While most economists agree that the recession is behind us, many Americans are still feeling the sting of tough economic times… especially the 10% of the country that is still standing in the unemployment line. But you don’t need to be unemployed to see that the hard times aren’t quite behind us – all you need to do is visit your local bank.
MainStreet unveiled the Credit Power Index on Monday, a new metric that tracks consumers’ banking power as measured by the difference between deposit and loan rates.
When the index is high, it means the arrangement is more favorable to banks, as consumers pay considerably more in interest on loans than they receive on deposits. (For the full methodology, see our explanatory graphic.) Since January 2007 the index has climbed by a total of five points to the current national average of 23.74, fueled by rock-bottom deposit rates that have fallen much further than loan rates.
In other words, consumers are getting the short end of the stick in their dealings with banks. But the pain isn’t felt equally across the country, and the rates you get on your certificates of deposit and home loans differ depending on where you live. We’ve pored through the data to determine which cities offer their residents the best rates.
By Matt Brownell