Archive for October, 2010

Fed’s Meeting Could Drop Interest Rates

The Fed meets this next week to decide how much they will buy of Treasury notes and other assets to help spur the US economy. The Fed is planning on taking action to help create momentum in the US economy and to promote growth. When people stop buying and selling and start saving, the economy slows and growth is minimal. Manufacturing slows when people stop buying products, which then causes people to become unemployed and the cycle of a recession continues. In a time period when home owners are losing their houses and jobs at record breaking numbers, its imperative for the Fed to act.

The goal: drive up the prices of long-term bonds, which pushes down yields. That, in turn, pulls down rates on mortgages and other loans, spurring consumers to buy homes and cars, and businesses to invest and hire workers as noted by Paul Davidson.

What does this have to do with interest rates? If the Fed buys up Bonds and other assets it will spur banks to start lending more of their cash. Both banks and corporations are sitting on loads of cash which can be used to lend to buyers and to create jobs. If banks are more willing to lend money, people will be able to buy houses, refinance their current one and buy other larger purchases such as car, all promoting growth. Interest rates will drop, mortgage rates will drop, making it easier for people to get into a house with a low payment. If people have more cash to spend, rather than save or put it into a house that’s about to go into foreclosure, then the buying of products and new merchandise can spur the economy into growth and lower unemployment.

It will take a few months to see how this decision will affect CD rates. If banks decide to lend out more money, the low interest they charge will keep CD rates low. A certificate of deposit is a loan to a bank which the bank then turns it around and lends it out to a customer with a small interest rate behind it. Whatever the bank earns, they turn that around and pay out a small portion to the lender. The reason why the Fed’s meeting November 3-4th is so important is because if they do end up buying billions of dollars worth of US Bonds, then the interest rates on everything will fall as well. Mortgage rates will decrease to further record lows, which is great for the borrower, but bad for the saver. Be sure to keep an eye on our CD rates board to see if rates begin to decrease or increase.

Mortgage Rates Up 2 Weeks in a Row – Oct 28

According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey mortgage rates are up for the 2nd week in a row.

October 28, 2010 30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM 1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 4.23 % 3.66 % 3.41 % 3.30 %
Fees & Points 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.7

Last week the 30 year rate was sitting at 4.21%. The 15 year was 3.64, and once again while the 30 and 15 year fixed raise the 5/1 AMR dipped once more from 3.45% last week to 3.41% this week.

Should you lock if you have the chance?

I was visiting an old loan officer friend of mine and I overheard him on the phone talking to a client.  He said to them, “I wouldn’t lock yet as rates are up and you may have the opportunity to lock at a lower rate.”

Should you follow this advice as well?  Absolutely NOT.

Your situation is going to be much different than others.  You need to be sure you have a professional loan officer whom you can count on to give you sound advice for your loan in particular.

Now with that said rates are extremely low right now and if you have the chance to lock in a new rate in the low 4 or high 3 percentage range I say look into it.

If you want to crunch some numbers for your new home loan try our home loan calculator.

TD Bank Mortgage Rates and MTG Process Reviewed

TD Bank services customers in states along the east coast.

TD Banks Slogan is “Americas Most Convenient Bank”.

We’ll review there mortgage rates and then review just how convenient they are able to make your banking experience.

Each of the loan scenarios will be based on an 80% loan to value and 1 point.

30 Year Fixed

  • Rate of 4.125%
  • APR of 4.263%

15 Year Fixed

  • Rate of 3.375%
  • APR of 3.615%
  • Note: The 15 year fix at 0 points is only 3.625% with an apr of 3.719%.
  • TD’s 15 year fixed product is one of the better we have seen.

Lets compare these rates to the nations average mortgage rates. (Based on Freddie Macs Primary Mortgage Market Survey).

  • Average 30 year with 0.8 points = 4.23%
  • TD Bank 30 year with 1 point = 4.125%
  • Average 15 year with 0.7 points = 3.66 %
  • TD Bank 15 year with 0 points = 3.625%

As you can see TD Bank is lower than the national average.  There 15 year fixed mortgage is excellent right now and worth taking a look into.

Is the loan process “convenient”?

As I browse through TD Banks website I notice it is easy to navigate and find my way around.

They have some pretty cool programs like the Mortgage Rate Security, If rates drop after you have made 12 timely payments, you may be able to lower your rate without refinancing.  Or the Hassle Free Mortgage Guarantee which is there pledge to you that your mortgage process will go smoothly.

They also have a rate watch feature that will notify you via email when rates hit your goal.

Use our Mortgage Calculator to figure out your payments.

Now obviously I haven’t gone through the mortgage process with them so I cannot speak to that, but according to MyBankTrackers bank review TD Bank has 2 out of 5 stars based on 155 user reviews.  This is not a good rating.  This rating is based on TD Bank as a whole, not just there mortgage department.

If you have had a good or bad experience with TD Bank please share in the comments below.

TD Bank serves Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

$100 Cash Back Bonus with Discover Card

Get $100 Cash Bonus with the Discover® More Card – $ 100 Cashback Bonus.

Pretty simple to qualify.  You simply need to make $500 in purchases within the first 3 months to qualify.

On top of that you can get 5% Cash Back in popular purchasing categories.  Check out when and which categories you can earn 5% cash back.

  • January – March earn 5% on travel purchases.
  • April – June earn 5% on home and fashion
  • July – September earn 5% on gas, hotels, movies and theme parks.
  • September only earn 5% on grocery and drug stores.
  • October – December earn 5% on restaurants and fashion.

Plus you can choose from a wide array of awesome credit card designs.
Click on any of the cards below to find your design.

Discover Credit Card Designs

Discover is one of the nations largest and most trusted credit card providers.  Here are a few more of the benefits on the More Card from Discover.

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a 18 months, then the Regular APR
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for a full 12 months, then the Regular APR
  • Get $100 Cashback Bonus when you make $500 in purchases within 3 months
  • Get 5% Cashback Bonus in restaurants, department stores and clothing store purchases.
  • Up to 1% unlimited Cashback Bonus on all other purchases
  • No Annual Fee
  • Apply Now!

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the “Apply Here” button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuers website.

Best CD Rates For Week Of October 25, 2010

We keep getting tips from our readers about iGObanking’s 24 month CD rate of 2.25% which is just slightly lower than the best 3 year CDs! The rate from iGObanking might not be around for too much longer as rates are constantly changing.

iGObanking ran a promotional 3 month CD back in the summer which boasted rates that were better than the 6 month averages.

iGObanking is looking better by the minute as they have a low $1,000 minimum deposit. Usually in exchange for a great rate you have to deposit a large sum of money, not with iGObanking.

*TermBankOctober 25Last Week
3 Month CDNexity Bank0.86%0.86% APY
6 Month CDBank of Internet1.15% APY1.15% APY
12 Month CDMelrose Credit Union1.51% APY1.51% APY
24 Month CDiGObanking2.25% APY1.79% APY
36 Month CDMelrose Credit Union2.27% APY2.27% APY
60 Month CDMelrose Credit Union3.03% APY3.03% APY

Be sure to check out our top CD rates from our CD rates board.

Battery Powered Credit Cards?

Technology all around us has been in a constant explosion for decades and shows no signs of stopping within any of our life times.

Why then do we still use the same technology on credit cards that was invented in… wait for it… the 1950’s?!

Yes that is right… that little magnetic strip on the back of credit cards is 1950’s technology and it is still the primary technology for most credit cards in circulation today.  And you thought the 1st generation iPhone was old technology.

But that is all about to change.

Next month Citibank is planning on testing a credit card with a battery (do not worry you won’t have to charge your credit card… it has a 4 year life. (and I know, why don’t they make these batteries for phones?)), a microchip and a button which will allow you to choose whether to make the purchase using credit or your reward points.  Yep, you will be able to press a button on your card to choose.

Now we are talking.  This is technology at work.

But how long will it be?

Now this becomes the question… How long will it be until credit cards are obsolete.  A handful of companies right now are building platforms which will turn your phone into a “virtual wallet”.

Credit Card? There’s an app for that. (do we owe Apple money for saying that?)

Your phone will now not only be your phone, ipod, computer, tv, dictionary, internet, chef, BFF, gaming console, girl friend and navigational device.  It will also be your credit card, debit card, cash, rewards card, check book and banking center.

But with that technology still “in the future”.  The NYTimes reports Citibank and others press on in the technology of credit cards.

Megan Bramlette, director of research for the Auriemma Consulting Group, a payments industry consultant in New York says, “It’s a big deal. If once a month a consumer can fill up their gas tank for free, and they don’t have to do anything except push a button before they swipe their card, that’s cool. And that is something that I think will resonate with consumers.”

I’d say that is a pretty cool thing too.

How do you get into some of this action?

The cards will be tested by a smaller group until Citi decides to release them on a larger scale, probably mid to late 2011.

Check out Rewards Credit Cards.

Melrose Credit Union Holds Top Spot For 1 Year CD Rate

Melrose Credit Union located in Queens New York holds the top spot for the 12 Month CD rate at 1.51% APY. Melrose is a Credit Union open to all residents and only requires a $1 application fee. Since Melrose came on the scene they have kept the top spot for many of the CD rates we track. They are currently in a dead heat against iGoBanking, a division of Flushing Savings Bank also located in New York.

Not only do both of these financial institutions hold the top spot for many CDs, but they blow away the national average (0.59% APY – 1 year CD) for any certificate of deposit on the market today. In a struggling economy it’s difficult to find a decent rate of any kind, unless if you are planning on refinancing your mortgage or buying a house. Mortgage rates are falling to all time lows, which are good for people in the home buying market, but rates in the savings market are dismal.

The next best CD rates for the 1 year term are as follows:

  • 1.48% APY from Bank of Internet, with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • 1.45% APY from MetLife Bank, with a minimum deposit of $25,000.
  • 1.40% APY from Ascencia, with a minimum deposit of $500.

As the economy strengthens and interest rates increase, so should CD rates. All eyes are on what will happen next year and whether CD rates will increase in 2011, only time will tell.

Mortgage Rates Back Bounce Back Up a Little This Week – Oct 21st

Mortgage Rates decided to rebound a little this week, but by no means is this any indication that they will continue to rise.

We have seen rates bump back up like this a few times in the past only to see them drop even more the following week.

October 21, 2010 30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM 1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 4.21 % 3.64 % 3.45 % 3.30 %
Fees & Points 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.7

Last week the 30 year was at 4.19%.

The 5/1 ARM has actually continued downward falling from 3.47% last week.

When will rates start heading back up?

It is hard to say when rates will head back up.  With the election coming, the holidays and a new year we could see the economy start doing better.

Old article?  Check out the Mortgage Rates here.

iGObanking Takes Over Top 2 Year CD Rates

This is a very rare sight to see but iGObanking has taken over the top spot for the 2 Year CD rate, moving their rate from 1.75% APY to 2.25% APY which is the same rate for their 3 year CD. Could this be a sign of things to come? Will banks start competing again for your money and will iGObanking increase their 3 year CD rate? Only time will tell as we watch this unfold.

iGObanking is a division of Flushing Savings Bank in New York. They beat out Bank of Internet which had the top spot for the 2 year CD at a rate of 1.79% APY. Both require a minimum deposit of only $1,000.

iGOBanking’s 2 year CD rate beats out the highest 3 Year CD and is only a half point less than the highest 5 Year CDs. A rate like this is sure to go fast, so act quickly!

For those who wonder how stable this bank is, they have earned a three out of five star rating from Bankrate’s ratings system.

Be sure to check out our other best CD rates available on the market today.

Preparing for Black Friday Huge Discounts.

Are you nuts about black Friday?

I have a friend who literally plans for a month just for the Friday after Thanksgiving and all its glorious wonder. Therefor since we are a month away from BF we are going to start preparation.

Now I’ll be honest with you.  I’m not all that into Black Friday.  I love all the great deals, but I hate the huge crowds.  Plus I usually spend Thanksgiving weekend with my Wife, 2 daughters and extended family at the Family Beach House on Whidbey Island.

None the less, there are some screaming deals to be had on that special Friday-day.

Here are 5 tips so you are ready to get in get out and stick it to the man.

  1. Plan Ahead – Do not just shoot from the hip and head out Friday Morning.  You need a Plan.  If you fail to have a plan then you plan to have a fail. (That statement really doesn’t make sense. :))
  2. Research – Determine what you want and look into the stores that have what you want.  Plan on visiting those stores first… first and early.
  3. Get some sleep – Store up as much sleep as you can in preparation because the best deals are found EARLY and the best Black Friday-ers do not sleep at all.
  4. Set a budget – You can get trapped in all the wondrous deals real fast.  Set a budget and spend no more than that.
  5. Post BF attack plan – Most deals are the send in for a rebate type deals, so Facebook your BFF’s (Black Friday Friends) to a PBFP (Post Black Friday Party), get all those rebates filled out then have a parade down to the post office and send them away.

Mission Accomplished.

As we get closer we’ll share more BF tips with you.

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