Interest Rates

  • 13 ways to cut your taxes without itemizing Bankrate.com - 1 hour 52 minutes ago

    All taxpayers have a choice: They can claim the standard deduction, or they can itemize deductions. Taking these deductions will reduce your AGI, which in most cases, directly cuts your overall tax bill. The less taxable income, the less you'll owe the IRS.

  • Labor would lead us to poverty: PM AAP - 7 hours ago
    Labor would lead us to poverty: PM

    Malcolm Turnbull has accused the opposition of wanting to lead Australia into poverty by rejecting the government's 10-year corporate tax rate cut. It's the path to poverty," Mr Turnbull told parliament on Tuesday.

  • Consumer confidence decline halted AAP - 7 hours ago

    Consumer confidence rose last week, ending a run of three straight weekly declines, despite weakness in wage growth and a rise in unemployment. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence Survey shows that consumer confidence was up 1.6 per cent at 113.8 points for the week ending March 26, well above the 100-point level separating confidence and pessimism. Households' views on the 12-month economic outlook rose 2.7 per cent, following a 3.3 per cent slump the previous week.

  • How to get a tax deduction for charitable donations Bankrate.com - Mon, Mar 27, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Taxes Tax Deductions JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images Giving away your stuff that no longer brings you joy may instead bring happiness to others who could use them. An added bonus: You get a tax deduction ...

  • Banks again under political spotlight AAP - Mon, Mar 27, 2017 8:33 AM AEDT
    Banks again under political spotlight

    Proceedings will kick off with Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie introducing a private members bill seeking a banking sector code of conduct, while Queensland MP Bob Katter wants a commission of inquiry into the industry. Both bills were flagged well before Friday's decisions by the ANZ and Commonwealth Bank to raise their mortgage rates. It followed similar moves by National Australia Bank and Westpac a week earlier independent of the Reserve Bank, which has left the record-low cash rate unchanged since August last year.

  • What is President Donald Trump's net worth? Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    President Donald Trump started his path to the White House in Brooklyn, New York, working with his father and making deals in the real estate development business. From there, he entered the world of Manhattan real estate and eventually branched out into properties throughout the world. Trump claimed in a presidential campaign disclosure form that he was worth in excess of $10 billion.

  • Teachers are special. Even the IRS thinks so Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Teachers and other educators can get a tax deduction of up to $250 for some of those costs as well as continuing education expenses. Educator expenses are one of the so-called above-the-line deductions claimed directly on a Form 1040 or via tax software. Congress made the tax break for educators a permanent part of the tax code in 2015.

  • ANZ, CBA follow rivals with mortgage hikes AAP - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 7:55 PM AEDT
    ANZ, CBA follow rivals with mortgage hikes

    ANZ and Commonwealth Bank have raised mortgage rates, with all four of Australia's big banks now having moved out-of-cycle since the US Federal Reserve hiked its cash rate last week. Both lenders raised ...

  • ANZ follows rivals with mortgage rate hike AAP - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 1:41 PM AEDT
    ANZ follows rivals with mortgage rate hike

    ANZ has become the third of Australia's big four banks to raise mortgage rates since the US Federal Reserve hiked its cash rate last week. ANZ on Friday said it is raising variable rates for investor and interest-only mortgages, leaving Commonwealth Bank as the only major lender not to move since the Fed's decision. ANZ's investor loan rate will rise by 0.25 percentage points from next Friday to 5.85 per cent, while new interest-only investor loans will rise by 0.36 percentage points to 5.96 per cent and new owner-occupier interest-only loans will rise 0.20 percentage points to 5.45 per cent.

  • ANZ raises investor rates, one week after rivals AAP - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 1:01 PM AEDT
    ANZ raises investor rates, one week after rivals

    ANZ is raising its variable rates for investor and interest-only mortgages, but will not increase lending costs for residential borrowers with standard principal and interest loans. The bank says its investor ...

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 23, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 9% Down 36% Unchanged 55% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 9% 36% 55% This week (March 23-29), 9 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates will ...

  • Fed reassures mortgage market, and rates fall Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 23, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Homebuyers and refinancers have received a belated gift from the Fed: Mortgage rates have fallen because the Federal Reserve reassured bond investors that it won't raise short-term interest rates aggressively. This decline in mortgage interest rates might not last, because in the long run, rates are trending upward. Early last week, mortgage rates went up more than they normally would have.

  • OCR unchanged but RBNZ still wary AAP - Thu, Mar 23, 2017 7:28 AM AEDT

    Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has kept the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent, as expected, and reiterated his view that the benchmark rate doesn't need shifting for the foreseeable future. Last month the Reserve Bank adopted a neutral stance on policy, signalling the OCR would go nowhere until the middle of 2019, while acknowledging risks in the housing market and US President Donald Trump's protectionist trade measures could change the outlook. Mr Wheeler reiterated those concerns on Thursday, saying "major challenges remain with on-going surplus capacity in the global economy and extensive geopolitical uncertainty".

  • Slim growth in online job advertising AAP - Wed, Mar 22, 2017 7:16 PM AEDT
    Slim growth in online job advertising

    Job advertising on the internet has experienced the tiniest of growth in February, hardly the antidote to last week's figures showing the unemployment rate jumping to its highest level in over a year at 5.9 per cent. The Department of Employment on Wednesday said job ads rose by just 0.1 per cent in February, to be 2.2 per cent higher than a year earlier. Machinery operators and drivers saw the biggest rise among the eight occupational groups monitored by the department, rising two per cent in the month and 13.1 per cent annually, although it says this is the smallest grouping in its survey and translates to a modest 990 job ads over the year.

  • To buy or not to buy? Home versus shares AAP - Wed, Mar 22, 2017 6:12 PM AEDT

    The median cost of a home there was $928,000 in mid-March, 18.5 per cent more than it was at the same time last year, according to analytics firm CoreLogic. If you want to avoid forking out thousands for Lenders' Mortgage Insurance, you'll need a 20 per cent deposit. Melburnians have it easier but are still faced with an average house price of $692,000, 14.2 per cent higher than back in mid-March 2016.

  • Scant growth in online job ads AAP - Wed, Mar 22, 2017 5:00 PM AEDT
    Scant growth in online job ads

    Online job advertising experienced negligible growth last month, hardly the remedy to last week's figures showing the unemployment rate jumping to its highest level in over a year at 5.9 per cent. The Department of Employment's monthly vacancy report found job ads rose by just 0.1 per cent in the month, to be 2.2 per cent higher than a year earlier. While it eased slightly in February, the index - which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future - posted its seventh consecutive month where the growth rate has been at or above trend.

  • Made money on an investment? See if you owe capital gains tax Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If you've made money on the asset and have held it for longer than a year before selling, you can pay a lower tax rate -- if you have to pay any tax at all -- because your gain is considered a long-term capital gain. Your income ultimately determines what long-term capital gains rate you pay. Taxpayers in the two lowest tax brackets -- 10 percent and 15 percent -- could end up without any capital gains tax bill at all.

  • Calculating the cost basis of a long-time family property Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    What are some of the tax consequences and other considerations we should think about? --Because your father inherited the property, the general rule for you to use is the fair market value, or FMV, of the property on the date of your grandfather's death. If the executor of the estate or the personal representative chose to use the "alternate valuation date," then you would use the FMV on that date, which is six months after your father's death.

  • Americans have a big disconnect about saving money Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Americans are feeling better about how much they're saving, for the first time in six years of Bankrate polling. It turns out that consumers aren't really doing a better job with saving. Bankrate's new survey finds that, for the first time, more Americans feel comfortable with their savings than feel uncomfortable.

  • Australians not so happy about economy AAP - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 3:35 PM AEDT

    Australia is one of the happiest nations in the world, but ask people what they think about the economy and their smiles will quickly turn to a grimace. A United Nations report has found Australia to be the joint-ninth happiest country on Earth with New Zealand. The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index fell for a third straight week, declining one per cent after the latest jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to 5.9 per cent, the highest point in just over a year.

  • Home prices jumped 7.7% in 2016 AAP - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 3:31 PM AEDT
    Home prices jumped 7.7% in 2016

    Prices rose 4.1 per cent in the December quarter, with the growth again led by Sydney and Melbourne, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Residential Property Price Index. Sydney house prices rose 6.1 per cent during the December quarter, while those in Melbourne rose six per cent. The growth has come despite Australian banks tightening lending criteria for property investors over the past year, under pressure from the banking regulator.

  • Melbourne house prices hotter than Sydney AAP - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 3:21 PM AEDT

    Melbourne was home to the largest residential property price hikes in 2016, outgunning Sydney. Homes in Melbourne were an average of 10.8 per cent more expensive in December than they were a year earlier, ...

  • Everyone at G20 wants to be us: Treasurer AAP - Mon, Mar 20, 2017 5:15 PM AEDT
    Everyone at G20 wants to be us: Treasurer

    Scott Morrison has returned full of beans from a meeting in Germany with his international counterparts. "That's the feedback I was getting," he told Ray Hadley on Sydney's 2GB radio on Monday. Australia is set to clock up the longest run of interrupted economic expansion this year at over 26 years, overtaking a record previously held by the Dutch.

  • Home auctions buoyant across Australia AAP - Mon, Mar 20, 2017 12:53 PM AEDT

    Home auctions were buoyant across every Australian capital city last week, with particularly strong sales activity in Sydney. The national clearance rate across the capital cities was 76.2 per cent in the week ended March 19, up from 75.1 per cent a week earlier and 68.8 per cent a year ago, according to the latest data from CoreLogic. Some 2,844 auctions were held around the capitals in the week, up 93 per cent from 1,473 a week earlier when a public holiday in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory suppressed activity.

  • Spending growth at two-year low AAP - Mon, Mar 20, 2017 12:02 AM AEDT

    Growth in spending across the Australian economy in February was the slowest in two years, as car sales lifted but purchases in retail stores dipped, according to a Commonwealth Bank survey. The latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator shows that cautious spending patterns have returned, with spending Australia-wide growing by just 0.1 per cent in trend terms in February. On an annual basis, sales grew by five per cent, down from 5.3 per cent in the 12 months to January and the slowest growth pace in five months.

  • How Brexit could affect your travel Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Tom Bonaventure/Getty Images After the United Kingdom officially parts ways with the European Union in about two years, Americans could see fewer flying options abroad -- and longer passport lines when ...

  • When a traditional IRA makes the most tax sense Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Saving money today for your retirement takes discipline, but you can enjoy immediate gratification in the form of a tax deduction with a traditional IRA. Rather, your contribution amount is subtracted from your income to help determine your taxable income -- and your tax bill. The allowable contribution amounts can be deposited into your traditional IRA as late as the annual tax-return filing deadline and still count toward cutting your prior year's tax bill.

  • 5 mortgages that require little or no money down Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, guarantees purchase mortgages with no required down payment for qualified veterans, active-duty service members and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves. Private lenders originate VA loans, which the VA guarantees. There is no mortgage insurance.

  • Big four banks lift Aust share market AAP - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 5:14 PM AEDT

    The major banks have driven the Australian share market higher after two of the big four increased their variable mortgage rates for investors and owner occupiers. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 finished 0.24 ...

  • Westpac raises its variable mortgage rates AAP - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 4:03 PM AEDT
    Westpac raises its variable mortgage rates

    Westpac has followed rival National Australia Bank by raising its variable mortgage rates for owner-occupiers and investors. The changes announced Friday include Westpac's owner-occupier rate rising by ...

  • Westpac raises variable mortgage rates AAP - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 2:20 PM AEDT

    Westpac has followed rival National Australia Bank by raising its variable mortgage rates for owner-occupiers and investors. Westpac says the changes include lifting its owner-occupier rate by 0.03 percentage ...

  • Earned income tax credit: Complex, but worth it Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT
    Earned income tax credit: Complex, but worth it

    Workers who don't earn much money or who lost a job last year may benefit from the earned income tax credit, or EITC. With this tax break, qualified individuals can get a portion of the taxes they paid reimbursed. It even can produce a tax refund for eligible filers who had no tax liability.

  • Mortgages rise. Get one sooner, not later Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Asia Images Group/Shutterstock.com Even before the Federal Reserve raised short-term rates, mortgages already had gone up to their highest level in nearly three years. And mortgage rates probably won't ...

  • Know the rules for your Roth IRA during tax season Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    You have until the April tax-return-filing deadline to set up an IRA for the 2016 tax year. With a Roth account, you won't get an immediate tax break, but you won't pay any tax on your money when you eventually take it out. The IRS, however, has specific rules on just who can have a Roth IRA and how much money can be contributed each year.

  • Consumer sentiment remains steady: Westpac AAP - Wed, Mar 15, 2017 11:29 AM AEDT

    Consumer sentiment remains steady in March as concerns about economic conditions, budget and tax have eased, according to Westpac. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 0.1 per cent to 99.7 points in March, from 99.6 points in February, but remains below the 100 point level at which optimists outnumber pessimists. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said the index appeared to be stabilising around the point where optimists and pessimists are around equal in number.