42 PM AEST

    Business confidence has rebounded from near two year lows amid lower interest rates and an end to Tony Abbott's leadership uncertainty. National Australia Bank's confidence barometer bounced three points in March after February's slump to zero, when uncertainty over the prime minister's leadership offset any positive impact from the Reserve Bank's rate cut. "Any positive impact on confidence from the RBA's February rate cut was likely eroded by offsetting factors - such as the government's leadership spill - but, some of these factors have begun to fade," NAB's economists said on Tuesday. A rise in mining confidence in March helped lift NAB's overall measure, but the retail sector's score dipped into negative territory for the first time in two years as uncertainty over government policy made consumers anxious, NAB said.

  • Business loan growth shows low rates work AAP - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 2:35 PM AEST

    A growing number of loans for business and investment over the past year show low interest rates are boosting more than just the housing sector. Lending finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show commercial lending - loans for business or investment purposes - rose 9.6 per cent in the year to February, despite having fallen one per cent in the month. Meanwhile, home loans for owner occupiers rose by 0.5 per cent in February to be 8.7 per cent higher over the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found. Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said the figures showed low interest rates were having an impact.

  • Business confidence and conditions improve AAP - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 12:56 PM AEST

    Business confidence has rebounded from its near two year lows due to lower interest rates and an end to federal government leadership uncertainty. A three point rise in NAB's confidence barometer in March follows a slump to zero in February, when uncertainty over Prime Minister Tony Abbott's leadership offset a Reserve Bank rate cut. A rise in mining confidence in March helped lift NAB's overall measure, but the retail sector's score dipped into negative territory for the first time in two years as uncertainty over government policy made consumers anxious, NAB said.

  • Bonds firmer amid US profits worries AAP - Tue, Apr 14, 2015 9:01 AM AEST

    The Australian bond market is slightly firmer as worries about the upcoming US first quarter earnings season gave safe haven assets a boost. "US share markets were lower overnight on concerns that ...