Interest rates are most likely to stay low for a long time. The Fed has plainly stated that short-term interest rates won't go up until 2013 and there are some who are predicting that it could be even longer than that.
To find out what will happen to rates in the coming year, read Bankrate's interest rate forecast for 2012, to be published on January 31.
In writing the forecast for CD rates, I spoke with the chief economist for the Credit Union National Association, Bill Hampel who offered a couple of tips on finding the best CD rates in this low-rate environment.
"Look for specials," he says.
"Some financial institutions sometimes have strong loan demand for whatever reason and have a need for money for a certain period. They could be offering a relatively more attractive rate on one kind of CD," Hampel says.
Because it's not a standard CD, when the term is up, it will roll into the next closest standard CD or into a savings account.
Hampel's second tip: savers with lingering debt may be better served by paying down debt with savings. It's hard to justify an investment earning less than 2 percent while ponying up 16 percent interest to credit card companies.
Then again, it's hard to argue with the psychological boost that comes from money in the bank.
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