TheStreet (Nasdaq: TST), a leading digital financial media company, announced today that the Credit Power Index (TM) produced by its RateWatch division showed a sixth straight month of improvement for consumers in June as interest rates for certain adjustable-rate mortgages and car loans dropped to the lowest levels since 2007. The average rate for a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage hit a new low of 3.41% at the end of June, the lowest mark in the RateWatch Credit Power Index database going back to 2007. Rates charged for 48-month new auto loans hit their lowest level this year as rate since at least January 2007, dropping 13 basis points to 4.61%. On the whole, the significant drop in loan rates outweighed a decline in deposit rates, making June another good month for the interest rate climate for American consumers. The index, which measures the spread between average deposit rates and average borrowing rates, dropped by 18 basis points in June to 22.51. Lower index numbers favor consumers. “The Index continued its decline for the sixth straight month, though the decline appears to be slowing,” said RateWatch General Manager Rachelle Zorn. The Credit Power Index dropped by a combined 61 points in the preceding two months, so June’s comparatively modest improvement suggests that the uptick in the consumer interest climate may not be as swift as anticipated. The Credit Power Index assesses the interest rate climate for consumers by tracking deposit and consumer loan product rates, using the methodology found here http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/credit/debt/how-credit-power-index-works . The overall index – which accounts for certificates of deposit at four terms as well as personal unsecured loans, home equity loans, new auto loans and adjustable-rate mortgages – fell for the sixth straight month as rates continue to slowly improve for consumers. A key factor behind the improvement in consumer credit power is the five-year ARM component of the index. The national average rate of 3.41% is a basis point lower than the previous low set back in October; the rate had fluctuated in the intervening six months before settling at its new low at the end of last month.
Personal unsecured loans likewise hit a new low, dropping 11 basis points to settle at 12.29%. Only 36-month home equity loans rose this month, seeing a bump of six basis points after hitting a new low last month. The national average rate now stands at 6.62% among banks included in the Credit Power Index calculation.Deposits were a very different story. As has become customary http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/credit/debt/loan-deposit-rates-continue-fall-tandem , CD rates once again fell in June, with 12-month CDs slipping below 0.5% for the first time to settle at 0.48%. The next milestone to fall may be the 1% mark for 36-month CDs; as of the end of June that rate stood at 1.04%, down more than three percentage points since January 2007. NOTE TO EDITORS: The full Credit Power Index database is available at www.mainstreet.com/credit-power . About RateWatch One of the nation's largest providers of accurate, up-to-date rate information, this web site, www.rate-watch.com, is relied upon by countless banks and credit unions, providing key data so they can set competitive rates. About MainStreet MainStreet provides personal finance tips and advice to help consumers grow their wealth and enhance their lives. By combining lifestyle news, commentary and financial resources, MainStreet is an engaging and fun site "where life and money intersect." About TheStreet TheStreet, Inc. is a leading digital financial media company that distributes its content through online, social media, tablet and mobile channels. The Company's network of brands include: TheStreet, RealMoney Silver, Stockpickr, Action Alerts PLUS, Options Profits, ETF Profits, MainStreet and Rate-Watch. For more information on TheStreet's business, visit www.t.st. For financial and business news, actionable trading ideas, stock quotes and more, visit TheStreet.com via your web browser, follow TheStreet on Facebook and Twitter, visit TheStreet.mobi from your mobile device and access TheStreet app for iPad or the browsers on all major tablet platforms.