Hanover to Lower Interest on Various Consumer Loans; Automobile and Home Equity Loan Rates to Be Reduced by One-Half a Point, Home Improvement Loan Rates by 1.5 Points

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Hanover to Lower Interest on Various Consumer Loans

NEW YORK -- Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. said it is lowering the interest rates on several types of consumer loans, making it the second big New York bank to do so this month.

Effective Monday, Manufacturers will lower its rates on automobile loans by one-half a percentage point, on home improvement loans by 1 1-2 points, and on home equity loans by one-half a point.

Interest rates have been dropping steadily for a year or so, and last week major commercial banks cut the prime rate by one-half point to 9%. Mortgage rates have also been declining.

Consumer debt has been growing dramatically for more than a year now.

"With the economy showing few signs of a slowdown, we know a growing number of consumers are considering major expenditures, including cars and home improvements," said Charles V. Schenck, senior vice president in charge of Manufacturers' personal loan department.

Manufacturers is lowering rates on home improvement loans to 14% from 15.5% for customers, and to 15.5% from 17% for noncustomers.

Auto loan rates will be dropped to 13% from 13.5% for customers and to 14% from 14. …