Why mortgage rates aren't falling

With the Fed holding rates for the foreseeable future, you may think this is a great time to refinance your mortgage or buy a new home. But because of the "credit crunch" you are no doubt sick of hearing about, rates are actually higher than they were this time last year.

Holden Lewis, who covers interest rates and the Fed for Bankrate.com, has just published an article talking about why rates have risen instead of falling. In a nutshell, it's because the banks aren't interested in lending to you unless you are willing to take on the higher risk in today's housing market compared to a year ago.

What can you do about it? Credit unions may be your best bet to find a reasonable rate, as they are less dependent on the secondary market which is having so many problems. But because they don't advertise as much, you may never hear about it.