A 10 basis point decline in mortgage rates last week wasn’t enough to spur consumer demand for mortgages, according to the latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
For the week that ended June 2, mortgage applications fell 1.4% from the prior week. That was despite mortgage rates dropping to 6.81% from 6.91% during roughly the same period.
“Mortgage rates declined last week from a recent high, but total application activity slipped for the fourth straight week,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist. “Overall applications were more than 30% lower than a year ago, as borrowers continue to grapple with the higher rate environment.”
After more than a year of steady rate increases by the Federal Reserve, the FOMC is expected to pause hikes at its upcoming meeting next week. But that might depend on the upcoming inflation reading scheduled on June 13, the same day of the meeting.
The MBA data showed that the average 30-year fixed rate for conforming loans ($726,200 or less) decreased to 6.81% last week from 6.91% the previous week. For jumbo loan balances (greater than $726,200), the rate decreased to 6.74% from 6.78% in the same period, according to the MBA.
However, at Mortgage News Daily, rates were even higher on Wednesday morning, at 6.89%.
Last week, federal lawmakers reached a deal on the U.S. debt ceiling and avoided a default on June 1, which could have pushed rates up by several percentage points.
Refinancing applications declined 1% last week compared to the previous week and were 42% lower than the same week one year ago. However, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 27.3% of total applications from 26.7% the previous week. Meanwhile, the purchase index decreased by 2% from one week earlier and was 27% lower than last year’s level on an unadjusted seasonal basis.
“Purchase activity is constrained by reduced purchasing power from higher rates and the ongoing lack of for-sale inventory in the market, while there continues to be very little rate incentive for refinance borrowers,” said Joel Kan.
Regarding loan types, the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of mortgage apps remained unchanged at 6.8% of total applications, the MBA data shows.
The Federal Housing Administration loans’ share rose to 13.2% from 12.7% the week prior. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs loans’ share increased to 12.5% from 12.1% in the same period. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture loans’ share decreased one basis point to 0.4% of the total applications.
LOS ANGELES — The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate rose this week to its highest level since mid March, driving up borrowing costs for prospective homebuyers facing a housing market that’s constrained by a dearth of homes for sale.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan rose to 6.57% from 6.39% last week. The average rate a year ago was 5.10%.
High rates can add hundreds of dollars a month in costs for homebuyers, limiting how much buyers can afford in a market that remains unaffordable to many Americans after years of soaring home prices and limited housing inventory.
The median monthly payment listed on applications for home purchase loans in April rose to $2,112, up nearly 12% from a year ago and a 0.9% increase from March, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday.
The average rate on a 30-year home loan has risen two weeks in a row, echoing moves in the 10-year Treasury yield, which lenders use as a guide to pricing loans.
The 10-year Treasury yield has been mostly rising of late, climbing to 3.79% in afternoon trading Thursday. Two weeks ago, it was at 3.39%.
The move up in bond yields comes as investors react to stronger-than-expected economic data and the implications that could have on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again next month.
Bond traders are also factoring in the possibility that the U.S. government may default on its debt as the White House and GOP leadership wrangle over a deal to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling so it can avoid an unprecedented default as soon as June 1.
“The U.S. economy is showing continued resilience which, combined with debt ceiling concerns, led to higher mortgage rates this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
Jitters over the possibility that the government ends up defaulting on its debt could cause creditors to ask for higher interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds, which could lead to a “significant increase” in borrowing costs, including mortgages, said Jiayi Xu, an economist at Realtor.com.
“Resolving the debt impasse sooner, rather than later, would mitigate potential adverse effects on the housing market, which is already contending with high prices and elevated mortgage rates,” Xu said.
Investors’ expectations for future inflation, global demand for U.S. Treasurys and what the Fed does with interest rates influence rates on home loans.
The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate 10 times in 14 months. At its last meeting of policymakers, the central bank signaled that it could finally pause its yearlong campaign of rate hikes, though a pause would likely only nudge mortgage rates slightly lower.
Low mortgage rates helped fuel the housing market for much of the past decade, easing the way for borrowers to finance ever-higher home prices. That trend began to reverse a little over a year ago, when the Fed started to hike its key short-term rate in a bid to slow the economy and cool the highest inflation in four decades.
The spring homebuying season got off to a lackluster start this year as prospective buyers grappled with higher borrowing costs and a near record-low inventory of homes on the market.
Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes fell 23.2% in the 12 months ended in April, marking nine straight months of annual sales declines of 20% or more, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national median home price fell to $388,800 last month — down 1.7% from a year earlier and the biggest year-over-year drop since January 2012.
The modest pullback in home prices reflects heated competition among buyers, especially those vying for the most affordable homes. At least one-third of the homes sold last month went for more than their list price, according to the NAR.
The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular with those refinancing their homes, rose to 5.97% this week from 5.75% last week. A year ago, it averaged 4.31%, Freddie Mac said.
Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this article, President Biden signed the debt ceiling bill on June 4, canceling the federal student loan payment pause as of Aug 30, or “60 days after June 30.” Later this month, the Supreme Court will decide whether the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Program can proceed. Loan payments are expected to resume in October.
Student loans are a significant issue in the United States, where consumers have more than $1.7 trillion in total student loan debt. In 2021, the average federal student loan debt per borrower was just over $37,000. And 20 years after students enter college, half of borrowers still owe $20,000 in student loans.
Broken down by degree levels, the debt increases. Graduate students who receive a degree leave school with an average of nearly $70,000 in debt. Law students are saddled with an average of $180,000; and medical students owe $250,000 on average for total student loan debt.
With so many borrowers and so much debt, it begs the question, “Should all student loan debt be forgiven?”
Who’s in Favor?
By a 2-to-1 margin, voters do support at least some student loans being forgiven, according to a poll from Politico and Morning Consult. And 53% of voters from the same poll support Biden’s extension of student loan payments through August.
Proponents of canceling student loan debt point out that the government is partially responsible for this debt crisis. Because many states slashed higher education funding after the 2008 recession, tuition at both public and private colleges has gone up steeply, and many students have been forced to take out even more in loans.
Unfortunately, the increase in student loan balances hasn’t gone hand in hand with a bump in post-college salary. The result is a national situation where borrowers owe increasingly more in student loans but don’t have the paycheck to aggressively tackle their balances.
Although the government has created income-driven repayment options that seek to keep monthly student loan payments affordable, signing up isn’t without its downsides.
Since these income-driven plans often lengthen loan terms, borrowers may pay significantly more interest on their loans over time. Also, any forgiven balance at the end of their loan term is typically treated as taxable income.
Why Forgiving Student Loan Debt a Isn’t a Slam-Dunk
There are several reasons why forgiving student loan debt may not be a straightforward positive. The first is that, according to U.S. tax laws, debt that’s forgiven is a taxable event. Under income-driven student loan repayment plans, for instance, if you make consistent, on-time payments for the life of the loan (20 or 25 years, depending on when you borrowed), any balance remaining at the end of your loan term is forgiven — but whatever’s forgiven is considered taxable income.
The second issue pundits raise with this plan is that it’s being sold as a stimulus: If the government forgives people’s student loan debt, they’ll put money back into the economy, the thinking goes. But forgiving debt isn’t the same as handing people a check.
And finally, the federal government so far isn’t planning to forgive student loans that borrowers hold with private lenders, which average over $54,000 per borrower.
Alternative Options to Canceling Student Loan Debt
Instead of targeting only student loan borrowers who qualify for relief, the government could provide a stimulus check to all Americans, and Americans could decide for themselves how to use it.
If someone has $10,000 in outstanding student loans, for example, they might prefer to use a check to put a down payment on a house or pay off high-interest credit card debt.
Then there’s the higher education system itself. Canceling or forgiving student loan debt may provide only temporary relief as long as tuition levels continue to rise. As it stands, future generations will be saddled with just as much, if not more, student debt than Americans currently have today.
Tackling Your Student Loan Debt
There’s no telling when or if some form of more long-term relief might appear for student loan borrowers. If you’re struggling under the weight of your student debt, there are strategies that might help:
• Alternative payment plans: Federal student loans come with a variety of repayment options, one of which might suit your situation.
• Direction of overpayments: If you make extra payments on your student loans, you may instruct your servicer to apply them to your principal, rather than the next month’s payment plus interest. This will help pay off your loans faster.
• “Found” money: If you receive a work bonus or tax refund, applying it to your student loans can help reduce your balance faster.
• Refinancing: Refinancing student loans (private and/or federal) into one new loan with a private lender could lower your monthly payment and interest rate, and make it easier to manage payments. Just know that refinancing federal student loans with a private lender means losing access to federal repayment and forgiveness programs.
Recommended: Can Refinanced Student Loans Still Be Forgiven?
There is no quick fix for student loan debt, which will take further discussion from stakeholders on all sides.
If you are struggling with your own student loan debt, there are options to consider. You can apply for an income-driven repayment plan, apply for student loan deferment or forbearance on your federal student loans, or refinance your loans with a private lender. Keep in mind, though, that refinancing disqualifies you from federal benefits you may otherwise be eligible for.
If you do decide to refinance, consider SoFi. SoFi has a quick online application process, competitive rates, and no origination fees or prepayment penalties.
See if you prequalify with SoFi in just two minutes.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
SoFi Loan Products SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender. Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article. Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances. SOSL0523028
Last Updated: March 17, 2022 BY Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – 51 Comments
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Right now, you are probably thinking, “saving money is NOT fun.”
However, I want to tell you that you are wrong!
Maybe you don’t nerd out as much as I do when it comes to saving money, but there are plenty of ways to learn how to make saving money fun. Learning to have fun saving money is always a good idea, because it can help you save more money.
So many people get tired of paying off debt and saving money, because it can feel so monotonous or they just lack the motivation.
This is why I believe the best way to save money is to learn how to make saving money fun. This can help keep you motivated and interested in saving money.
Below are some great tips on how to make saving money fun. Enjoy!
Challenging yourself to save more money is great, because it can help keep your financial goal on your mind and keep you motivated.
Some ways you can challenge yourself to make saving money fun include:
Take part in the $20 Savings Challenge and save over $1,000 easily.
Challenge yourself to beat spending areas you constantly struggle with. You could try to spend less money on gas, food, utilities, and more.
Whenever you do spend money on a “want,” you can put that same amount of money into your savings account. So, if you buy a $35 clothing item, then you need to also put $35 towards savings or debt. This will make things seem much more expensive, so you are likely to spend less!
Take part in a no spend challenge. Read more about this in the section below.
Related tip: I recommend checking out my PrizePool review. PrizePool is a new type of savings account where you can win one of the over 15,000 cash prizes totaling $50,000 every month simply by saving your money in a savings account. One lucky winner will get the $25,000 Grand Prize out of this guaranteed PrizePool each and every month. PrizePool savings accounts are FDIC insured too.
Take part in a no spend challenge.
To some people, a no spend challenge may not be the most fun thing in the world. However, they can be a great way to let your creative side come out, because you will have to make do with what you already have.
You can do a challenge where you don’t buy any clothing, pantry food items, coffee, gas, and so on.
Now, you may be wondering how a no spend challenge can help you, so here’s how:
No spend challenges can prevent impulse spending.
You will find use in the items you already have.
A no spend challenge can motivate a person.
It can make you aware of your spending problems.
It can help you declutter and prevent waste.
Read further at The Power Of A No Spend Challenge.
Compete with others.
You can even go a step further by making it a challenge between you and someone else. You can turn it into a fun challenge between your friends, family members, or coworkers.
Think of this as similar to when a person has a weight loss buddy. By having someone rooting you on, who is also going through both the good and bad times, you may be more likely to reach your financial goals.
You can compete with others to see who can save the most money, who can go the longest without buying a certain item, who can pay off debt first, and more.
Read personal finance blogs.
I’m not just saying this because Making Sense of Cents is a personal finance blog.
I truly believe that reading personal finance blogs can help keep you interested in saving money. Personal finance blogs are great for seeing how other real people are doing with their financial goals, to introduce you to things you haven’t thought of, and for possibly joining a community of others who have similar goals as yours.
Related: How To Save Money
Make your financial goal visual.
Making your goal visual is a great way to find motivation and make saving money fun.
Having your financial goal displayed in front of you can make it that much more real, plus it’s nice to have a constant reminder of what you’re working towards.
Various ways to make your financial goal visual include:
Create a graphic that demonstrates your financial goal. An example of this would work for something like paying off your house. You could have a picture of a house and section it into 100 pieces. Then, each time you reach a small payoff goal, you can color a piece in. I did some research and found a blog post on A Cultivated Nest about many other creative ways to do this.
Keep a picture of your goal on hand. Whether your goal is a vacation, your dream home, an item you want, or something else, having a picture will keep you reminded of it. You could even go all out and create a vision board on Pinterest or on a poster board.
Start a blog. Blogging greatly helped me with my financial goals, because I could easily look back to see how I was doing, and the blogging community was very supportive. Plus, I felt like I had to keep myself accountable and kept improving because everything was public. If interested, you can start a blog for cheap with my easy tutorial.
Find ways to have frugal fun.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy your life while staying on a realistic budget.
In fact, I believe that many of the great ways to have fun are free or affordable. We spend hardly any money within our entertainment budget each month and still have a great time filled with new experiences. Just check out my Instagram if you don’t believe me!
You can have frugal fun by:
Mystery shopping, while it won’t make you rich, it can be an easy way to earn free meals at restaurants, free outings, free hotel stays, and more.
Take advantage of happy hours.
Sign up for email lists. You can earn valuable coupons, free visits, and more by doing this.
Visit the library.
Churn credit cards so you can travel for cheap, earn free cash, gift cards, and more. Read How I’ve Earned Over $2,500 in Credit Card Rewards in 2015 for more information.
Go outside for a bike ride, hike, walk, run, swim, and more.
Volunteer at events. Many events and festivals need volunteers. This may allow you free admission when you are done with your job!
Find free attractions in your city. In some cities, there might be free visits to the zoo, museums, concerts, and more.
Are you interested in learning how to make saving money fun? What do you think is the best way to save money?
P.S. Here are some ways to make saving money a little easier:
If you are looking for a cheap cell phone service, check out Republic Wireless. Republic Wireless is a service I’ve been using for over one year now, and I’m still happy with the service. They have monthly cell phone plans as low as $5 per month. Read Saving Over $2,000 A Year With Republic Wireless Review.
Negotiate any bills that you have such as phone, internet, etc.
Use a programmable thermostat so that you can heat and cool your home efficiently and more affordably.
Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 gift card bonus to Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls!
Eliminate your cable bill. Buy a digital antenna (this is the exact one we have) and enjoy free TV – this is what we do!
If you have trouble eating at home, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email. It’s a service that I personally use and me and my husband love it!
Refinance your student loans. I recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
Earn side money from home easily, by taking surveys. This can earn you cash, gift cards, free items, and more so that you can spend less money! Survey companies I recommend include American Consumer Opinion, Survey Junkie, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
As you all know, I believe that earning more money is the best way to save money.
Paying off student loan debt may seem like a small step on your financial path – but for some people, it’s a lengthy journey all on its own. A 2013 survey found that the average borrower took over 20 years to pay back their loans.
If you’d like to become debt free in your 20s, you’ll need a plan that takes into account your personal circumstances and all available repayment options. We’ll help you come up with the best strategy in the article below.
Pros and cons of paying off student loans early
Save on total interest
Remove the psychological burden of student loans
Make it easier to qualify for other loans
May earn more money by investing extra funds
Can delay other financial and personal milestones
May miss out on future loan forgiveness opportunities
How to pay off student loans early
Paying off your student loans early is just like paying off any other debt. You’ll need to get your information together so you know you what you’re dealing with. Then you’ll choose a loan to focus on and start paying them off one a time, paying as much extra as you can.
Two things that can make the pay off go even faster are lowering your interest rate on private loans and increasing your income. Lower interest rates means more money goes to your balance and more income will mean you can make larger payments.
Organize your loans
If you recently graduated and don’t know how to find your student loan information, log onto the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website to locate your federal loans. You will need your FSA ID and password. If you don’t remember your username or are having trouble logging in, contact the FSA at 1-800-433-3243.
The FSA website will only list your federal loans. To find your private student loans, check your official credit report from all three credit bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit report should list any private student loans taken out.
Before you start throwing extra money toward your student loans, you should figure out how much you owe. Open a spreadsheet and write down the following information for each loan:
Total loan amount
Federal or private loan
Having all the information in one place will help you determine the most efficient debt payoff strategy.
Research loan forgiveness options
If you have federal student loans, you may be eligible for several loan repayment and forgiveness programs. Taking advantage of these programs can help you pay less each month while also saving on total interest.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program will cancel any remaining balance after 120 monthly payments while working for an eligible nonprofit or government organization. Borrowers must be on an income-driven repayment plan during that time to qualify for PSLF, so their monthly payments will be lower than normal.
There are also many loan repayment programs geared toward professionals in the healthcare and legal fields. You can have tens of thousands of loans forgiven in exchange for working in an underserved community for a few years.
Choose a loan repayment strategy
If you want to pay off your loans ahead of schedule, you can choose between the debt snowball or debt avalanche method.
The debt snowball method involves paying extra on the loan with the lowest loan balance. Once that loan is paid off, you will add extra money to the loan with the next smallest balance. The debt snowball method has been proven to be more motivating to borrowers.
The debt avalanche method means adding extra to the loan with the highest interest rate. Once you pay off that loan, you will focus on the loan with the next highest interest rate. The avalanche strategy will result in saving the most money on total interest, though it may take you more time to repay individual loan balances.
Refinance private student loans
Borrowers with private student loans may be able to refinance those loans to a lower interest rate, saving them more interest in the long run. Start by comparing your current interest rates to overall market rates. If your rates are higher than what other lenders are offering, it may be time to refinance. Use our student loan refinancing calculator to see how much you could save.
If you have multiple private loans with high interest rates, you may be able to refinance all of those loans into one loan with the same lender. This will also simplify repayment.
Borrowers with federal student loans should think twice before refinancing, as those loans will then be converted into private loans. Once you refinance federal loans, you will lose all the perks and benefits like income-driven repayment plans, loan forgiveness programs and long deferment and forbearance options. It’s best to leave federal loans as they are.
If you need to refinance your private student loans here’s our list the best companies for student loan refinancing.
When making extra student loan payments, it’s important to ensure that these funds are being diverted correctly. Some lenders will take the extra funds and apply it to the next monthly payment instead of adding it to the principal.
Contact the lender and ask them how to ensure your extra payment will go toward the principal. Then, double check each month to verify that your payment has been applied correctly.
Find ways to earn more money
If you can’t afford to pay extra on your loans and want to, it’s time to evaluate your budget. But as inflation continues to plague regular Americans, cutting expenses may not be enough. Getting a side hustle or increasing your salary may be the only way to funnel more money toward your loans.
Here are some ideas for how to make extra money.
What about Biden’s student loan forgiveness program?
As of early this year, there is a new plan being discussed for those on income driven paymen plans. With this new plan, payments for undergrad would be set at 5% of your discretionary income (this is government speak for “take home pay minus a small amount for basic living expenses”) and after you’ve made payments for 20 years any remaining balance is forgiven.
Graduate loan payments would be 10% of discretionary income and those who borrowed less than $12,000 would only have to make payments for 10 years before forgiveness would set in.
Paying off your student loans early may seem like the best financial decision you can make – but don’t do it at the expense of your other life goals. For example, if you want to buy a house, you will have to save for a down payment. If you want to quit your job and become self-employed, you may need some start-up funds.
Also, don’t forget to invest for retirement while paying off your loans. The power of compound interest means you can reap huge rewards when you start investing early. You should also have a substantial emergency fund in place before you pay extra on your loans. This will prevent you from having to take on more debt if something unexpected happens.
The Sunshine State is a great place to call home. Whether you’re an individual or small business owner, rest assured there are many banks available to help you meet your financial goals.
While some banks have brick-and-mortar locations in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, and other parts of the state, others are online-only, meaning you’ll need to use an online portal or mobile banking app to manage your accounts.
15 Best Banks in Florida
We’ve done all the research and compiled this list of the best banks in Florida so you can make the most informed decision for your unique situation.
1. Huntington Bank
Huntington Bank has been around since 1866 and primarily services Southwest Florida. Its solo Florida branch can be found in Naples but you can bank from anywhere, thanks to a robust digital banking program.
Huntington’s checking accounts come with many benefits, such as 24-hour grace overdraft fee relief, platinum debit cards, mobile pay, and early pay. You can make deposits to them directly or through an ATM or mobile device.
If you’re looking for the ideal savings account, you may choose from several money market accounts, IRAs and other retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit. Huntington serves small business owners in Florida as well through business checking accounts, business credit cards, business loans, insurance products, and more.
Chime isn’t a traditional bank or credit union. However, it’s a mobile banking app you can take advantage of in Florida. It made its debut in 2013 and offers online banking services through Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank.
With the Chime Checking account, you can enjoy early direct deposit, automated savings tools, free debit card replacement, and access to over 60,000 fee free ATMs across the county. If you opt for the Chime High-Yield Savings account, you’ll lock in a competitive interest rate and won’t have to pay monthly fees or meet a minimum balance requirement. Plus, there is no cap on how much interest you may earn.
Revolut is another non-traditional banking opinion that serves Floridians from the U.K. With Revolut, you can access your paycheck up to two days early and won’t be charged fees for withdrawals at 55,000 ATMs across the nation.
If you consider yourself an avid traveler, you’re sure to appreciate its travel perks, such as currency exchange, overseas health insurance, delayed baggage and flight insurance, and the ability to make purchases in numerous currencies.
With the Smart Delay feature, you’ll get to hang out in airport lounges if your flight is delayed. Additionally, Revolut offers budgeting and analytics tools so you can keep your finances in check as well as cash back when you make purchases at select retailers.
4. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is an online bank with rates that are about 10 times the national average. Even though there are no Ally branches in Florida, it’s a solid pick if you’d like your money to grow quickly. Unlike most brick-and-mortar financial institutions in the Sunshine State, Ally doesn’t charge monthly fees or impose minimum balance requirements.
You can open an Ally account with any deposit amount. In addition to a savings account, you may take advantage of an interest bearing checking account and credit cards with rewards like cash back and travel points. We can’t forget Ally’s retirement and investment services, which include self-directed trading, robo portfolios, IRAs, stocks, commission-free ETFs, and even cryptocurrency.
5. Regions Bank
Regions Bank is a regional bank with more than 300 branches and 500 ATMs in Florida. If you’re an avid traveler, rest accrued the bank also has many locations in the Midwest, South, and Texas. Regions stands out from other, larger financial institutions for its checking account rewards program and LifeGreen Savings account, which is free of monthly maintenance fees and service fees.
In addition to the LifeGreen Savings account, you may opt for a Regions Savings account. This account offers a discount on a safe deposit box, a minor account for children under 18, and the Now Savings account, which is specifically for those with a Regions prepaid Visa card.
Furthermore, Regions offers CDs with terms that range from seven days and 72 months. Other perks include a robust mobile app and 24/7 customer service through an online secure messaging system.
6. Bank of America
Bank of America is a large bank with nearly 500 branches throughout the Sunshine State and no shortage of ATMs across the country. Thanks to its handy mobile app, you can cash checks, pay bills, and manage your accounts while you’re on the go. Speaking of accounts, there’s something for everyone at Bank of America.
The Bank of America Advantage Banking account is a checking account with three features: SafeBalance, Advantage Plus, and Advantage Relationship. With SafeBalance, which is ideal for students, you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees.
Advantage Plus offers several ways to waive monthly fees and Advantage Relationship rewards you with interest and other perks for higher balances. In addition, Bank of America boasts credit cards with generous sign on bonuses for new checking account customers, a variety of mortgages, and investment management services.
7. Chase Bank
Chase Bank is a part of JPMorgan Chase and has more than 400 branches in Florida. With Chase, you can expect a large ATM network of over 16,000 ATMs across the country and a number of online and mobile banking tools. If you decide to become a Chase customer, you’ll have access to two savings accounts: the Chase Savings account and the Chase Premier Savings account.
While Chase Savings comes with a low monthly fee, the Chase Premier Savings is a solid pick if you’re looking for a competitive interest rate on a large balance. When it comes to checking accounts, Chase offers several options, like the Chase Total Checking account and the Chase Sapphire Checking account with perks like attractive interest rates and no ATM fees.
Note that the Chase Sapphire Checking account is only available for Sapphire members with an average balance of $75,000 average balance.
8. Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank is a national bank that was recognized by J.D. Power for the great banking experience it provides in Florida. It has numerous branches in Bradenton, Lakeland, Apopka, Orlando, and other cities throughout the state.
You can open a checking or online savings account without having to worry about an opening deposit requirement and won’t be charged a monthly fee for any checking account.
If you do face a fee for a savings account, there are several ways to get it waived. Fifth Third also offers an extensive ATM network, which will give you access to more than 50,000 ATMs across the country.
Additionally, if you get paid via direct deposit in a Fifth Third account, you may access your paycheck up to two days early. For questions and concerns, you can reach out to Fifth Third’s customer service team 6-days a week.
9. TIAA Bank
TIAA Bank is the largest regional bank in the Sunshine State. You can find its financial centers in Jacksonville, Clearwater, Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, and Fort Myers.
In addition to a personalized banking experience, this Florida bank provides a checking account featuring low fees and no transaction limits, a savings account with no monthly account fees and competitive rates, and three different types of CDs.
Plus, the bank is digitally savvy and provides online banking tools so you can keep tabs on your accounts, set a budget and savings goals, make transfers, pay bills, and send money with Zelle. If you’re interested in investing, TIAA Bank will give you the opportunity to invest in precious metals and foreign currencies.
10. Capital One
Capital One is a national bank that’s known for its flagship 360 Checking account. With a 360 Checking account, you can enjoy an attractive interest rate, access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs across the U.S., and 24/7 mobile banking.
You also won’t be on the hook for any monthly fees and Capital One will automatically decline any transitions that overdraw your balance for no extra charge.
Even though Capital One does not have any physical branches in Florida, you can apply for and manage your accounts online. Other benefits of Capital One include early paycheck, which can allow you to receive your incoming funds up to two days early, free financial coaching sessions, and a well-designed mobile app.
11. Raymond James Bank
Raymond James Bank is based in Florida. It’s an affiliate of Raymond James, which is a financial company with headquarters and one branch location in St. Petersburg. Through its Enhanced Savings Program, you’ll be able to earn interest on certain cash if you link your brokerage account to a high-yield Raymond James bank account.
You can also receive yields that are higher than traditional checking or savings accounts without bank fees or holding periods. Raymond James also offers a plethora of mortgage products, such as fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages, interest-only mortgages, jumbo mortgages, pledged securities mortgages, construction mortgages, and home equity lines.
12. PNC Bank
PNC Bank is one of the largest traditional banks in the U.S. with nearly 200 branches in Florida. It offers the PNC Standard Savings account, a children’s savings account, and Virtual Wallet, which pairs a traditional checking and savings account. If you decide on the Virtual Wallet, you can enjoy a generous sign-up bonus and no fees.
When it comes to CDs, you can choose from a plethora of options including fixed rate CDs, ready access CDs, fixed rate IRA CDs, callable CDs, variable CDs, and stepped rate CDs. Additionally, the bank goes the extra mile with free budgeting tools and competitive interest rates for account holders that meet certain criteria. As an added bonus, PNC has a reputation for stellar customer service.
13. Discover Bank
Discover Bank is known for its credit cards. However, it’s an online bank with other banking products for Florida residents. Not only does Discover offer cash back on debit card purchases, it doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, insufficient funds fees, or overdraft fees.
While there are no branch locations in Florida, Discover has an intuitive mobile banking app and is part of a large ATM network of more than 60,000 fee free ATMs. In addition to checking accounts and savings accounts, you can turn to Discover for credit cards with various rewards and loans, like personal loans, student loans, home equity loans, and mortgage refinancing.
14. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is a major financial institution with more than 600 branches and thousands of ATMs throughout Florida. At Wells, you’ll find a full suite of banking products and services, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), credit cards, personal loans, and home loans.
You can choose from a basic, no-frills free checking account or opt for an interest checking account or a checking account for a teen or young adult. There are also a few saving account options, like a goal-based savings account and a high-interest savings account.
While you can visit a local branch if you prefer an in-person banking experience, you may also take advantage of online and mobile banking. In addition, Wells offers other conveniences like Zelle money transfers and online bill pay.
15. My eBanc
My eBanc is an online savings bank that serves customers in Florida and other parts of the U.S. It’s part of Banco Bradesco, a large bank in Latin America, which is an FDIC insured institution chartered in Florida. As a My eBanc customer, you’ll have access to several products that can help you save money and achieve various financial goals.
The SuperSaver Money Market account requires a $5,000 minimum deposit but offers perks such as a competitive interest rate, unlimited deposits, money management tools, and mobile check deposit. Other popular accounts you might consider include the eRelationship Savings account and Advantage Checking account. My eBanc also offers online time deposits with terms between 6 months and 36 months.
Types of Banks in Florida
The ideal bank depends on your particular banking preferences. In the Sunshine State, most banks are either national banks, regional banks, community banks, or online banks. Let’s take a closer look at how each banking option works.
National banks are common in larger cities throughout Florida. If you’re looking for a wide range of banking products, you’re sure to find them at national banks, such as Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Regional banks have branches in certain regions of the U.S. In most cases, these banks are mid sized and offer a good mix of personal banking and business banking products. A few examples of regional banks in Florida include Regions Bank and TIAA Bank.
Community banks serve customers in specific geographic areas. Also known as local banks, community banks are similar to credit unions in that they focus on personal customer service and community outreach. Community Bank of the South and Mainstreet Community Bank of Florida are two community banks in Florida.
Online banks don’t have physical locations in Florida but serve individuals and businesses with online banking services. Since they have less overhead costs than banks with brick-and-mortar locations, online banks tend to offer more competitive interest rates and minimal to no fees.
If you live or work in Florida, there are many reputable banking options available to you. As you explore various banks and credit unions, consider their accounts and services, fees, interest rates, customer service, and perks. Good luck in your search for the best bank in Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the largest banks in Florida?
The largest banks in the Sunshine State include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Fifth Third Bank. These banks have many branches throughout the state.
Should I choose an online bank?
If you’re comfortable with the internet or mobile apps, online banking from a place like Ally Bank and CIT Bank can be a smart choice. This is particularly if you can find the products you need with competitive interest rates and low fees.
What is the best bank for in person service?
Florida offers many great options if you prefer an in-person banking experience. You might want to consider Regions Bank, TIAA Bank, or Raymond James Bank.
How do I open a bank account in Florida?
Most banks allow you to open a deposit account online, from the comfort of your own home or office. Be prepared to make a minimum opening deposit and provide basic personal information, like your name and Social Security number.
Do Florida banks charge fees?
In most cases, larger brick and mortar banks require customers to pay fees like monthly service fees, wire transfer fees, overdraft fees, excessive withdrawal fees, ATM fees, and late payment fees. You might be able to get them waived, depending on the bank and the type of account you open.
What is the best local bank in Florida?
There are many local banks in the Sunshine State that each come with their own benefits and drawbacks. Several options you might want to explore include Florida Shores Bank, Seaside Bank and Trust, and One Florida Bank.
What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?
Anyone can become a customer at a bank. If you want to take advantage of the products and services at a credit union, you’ll need to meet certain criteria and join it.
If you live or work in Delaware, it’s important to find the right bank for your unique goals. Fortunately, there are plenty of options at your disposal.
In addition to its beautiful beaches, affordable housing, and historical landmarks, the First State is home to many reputable banks that are member FDIC for your peace of mind and ideal for your personal or business finances.
13 Best Banks in Delaware
While some have local branches throughout the state, others are online only. To make your search for the ideal financial institution a bit easier, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and listed the best banks in Delaware below.
1. The Bank of Delmarva
The Bank of Delmarva is a small community bank with branches in Ocean City, Salisbury, and Sussex County. Its lineup of personal banking accounts and services includes the best checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, and IRAs.
If you’re a small business owner, rest assured that it offers business loans, commercial products, and merchant services. Compared to other banks in the state, it offers low fees and competitive interest rates. Plus, it’s earned stellar reviews for its customer service. We can’t forget the intuitive mobile app you can use to manage your banking while you’re out and about.
Chime is a digital bank redefining traditional banking norms. With no physical branches, Chime stands out by providing a simple yet intuitive suite of financial products, all managed from their highly rated mobile app. The bank offers a fee-free1 checking account, a savings account, and a secured credit card.
The checking account, with no minimum balance and no overdraft fees, is particularly impressive. Its standout feature, SpotMe5, allows qualifying users to overdraw by up to $200 without fees. Meanwhile, the savings account is made appealing with an automatic savings feature, making it simple to save without thinking.
Notably, Chime gives the benefit of receiving paychecks up to two days early2 with direct deposit setup, a major plus for budgeting and financial planning. Its secured credit card is also a boon, helping users build credit over time through responsible usage and consistent payments.
3. TD Bank
TD Bank is a solid pick for a national bank with a handful of locations in the First State. With TD Bank, you can expect a plethora of products and services, no fees on international transactions, and a highly rated mobile banking app.
From personal and business checking accounts and savings accounts to personal loans, IRAs, and mortgages, TD Bank truly offers it all. If you open an account, you might qualify for a generous bonus. Also, if you’re a student or young adult, you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees or service fees. You might also be able to waive these fees if you maintain a high balance in your accounts.
4. M&T Bank
M&T Bank has many locations in Delaware in cities like Wilmington and New Castle. Even if you don’t live in an area with a physical M&T location, you can enjoy digital banking and conveniences like Zelle transfers and mobile deposits. When it comes to checking accounts, M&T Bank offers four options.
The EZ Choice Checking is your best bet for a basic, free checking account while MyWay Banking is a checkless account that doesn’t charge overdraft fees. MyChoice Plus is an interest-bearing account, just like MyChoice Premium, which offers competitive rates on loans and other products.
In addition to these noteworthy checking accounts, you’re sure to appreciate M&T’s large ATM network and no monthly fees.
5. Artisans’ Bank
Artisans’ Bank has served Delaware since 1861. Today, it has 12 branch locations in the First State as well as two commercial lending offices. Artisans’ list of personal banking products includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, debit cards, and branded credit cards with cash back rewards.
The bank also serves small businesses in Delaware with small business banking products such as business bank accounts, business credit cards, and business loans. Even though Artisans’ is a local bank with a physical presence, it offers online banking services so you can manage your accounts online.
6. Capital One
Capital One is a large bank with a reputation for no minimum deposit requirements or monthly maintenance fees. While there are no Capital One branches in Delaware, the bank is worth considering if you prefer online banking. You can apply for and manage personal and business accounts online.
Speaking of accounts, its flagship account is the 360 Performance Savings that makes it a breeze to earn interest on your hard earned money. In addition to an impressive interest rate, there is no minimum balance required so you can open an account with any amount. Other perks there is a highly rated mobile app and free credit card monitoring.
7. Axos Bank
Axos Bank is a digital bank with competitive interest rates on checking and savings accounts, which are free of monthly fees and ATM fees. Even if you live in Delaware, you can perform your banking through Axos online or via the intuitive mobile app, which comes with mobile check deposits, fund transfers, and mobile bill pay.
The bank’s checking accounts offer rewards while the savings accounts stand out for their ATM cards. Speaking of ATMs, Axos Bank will reimburse you for ATM fees on many of its accounts. In addition to its personal banking products, Axos specializes in new mortgages, mortgage refinancing, HELOCs and home equity loans, car loans, personal loans, and managed investment portfolios.
8. Barclays Bank
Barclays Bank operates in Wilmington. It’s a global bank that serves all U.S. states with several banking products. Even though there is only one branch in Delaware, it offers an online portal and a highly rated mobile app so you can bank from anywhere.
As a customer, you’ll enjoy benefits like a high interest rate on high-yield savings accounts and CDs. If you do open a CD with Barclays, you’ll also reap the benefits of low withdrawal penalties. In addition, the bank’s customer service line is available seven days a week to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
9. Community Bank Delaware
Community Bank Delaware is exactly what it sounds like: a community bank based in Delaware. Since it’s locally owned and managed, it focuses on personalized customer service and community support.
At this bank, you’ll find checking accounts, personal savings accounts, time deposits, personal loans, personal credit cards, mortgages, and home equity loans. Community Bank also serves local small business owners with products to support their business operations, such as checking accounts, business savings accounts, business credit cards, and merchant services.
Additional banking solutions include online banking, wire transfers, cashiers checks, night depositary services, direct deposit, and safe deposit boxes.
10. PNC Bank
PNC Bank is a national bank with over 30 branches in cities such as Dover, Bear, Wilmington, and Newark. Its deposit accounts and other products are designed to meet all your banking needs. Virtual Wallet Spend is a combination checking and a long term savings account with a generous sign-up bonus and features like online bill pay, free mobile banking, and a debit card.
While there is a monthly maintenance fee, you can avoid this monthly fee if you maintain a direct deposit balance. PNC also offers loans, such as mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, student loans, and refinancing products. With the PNC mobile app, you’ll be able to manage your accounts while you’re on the go.
11. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is an online bank with competitive rates on savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs. Thanks to its low overhead costs, Ally doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or impose minimum balance requirements.
You can access your money and make cash transactions at more than 43,000 ATMs through the Allpoint network, which Ally has joined. If you have certain savings goals, you’ll love Ally’s “buckets” feature. With the buckets, you’ll be able to organize your funds and receive personalized recommendations that allow you to save.
12. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the U.S. with no shortage of physical branches and ATMs throughout Delaware so you can easily deposit cash. Just like most large banks, Wells Fargo offers a full suite of banking products, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, home loans, personal loans, and auto loans.
Investment and retirement accounts as well as wealth management services are available too. You can invest on your own or take advantage of a financial advisor that will help you come with a personalized financial plan. Whether you’re an individual or a small business owner, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for at Wells. If you open an account, you may be eligible for a cash sign on bonus.
13. WSFS Bank
WSFS Bank is a regional bank and a subsidiary of a financial services company called WSFS Financial Corporation. Based in Delaware and Greater Philadelphia, WSFS Bank is known as one of the oldest banks in the country.
It offers a wide range of personal banking services, like checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and wealth management. Its certificates of deposit (CDs) feature competitive interest rates you might not be able to find elsewhere and the WSFS Bank Philadelphia Union Visa® Debit Card comes with contactless pay and access to more than 670 ATMs in Delaware and Philadelphia.
At WSFS Bank, you can also take advantage of business banking services, like SVP management, cash management, and merchant services.
Delaware Banking Options
There are three main types of banks in Delaware, including national banks, community banks, and online banks. Here’s a brief overview of each one.
National banks are large banks that can be seen throughout Delaware and other states. These banks typically offer a long list of products for individuals and business owners, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, and mortgages. Some examples include TD Bank, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank.
Community banks are designed to serve local communities in Delaware. You’ll find that these banks prioritize personal customer service. Community Bank Delaware and the Bank of Delmarva are two community banks in the First State.
Online banks operate online and don’t have physical locations in Delaware. Since their overhead costs are lower than banks with brick-and-mortar branches, online banks usually provide lower fees and higher interest rates. Chime, Axos Bank, Ally, and UK-based Barclays Bank are great online banking options in Delaware.
Delaware has plenty of banks and other financial institutions to help you meet your financial goals. Before you choose one, consider your priorities and weigh the pros and cons of all your options.
If you like an in-person banking experience, a community bank might make sense. On the flip side, if you prefer online and mobile banking, an online bank is likely the way to go. Good luck with your search for the best bank in Delaware.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Delaware banks keep my money safe?
Most banks insure your deposits up to 250,000 with the FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Other services like fraud protection can also give you some peace of mind for your linked accounts.
What are the most popular banks in Delaware?
The banks with the most branches in Delaware include PNC Bank, M&T Bank, and WSFS Bank. If in-person banking is important to you, these banks should definitely be on your radar.
Can I open a bank account in Delaware as a non-resident?
Yes. In most cases, you can open an interest earning account or business savings account even if you don’t live in Delaware. You’ll likely need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1. Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply with Chime except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment ﬁle from the payer. Chime generally make these funds available on the day the payment ﬁle is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
5. Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
Last Updated: May 28, 2023 BY Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – 29 Comments
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Are you looking to start refinancing student loans? The average 2015 college graduate has slightly over $35,000 in student loan debt.
And, if you have a law or medical degree, you may find yourself with an average of around $150,000 or $200,000 in student loan debt, respectively.
That’s a lot of money!
One thing I haven’t talked about much here on Making Sense of Cents is that there are many options for paying off your debt, such as by consolidating or refinancing your student loans.
Many don’t realize that they may be able to refinance or consolidate their student loans. I personally know this because I never once thought about either back when I had student loan debt.
Before you make the leap of consolidating or refinancing student loans, though, there are many things to think about. Continue reading below to determine if either consolidating or refinancing student loans is the right decision for you.
Related: How I Paid Off $40,000 In Student Loan Debt In 7 Months
Consolidating Student Loans – Positives And Negatives
Consolidating your student loans is when you combine your student loans into one single loan.
If you have federal student loans, you may be able to do a federal loan consolidation. While federal student loan consolidation most likely won’t help you save money by combining, it may help you to better manage your loan payments. This is due to the fact that you will only have one bill each month after you consolidate (this is why it’s called “consolidation”).
Many graduates have over five different student loans to pay each month, which can cause a huge mess if you forget to pay one!
Disclosure: We receive compensation from the companies below if you click on a link. Amount of compensation does not impact the ranking or placement of a particular product. Not all available financial products and offers from all financial institutions have been reviewed by this website. This content is not provided by Credible or any of the Providers on the Credible website. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Credible.
Related tip: I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing (they are the top student loan refinancing company and have great customer service!). You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time. Through Credible, you may be able to refinance your student loans to a rate as low as 2.47%! Plus, it’s free to apply.
Refinancing Student Loans: Positives And Negatives
Student loan refinancing is when you apply for a new loan that is then used to pay off your other student loans.
This is usually a great option if your credit history or credit score are better than when they were when you originally took out your student loans.
By refinancing your student loans, you may qualify for better repayment terms, a lower interest rate, and more. This is great because it may help you pay off your student loans quicker.
The positives of refinancing student loans include:
Companies, such as Credible (this is an affiliate link and I highly recommend them), allow you to refinance your federal student loans as well as your private student loans into one. The average person who refinances can save thousands of dollars on their loan, which is a great amount! You can save a lot of money through student loan consolidation such as with Credible, especially if you have high interest federal or private loans.
Before refinancing a federal student loan, though, you will want to think about different federal benefits that you may be giving up. You may give up income-based repayment plans, loan forgiveness for those who have certain public service jobs (such as certain jobs at public schools, the military, Peace Corps, and more). By refinancing federal student loans, you are giving up any future option to these.
However, keep in mind that by refinancing student loans, you may receive lower monthly payments, lower interest rates, and more. This may help you pay off your debt a lot more quickly.
Things you should think about before you take your next step.
Before you take your next step, I wanted to recap the above so that you are clear about what your choices are.
If you are able to take advantage of deferment, loan forgiveness, or some other sort of federal student loan program, you may want to think twice before you refinance federal student loans.
Be careful with variable interest rates. While they may seem appealing at times, remember that your interest rate may fluctuate. If you currently have a variable rate, you may want to refinance into a fixed-rate and this may make refinancing a great decision for you.
Consolidating your student loans usually leads to increasing your loan term, which may lead to lower monthly payments. However, it can also lead to higher interest charges over the life of your loan.
If your credit is better than it was when you first took out your student loans, you may be able to qualify for better terms and a better interest rate by refinancing student loans. I recommend shopping around to see what you can get. Start out by checking out Credible!
Do you have student loan debt? What’s your action plan to pay off student loans? Do you plan on refinancing your student loans?