NEW YORK --- Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to the lowest level in decades for the ninth time in 12 weeks, pushed down by traders anticipating a move by the Federal Reserve to pump more money into the economy.
The average rate for 30-year fixed loans dropped to 4.27 percent, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. That's the lowest on records dating back to 1971, and down from 4.32 percent the previous week.
The average rate on 15-year fixed loans, a popular choice for refinancing, dropped to 3.72 percent from 3.75 percent. That was lowest on records dating back to 1991.
Rates have mostly fallen since spring as investors shifted money into the safety of Treasury bonds.
Consumer borrowing falls for 24th consecutive month
WASHINGTON --- Consumer borrowing fell again in August as consumers cut back on credit card use for the 24th consecutive month, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.
Borrowing by consumers declined by $3.3 billion that month. It was the 18th drop for overall consumer borrowing in the past 19 months.
Americans are borrowing and spending less as they face widespread unemployment and uncertainty about their financial futures. The reduced use of credit by consumers is a drag on the recovery, which has yet to show a sustained rebound.
Another cause of the decline in credit is banks' slow recognition that many debts will not be repaid. Banks have responded to loan losses by tightening lending standards and reducing credit lines.