interestrates

Fed Nearing a Plan to Clarify Direction of Rates

The Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke has gone further than ever to explain its policies to the public. It's ready to go further still. A Fed policy meeting Tuesday will likely focus in part on an evolving plan to reveal the direction of interest rates more explicitly.

Escape the Low-Interest Trap With Dividend Stocks

A few years ago, with $1 million invested in CDs, you could have lived off your interest, but with rates at historic lows, now your returns would barely cover a few mortgage payments. This is forcing retirees to find new, fairly safe ways to get those returns. The experts' recommendation? Dividend stocks.

Ex-Google Exec Finds a New Way to Do Payday Lending

Google's ex-CIO has moved from the world of Web searches to the world of high-interest, short-term lending. He says ZestCash.com offers an innovative way to help the poorest borrowers avoid financial emergencies. But is this just a slick veneer putting a shine on the classic payday lending business?

Bank Errors Make Lowest Interest Rates Harder to Land

Borrowers looking to capitalize on historically low interest rates to refinance or buy homes are discovering those rates are often out of reach -- and not necessarily because of their credit scores. Understaffed banks, rigid rules, and low-ball appraisals are costing customers the best deals.

Michael Moore's Money Advice Will Leave You Poorer

Filmmaker and political gadfly Michael Moore has joined the Occupy Wall Street movement, and his tirades against corporate greed, bailouts for bankers, unemployment are all mostly accurate and on point -- but when he says "the 99%" should stay out of the markets, he's giving terrible financial advice.

5 Credit Union Myths Debunked

Between the outcry over Bank of America's new fees and the approach of the Nov. 5 "Bank Transfer Day" event, normally low-profile credit unions have been receiving a great deal of attention. However, this publicity has also exposed a number of false but commonly held beliefs about credit unions. Let's debunk a few of the most common.

Terror for Adults: Check Out These 5 Scary Numbers

Boo! It's the season of ghosts and goblins, when we like to scare ourselves and each other. But while Halloween frights are generally lighthearted and short-lived, there are some truly scary facts out there regarding our finances -- ones we'd do well to know about and beware of.

When Opening a No-Interest Credit Card Is a Bad Idea

While rolling your credit card debt onto a new card that offers 0% interest for a period of time is usually a smart money move, there are some people who shouldn't do it. This reader is one of them. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley explains why.

How to Raise Your Odds of Getting a Mortgage

It doesn't look like the housing market will come roaring back anytime soon, but with historically low interest rates, now's a good time to buy. The hard part is that banks in the post-bubble era are notoriously stingy with that cheap money, so figuring out how to get a smile out of a mortgage lender is task No. 1.

Down Payment Issues Weigh on Housing Market

It's no secret that now seems like a good time to buy a home: Affordability is high and interest rates are low. But those positives aren't translating into sales, and the latest Hanley Wood Housing 360 Survey shows why: Mortgage issues and down payments remain choke points for buyers.

Economists Mixed on Fed's 'Operation Twist'

As Ben Bernanke pulled a trick from the 1960s Fed handbook to twist down long-term interest rates, experts are mixed on how it will affect the U.S. economy. Wall Street certainly reacted negatively to the news. The Dow fell more than 280 points.

Refinancing Tips: How to Snag Today's Low Rates

With the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 4.09%, -- another record low -- it's a great time to refinance. But before you go running off to your lender to catch the best rates since 1951, get yourself straight. According to LendingTree, many people are making major refinancing mistakes that can cost them dearly.

What to Do First: Save or Pay Down Your Debts?

For many households, it's a personal fiance dilemma: Should they try to pay down debt first, or build up savings? In the aftermath of the Great Recession, opinions have clearly tipped toward the ditch-your-debt side. But that's not always the right answer.

Video: One Immigrant's Path to the American Dream

The death of the American Dream has been greatly exaggerated -- just ask Sofiya Cherni. Since she arrived in North Dakota from the Ukraine 14 years ago, the 28-year-old has earned a college degree, found a good job, and bought and then paid off her first home -- by working hard, spending wisely, and keeping a sharp eye on the numbers.

Homeowners Move Away From 30-Year Mortgages

With the historically low interest rates, many homeowners with 30-year mortgages have been leaving their loans for younger models. According to a new report from Freddie Mac, more homeowners are refinancing into 15- and 20-year mortgages than ever before.

Is It Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?

With interest rates dipping to historic lows, many homeowners are refinancing their mortgages to shorten either the terms of their loans or their monthly payments. Here's what you need to know to decide whether refinancing now is right for you.

Will Debt Cap Fight Keep You from Buying a New Car?

Estimates of what will happen to consumer borrowing rates if the government defaults on August 2 are wildly divergent, but some expect that interests on loans could move at least .5% higher. That would certainly hurt the housing market, and could ding the new car market as well.

Debt Ceiling: Is U.S. Being Honest About Deadline?

There is emerging evidence that the Treasury Department may have money to pay U.S. obligations beyond the August 2 deadline. While the real date may still be in August, an extra week or two could have a big impact on consumers' wallets, as well as stocks.

Citi's No-Penalty, No-Fee Card: What's the Catch?

Citigroup announced Monday its new no-fee, no-penalty Simplicity credit card, designed for the very creditworthy person who might once in a while forget to make a payment on time. No gotchas in your credit card bill sounds like a great idea, right? Well ... maybe.

Five Reasons You Shouldn't Cut Up Your Credit Cards

Recently, Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Arends wrote about how he's giving up credit cards and going all cash. He cited some compelling advantages to dumping his plastic, but it may not be right for you. Here are five things you give up by switching to an all-cash lifestyle:

Denied Credit? New Fed Rule May Interest You

Have you ever been turned down for a loan? Had your credit line slashed or interest rate bumped up? Well, starting Thursday, banks and other lenders will be required tell you a bit more about why. The FTC and the Fed are implementing a new rule requiring lenders to show consumers the credit score data they used to make their decision.

Fed to Set Final Rule on Debit Card Swipe Fees

The Federal Reserve is preparing to issue its final rule on debit card "swipe fees" Wednesday. If the expected cut to those fees arrives, banks are likely to respond by cutting interest rates on high-yield checking accounts and squeezing profits from other banking products. DailyFinance explains what it all means to you.

Rent-to-Own Is a Big Ripoff, Says Consumer Reports

No credit check, low weekly payments and carry it home today? If you think rent-to-own stores' deals are too good to be true, you're right. They're a rip-off that leave unwary consumers paying the equivalent of up to 311% interest, according to a new investigation by Consumer Reports.

Fed Leaves Rates Alone, Consumers Keep Status Quo

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would leave interest rates unchanged -- for now. For consumers, that means a holding pattern for the near term, with little impact on borrowing, great rates for mortgages, and no hikes for credit cards. By end of summer, that may change.

The Housing Bottom Is Here, Says Economist Russell Price

For nearly two years, economists and real estate experts have been on the lookout for the bottom of the housing market. That time is here, says Russell Price, a senior economist with Ameriprise Financial, a financial services company.

How to Prep for a (Possible) Double-Dip Recession

Is America headed for the Great Recession, part two? The talking heads are still in heated debate on the issue. But for those of us who aren't pundits, there's a more important question: What should we be doing now, just in case economic lightning does strike twice?

Credit CARD Act: One Year Later, How's It Going?

During the battle over Credit CARD Act, much talk focused on what the legislation would -- and wouldn't -- do. A year after the law rolled out, what's the word now? Here's an on-the-ground look at how card issuers and consumers are adapting to the new landscape.

Jean Chatzky: Reduce Your Debt Before Interest Rates Soar

If you are sitting on a lot of debt, you need to take action quickly. Personal Finance expert Jean Chatzky explains that interest rates will rise so it's important that you take steps now. In this video, Chatzky explains how to get started.