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September Rate Roundup: CDs, Money Markets and Mortgages

Better rates for borrowers, but savers keep getting squished


The Federal Reserve launched a third round of quantitative easing since we last checked rates, and the effects have been predictable. Yes, savers still are getting squished, as rates either declined slightly or were unchanged from a month ago.

Same old, same old: There’s no interest to be found on money parked away in any accounts for safekeeping.

If there’s a bright spot, though, more Fed stimulus also meant that borrowers once again caught a break.

Rates on home mortgages set new record lows in the waning days of September, and as improbable as it might seem, they still could come down more.

The Fed’s pledge to keep rates as low as possible at both the short and long end of the yield curve means borrowing will remain cheap, cheap, cheap — and savers will continue to earn negative returns on their cash even as inflation remains muted.

As we noted last month, investors have lots of cash parked on the sidelines — but they’re still getting nothing for it. The national average interest rate on a money market account stood at 0.48% as of Sept. 25, unchanged from a month ago, according to data from

Even a jumbo money market account still yields only 0.65%, and that’s down one lousy basis point from August’s reading of 0.66%.

Here are rates on other popular savings products as of Sept. 25, according to Bankrate:

  • National Average Rate on Interest Checking Account: 0.52%, down from 0.57% a month ago
  • Best Rate on Savings Account: 1.05% (CIT Bank [NYSE:CIT], $25,000 minimum), no change
  • Best Rate on 1-Year CD: 1.1% (CIT Bank, $25,000 minimum), no change
  • Best Rate on 3-Year CD: 1.42% (CIT Bank, $1,000 minimum), no change
  • Best Rate on 5-Year CD: 1.75% (Discover Bank [NYSE:DFS], $2,500 minimum), no change
  • Best Rate on 5-Year Jumbo CD: 1.9% (CIT Bank, $100,000 minimum), no change

Meanwhile, rates on some of the most common mortgage and home equity products dropped sharply from last month.

Here are the average national rates offered on popular loan products as of Sept. 25, according to Bankrate:

  • 30-Year Fixed Mortgage: 3.46%, down from 3.59% a month ago
  • 15-Year Fixed Mortgage: 2.84%, down from 2.93% a month ago
  • 5/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage: 2.93%, up from 2.89% a month ago
  • 30-Year Fixed Mortgage, Refi: 3.52%, down from 3.56% a month ago
  • $30,000 Home Equity Line of Credit: 4.57%, no change
  • $30,000 Home Equity Loan: 5.63%, no change

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