Here's a look at the state of interest rates on five common consumer banking products and the latest rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Nov. 4, 2009.
Auto LoansRates: 6.69 percent (60-month, new car); 7.6 percent (36-month, used car)
Auto loan rates took another big slide this week, falling to new lows for 2009 and extending a two-month slide. Rates on new-car loans continued their precipitous fall, with the average 60-month and 48-month rates falling 5 basis points each, to 6.69 percent and 6.71 percent, respectively.
The average rate for a 36-month, used-car loan fell further this week, losing 1 basis point, to 7.6 percent. This week continued the now 19-week-old anomaly of the average rate for a 60-month, new-car loan being equal to or less than the rate for a shorter-term 48-month auto loan. This is historically rare; investors locking up their money for longer terms almost always ask for higher rates to hedge against the risk of inflation.
U.S. sales of light vehicles in October were the strongest of the year, according to a report from Automotive News this week. Overall, sales lost less than 1 percent year-over-year, thanks in part to General Motors' first sales gain in 21 months.
Ford also showed gains, as did Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, Subaru, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group and Porsche, which is especially noteworthy considering any benefit from the now-ended Cash for Clunkers program has long since faded, according to the report. Meanwhile, Chrysler continued its post-bankruptcy decline -- sales fell 30 percent since the same time last year.
To find updated auto rates in your area, visit Bankrate's auto rate table.
-- Claes Bell