Interest Rates

  • How to find the personal loan that's right for you Bankrate.com - 8 hours ago

    Whether you apply for a personal loan at a bank, credit union or a financial-technology firm, there's much about the process that's similar from one lender to another. Other lenders, like the online lender SoFi, specialize in refinancing student loan debt with a personal loan. As with other loan products, consumers with the highest credit scores will receive the best personal loan offers.

  • It's about to get easier to sue your bank Bankrate.com - 8 hours ago

    If you have a checking account or credit card with a major bank, there's a good chance that you didn't read a few paragraphs of tiny print in which you signed away significant rights. In customer contracts, most banks and other financial services forbid consumers from filing class-action lawsuits. Instead, financial firms require customers to use binding arbitration.

  • 9 stylish, affordable family cars for 2016 Bankrate.com - 8 hours ago

    Previous 1 of 10 Next Previous 1 of 10 Next Kia Best family vehicles for 2016 Just because you have a family doesn't mean you have to make compromises with your car. The folks at Kelley Blue Book combed ...

  • Paying more at the gas pump? Blame it on the blend Bankrate.com - 8 hours ago

    Why are there different blends of gasoline, and why in the world does it cause gas prices to go up? It's easy to think that you are being taken advantage of at the gas pump when you see gas prices suddenly spike, but there is a very real reason for a sudden increase when gas pumps switch out their gasoline blends. Winter blend has a higher RVP, so the fuel can evaporate in the engine properly at colder temperatures.

  • Owner can't sell home due to fraudulent lien Bankrate.com - 8 hours ago

    While you're right about the 6-year statute of limitations in Michigan for fraud in a real estate contract, the clock typically doesn't start ticking until the victim discovers the fraud when concealment has been involved, according to state law. It will take an attorney to best advise you on your options, but the surprise emergence of that second mortgage would seem to put the onus squarely on the title company you used when you first bought your home -- a business you were almost certainly required by your lender to hire.

  • Relief all round at the RBA Yahoo7 Finance - 20 hours ago
    Relief all round at the RBA

    The Reserve Bank of Australia will remain in safe and independent hands when Glenn Stevens hands over the governor title to his current deputy, Philip Lowe, in September.

  • NAB stronger with 6.5% lift to 1H profit AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 10:36 PM AEST
    NAB stronger with 6.5% lift to 1H profit

    National Australia Bank has lifted first-half cash earnings 6.5 per cent to $3.31 billion, emerging from the disposal of its unprofitable UK business with the best results of the big four banks. A previously flagged $4.22 billion hit from the demerger and float of Clydesdale Bank dragged NAB to a statutory $1.74 billion loss for the six months to March 31, but cash earnings - the banks' preferred measure of profitability - were up strongly. The result was the strongest of Australia's big four and came on the back of a one basis point lift in net interest margin and a reduction in the cost of bad loans.

  • Banks under pressure as earnings drop AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 10:35 PM AEST
    Banks under pressure as earnings drop

    National Australia Bank, ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank made a combined cash profit of $14.8 billion as increased funding costs and bad debts hit the bottom line. Investors will await dividend announcements with bated breath after ANZ cut its interim payout by eight per cent this week, while mortgage holders should enjoy the latest round of rate cuts while they last. "There's no sign of the margin pressure abating anytime soon, particularly as most of the majors passed on the recent RBA rate cut in full," PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia's financial services leader Julie Coates said.

  • Spending to get boost from RBA, not budget AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 10:19 PM AEST
    Spending to get boost from RBA, not budget

    For all the of pre-budget jitters weighing on consumer confidence in recent weeks, the federal government's annual financial statement is unlikely to have much impact on retail spending. While there have been months of debate over taxation issues, Tuesday's budget was generally neutral for household spending, Commonwealth Bank of Australia senior economist Michael Workman believes. New figures on Thursday showed retail spending grew by 0.4 per cent to $24.9 billion in March, a little faster than the previous month.

  • Mortgage rates fall after stock prices drop Bankrate.com - Thu, May 5, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Homebuyers can thank Apple for this week's dip in mortgage interest rates. Apple spooked U.S. stock market investors with less-than-expected earnings, triggering a sell-off in equities, flight to the bond market and subsequent rate drop. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.77% from 3.83%, according to Bankrate's May 4 survey of large lenders.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, May 5, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 17% Down 50% Unchanged 33% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 17% 50% 33% This week (May 5-11), 17% of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise ...

  • Stronger trade data halts $A fall AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 5:40 PM AEST

    Stronger trade data has helped halt the Australian dollar's recent decline. Commonwealth Bank chief market strategist Richard Grace said the currency regained ground due to official data showing Australia's deficit shrank by more than expected to $2.1 billion in March. "It's related to the economic data we had earlier which was very supportive of the Australian dollar," Mr Grace said.

  • Philip Lowe next RBA governor AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 4:43 PM AEST
    Philip Lowe next RBA governor

    Philip Lowe will replace Glenn Stevens as the next head of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The deputy governor will step up to the top job when his boss's 10-year term ends on September 17. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of governor," Treasurer Scott Morrison told parliament on Thursday.

  • Bonds firmer after weak retail sales AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 4:43 PM AEST

    The Australian bond market is firmer following the release of weaker than expected retail sales figures. RBC Capital markets senior economist Su-Lin Ong said the local market was still fairly well bid ...

  • Retail spending rose 0.4% in March AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 4:01 PM AEST
    Retail spending rose 0.4% in March

    Australian retail spending rose 0.4 per cent in March, beating economists' expectations. Total retail spending was $24.95 billion in March, up from $24.85 billion in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said the figures, while beating market expectations, were nothing to get too excited about.

  • Housing affordability starts to improve Yahoo7 Finance - Thu, May 5, 2016 3:27 PM AEST
    Housing affordability starts to improve

    Homeowners may get a reprieve in terms of the proportion of their monthly income spent on loan repayments as house prices cool. Housing affordability improved in all capital cities during the March quarter thanks to a fall in house prices, although it was not enough to offset an annual decline everywhere except Perth. Early signs have emerged that housing costs may have peaked with affordability conditions beginning to improve over the three months to March 31, a Moody's Investors Service report says.

  • Signs of peak in housing repayment costs AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 12:16 PM AEST

    Housing repayment costs may have peaked and affordability may improve in Sydney and Melbourne this year on the back of a pullback in prices, an analyst says. Housing affordability has deteriorated in all capital cities except Perth over the past year, meaning homeowners have to spend a larger proportion of their income on monthly mortgage repayments, Moody's Investors Service says. "Housing prices fell during the three months to 31 March, 2016, suggesting that repayment costs may have peaked," Moody's analyst Natsumi Matsuda said on Thursday.

  • New home sales rebound in March AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 11:30 AM AEST
    New home sales rebound in March

    New home sales have rebounded strongly indicating home building activity will remain strong this year. New homes sales rose 8.9 per cent in March, following a 5.3 per cent fall in February, according to ...

  • Crazy few days sees rates down, debt up Yahoo7 Finance - Thu, May 5, 2016 9:00 AM AEST
    Crazy few days sees rates down, debt up

    While the RBA delivered an interest rate cut that only the perpetual pessimists were predicting, the budget showed a 12th straight budget deficit.

  • Australia appoints new central bank governor AFP - Thu, May 5, 2016 8:51 AM AEST
    Australia appoints new central bank governor

    Australia named its next central bank governor Thursday, with Philip Lowe promoted to the top job from deputy to replace Glenn Stevens in a widely-tipped move. The announcement came in the week the Reserve Bank of Australia slashed interest rates to a new record-low of 1.75 percent to boost the economy as it charts a rocky path away from mining dependence after an unprecedented resources investment boom. Treasurer Scott Morrison thanked him for his service and said Lowe's appointment would "reinforce existing confidence in the institution".

  • Scentre posts quarterly sales growth AAP - Thu, May 5, 2016 8:48 AM AEST

    The owner of Westfield shopping malls in Australia and New Zealand has seen strong sales growth in the March quarter. Scentre Group says specialty sales rose 4.5 per cent during the quarter in Australia and 6.3 per cent in New Zealand.

  • 7 tips to know which tax records you can shred Bankrate.com - Wed, May 4, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    When it comes to tax-related documents, you should hang on to records that help you identify sources of income, keep track of expenses, determine the value of property, prepared tax returns or supported claims made on those returns. The financial reports also keep track of the tax-deferred earnings, compounding year after year.

  • How long should you keep tax records? Bankrate.com - Wed, May 4, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Taxes Tax Filing copyright RTimages / Fotolia Maintaining tax filing documentation is critical. It contains the answers to questions the Internal Revenue Service could ask years after you file your return. ...

  • Pay down debt now or save: Here's how to choose Bankrate.com - Wed, May 4, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Simple math suggests it's better to get rid of debt before saving for retirement or adding to your emergency fund. "In general, if you have high interest-rate debt that is not tax deductible, you should pay it off before saving," says Laurie Itkin, a financial adviser and wealth manager at Coastwise Capital Group in La Jolla, California. For example, it can mean not having an emergency fund to fall back on, setting you up to take on more debt any time an unexpected expense hits.

  • Banks may not move quickly on next RBA cut AAP - Wed, May 4, 2016 4:01 PM AEST
    Banks may not move quickly on next RBA cut

    The big banks have been quick to follow the Reserve Bank's lead and deliver a rate cut for mortgage holders, but don't expect such swift action if there's another cut in 2016. Three of the four big banks will pass on the RBA's 25 basis point rate cut in full to owner-occupier and investor variable rate loans, while ANZ opted for a 19 basis point cut. ANZ highlighted rising wholesale funding costs in its announcement of the smaller cut, a justification that could become familiar if the central bank delivers the second rate cut tipped by many analysts.

  • Aust bonds soar after RBA rate cut AAP - Wed, May 4, 2016 8:56 AM AEST

    The Australian bond market is soaring following the Reserve Bank's interest rate cut. ANZ economists say the RBA's 25 basis point cut in its cash rate to 1.75 per cent on Tuesday signals low inflation ...

  • ANZ cuts its home loan rate AAP - Wed, May 4, 2016 8:34 AM AEST
    ANZ cuts its home loan rate

    ANZ has joined the other three big banks in dropping home loan interest rates following the Reserve Bank's official interest rate cut. The ANZ says it will reduce its standard variable home loan rate by 19 basis points, rather than the full 25 points, citing rising wholesale funding costs. "While we've absorbed this for some time and taken steps to reduce costs in our own business, higher funding costs mean we are only in a position to pass on a portion of the reduction in the cash rate to our customers," ANZ group executive Fred Ohlsson said in a statement.

  • Three of the big four banks pass on cut AAP - Wed, May 4, 2016 8:31 AM AEST
    Three of the big four banks pass on cut

    Three of the big four banks have announced they will pass on the Reserve Bank's interest rate cut. Late on Tuesday, Australia's biggest lender, the Commonwealth Bank announced it would cut its standard variable home rate by 25 basis points to 5.35 per cent, effective from May 20. Minutes earlier, Westpac said it would cut its standard variable rate, also by 25 basis points, to 5.43 per cent, from May 23.

  • A mate's bad credit can make your mortgage costly Bankrate.com - Tue, May 3, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    It's a romantic notion that can collide with this cold financial reality: Applying for a mortgage with another person can be risky, especially if one of you has a notably lower credit score. When you apply for a mortgage with one or more other borrowers, the lender will pull 3 credit scores -- based on credit reports from each of the 3 major credit reporting bureaus -- and base the loan application on the lowest middle score among the applicants. The lender would look at the 2 middle scores -- 699 and 717 -- and tie the mortgage terms to the lower of those: 699.

  • 'Phantom debt' scam separates you from your money Bankrate.com - Tue, May 3, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Once I had a chance to think through what was going on, I played along and asked for his phone number so I could get "right back to him." Instead, I reported the number to the IRS. The "phantom debt" scam takes a variety of forms, but as a general swindle, it ranked in the Better Business Bureau's top 10 reported crimes in 2014 and 2015. "It 'haunts' you, hence the name," says Katherine Hutt, spokeswoman for the Council for Better Business Bureaus.

  • Veteran with military pension looks for tax relief Bankrate.com - Tue, May 3, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    My adjusted gross income, or AGI, was less than last year, too. You are correct, the tax liability is calculated based on both your full-time job and your military pension, and you have already figured out that it has to do with the amount of taxes that you are having withheld from both of these sources of income. It's time to take a look at IRS Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Pension and Annuity Payments, as this is where you are going to find the answer to your dilemma of not having enough withheld in taxes.

  • Big banks cut home loan rates after RBA AAP - Tue, May 3, 2016 5:48 PM AEST
    Big banks cut home loan rates after RBA

    National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank have cut their variable home loan rates after the Reserve Bank dropped the official interest rate to a fresh record low. The RBA cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 per cent at its May board meeting on Tuesday, after more than 12 months on the sidelines. The unexpected 0.2 per cent drop in March quarter consumer prices, reported last week, led the RBA to revise its inflation forecast which triggered the rate cut.

  • $A falls steeply after RBA rate cut AAP - Tue, May 3, 2016 5:32 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar has fallen after the Reserve Bank cut the official interest rate to a record low of 1.75 per cent. Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Joseph Capurso said the local currency rallied half a cent in the hour before the rate decision. "The Australian dollar suffered a 1.7 per cent fall from its high to low today.

  • Aust share market up two per cent AAP - Tue, May 3, 2016 5:07 PM AEST

    The Australian share market has jumped nearly two per cent to a new high for 2016, boosted by investors looking for bargains among the big banks, and a cut to interest rates. CMC Markets' Michael McCarthy said the local bourse had powered ahead on Tuesday as investors supported the banks despite a weak earnings result from the ANZ bank. Also investors were buoyed by the Reserve Bank of Australia's cut to interest rates.

  • Aust bonds rally on RBA rate cut AAP - Tue, May 3, 2016 4:50 PM AEST

    The Australian bond market is rallying after the Reserve Bank cut the official interest rate to a fresh record low. RBC senior economist Su-Lin Ong said the rate cut was driven by a reassessment of the ...