Interest Rates

  • FAFSA secrets for scoring the most financial aid Bankrate.com - 10 hours ago

    A longer application season -- now beginning on Oct. 1 -- means FAFSA filing time has arrived for families who want to learn earlier about college financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, determines which students qualify for federal grants, student loans and work-study jobs, as well as eligibility for many private awards. Financial aid from federal and college sources is most often awarded in the order in which the forms are submitted, so file as soon as you can.

  • Economists ponder the RBA under Lowe AAP - 12 hours ago

    With a Reserve Bank board meeting looming, economists this week looked ahead to the likely decision on interest rates and how the central bank's approach might shift under its new governor. On Friday afternoon, the futures market gave the likelihood of a cut in the cash rate on Tuesday - from its current record low of 1.5 per cent - a token one in 50 chance, in line with the strong consensus among economists. Economists will pick over Philip Lowe's first statement since he took over as governor from Glenn Stevens.

  • Who can get public service loan forgiveness? Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 29, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The first thing a family should do when getting ready to fill out the FAFSA application is have all the documentation needed to complete it at the ready, according to Mark Kantrowitz, president of MK Consulting Inc. in Las Vegas and a nationally recognized expert on student financial aid. While parents may think filling out a hard copy of the application may be the easiest way to go, completing the application online can speed up the process.

  • Right time to refi: Mortgage rates near record low Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 29, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 3.54% from 3.62%, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of large lenders. "I think it's a fear play," says Mike Chadwick, owner of Chadwick Financial Advisors, in Unionville, Connecticut. The buying spree sent Treasury and mortgage bond yields down, and mortgage interest rates followed.

  • Make a mistake on your taxes? Fix it with Form 1040X Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 28, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    If you discovered a mistake on your tax return, don't panic. In most cases, you can fix the error by filing an amended tax return. Other times, it might lower your tax bill, such as when you run across a forgotten receipt for a generous charitable contribution you made.

  • Is it possible to retire in your 30s or 40s? Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 28, 2016 8:00 PM AEST
    Is it possible to retire in your 30s or 40s?

    Retiring super early can be a downright dangerous idea, says Mike Lynch, vice president of strategic markets at Hartford Funds. "If you stop funding your retirement and start using it 30 years ahead of schedule," says Lynch, "it is therefore unlikely that you will receive Social Security benefits.

  • Bankrate $10K winner wants a vacation, but debt is a damper Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 28, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Chelsea Raley's debt hinders her ability to save for emergencies, and working so much keeps her from enjoying life the way she would like. Chelsea Raley, 28, is a business analyst in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition to a mortgage, she has student loans, credit card balances, some medical debt and virtually no emergency savings.

  • $A steady ahead of Yellen's testimony AAP - Wed, Sep 28, 2016 5:20 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar is hovering just below 77 US cents as traders wait for more potential clues from US central bank chief Janet Yellen on the timing of an expected interest rate hike. At 1700 AEST on ...

  • Wage bargaining results outpace CPI AAP - Wed, Sep 28, 2016 12:06 PM AEST

    Annual wage increases through bargaining agreements are growing three times the rate of inflation, although probably not at a pace to trouble the Reserve Bank. Department of Employment figures show the average annualised wage increase for agreements approved in the June quarter was three per cent, up from the 2.7 per cent average in the March quarter. It compares with the one per cent annual rate of the consumer price index in the June quarter and outpaces the 2.1 per cent growth in the wage price index - the Reserve Bank's preferred measure of wage growth.

  • Is Australia set for years of low rates? Yahoo7 Finance - Wed, Sep 28, 2016 12:00 AM AEST
    Is Australia set for years of low rates?

    Australia's interest rates are likely to stay low for years, perhaps even decades, a top global economist warns. US futures trader and exchange operator CME Group's executive director and senior economist Erik Norland, who is visiting Australia this week, says any rate rise forcing Australia's debt-laden companies and households to pay more interest could be crippling and unbalance the entire economy. Because of that burden and associated risk, Mr Norland expects the Reserve Bank to avoid starting a cycle of raising rates in the long term, and he doubts Australian interest rates will ever even get back up to a level of three or four per cent.

  • Owe tax on our old home that we're renting out? Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 27, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    As of May 2015, it became a rental property. Now we are thinking of putting the rental property on the market for about $450,000 and hoping it will sell in the next 5-6 months. Or am I still liable to some percentage of capital gains given that it has been a rental property for over a year now?

  • The black card: For those in the financial stratosphere Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 27, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve card sure has a lot going for it, but what if this $450 annual fee rewards card just isn't ... elite enough for you? Enter the black card. What is a black card? A black card ...

  • Retiring next year? 8 money moves to make now Bankrate.com - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    As life transitions go, retirement ranks way up there among the most challenging, both financially and emotionally. After a lifetime of work, you may have mixed emotions about retirement -- looking forward to not working but nervous about leaving your work identity behind. Because retirement can be so stressful, Jeff Vollmer, a financial adviser with Hyde Park Wealth Management in Cincinnati, advises clients to begin planning 5 years in advance.

  • Independents' outlook bad news for Clinton, Dems? Bankrate.com - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Independent voters are more pessimistic about their personal finances than Republicans or Democrats, according to Bankrate's recent Financial Security Index, providing a potential trouble spot for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, as she battles Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, for the presidency. Independent voters, who account for the largest group of respondents in our survey, score a 97, lower than Democrats (103.6) and Republicans (99.4).

  • How Democrats and Republicans differ on their finances Bankrate.com - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    An analysis of Bankrate's Financial Security Index data shows that Republicans and Democrats view the current state of their finances differently, and take substantially different approaches to managing their money in many respects. Overall, Democrats have a much sunnier view of their personal finances than Republicans. Democrats, who account for 33% of respondents, currently score a 103.6 on the FSI, compared with a 99.4 for Republicans, who account for 27% of respondents.

  • Pedophile neighbor gives would-be buyer 2nd thoughts Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    You have apparently signed the equivalent of a letter of intent to purchase real estate, a document that outlines your proposed transaction with the owner. Read more Real Estate Adviser columns and more stories about real estate.

  • Widow has new van she can't afford. Is it dealer's fault? Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy.

  • Checks: rarely used, but still useful for many Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    There was a time not too long ago when running out of checks was cause for panic and ordering your first set of personal checks was a milestone. If you lose access to the Internet while you're completing a purchase, making your rent payment or mailing a payment to an official office such as the Internal Revenue Service, you might need to write out personal checks. The recipient's name goes on the line in the center of the check that's labeled "Pay to the order of." Use the full name of the person or the official name of the business to be sure the payment goes through.

  • Think you know how much an inground pool costs? Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Additionally, homeowners must research local laws regarding building codes and safety standards, which might specify a type of fence, locks, and other safety equipment you need to have on hand. After all, installing an above ground pool requires little more than flattening the area and removing grass and weeds. Accessories: Pumps, ladders, filters, pool fencing, solar heaters, cleaning tools, brushes, covers, and chemicals all add to the final price tag.

  • How outspoken businessman Mark Cuban built his net worth Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Celebrity Net Worth John Lamparski/Getty Images Mark Cuban Net worth: $3.3 billion (as of September 2016) Year of birth: 1958 Education: Indiana University How Mark Cuban's net worth was built Mark Cuban's ...

  • What did the Fed say -- and what on Earth did it mean? Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Federal Reserve officials ended their September meeting by leaving an interest rate hike on hold -- which may seem straightforward. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year. Although the unemployment rate is little changed in recent months, job gains have been solid, on average.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 11% Down 56% Unchanged 33% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 11% 56% 33% This week (Sept. 22-28), 11% of the panelists believe mortgage rates will ...

  • Sick wife must repay Obamacare discount for using 401(k) Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    When her savings was gone, she borrowed from her 401(k) to pay bills. When we filed our taxes for 2015, we were told that even though my wife paid the taxes on her 401(k) distribution, it was also considered income. ACA wanted her health care discounts back due to the 401(k) distribution.

  • $A surges as central banks hold steady AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 5:27 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar has gained almost one US cent after the US Federal Reserve decided against raising interest rates, while the new head of the Reserve Bank of Australia indicated there is little chance ...

  • "President Trump" would be a surprise: RBA AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 4:52 PM AEST
    "President Trump" would be a surprise: RBA

    Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe says a win by Donald Trump in the US presidential election would be a surprise to many in financial markets. "We haven't got a particular contingency plan for that event, but we would be watching the markets and we have the capability to respond if there was an adverse response," Dr Lowe told the House of Representatives economics committee hearing in Sydney.

  • Stevens hands over RBA baton, mug and all AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 4:40 PM AEST
    Stevens hands over RBA baton, mug and all

    New Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has urged governments and business to take advantage of the low interest rate environment to invest in assets like infrastructure. In his first appearance in front of a parliamentary committee as head of the central bank, Dr Lowe also indicated a further reduction in interest rates could not be ruled out. Dr Lowe took over from Glenn Stevens as governor last weekend, who retired after 10 years in the top job.

  • Borrow to build assets: RBA boss AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 4:33 PM AEST
    Borrow to build assets: RBA boss

    Governments should be able to borrow to build infrastructure without falling foul of the ratings agencies and putting credit ratings at risk, new Reserve Bank of Australian governor Philip Lowe says. Dr Lowe, appearing before a parliamentary economics committee in Sydney, said governments borrowing for recurrent spending would find it "hard to have a good story".

  • Stevens handed over RBA baton, mug et al AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 3:51 PM AEST
    Stevens handed over RBA baton, mug et al

    New Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has urged governments and business to take advantage of the low interest rate environment to invest in assets like infrastructure. In his first appearance in front of a parliamentary committee as head of the central bank, Dr Lowe also indicated a further reduction in interest rates could not be ruled out. Dr Lowe took over from Glenn Stevens as governor last weekend, who retired after 10 years in the top job.

  • Rates to stay low with RBA's Lowe AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 12:14 PM AEST
    Rates to stay low with RBA's Lowe

    New Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has not ruled out having to cut the official cash rate again, even if it is already at a record low. Dr Lowe told a parliamentary hearing that financial markets are factoring in a 50 per cent probability of a further interest cut from 1.5 per cent to 1.25 per cent. "That's possible, it going to depend on a whole range of factors," Dr Lowe told the House of Representatives economics committee on Thursday.

  • RBA's Lowe says lower $A would be helpful AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 11:04 AM AEST

    A lower Australian dollar would be helpful in amplifying the economic benefits of its recent falls, Philip Lowe has said at his first appearance as Reserve Bank governor. "Of course most central banks say the same thing - most people would like a slightly lower exchange rate and I think it reflects the deficiency in aggregate demand in the global economy," Mr Lowe told a hearing of the House of Representatives economic committee in Sydney. "Many of my peers think the same, but of course we can't all have a lower exchange rate," he said.

  • Growth since mining boom remarkable: RBA AAP - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 10:48 AM AEST

    Australia's remarkable growth since the mining boom is due to the lower Aussie dollar, the flexible labour market and low interest rates, the Reserve Bank says. Appearing before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics on Thursday, new RBA governor Philip Lowe paid tribute to the economy's resilience. "In many ways it's a remarkable achievement and it's (because of) the underlying flexibility that comes from the exchange rate, from the flexibility that we do see in the labour market and the ability of monetary policy to adjust to the changing circumstances," Dr Lowe said.

  • Melbourne price growth leads the nation while other cities fall behind Property Observer - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 12:00 AM AEST
    Melbourne price growth leads the nation while other cities fall behind

    Home values across Australia’s eight capital cities rose at the slowest annual rate in more than three years at the end of the June quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

  • When can you tap your IRA without owing a tax penalty? Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    You've been saving diligently in an IRA for your retirement, but now you need some of that cash to cover today's expenses. The tax laws governing early distributions are toughest when it comes to traditional IRAs, but they also apply, albeit slightly differently, to Roth accounts. For both types of retirement plans, the IRS generally considers IRA withdrawals made before you reach age 59 1/2 as premature distributions.

  • Drawbacks of refinancing into a 15-year mortgage Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    When you refinance from a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to a 15-year home loan, you pay a lower interest rate and you save a lot in interest payments. Along with paying off high-interest rate debt, McBride advises saving for emergencies and for retirement.

  • Refinance into a 15-year mortgage and save money Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    RATE SEARCH: Find the best deal today for a 15-year mortgage. Interest rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages typically run about three-quarters of a percentage point lower than the interest rates on equivalent 30-year home loans. The monthly payments are higher than for a 30-year loan.