Rate Report: The Week’s Best Deals on Loans and Savings

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Are you earning as much as you can on your savings while paying as little as possible when you borrow? Read on for a quick check of today's rates and to see if you're making your money work as hard for you as you do for it.

You should always keep an eye on the rates you earn on your savings and those you pay when you borrow – because earning more when you save or paying less on loans will add up, especially over time.

Take out a $200,000, 30-year mortgage at 6.5 percent, and over the life of your loan you’ll pay a total of $255,000 in interest. But lock in 5 percent, and your total interest will be $186,500: $68,500 less.  That’s enough to put your kids through college, start your own business, or retire earlier.

So check your rates: both those you’re paying and earning. Then take a quick look below to see if you can do better.  The data below is from Informa Research Services.

Loan rates

Mortgage loans

The trend: Mortgage rates were down slightly last week, with 30-year fixed rates averaging 4.98 percent vs. the prior week’s 5.01. Expectations for this year are for rates to be volatile but rise gradually as the economy continues to recover. (See our story Mortgage Rates 2011.)

The annual percentage rates (APRs) below are based on borrowers with good credit for a $200,000 purchase loan for an owner-occupied, single-family residence, with a 20-percent down payment.

Home equity

Car loans

Credit cards

Before looking for a credit card, think about how you’ll use it. Do you carry a balance? Then you want a card with a low interest rate. Do you pay off your balance every month? Then look at credit cards with no annual fee and perks like cash back or airline miles. Do you spend more on gas than anything else? Then maybe your perfect credit card comes from an oil company with extra cash back on gas purchases.

Below are average and high interest rates on various types of cards. Click here to search credit cards nationwide for the card best suited to you.

  • Platinum card: The average rate last week was 10.01 percent, and the high rate was 24.9 percent: both unchanged from the week before.
  • Reward card: The average rate last week was 11.90 percent, and the high rate was 24.90 percent: unchanged.
  • Introductory rate card: The average rate last week was 1.71 percent, and the high rate was 7.90 percent: unchanged.

Savings rates

Certificates of deposit (CDs)

Rates on CDs are currently as low as .01 percent – basically nothing. Below are the averages for last week on various maturities. Check them out, see if you’re earning better than the average, then click here to search current CD rates.

  • 3 month: The average rate last week was .26 percent, up .06 percent from the prior week. The low was unchanged at .01 percent.
  • 6 month: The average rate last week was .40 percent, and the low was .01 percent: both unchanged.
  • 12 month: The average rate last week was unchanged at .61 percent, and the low was .01 percent: both unchanged.
  • 24 month: The average rate last week was unchanged at .94 percent, slightly lower than the week before, and the low was unchanged at .01 percent.
  • 36 month: The average rate last week was unchanged at 1.26 percent, a tick higher than the previous week, while the low was unchanged at .01 percent.

Money market accounts

The average money market account last week was paying .29 percent, while the low was .01 percent: both unchanged. But you can easily earn at least 1 percent on insured bank money market accounts. Click here to search money market accounts.

Stacy Johnson

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