This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

Upset driver
Photo by antoniodiaz /

A surging number of American drivers believe they’ve been victimized by skimming when they swipe their card at the gas pump.

A 2020 CompareCards survey found that 31% of participants believe they have been a victim of such skimming at some point during the past year. That marks a major jump from 23% in 2019 and 15% in 2018.

Skimming takes place when a scammer attaches a tiny device to a payment terminal, such as those found at gas pumps. If you swipe your card in these terminals, the crook can steal your account information from the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

Of course, chip cards were supposed to prevent this sort of fraud. But according to CompareCards, gas stations were exempted from a 2015 deadline to make the switch to chip terminals. The extra time was granted to gas stations because of the difficulty of making the changeover, which often involves replacement of the entire pump.

According to CompareCards:

“The original deadline for gas stations to make these improvements was October 2017, before getting pushed back to October 2020. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it was pushed back again …”

The deadline for gas stations is now April — assuming it isn’t postponed again due to the prolonged pandemic.

CompareCards reports that fears of card skimming are forcing drivers to modify their behavior when paying for gas, with 44% of survey respondents saying they have made such changes.

For example, 23% of respondents now use their credit card more often at the pump because credit cards offer stronger fraud liability protections than debit cards. Three groups — members of Generation X, men and wealthier Americans — most often report making such changes.

If you are worried about falling victim to a skimming scam, CompareCards offers the following tips for staying safe:

  • Use credit cards instead of debit cards, since credit cards offer superior financial protection. For more on this, check out “9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card.”
  • Fill up at well-lit pumps close to the store, as these are less likely to be targets of fraudsters.
  • Keep an eye on your online card statements and look for any potentially fraudulent charges.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


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Good Financial Cents, and author of the personal finance book Soldier of Finance. Jeff is an Iraqi combat veteran and served 9 years in the Army National Guard. His work is regularly featured in Forbes, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur.

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9 Moving Announcements That Say ‘We Moved’ in Hilarious, Unforgettable Ways

Moving announcements are just one of those things you have to take care of—otherwise how will people know where you live? Sure, you can just do a mass email to all your friends and family. Alternatively, you can show off your wild creativity with one of the far more memorable moving announcements below. Odds are, one of them sums up your own style or sense of humor to a tee.

For people who move a ton…

It's time to break out yet another new Rolodex card.
It’s time to break out yet another new Rolodex card.


This hilarious card ($6.50, Etsy), which comes as a printable download, lets friends and family know that yes, your entry in their address book looks like a confused jumble of crossed-out streets and cities. And that while you’re sorry about that, you’d still enjoy a holiday greeting (or a housewarming gift).

For the scent-loving and/or GPS-minded…

Burn your new coordinates into their memory.
Burn your new coordinates into their memory.


If you want to go all out, send a moving announcement in the form of a soy candle ($16, Etsy) in a calming scent with your latitude and longitude printed on the label. Just remember, 39° N is not a USPS-approved mailing address.

For movers (and shakers)…

Dancing with boxes on your head is not recommended.
Dancing with boxes on your head is not recommended.

Show people all that packing and unpacking all those boxes hasn’t dulled your sense of humor, or slowed your dance moves. These cards (85 for $132, Minted) can also be custom-printed to include a family photo on the other side.

If you truly love visitors…

Let friends know they are still welcome.
Let friends know they are still welcome.

Monique Harps

When real estate agent Monique Harps moved, her priority was letting potential visitors know they still had a warm bed to stay in. Her process was simple—a friend took a photo of her new home, then she designed the template and emailed or texted the announcement. Here’s to hoping recipients call first before they come a-calling.

For punsters…

Steer people to your new location.
Steer people to your new location.


This printable postcard ($16, Etsy) comes in colors ranging from “bumblebee” to “flamingo” (clearly, this designer loves animals). Meanwhile, this card shows off your own cornball sense of humor.

For those who enjoy a frosty one…

Let friends know you care about their fingertips staying warm.
Let friends know you care about their fingertips staying warm.

Totally Promotional

Instead of sending cards, simply order a collapsible can cooler personalized with your new address and a phrase like “Help us toast our new home!” ($3.71 each per order of 25, Totally Promotional). This lets your old friends (and new neighbors) know you care about them down to the temperature of their beverages. It also leaves no room for anyone to make excuses about losing your mailing address (not until they run out of beer, anyway).

If you’re moving out of state…

The time zones they are a changin'.
The time zones they are a changin’.


If you’re moving between any states in the union, why not give people a visual representation of your new boundaries? This instantly downloadable PDF ($5, Etsy) can be customized with any state from Alabama to Wyoming.

For the romantics…

The keyhole cutout makes this adorable card even cuter.
The keyhole cutout makes this adorable card even cuter.

Give everyone a peek into your home life with this “Love Is Key” ($1.92 each, Minted) moving announcement. Each greeting is fully customizable, so if you want to show a picture of what really goes on in your not-always-picture-perfect life through the keyhole, that’s an option, too!

If you want an excuse to show off a cute baby pic…

Baby, it's time to move.
Baby, it’s time to move.

If you and your new baby both have a new crib, let everyone in on it with this clever card ($1.92 each, Minted). Fun fact: Calling a home a crib comes not from “MTV Cribs” but Shakespeare himself. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, crib defined as “a small dwelling” first appeared in the following lines of the famous playwright’s 1597 play “Henry VI”: “Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee.” (Feel free to point this fact out in your moving announcement!)


10 Secrets to Finding Quality Secondhand Furniture

Couple shopping for used furniture
Photo by Iakov Filimonov /

In the market for a chair or kitchen table? Instead of new, why not try new-to-you? Buying secondhand is one of the best ways to save big on furniture.

Thrift stores, online marketplaces and estate sales are loaded with well-built furniture that’s served families for generations. Finding the best pieces just takes a little patience, vision and practical advice.

Over the past 30 years, I’ve bought and sold hundreds of pieces of secondhand furniture and decorated my home with some of my most prized finds. Here are my secrets to finding quality used furniture.

What to look for

As with most things in life, separating the gems from the junk takes a discerning eye. From credenzas to club chairs, here’s what to look for.

1. Good bones

Whether you want a finished piece or a refurbishing project, look for furniture with good bones.

What does that mean? Drawers should slide easily, hinges should work and upholstered pieces should have sturdy, solid wood frames. Plastic or fiberglass items should be free of cracks, chips or obvious fading.

It’s easy to be tempted by beautiful old furniture that’s simply too far gone. Some shabby pieces will never be chic. Before you buy, ask yourself, “Do I have the skills to handle this project? How much of an investment in new tools and time will this require?”

2. Strong joints

A joint is the point where two pieces of material meet and connect. Creating a strong joint — one that will keep a drawer, chair or cabinet door intact for generations — requires a bit of expertise.

When considering a piece of wood furniture, examine how it’s put together. Look for the following types of joints:

3. High-quality veneers

A veneer is a decorative covering applied to a less expensive material. In older furniture, veneers are usually thin layers of high-quality wood — think tiger maple or mahogany — laid over solid wood.

Since matching and applying replacement veneers is an art form all its own, look for furniture with intact veneer.

Also, keep an eye out for “bookmatched” veneers, a technique that involves aligning two sheets of veneer so that wood grain patterns mirror one another. Because of the time and skill involved, furniture with bookmatched veneers is especially desirable and increasingly hard to find.

4. Hotel cast-offs

When hotels renovate, they often donate their old furniture to local thrift shops or sell it to the public at deep discounts.

Commercial hotel furniture is some of the best furniture out there — easy to clean and built to take a beating. And since dozens of pieces are donated at the same time, find matching sets is a breeze.

Word of caution: Don’t take a chance on hotel mattresses. They’ve had a rough life and may harbor bedbugs and other ickiness.

5. Valuable vintage brands

Though flipping vintage furniture might not be your main goal, it never hurts to score a hot collectible.

Look for brands like:

Not only are these companies known for high design and craftsmanship, they’re also popular with collectors around the world.

I’ve seen a midcentury period Heywood-Wakefield chest of drawers sell on eBay for $725.

6. Pieces that fit your lifestyle

Let’s face it: Furniture made generations ago was made for lifestyles that no longer exist. Huge armoires, hulking dining room tables, intricately carved china hutches — these pieces may be beautiful and well-crafted, but are they relevant for you?

Look for pieces that won’t cramp your contemporary lifestyle.

Before you buy, ask yourself: “Will this be difficult to care for? Will it take up too much space? Will it be hard to move? Does it have a single purpose, or can it be used in different ways as my needs change?”

What to avoid

Everyone knows to skip furniture with missing drawer pulls and broken legs. But let’s dig deeper. There are some things you should never buy used. In the hunt for the perfect piece, you should also avoid the following.

1. Bad smells

When it comes to bad smells, it’s not just upholstered pieces you have to worry about. Solid wood is surprisingly absorbent. Over time, odors from cigarette smoke, pets and mildew can slowly penetrate wood furniture, leaving pieces with a permanently “off” smell.

In the battle of bad smells, I’ve learned to make a hasty retreat. Trying to eliminate years’ worth of soaked-in odor can turn a fun weekend project into months of hard labor. Life’s too short. Give each piece of furniture a quick sniff test and avoid the stinkers.

2. Staples

Avoid furniture that’s constructed using industrial staples instead of screws, nails or one of the joinery methods mentioned earlier. Not only are these pieces mass-produced, they’re also mass-produced hastily and without regard for durability.

Staples can come loose easily, especially when used in particleboard. This type of furniture falls into a consumer category I cynically call “pre-landfill.” You don’t truly own pre-landfill items, you merely rent them for a short time until they fall apart.

3. Granite paint

Granite paint was an unfortunate trend in the early 1990s. This faux finish was liberally applied to lamps, dressers, end tables — nearly anything that was standing still. And because the paint had to be thick enough to produce a granite-like texture, it’s almost impossible to remove.

Unless you’re ready for a big restoration project involving chemical strippers and a lot of scraping and sanding, avoid any piece of furniture with this coating from hell.

4. Children’s furniture

While technically not something to avoid, buyers should exercise caution when shopping for secondhand children’s furniture.

Some pieces are donated after a manufacturer’s recall. Other pieces may have been broken and improperly repaired, resulting in a product that’s unsafe for youngsters.

Inspect each piece carefully and after buying remember to properly anchor furniture that might pose a tipping hazard.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


4 Ways to Save More Money at Ikea

Woman shopping at Ikea
Prachana Thong-on /

Ikea might just be the top home furnishing store for frugal folks across the nation.

The products are stylish but inexpensive — as long as you don’t mind using a little elbow grease to assemble them.

People trying to save a buck love Ikea’s low prices. But learn a few tricks and you can hang on to even more cash at the popular retailer. Following are a few ways to save more at Ikea.

1. Join the Ikea Family rewards program

Ikea Family
AlesiaKan /

Enroll in Ikea Family, and you will be eligible for perks that include:

2. Sign up for Ikea’s moving program

Syda Productions /

Planning a big move? Ikea can help if you sign up for its New Mover program.

Once you register, you will receive $25 off your next purchase of $250 or more.

3. Shop the ‘as-is’ section

Vadim Georgiev /

Bargain hunters should be sure to stop by the “as-is” section at Ikea stores. Here, you can find deals on all kinds of items.

According to Apartment Therapy:

“… once a week, most IKEA stores offer a 10%-off as-is section discount. However, that day varies from store-to-store, so your best bet is to call your nearest IKEA to find out what day of the week you can score an even bigger markdown.”

Also, many Ikea fanatics say Monday is a great day to shop the section, after people have used the weekend to return items.

4. Get discounted gift cards

Andrey_Popov /

When you shop Ikea — or many other major retailers — you can cut costs even further by using gift cards purchased at websites that sell them at a discount.

We’ve seen Raise sell Ikea gift cards at a discount of 5% or more. However, these bargain gift cards are just as popular as Ikea itself, so sometimes Raise is sold out of Ikea cards.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


6 Coronavirus-Friendly Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $10K—and Will Bring In Offers

Getting a home improvement project to pay off is notoriously tricky. There’s no guarantee you’ll recoup the money you pour into a bathroom remodel or an outdoor kitchen. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic has made completing even minor projects more difficult, as many nonessential construction projects have been halted.

And while it might seem crazy to take on a big-ticket project in a time of economic uncertainty, many home buyers are still looking for turnkey properties with attractive amenities. So if you’re a seller with a house in need of a little TLC, you should focus on relatively low-budget upgrades that will seriously juice your home’s value.

Below, our experts spill on the improvements under $10,000 that buyers are perennially interested in, plus the trending ones whose popularity is likely to last.

Deep cleaning: $500 or less

Scuffs on doors, counters, cabinets, and walls; a ring of scum around a drain; cobwebs in basement corners; toys or tools peppering lawns and patios—these all look bad in the eyes of potential buyers. Luckily, eradicating these blemishes doesn’t take much.

“Deep cleaning is one of the most important things you can do for a little money that dramatically increases your value in the market,” says Heather Wendlandt, a real estate agent with the San Diego-based Team Kolker. “The Magic Eraser and elbow grease can go a long way.”

She says deep cleaning, plus basic paint touch-ups, can increase home values by thousands.

Front-door upgrade: $2,000 or less

Thee front door is the first part of a home that a potential buyer will interact with, so it’s worth lavishing attention on every detail. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or updated accessories like house numbers, door knockers, and attractive lighting are all easy and relatively inexpensive to obtain.

Wilmington, NC–based real estate agent-turned-blogger Rebecca Fernandez says that when she was given a listing that sat on the market without activity for months, a front-door upgrade helped make a difference.


Watch: 5 Smart Upgrades To Help Coronavirus-Proof Your Home


“I convinced the homeowners to provide me with a budget of $500,” Fernandez says. “It was a very small Cape Cod home, painted dark beige, with an unflattering wood front door. To add contrast, I purchased black vinyl shutters and painted the door a dark red. Next, we cleaned up the front lawn and purchased a door mat, flowerpots, and mums, since it was autumn, and we wanted it to have a fresh, seasonal look. After those minor tweaks, with new pictures online and the added curb appeal, we drew multiple buyers and sold the property quickly.”

Touchless fixtures and fresh-air systems: $200 to $5,000

During the pandemic, certain fixtures have become more relevant—and coveted—than ever.

What buyers want right now are touchless fixtures like sinks and toilets that eliminate your need to come into contact with a germ-filled surface, says Scott Campbell, team leader at Cedarburg, WI’s Re/Max. Both of these upgrades cost a few hundred dollars to install around the house.

Another pandemic must-have is excellent airflow.

“Updating mechanical systems and adding a RenewAire system that pulls fresh air into the home every few hours is a huge plus for buyers,” Campbell says. “Ultraviolet air exchanges that help kill viruses are also smart investments and very practical for home showings during the pandemic.”

Better kitchens and bathrooms: $9,000 or less

Kitchens and bathrooms that look outdated or cheap can sink the value of an entire home.

Tracy Jones, an associate with Re/Max Platinum Realty, witnessed firsthand how a kitchen face-lift boosted her home’s value.

“During the years we’ve done some hefty renos, but resurfacing our kitchen cabinets cost less than $4,000. We replaced the cheap-looking plywood cabinets with white doors and custom-built drawer fronts with soft-pull hardware,” she says. “We also upgraded the 1990s Formica countertops with granite for $4,000, creating a modern look.”

Jones believes these upgrades helped them bring in a profit. They bought the home for $189,000 in 2006 and sold it for $425,000 in 2020.

Bathrooms can also make or break a deal.

Erik Wright, owner of New Horizon Home Buyers in Chattanooga, TN, says he helped renovate and flip a home that cost him $80,000 and was sold for $140,000. Of the $15,000 he invested in home improvement, Wright put $9,000 toward upgrades on the kitchen and bathroom, including light fixtures, new cabinets and counters, fresh towels, and new vanities and faucets. All told, he cleared $45,000, primarily through minor tweaks.

Backyard upgrades: $500 to $10,000

Backyards are now thought of as an extension of the home.

“For those in the suburbs, pools, koi ponds, and fountains are newfound hot-selling items,” says Neal Clayton, licensed partner at Engel & Völkers in Nashville, TN. A small water feature that makes a soothing impression can be purchased and installed for as little as $500.

“Fire pits and outdoor kitchens with basic cabinetry are also frequently requested as people find creative ways to expand their living spaces,” Clayton says.

Home office: $10,000 or less

Home offices were on their way out before the pandemic, but they are all the rage now. Converting a room and buying all of the furniture, accoutrements, and shelving cost well under $10,000, experts say.

If you’re on the fence about carving out a home office space, consider this: Many buyers won’t consider a home these days if it doesn’t have a place where working or schooling from home is feasible.


Mortgage apps dip as conforming rate inches up, loan amounts soar

Applications declined in the near term, but the average loan amount set a new record in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest weekly report.

While financing costs are still low enough to offset sticker shock from escalating home prices, a slight rise in the average 30-year conforming rate did weigh on borrowers last week, the trade group found.

Overall apps were down 4.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis during the week ended Jan. 22 due to the uptick in 30-year conforming rates to 2.95%. A decline in average points, and a drop in rates outside the 30-year conforming market failed to offset the 3 basis-point rate increase from a week earlier.

“In a sign that borrowers are increasingly more sensitive to higher rates, large declines in government purchase applications and refinance applications pulled overall activity lower,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, in a press release.

The average purchase loan amount hit the record high of $395,200, up from $384,000 a week earlier. Homebuyer app volume fell 4% on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the previous week but was up 16% year-over-year.

In the refi apps index, which has notched highs not seen since 2013, was down 5% in the short term but up 83% from a year ago.

Week-over-week, the share of applications guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs fell to 12.4% from 13.8%, offsetting smaller increases in the share of apps insured by the Federal Housing Administration and in the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan sector.


Mortgage and refinance rates today, January 26, 2021

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates 

Average mortgage rates edged lower yet again yesterday. And they’re now tantalizingly close to the all-time low.

But early signs in markets suggest the recent run of falls may be ending. And mortgage rates today could rise or hold steady.

Find and lock a low rate (Jan 26th, 2021)

Current mortgage and refinance rates 

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 2.745% 2.745% Unchanged
Conventional 15 year fixed 2.362% 2.362% Unchanged
Conventional 5 year ARM 3% 2.743% Unchanged
30 year fixed FHA 2.495% 3.473% Unchanged
15 year fixed FHA 2.438% 3.38% Unchanged
5 year ARM FHA 2.5% 3.226% Unchanged
30 year fixed VA 2.25% 2.421% Unchanged
15 year fixed VA 2.25% 2.571% Unchanged
5 year ARM VA 2.5% 2.406% Unchanged
Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.

Find and lock a low rate (Jan 26th, 2021)

COVID-19 mortgage updates: Mortgage lenders are changing rates and rules due to COVID-19. To see the latest on how coronavirus could impact your home loan, click here.

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

After eight days without a rise, you may decide mortgage rates are on a roll. And you may be proved right, though that’s not looking so likely right now. Still, nobody could blame you for continuing to float your rate.

But read on for reasons to think twice. Because, if you see yourself as cautious with money, you might well decide to lock now — certainly if you’re due to close within the next 30 days.

So my personal rate lock recommendations, which are little better than hunches, are:

Still, with so much uncertainty at the moment, your instincts could easily turn out to be as good as mine — or better. So be guided by your gut and your personal tolerance for risk.

Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates 

Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with about the same time yesterday morning, were:

*A change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

Caveats about markets and rates

Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. The Fed is now a huge player and some days can overwhelm investor sentiment.

So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong (rates are likely to rise) or weak (they could fall) to rely on them. But, with that caveat, so far mortgage rates today look likely to inch higher or hold steady.

Find and lock a low rate (Jan 26th, 2021)

Important notes on today’s mortgage rates

Here are some things you need to know:

  1. The Fed’s ongoing interventions in the mortgage market (way over $1 trillion) should put continuing downward pressure on these rates. But it can’t work miracles all the time. And read “For once, the Fed DOES affect mortgage rates. Here’s why” if you want to understand this aspect of what’s happening
  2. Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care
  3. Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  4. Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the wider trend over time
  5. When rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  6. Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases. But some types of refinances are higher following a regulatory change

So there’s a lot going on here. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Today and soon

I’m expecting mortgage rates to move a little higher or remain the same today. But, as always, that could change as the day progresses.

But you need to recognize that floating presents a risk for three reasons:

  1. Eight days of falls is nothing in these markets. And no professional would discern a trend from such a brief period
  2. If mortgage rates had acted yesterday as they normally do in relation to other bond yields, they’d have risen. They may be playing catch-up this morning
  3. The long-term forces that are trying to push these rates upward haven’t gone away. And they may not lose out forever

For more background on my thinking, read our latest weekend edition, which is published every Saturday soon after 10 a.m. (ET).


Over the last several months, the overall trend for mortgage rates has clearly been downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions last year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent such record occurred on Jan. 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But rates have risen since. And in Freddie’s Jan 21 report, that weekly average was 2.77%. However, even more recent falls mean these rates start out this morning very close to that Jan. 7 record.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts

Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.

And here are their current rates forecasts for each quarter of 2021 (Q1/21, Q2/21, Q3/21 and Q4/21).

Fannie’s were released on Jan. 15, Freddie’s on Jan. 14 and the MBA’s on Jan. 20. The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages:

Forecaster Q1/21 Q2/21 Q3/21 Q4/21
Fannie Mae 2.7% 2.7% 2.8% 2.8%
Freddie Mac 2.9% 2.9% 3.0% 3.0%
MBA 2.9% 3.1% 3.3% 3.4%

But, given so many unknowables, the current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual. And there’s certainly a widening spread as the year progresses.

Find your lowest rate today

Some lenders have been spooked by the pandemic. And they’re restricting their offerings to just the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.

But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the cash-out refinance, investment mortgage or jumbo loan you want. You just have to shop around more widely.

But, of course, you should be comparison shopping widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Verify your new rate (Jan 26th, 2021)

Mortgage rate methodology

The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.


MBS RECAP: MBS Outperform Treasuries Thank to Light Supply at Fed Buying Operation

MBS RECAP: MBS Outperform Treasuries Thank to Light Supply at Fed Buying Operation

Treasuries didn’t gain any new ground today, but it’s a bit of a victory to simply hold below the recent floor at 1.075%.  Moreover, MBS outperformed after sellers offered up very light supply in the Fed’s 30yr Fixed UMBS buying operation today.  By the close, UMBS 1.5 and 2.0 coupons were both up at least an eighth of a point while Treasuries weren’t any better than unchanged.  All in all, it was an extremely calm trading session. Durable Goods data in the morning tomorrow followed by a Fed Announcement at 2pm ET.

Econ Data / Events

  • 20min of Fed 30yr UMBS Buying 10am, 1130am (M-F) and 1pm (T-Th)

  • Case Shiller Home Prices (y/y) 9.1 vs 8.6 f’cast, 8.0 prev

  • FHFA Home Prices (y/y) 11.0 vs 10.3 prev

  • Consumer Confidence 89.3 vs 89.0 f’cast, 87.1 prev

Market Movement Recap

08:16 AM

Big selling needs in MBS.  Buyers holding the cards and waiting for sellers to come down to their price.  UMBS 1.5 coupons opening almost a quarter point lower.   2.0 coupons down an eighth.  Only modest weakest in Treasuries with 10yr up 1.4bps at 1.047.  GameStop futures are up 15% (everyone wants to know, right?)

12:01 PM

MBS supply/demand issues have reversed course in an obvious way–especially during and after the Fed’s 11:30-11:50am ET buying operation.  1.5 coupons are up almost an eighth and 2.0 coupons are 2 ticks higher (+0.6) while Treasuries still haven’t turned green on the day.

01:14 PM

Decent 5yr Treasury auction but no reaction in bonds.  10yr remains just barely weaker on the day and MBS are unchanged from the last update.

03:43 PM

Increasingly narrow range in Treasuries and modest gains in MBS.  No new developments since last check.  Very calm trading day overall.  

MBS Pricing Snapshot

Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.


UMBS 2.0

103-13 : +0-04


10 YR

1.0360 : -0.0040

Pricing as of 1/26/21 3:56PMEST

Today’s Reprice Alerts and Updates

8:45AM  :  MBS Still Lagging, But Less Than Yesterday

Economic Calendar

Time Event Period Actual Forecast Prior
Tuesday, Jan 26
9:00 CaseShiller 20 yy (% ) Nov +9.1 8.6 7.9
9:00 Monthly Home Price yy (%) Nov +11.0 10.2
9:00 Monthly Home Price mm (%) Nov +1.0 1.5
10:00 Consumer confidence * Jan 89.3 89.0 88.6
13:00 5-Yr Note Auction (bl)* 61