Interest rates for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages have fallen to record lows. They averaged 4.44% on Aug. 12, according to Freddie Mac, the lowest level since the organization started keeping records in 1970. But consumers can get even better deals -- at smaller banks and credit unions.

At the three big banks -- Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) -- rates average 4.66% on 30-year fixed mortgages, according to Bankrate.com. The Wall Street Journal reports that "St. Louis's Heartland Bank is offering a rate of 4.5%. Acacia Federal Savings Bank comes in at 4.25%. And Rockland Trust Co. in Boston is offering just 4.13%. (None of these offers include "points," or extra fees to secure lower rates.)"

Furthermore, "the discrepancy is widening, and I only expect it to get wider in the future," the Journal quotes Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter, as saying.

The reason for this trend is consolidation among home lenders during and after the financial crisis. The three large banks above accounted for 56.5% of new mortgage originations in the first half of this year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance -- up from just 36.6% in 2007, reports the Journal. These banks feel less need to compete on price.

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scottee

were do we find manufacturing jobs and excellent interest on our savings accounts???

August 15 2010 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaxprime1

The main reason the huge national banks will be able to make mortgages at much higher rates is that they along with the government absolutely ruined the mortgage brokerage and banking industry blaming all of the financial mess on the brokers and putting them out of business. Who were the brokers sending their loans to other than these big banks which caused all of the mess to start with - yet the banks conveniently took the opportunity to wipe out the entire brokerage industry which only a few years ago originated over 60 percent of all new loans made in the United States. These national banks were Never huge originators because people would not go to them because of the bad service and other crap they pulled. The only reason they have such a large market share now is that they bought the loan servicing rights to these loans from the brokers.

Now the American public can really get ripped off by the National Banks as being too big too fail - yet not too big to be greedy and rip off the consumers.

August 14 2010 at 7:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
scottee

most people cannot afford mortgages in a service economy. we need the national debt paid off....we need congress to stop deficit spending....we need the dollar put back on the gold standard to stop the printing and dilution of our dollar....we need manufacturing jobs and savings accounts. we need smaller government and fewer taxes. we need to vote out all career politicians and vote in fiscal conservatives. more spending and debt is not the solution to a spending and debt problem....washington is taking us down the wrong path with our permission! come on people!

August 14 2010 at 4:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply