Author Archives: Kevin Hunt

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

by Categorized: Banks Date:

Mortgage rates barely moved for the third consecutive week, with 30-year loans averaging 4.10 percent nationally and 15-year loans at 3.24 percent, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
Thirty-year rates remained unchanged from the previous week. Fifteen-year rates averaged 3.25 percent a week ago.

The numbers in New England:

30-year: 4.09 percent
15-year: 3.23 percent

Last week:
30-year: 4.10 percent
15-year: 3.25 percent

A year ago:
30-year: 4.58 percent
15-year: 3.59 percent

Retailers With The Worst Branded Credit Cards

by Categorized: Banks, Credit Cards, Retail Date:

This weekend’s Bottom Line column:

Shoppers know they can find deals every week at Zales, Office Depot, Staples and Best Buy. Yet these same stores also offer some of the worst deals in the retail world — branded credit cards with annual percentage rates that exceed 25 percent.

The average rate at store-issued credit cards at the nation’s largest retailers is now 23.23 percent, according to a recent survey by, or 8 points higher than the national average for general-purpose cards.

More . . .

Mortgage Rates At Standstill

by Categorized: Banks Date:

Mortgage rates barely budged in the past week, with 30-year rates averaging 4.10 percent nationally and 15-year rates at 3.25 percent.
A 30-year rates are unchanged from the previous week. A week ago, 15-yer rates averaged 3.23 percent.

This week:
30-year: 4.10 percent
15-year: 3.25 percent

Last week:
30-year: 4.10 percent
15-year: 3.23 percent

A year ago:
30-year: 4.53 percent
15-year: 3.55 percent

Cash Or Credit? Under $5, It’s Still (Mostly) Cash

by Categorized: Credit Cards Date:

Americans prefer paying cash for purchases under $5 with cash, according to a report, but that is changing,


>> Overall, 65% of Americans typically pay for purchases under $5 with cash. 22% use debit cards and 11% use credit cards.
>> But whereas 77% of people age 50 and older prefer cash, only 52% of people between the ages of 18 and 49 prefer cash.
>> Millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the only age group to prefer plastic over cash. They especially like debit cards (by a ratio of nearly 3-1 over credit cards).

Best Credit Cards For College Students

by Categorized: Banks Date:

The bottom Line is back from vacation. (Did you miss me?)

Capital One’s Journey Student Rewards card is rated as a top rewards card in’s annual survey of best credit cards for college students.
The card gives 1 percent cash back on all purchases and a 25 percent cash-back bonus when a bill is paid on time each month. That’s 1.25 percent back on each dollar spent — a better return than card’s offered to people with excellent credit.

Debt Collectors Call His Cell (Repeatedly); He Sues, Gets $30,000

by Categorized: Telecom Date:


It wasn’t such a good idea when Diversified Consultants Inc., a debt collection agency, started calling Jamie Davis of Cambridge, Mass., two years ago asking about an account belonging to someone named Rosalee Pagan.

Davis, obviously, was not Pagan. He told Diversified Consultants collectors that he did know her, never heard of her and did not want to hear about her, or from DCI, again. Yet the calls continued. From Aug. 1 to Nov. 12, 2012, Davis received 60 calls on his cellphone from the company’s collectors.

That’s illegal.

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Mortgage Rates Drop, Following Bond Yields

by Categorized: Banks Date:

Mortgage rates dipped in past week, following bond yields, as 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.12 percent and 15-year rates averaged 3.24 percent nationally, according to data released Thursday morning by Freddie Mac.
A week ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.14 percent and 15-year rates averaged 3.26 percent.

Here are the numbers in New England:

This week:
30-year: 4.12 percent
15-year: 3.24 percent

Last week:
30-year: 4.14 percent
15-year: 3.26 percent

A year ago:
30-year: 4.42 percent
15-year: 3.46 percent

How To Make Gas Stations Honor Cash Price On Debit Purchase

by Categorized: Consumer Complaints, Credit Cards Date:

Today’s Bottom Line column:

Payment options, cash or credit, are marked clearly at local gas stations. But how does your local fill-up treat plastic cash, the debit card?

A debit card looks like a credit card, but banks treat it like a cash transaction. A consumer receives no “credit,” equivalent to a small loan, for any debit-card transaction. Debit is not credit.

Why, then, do some gas stations charge higher “credit card” prices for debit-card purchases? Because they can, according to state regulations, but only if they post signs on the face of the gas pump and at the cash register declaring the debit-as-credit charge.

More . . .