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Jumbo Mortgage Deal: 3.625%, No Points

Guaranteed Rate is offering one of spring’s best deals on 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo mortgages to borrowers in all 50 states.

It’s charging just 3.625% for purchases with no points, $1,490 in fees and a 40-day rate lock.

That’s more than one-quarter of a percentage point less than the national average of 30-year jumbos — 3.92%, according to our latest survey of major lenders.

Refinancing rates are slightly higher, but still very attractive, starting at 3.75% to 3.85%.

Can you do better?

We think this deal will be very hard to beat, but it never hurts to try.

Search Bankrate’s database for the best mortgage rates from scores of other lenders in your area.

Jumbo loans are mortgages that are too large to be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-owned companies that buy most of the mortgages issued by banks and other lenders. Click here to read more

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USAlliance (Quietly) Offers New CD Deals

USAlliance Federal Credit Union has two new odd-term certificates of deposit.

You can choose between a 15-month CD paying 1.51% APY and a 25-month CD paying 2.01% APY, both available to savers across the country with a $500 minimum deposit.

These deals easily beat the top nationally available 12- and 24-month returns from the banks on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

However, based on my conversations with USAlliance member representatives, they are limited offers.

First, the CDs are available only to new USAlliance members and to existing members who refer a new member to the credit union.

Second, there’s a limit of one CD per customer, with a $25,000 maximum deposit. Click here to read more

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Colorado Deal On 4- And 5-Year CDs

Through the end of May, Red Rocks Credit Union is offering savers across Colorado a duo of high-altitude CD rates:

  • 2.38% APY on 60-month CDs.
  • 2.02% APY on 48-month CDs.

We don’t include 48-month yields on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

But Red Rocks’ return easily beats anything we could find in Bankrate’s database of top CD rates (1.86% APY from Nationwide).

The 60-month certificate pays just a little more than the best nationally available 5-year return of 2.25% APY on our Leaderboard and provides another important advantage.

It’s a superb candidate for the early withdrawal strategy we wrote about recently. Click here to read more

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Incredible Rate But Limited Investment

It only takes a CD rate of 3.00% to get us a little giddy these days. But 4.00% yields? It’s been years since we even dreamed of those.

So imagine our delight in discovering that Philadelphia’s American Heritage Federal Credit Union is paying savers everywhere 4.00% APY on special 4-month CDs.

Yes, you read that right — four months, not four years.

Granted, this amazing yield comes with some stipulations. First, while the minimum deposit is $1,000, American Heritage has capped investment at a $2,000 maximum for this particular CD.

Second, the initial investment must be new money, or funds not already on deposit with American Heritage, and only one certificate is allowed per customer account.

Still, this is a great deal for any modest CD investor, given that the top nationally available 6-month yield on our CD Rates Leaderboard currently stands at just 1.05% APY. Click here to read more

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Fed Continues To Waffle On When It Will Begin Raising Rates … June, Fall Or Later?

The Federal Reserve is starting to feel like the watched pot that never boils.

For more than a year, as the U.S. economy has heated up, analysts have been watching the nation’s central bankers seemingly creep closer to raising interest rates.

But following the regular meeting of its rate-setting committee on Wednesday, the Fed’s official statement gave no indications when that might happen.

Instead, the nation’s central bankers indicated they remain concerned the U.S. economy is not strong enough yet to shift course.

This all matters because when the Fed starts raising its rates, your interest rates — the interest you receive on certificates of deposit, savings and money market bank accounts — will start to creep upward, too.

For six long years, personal savings have earned almost nothing, as the Fed has pushed rates to record lows in order to bolster the economic recovery. Click here to read more

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Top 12-Month CD Rate Nears 4-Year High

After a surprisingly substantial rate increase this morning, Colorado Federal Savings Bank is offering the best nationally available return on 1-year CDs in almost four years.

The online bank’s quarter-point increase elevates the top yield on our CD Rates Leaderboard to 1.35% APY.

That’s high enough to match the top nationally available yield on 24-month certificates.

The best national deals on 1-year CDs have fallen from 1.40% APY in June 2011 to a low of 1.05% APY in 2012 and 2013.

Once the top yield dropped below 1.30% in August 2011, it never reached that level again until this February, when iGObanking offered that return for just eight days.

Which brings us to another reason we like Colorado Federal. When it sets a rate, it sticks with it. Click here to read more

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Best National 6-Month CDs Spring Up

Finally.

In reporting on the state of CDs over the last two months, I’ve had little choice but to use words like discouraging, stagnant, disappointingly stable, dismal, stuck … The list of unhappy adjectives goes on.

Today, however, I have an upbeat story to tell.

MySavingsDirect is its hero (with a nice supporting role played by California First National Bank).

MySavingsDirect is an online operation of New York’s Emigrant Bank that offers just one savings account and three certificates of deposit.

But its 6-month CD significantly increased the best nationally available return on our CD Rates Leaderboard to 1.05% APY last week.

Not only did that elevate the top yield by a full two-tenths of a percentage point above previous leader California First National Bank, but it’s the first time we’ve seen a rate above 1.00% since September 2011. Click here to read more

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Higher Rates Are Coming…Here’s What You Need to Know About The Fed’s Plan

If you’re socking money away — especially if you’re buying CDs and must decide how long to tie up your funds — what’s happening with the Federal Reserve is worth following.

Big changes are afoot, and the savvy saver will be equipped to make the most of them.

Higher interest rates may not come as soon as we like (it’s far too late for that), nor will rates increase as quickly as we’d like. But at least we know they’ll be taking us in a welcome, upward direction.

The Fed’s rate-setting committee meets next week to pore over reams of economic data and debate the burning question of when to finally start “normalizing” interest rates.

As our country’s bank-for-banks, the Fed wields the tremendous power to determine how much you and I can earn on our savings.

For more than six years now, it’s kept returns anchored at historic lows as a stimulus to lift the economy out of the Great Recession. Click here to read more

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Four Banks Now Offer Top 2-Year Return

iGObanking edged the yield on its 2-year CDs up to 1.35% APY today, bringing it into a four-way tie for the best nationally available return on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

The improvement comes three weeks after the online operation of Flushing Bank in New York joined the 24-month Leaderboard with a new 1.30% APY rate in early April.

Sharing the lead at 1.35% APY is CIT Bank and Synchrony Bank, who have been co-leaders for three months now, as well as Barclays Bank, who tied for the top spot on April 2.

Minimum investment amounts for the four leaders vary: Barclays requires no minimum, iGObanking requires $1,000 and Synchrony, $2,000.

While CIT’s minimum is a hefty $25,000, it comes with the dual option of raising your rate once during the CD’s term and making one additional deposit to your investment.

iGObanking has a well-established reputation for suddenly increasing one of its rates to Leaderboard status and often dropping it just as abruptly. So we suggest you act fast if you’re interested.

In other Leaderboard news, California First National Bank boosted its 6-month CD rate from 0.85% to 0.95% APY, strengthening its second-place status behind MySavingsDirect’s 1.05% APY.

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