Banking Deals of the Week: Jan. 13

Nobody wants to start a "Deals of the Week" column with bad news.

But for a frame of reference on how bad the economy is right now, we’re really in trouble when deep-discount big box retailer Sam’s Club is closing stores and laying off employees.

Sam’s Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT), is shuttering 10 stores and slashing its work staff by 1,500 employees. Most of the stores closed are in California, which has been particularly hard hit by the Great Recession.

It’s one thing when companies like AOL (Stock Quote: AOL) (2,500 employees), UPS (Stock Quote: UPS) (1,800 employees) and Lockheed-Martin (Stock Quote: LMT) (1,200 employees) lay off staffers. But when a deep-discount retailer (owned by Wal-Mart, no less) is cutting back, maybe consumers know what our economic policy experts don’t — that we’re in worse trouble than we thought.

On that charming note, on to the best bank deals this week.

Home Mortgages

AIG Bank (Stock Quote: AIG) is extending its $500 credit toward homebuyers’ closing costs through the end of March. The same deal holds true for AIG’s $500 closing discount credit for its home equity lines of credit, which has also been extended until March 31.

The particulars look like this right now:

  • If you want in on the AIG Bank mortgage loan deal, it has to be the first mortgage you’ve ever applied for at AIG Bank. In addition, you need to apply for the loan by March 31, and close by June 30.
  • For the home equity deal, borrowers can earn a $2,000 credit at closing through AIG Bank. The money can go toward typical closing cost items like appraisal fees, the bank says.

It’s a good deal with not too many strings attached. To learn more, visit the AIG site.

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