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Fed Rate Cut Not Helping Consumers

Borrowing costs continue to rise for homes, cars and other loans even as interest rates drop for money market, savings and checking accounts.

In short, consumers are getting squeezed at both ends despite the Federal Reserve's decision to lower its benchmark rate to 1%.

Mortgage rates ended the week higher after temporarily edging lower following the Fed's cut. On the savings front, however, interest rates keep falling for CDs, money markets, savings and checking accounts.

For potential home buyers, the best rate is currently being offered on one-year adjustable-rate mortgage, with the national average at 6.2% Friday compared with 6.16% the week before, according to BankingMyWay.

The average 30-year fixed rate rose to 6.59% from 6.52% last week, and a 15-year fixed rate costs 6.41% vs. 6.29% last year.

Buying a new car on credit also got a little more expensive, with a 36-month loan at 6.79% today compared with 6.77% a week ago. Used-car buyers are being charged 7.32% for a 36-month loan, up from 7.31% last week.

Keeping money in the bank, though, won't provide much upside. Money market rates and savings accounts are holding steady at 0.94% and 0.41% respectively.

CD rates offer better returns, but they are coming down. Across the nation, the average interest on a 60-month CD dropped to 3.34% from 3.36% and the average rate paid on a 24-month CD dropped to 2.62% from 2.66%. For short-term savings, a three-month CD currently delivers 1.71%, down from 1.72% a week ago.

Since these are national averages, better rates may be available in local areas.

BankingMyWay lets users search by ZIP code to find the best rates for a variety of loans and savings accounts.

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