Interest Rates

  • RBA to keep wary eye on Greek response AAP - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
    RBA to keep wary eye on Greek response

    Academics doubt the unfolding events in Greece will result in lower interest rates when the Reserve Bank board meets on Tuesday. Greeks will vote in a referendum to decide whether their country agrees to more stringent austerity measures after it defaulted on an International Monetary Fund loan of 1.5 billion euros ($A2.18 billion) last week. The outcome hangs in the balance, but Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pursued a `no' vote.

  • Why doesn't my gas mileage match EPA estimates? - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    None of us gets the fuel economy that was listed on the window sticker when we bought the car -- nowhere near it, actually. What kind of gas mileage your car gets is dependent on numerous factors. This is why there is a disclaimer (which is required by law) on the window sticker and anywhere an automaker lists a car's fuel economy estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.

  • Bankruptcy timeline: Rebuilding credit - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Now it's time to start rebuilding your credit. Kevin Chern, a bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, says that when a person files Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, the debtor immediately and dramatically reduces his or her debt-to-income ratio. "After three to five years of living on a strict budget, Chapter 13 debtors should be much more equipped to manage their money efficiently.

  • Sell to a 'buy your house for cash' biz? - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Legit real estate businesses take their cuts at the end. To ask a question of the Real Estate Adviser, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Buying, selling a home" as the topic. Read more Real Estate Adviser columns and more stories about real estate.

  • What to do with savings bonds from childhood - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Dear Dr. Don, I have three $50 Series EE savings bonds issued to me (at my childhood address) back in June 1986. They were academic awards in grade school. I have no idea what to do with them. How do I ...

  • Use a Coverdell account for children's education - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Among the various tax-favored college payment plans is the Coverdell Education Savings Account, previously known as an education IRA. Up to $2,000 can be contributed annually to a Coverdell account. While adults contribute to the savings plan, a child age 17 or younger (unless he or she is a special needs child) is named as the account's beneficiary.

  • More rate cuts this year unlikely - survey AAP - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 5:10 PM AEST
    More rate cuts this year unlikely - survey

    The Reserve Bank is unlikely to cut rates again this year. All 14 economists surveyed by AAP expect the RBA to keep the cash rate unchanged at its July meeting on Tuesday, and only two expect another cut before the end of the year. HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham said the RBA is in a "wait and see" mode, assessing the impact of rate cuts before making further moves.

  • Home prices will ease but there won't be a crash Yahoo7 Finance - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 3:14 PM AEST

    To the property pessimists out there: there will be no property market crash.

  • Retail spending disappoints in May AAP - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 12:32 PM AEST

    Weak retail figures have continued into May, with spending in department stores, cafes and restaurants suffering falls. Australian retail spending rose 0.3 per cent in May, official figures show, short of economists' expectations of a 0.5 per cent rise. JP Morgan economist Stephen Walters said the figures were disappointing, considering there was an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank earlier in the month as well as support the federal budget's measures for small business.

  • CD rates for July 2, 2015 - Thu, Jul 2, 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: 0.87% Rates on certificates of deposit took the week off for the holiday. There were no ...

  • Are nontraded REITs good for your portfolio? - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Nontraded real estate investment trusts, or REITs, have enjoyed a huge inflow of funds over the past few years, as investors seek lofty yields and diversification from stocks. Unlike ordinary REITs, nontraded REITs, also known as non-listed REITs, don't trade on stock exchanges.

  • Private mortgage insurance, or PMI: The basics - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    If your down payment on a home is less than 20 percent, you will have to pay for mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance reimburses the lender if you default on your home loan. Often known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI.

  • Pay off all my debt with my retirement money? - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Is it wise to tap retirement accounts to clear off a credit card and pay my car off early to get out of debt? It rarely makes sense to prematurely tap a retirement account to pay off debt. Withdrawals from your 403(b) retirement plan would trigger income taxes that would eat up at least a quarter of what you pulled out.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 59% Down 8% Unchanged 33% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 59% 8% 33% This week (July 2-8), 59% of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise ...

  • What to do when the debt collector calls - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Dear Debt Adviser, Recently, a collector called me about an unpaid debt from 2002. She threatened to garnish my husband's wages by 25% and "1099" us when we file our taxes. She said we could ...

  • Up, down, funk it up: Mortgage rates dance - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage rates rose slightly this week following mixed news from Greece that disrupted markets worldwide. The threat of increasing mortgage rates meant more business for lenders as buyers took advantage of favorable borrowing terms. Greece defaulted on a $1.8 billion payment June 30 to the International Monetary Fund after the country rejected tough repayment terms for extra emergency aid it needs from creditors.

  • National mortgage rates for July 2, 2015 - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best mortgage rates in your area. Mortgages 30-year fixed: 4.19% Average points: 0.21 Mortgage rates were mixed this week, according to Bankrate's July 1 survey of interest ...

  • 3 steps to take if your car insurance is canceled - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    You reach into your mailbox and retrieve a letter from your auto insurance company. It says you and your car are being kicked to the curb. That's right -- you're being hit with a car insurance cancellation. ...

  • Are you buying an asset or a home? AAP - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 9:01 AM AEST
    Are you buying an asset or a home?

    Adelaide Bank general manager Damian Percy argues property, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, has almost become an international asset class. "We increasingly in Australia see homes as an asset, as an economic artefact, and not a place to live in and raise families and create community," Mr Percy says. Mr Percy has no doubt Australia has a problem when it comes to housing affordability.

  • 5 best situations to trade in your auto loan - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    With interest rates remaining so low, an auto refinance may have crossed your mind -- and it could be a good idea. If your current car loan interest rate is above 6%, you might want to investigate refinancing. Unlike refinancing your mortgage or even consolidating credit card balances, refinancing your vehicle loan is usually quick, easy and painless.

  • Other types of mortgages - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The mortgage market is diverse. A jumbo loan is a mortgage that's too big to be bought by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jumbo mortgage rates generally are higher than rates on loans under the limits, called conforming loans.

  • Bunching itemized deductions - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The problem: Your costs regularly fall just short of the income thresholds they must meet in some deduction categories. The IRS allows some deductions only after they exceed a minimum amount tied to your adjusted gross income. Medical expenses, for example, are of no use for most filers until they total more than 10% of your adjusted gross income.

  • When can widow get spouse's Social Security? - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Dear Dr. Don, My husband of 13 years died in 2006. He was already collecting Social Security at the time. After I got my senses together, I checked to see when I could get spousal benefits from his Social ...

  • Do you have what it takes to become a landlord? - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The buzz is building around income property once again, and for good reason: The economy continues to recover, mortgage rates remain low, homes are appreciating and legions of baby boomers are downsizing and scouting post-retirement income opportunities. Jill Wente, a Realtor with Gary Greene Real Estate near Houston, says those leaning toward becoming a landlord fall into two categories. "Even if they say 'no,' I still recommend a management company.

  • My health is shaky. Will a reverse mortgage hurt me? - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    My retirement income is $900 per month. If within five years it's determined that I can't live on my own, is doing a reverse mortgage still a good idea? As I see it, you have two conflicting goals: gaining retirement income by tapping the equity in your home with a reverse mortgage, and paying for long-term care once you can no longer live on your own.

  • Building approvals hit record highs AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 3:45 PM AEST
    Building approvals hit record highs

    A massive pipeline of housing construction is expected to help slow soaring home prices in the coming year. A record $57.6 billion of new homes were approved to be built in the past 12 months, which means over 200,000 dwellings are expected to be constructed across Australia this year. In May, dwellings approved for construction bounced back from a fall the previous month to rise 2.4 per cent for the month and 17.6 per cent for the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

  • Building approvals strengthen in May AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 1:27 PM AEST
    Building approvals strengthen in May

    Approvals for the construction of new homes rose 2.4 per cent in May, and were up 17.6 per cent over the 12 months to May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said the increase is surprising, considering that housing construction was already strong. Mr Workman said one problem is that most of the new construction is happening in the suburbs rather than the inner city or near the beaches.

  • Property prices climb 10% in 2014/15 AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 10:06 AM AEST
    Property prices climb 10% in 2014/15

    Home values across Australia's capital cities climbed almost 10 per cent during the 2014/15 financial year, fuelled by the booming Sydney and Melbourne markets. A rebound in values during June helped lift ...

  • Aust bonds weaker amid Greek debt crisis AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 9:15 AM AEST

    Australian 10-year bond prices are weaker, tracking moves in US Treasuries as the Greek debt crisis deepens, and after comments from the US Federal Reserve. Westpac strategist Imre Speizer said the US ...

  • Housing data likely overshadowed by Greece AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 6:38 AM AEST
    Housing data likely overshadowed by Greece

    New figures will show how Australia's housing boom is playing out and whether soaring prices continue to encourage new home building. The latest building approvals report for May will probably be overshadowed ...

  • Smart Banking: What is a 'run' on the bank? - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Greek account holders, worried their Euro-denominated savings would be endangered by an exit from the eurozone, flocked to ATMs, which were quickly emptied out. On June 28, Greek regulators announced the country's banks would remain closed until July 6 to avoid a full-scale bank run, and that transfers of cash out of the country would be limited. A bank run is when a large number of a bank's account holders show up at branches -- usually spooked by some negative news and fearing the bank is going under -- and try to withdraw all their money at once.

  • Understanding escrow accounts - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    At closing, you will be required to deposit real estate taxes and insurance premiums into an escrow account (sometimes called an impound account). An escrow account ensures that the taxes and insurance will be paid on time. This protects the lender from tax liens and uninsured losses that the borrower can't repay.

  • Get relief from hubby's discharged student debt? - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Is there any provision in the law about tax relief for an innocent spouse? There are provisions in the law regarding "innocent spouse relief." However, this relates to income not reported properly on a joint return, so it will not help you in your situation. The student loan forgiveness will be reported to you on Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt.

  • Gay marriage and real estate: What changed? - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage has sweeping effects on laws across the country, including those related to real estate ownership. The high court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples in the U.S. have a right to marry, no matter where they live, striking down gay marriage bans that still existed in a handful of states. Joint rights of tenancy with survivorship ensures that when one co-owner passes, the survivor owns all the property, no matter what the underlying relationship, says Mike Gelfand, senior partner at Gelfand and Arpe, PA in West Palm Beach, Florida.

  • Money Makeover: Young dad seeks debt-free living - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Paolo Astorga, age 26, of Bethesda, Maryland, was awarded $3,000 as the grand-prize winner of Bankrate's Money Makeover. Paolo earns $56,000 per year as an accreditation specialist for a health care nonprofit, where he has been working since graduating five years ago from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in economics. First and foremost, Paolo wants to achieve debt-free living.