• Last modified 65 days ago (Feb. 15, 2024)


Unsteady interest rates mean uncertainty

Staff writer

Interest rates, both for saving and borrowing, have been so unpredictable since COVID-19 fueled a recession that makes it hard for savers to know where to put their money.

It’s also hard for borrowers to know where to turn.

Marion National Bank vice president Roger Schroeder said certificates of deposit with competitive interest rates are now available, but investors and the bank are shunning long-term CDs because shorter-term rates are more stable.

“Right now, a 60-month CD would not be in anyone’s best interest — yours or the bank’s,” Schroeder said. “We would offer the product, and if that’s what you wanted, we’d do it for you.”

A minimum deposit of $500 is required and terms go from 91 days to 60 months.

“People earn our best rates with a deposit of $2,500 or more,” he said.

CDs for 6, 9, and 12 months are popular, Schroeder said.

“Some banks are offering random ones, like 15 months,” he said.

Rates are “kind of all over the place,” he said. “We’re still operating in that kind of vagueness.”

Great Plains Federal Credit Union’s Hillsboro branch manager Elizabeth Wine said her branch was seeing people wanting to invest in CDs with terms of one year or shorter.

“We are seeing people are using a six-months or one-year term, at the max,” Wine said.

Early 2023, customers were buying CDs for two years, she said.

“We had a special going on with a pretty good rate on our two-year,” she said.

CDs remain popular with some customers, she said.

Other customers are seeking other savings tools, she said.

Some customers have invested in Roth IRAs, Wine said.

Roth IRAs do not require the owner to start receiving monthly payments at age 73, and money invested in a Roth IRA is not tax deferred.

People are looking to have a variety of investment strategies, she said.

“The other thing we’ve been seeing is people paying off debts,” Wine said. “They’re looking long-term and they’re looking short-term right now, hoping to see great change six months down the road.”

Last modified Feb. 15, 2024