LIBOR Interest Rates

In a global market, libor interest rates can impact economic futures at home and abroad. LIBOR, an acronoym for the London Inter Bank Offered Rate, is an interest rate market derived from averaging short-term deposits offered between member banks of the British Bankers Association (BBA). As a premier global financial center, London has the potential to impact fiscal markets from across the European continent to the United States. Each morning at 11:00 a.m. British time, London Inter Bank members trade Eurodollars at rates which can fluctuate within one to 24 hours. Eurodollars are United States currency deposited in European and other foreign banks; and LIBOR is computed from member bank averages. American corporations and enterprises frequently deposit monies overseas to avoid U.S. Federal Reserve fund constraints and as a safeguard against widely varying domestic rates. London Inter Bank averages not only determine the interest that will be charged on Eurodollars in Great Britain and Europe, but they establish indexes for other international exchanges such as the Swiss Franc, Canadian dollar and Japanese Yen. Thus, London Inter Bank members have the power to govern money markets and impact international economies from Milan, Italy to Misawa, Japan; Bangor, Maine and beyond.

The average American would be surprised to discover that a LIBOR mortgage rate, established by our British cousins each day at morning tea, can also determine how low or high U.S. homeowner loans will fluctuate. A primary significance of LIBOR interest rates is the direct influence on the American housing market. London Inter Bank Offered Rates are reflected in the widely utilized ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgage. ARMs are home loans which go up or down with the economy, both at nationally and internationally. America's recent housing market slump is a result of too much inventory at declining prices -- largely due to escalating adjustable rates. Traditional ARMs have been the bane of homeowners' existence since the housing industry began to take a hit from soaring rates within the last several years. Foreclosures are at an all time high and housing sales are expected to dip near the 24% mark of the Great Depression. Some U.S. homeowners, who were initially able to get easy, low-interest financing, are now struggling to make ends meet due to exhorbitant ARMs. Many are discovering that homes financed several years ago at lower rates are now worth less than current loan balances. Prospective buyers need to explore creative,viable, and long-term financing options. Knowledge of available alternatives will help home hunters make wise decisions with, hopefully, no future regrets. James 1:5 encourages us to seek wisdom from God when faced with perplexing decisions. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

While traditional ARMs may have failed struggling homeowners, LIBOR interest rates offer potential buyers greater liberality in selecting payments that can adjust with national, international and personal financial challenges. A LIBOR mortgage rate offers a short-term, interest-only ARM to help budget-conscious consumers realize the great American dream without the headache of static or grossly fluctuating payments. Prospective house hunters can choose an interest-only LIBOR mortgage, which require buyers to make lower payments for a limited amount of time. Interest-only terms are available for a single month, three months, or six months; or home buyers may opt for terms of three, five, seven or 10 years. After the term is completed, both principle and interest are paid on the remaining mortgage balance. For example, a 3-year term requires buyers to pay a fixed libor interest rate for the first three years of the loan. On the 4th year, the principle is combined with interest, similar to traditional financing. However, these mortgage payments will fluctuate and are adjusted year by year using an index-plus margin.

Whats the advantage of using a LIBOR mortgage rate? It is much more flexible than a conventional fixed payment. Potential buyers are not locked into a note that requires them to make the same house payment for 30 years, without regard to an uncertain economy or personal financial challenges. Buyers may have good intentions about honoring loans, but job losses, chronic illnesses, economic downturns, and family additions can adversely affect an ability to keep up with rigid obligations. Savvy buyers may consider investing deferred principle payments as a cushion against future hard economic times or to ensure that monies are in place at the end of the interest-only term. LIBOR ARMs also allow buyers to realize greater savings during the initial term of the home loan agreement. Most interest-only payments are just 3 to 4 percent above that of traditional fixed mortgages. Smaller initial payments can also free up income for college savings, emergencies, retirement, or to catch up on outstanding bills.

The most significant disadvantage of a LIBOR mortgage rate is the homebuyer's lack of control over adjusted payments applied each year due to fluctuating LIBOR interest rates. Indexes vary according to a complex and tenuous global economy. Environmental impacts such as global warming, food shortages, and escalating oil costs could cause worldwide economic downturns and catch unwitting mortgagees in a whirlwind of fiscal mayhem. And while LIBOR interest rates have a cap, the maximum ceiling applied each year over an extended period of time could drive mortgage prices above what the homeowner is capable of paying. Potential buyers should consult with bankers, mortgage companies, and lending institutions to determine if a LIBOR mortgage rate is a good solution both for the short- and long-term. Smart financial planning could help avoid potential risks for today's prospective home owner.

Banks Prime Interest Rates

A banks prime interest rate is the percentage charged to a loan by lenders to the customers that prove to be the least financial risk. In other words, a prime interest rate is the lowest possible number published and all banking and lending institutions start the interest, charged to a loan, at this numerical percentage point. Knowing this number at any particular time is helpful when a consumer is shopping for loans for various purposes, including home mortgages. Many financial investors make decisions about when to buy or sell or save based on the national interest rate and what the bank rate will be doing in the future. Economic trends affect these numbers and the Federal Funds rates are determined by the open markets.

The Federal Funds Rates are used in determining the prime interest rate for any lending market. The Federal Open Market Committee will use the Federal Funds Rates to move this number. These fluctuating markets can have affects on what interest is gained through savings programs, such as CDs, Money Market Accounts, savings accounts, and more, as well as affecting the amount of interest charged to a loan by banking or lending institution. Changes in the banks prime interest rate can also have influence on the stock market with trading, ultimately affecting an entire economic culture at any given time. The Federal Government closely watches the economy and adjusts the rates to offer the economy stability in volatile markets.

These rates and numbers will be used for a variety of financial transactions. The prime interest rate will determine what consumers pay for most of the money they borrow. Bank numbers will be used to guide rates for most credit card debt, new mortgages, home equity loans and various lines of credit. The prime rates can also determine what amount a consumer is charged for auto loans and personal loans, as well. When purchasing a small business or when applying for a business loan to develop business further, those seeking small business loans will find that their loans are also indexed to the banks prime interest rate. Most all loans, except for loans designed for high-risk borrowers, are indexed to the prime rate, which does not change at regular or scheduled intervals.

To get the best or lowest possible amounts on any loan that a consumer may be seeking, there are a few suggestions to be kept in mind. First, having a good credit history will pay off time and again, as loans are needed for various reasons. Banking and lending institutions will always review one or more personal credit reports when considering an applicant for a loan. Mortgage companies and other lenders carefully review credit reports and credit scores to determine if a consumer is worth the risk of a prime rate. Consumers or borrowers who have low credit scores or who have poor payment histories will be charged a higher amount. These higher rates are charged to anyone determined to be a credit risk, with the lender making more money initially with each payment. Only those with healthy credit reports and solid credit history receive the banks prime interest rate.

Consumers possessing a good personal credit report and looking for a good deal on a loan for business, homes, or cars may want to conduct a little comparison-shopping to find the best rate possible. Comparison-shopping proves time and again to be the number one way to getting the best deals, and this includes the best deals on rates as well. Never assume that a credit score automatically guarantees the lowest possible rates. Consumers should know the current prime interest rate published before comparison-shopping. Knowing this information can give a borrower the knowledge to effectively negotiate terms and conditions with lenders.

A great place to begin comparison shopping for the banks prime interest rate is online through the Internet. The Internet is exploding with lending agencies that compete against one another for business, and if the consumer has a healthy credit score, they will be pleasantly surprised at how accommodating the current lending market can be. The vast competition throughout the Internet has changed the face of the lending industry, and now consumers have more negotiation power than ever. Before contacting various lending agencies, consumers will want to know their own credit score and review their credit report, finding any discrepancies before submitting an application to a lending institution.

Taking the time to review a personal credit report, finding information on the available rates, and comparison shopping for the lowest rates offered on loans can make a difference in an over-all financial picture. Getting information is getting wisdom before making commitments with lenders. The Bible teaches Christians to seek out those who are wise when making decisions. While researching a prime interest rate and getting credit history together, the consumer must be sure and speak with financial advisors about current trends and where the markets are headed. "Apply thine heart to instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge." (Proverbs 23:11)

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