Gold prices high and interest rates low - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gold prices high and interest rates low

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Financial experts are saying now isn't a bad time to look into getting a loan, if it's needed, as interest rates are currently about as low as they're going to get.

At the same time, amid national financial turmoil, some people are venturing into an area of investment they've never before explored.

Dale Winter's business is as good as gold. In fact, it is gold. He owns the Coin Shop in Dubuque.

"These are four different varieties of one-ounce gold coins," Winter said, gesturing to coins spread out on an emerald cloth in front of him. "It's been valued for thousands of years."

The commodity has seen a steady rise in value for a few years and a sharp spike in value from Sunday to Tuesday.

"It actually went up 50-some dollars yesterday," Winter said Tuesday, which put gold at its all-time high of around $1,745 per ounce. That's nearly $100 more per ounce than it was on Thursday, and the price has been rising even since, pushing the all-time high, higher.

"With the credit downgrade, you're just getting a little more activity than you did to start with, but it's been very active for the last two years," Winter said. "Since gold's hit $1,000 an ounce, there's been a lot of activity."

He said uncertain times bring out some new customers.

"I think a lot of people are looking for something they can actually hold in their hand, instead of just a piece of paper. With the debt getting higher and higher every day, that seems to be more and more the trend," Winter said.

Over at American Trust in Dubuque, vice president of consumer lending Chuck Davis said a lot rests on what action the US Government and the Fed may take in the near future.

"If it has impacts on the bonds, it's going to impact the long-term mortgage rates," Davis said. "It'll also impact auto rates and credit rates and everything else as the investment rates are driven up."

He said people shouldn't be afraid to apply for a loan, if they need one.

"Now has been a very good time to borrow," Davis said. "A year from now, whether it's because of the downgrade in the credit rating or not, rates could very well be higher."

Student loans may eventually see an impact.

"Well, not just the rates, but the availability of the funds. Based on what they've signed for the debt reduction, that's going to have an impact on how many dollars are available for student loan borrowings," he said.

Like all financial decisions, he said, it's best to keep panic out of the equation.

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