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Fed News   Fed announcement: June 24, 2009

Winner or loser: Auto loans
 

[no change] Winner: Auto loan shopper
The Fed has an indirect role in the cost of car loans. "Auto loan rates can be tied to either the prime rate or to yields on treasury securities such as the three-year or five-year treasury," Bankrate's chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, says. "The prime rate is directly impacted by Fed moves while Treasury yields often move in advance of the Fed."

In general, investors wary of a rate cut flock to safe investments such as Treasuries, which drives prices up and yields down, he says. 

Treasury yields have fallen a bit from last month as have auto loan rates, possibly in anticipation of a move from the Fed.

The general consensus is that the Fed will be cutting interest rates in an upcoming meeting so auto loan rates should continue on as they have in previous months.

Auto loans

Historical perspective
This year auto loans have kept a pretty steady course, varying by an average of about a third of a percent as the year has progressed, according to weekly Bankrate.com interest rate surveys.

In mid-January rates lurched upwards to hit the high for 2007; 7.95 percent for the standard 60-month new car loan and, in the same week, 8.8 percent for the 36-month used car loan rate. The five-year rate dipped to 7.7 percent at the beginning of May and floated there for six weeks along with the three-year loan rate at 8.46 percent.

Smart strategies
"Competition among lenders is another big component of auto loan rates," McBride says.

With dealerships competing with banks for buyers' financing dollars, savvy shoppers with good credit can find rates on auto loans below the national averages. As Jonathan Welsh reported in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 11, automakers have been loudly touting rebates and special financing as they try to prop up slumping sales.

Even luxury brands such as Lincoln and Acura are offering incentives with super low interest rate offers of zero percent and 2.9 percent respectively. Almost a quarter, 24 percent, of financing and leasing deals from July and August had interest rates of less than 5 percent.

A great interest rate on a loan won't necessarily make that new Mercedes within your grasp if you're on a Kia budget.

"Just remember that on a $25,000 car loan one full percentage point translates to savings of $12 a month," McBride says. "You're not going to upgrade to the luxury car on that, but you can use the competition to your advantage to find the best deals."

Take action
When shopping for a new car, follow these steps to make sure you don't end up paying more than you have to.

Title goes here
Determine how much your budget will allow you to spend on car payments and insurance. Use these calculators to map out a spending plan.
    Rebate versus low interest rate
•   How much car can you afford?
Check your credit before heading out to a dealership if financing is part of your plan.
Shop around for a loan before committing to anything
Compare auto loan rates in your area.

[25 bpcut] Winner: Auto loan shopper
The Fed has an indirect role in the cost of car loans. "Auto loan rates can be tied to either the prime rate or to yields on treasury securities such as the three-year or five-year treasury," Bankrate's chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, says. "The prime rate is directly impacted by Fed moves while Treasury yields often move in advance of the Fed."

In general, investors wary of a rate cut flock to safe investments such as Treasuries, which drives prices up and yields down, he says. 

Treasury yields have fallen a bit from last month as have auto loan rates, possibly in anticipation of a move from the Fed.

The general consensus is that the Fed will be cutting interest rates in an upcoming meeting so auto loan rates should continue on as they have in previous months.

Auto loans

Historical perspective
This year auto loans have kept a pretty steady course, varying by an average of about a third of a percent as the year has progressed, according to weekly Bankrate.com interest rate surveys.

In mid-January rates lurched upwards to hit the high for 2007; 7.95 percent for the standard 60-month new car loan and, in the same week, 8.8 percent for the 36-month used car loan rate. The five-year rate dipped to 7.7 percent at the beginning of May and floated there for six weeks along with the three-year loan rate at 8.46 percent.

Smart strategies
"Competition among lenders is another big component of auto loan rates," McBride says.

With dealerships competing with banks for buyers' financing dollars, savvy shoppers with good credit can find rates on auto loans below the national averages. As Jonathan Welsh reported in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 11, automakers have been loudly touting rebates and special financing as they try to prop up slumping sales.

Even luxury brands such as Lincoln and Acura are offering incentives with super low interest rate offers of zero percent and 2.9 percent respectively. Almost a quarter, 24 percent, of financing and leasing deals from July and August had interest rates of less than 5 percent.

A great interest rate on a loan won't necessarily make that new Mercedes within your grasp if you're on a Kia budget.

"Just remember that on a $25,000 car loan one full percentage point translates to savings of $12 a month," McBride says. "You're not going to upgrade to the luxury car on that, but you can use the competition to your advantage to find the best deals."

Take action
When shopping for a new car, follow these steps to make sure you don't end up paying more than you have to.

Title goes here
Determine how much your budget will allow you to spend on car payments and insurance. Use these calculators to map out a spending plan.
    Rebate versus low interest rate
•   How much car can you afford?
Check your credit before heading out to a dealership if financing is part of your plan.
Shop around for a loan before committing to anything
Compare auto loan rates in your area.

[50 bpcut] Winner: Auto loan shopper
The Fed has an indirect role in the cost of car loans. "Auto loan rates can be tied to either the prime rate or to yields on treasury securities such as the three-year or five-year treasury," Bankrate's chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, says. "The prime rate is directly impacted by Fed moves while Treasury yields often move in advance of the Fed." 

In general, investors wary of a rate cut flock to safe investments such as Treasuries, which drives prices up and yields down, he says. 

Treasury yields have fallen a bit from last month as have auto loan rates, possibly in anticipation of a move from the Fed.

"In a falling rate environment we've been seeing auto loan rates falling ahead of a Fed move, which we'll see more of as the Fed cuts rates," says McBride.

Auto loans

Historical perspective
This year auto loans have kept a pretty steady course, varying by an average of about a third of a percent as the year has progressed, according to weekly Bankrate.com interest rate surveys.

In mid-January rates lurched upwards to hit the high for 2007; 7.95 percent for the standard 60-month new car loan and, in the same week, 8.8 percent for the 36-month used car loan rate. The five-year rate dipped to 7.7 percent at the beginning of May and floated there for six weeks along with the three-year loan rate at 8.46 percent.

Smart strategies
"Competition among lenders is another big component of auto loan rates," McBride says.

With dealerships competing with banks for buyers' financing dollars, savvy shoppers with good credit can find rates on auto loans below the national averages. As Jonathan Welsh reported in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 11, automakers have been loudly touting rebates and special financing as they try to prop up slumping sales.

Even luxury brands such as Lincoln and Acura are offering incentives with super low interest rate offers of zero percent and 2.9 percent respectively. Almost a quarter, 24 percent, of financing and leasing deals from July and August had interest rates of less than 5 percent.

A great interest rate on a loan won't necessarily make that new Mercedes within your grasp if you're on a Kia budget.

"Just remember that on a $25,000 car loan one full percentage point translates to savings of $12 a month," McBride says. "You're not going to upgrade to the luxury car on that, but you can use the competition to your advantage to find the best deals."

Take action
When shopping for a new car, follow these steps to make sure you don't end up paying more than you have to.

Title goes here
Determine how much your budget will allow you to spend on car payments and insurance. Use these calculators to map out a spending plan.
    Rebate versus low interest rate
•   How much car can you afford?
Check your credit before heading out to a dealership if financing is part of your plan.
Shop around for a loan before committing to anything
Compare auto loan rates in your area.
-- Posted: Sept. 18, 2007
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