Merrill Edge Margin Account

Merrill Edge Margin Interest Rates and Margin Account in 2022


Current Merrill Edge margin account rates: interest fees charged on margin loan. Merrill Edge margin requirements, base lending rate (BLR), leverage, and broker lending cost.


Merrill Edge Margin Account Rates


Merrill Edge does not publish their margin rates anymore. You will have to call them to get margin rates information.

Debit Balance Margin Interest Rates
$250,000+ call 855.332.5920
$100,000 - $249,999 call 855.332.5920
$25,000 - $99,999 call 855.332.5920
under $25,000 call 855.332.5920


The Lowest Margin Rates


Broker $0 - $4,999 $5,000 - $9,999 $10,000 - $24,999 $25,000 - $49,999 $50,000 - $99,999 $100,000 - $249,999 $250,000 - $499,999 $500,000 - $999,999 above $1,000,000
M1 Finance Plus 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75%
IBKR Lite 6.33% 6.33% 6.33% 6.33% 6.33% 6.33% 6.33% 6.33% 6.33%
Robinhood 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5%


Margin Interest Calculator


Calculate how much you will pay Merrill Edge in margin interest with Merrill Edge margin calculator.


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Margin Accounts and Rates at Merrill Edge


When combined with its very good desktop platform MarketPro, a margin account at Merrill Edge can deliver a pretty impressive trading experience.


Overview of Margin at Merrill Edge


A brokerage account at Merrill Edge can either be opened as a cash or margin account. Obviously, the cash account is a non-margin account. This means all purchases must be fully paid for at the time of the trade (technically, at settlement date, but sufficient cash has to be in the account at trade date).

The margin account works differently. A portion of the required funds can be borrowed from Merrill and used to pay for the purchase. This policy comes with several requirements, which we’ll look at shortly.

Besides buying stocks and exchange traded funds using leverage, a margin account is required for shorting such securities or trading complex option strategies.


Merrill Edge Margin Account


Retirement accounts can also be “margin enabled.” This simply means they have limited margin privileges. IRAs can’t use borrowed funds to buy securities, although they can day trade with unsettled funds, something that non-margin IRAs can’t do.

At Merrill Edge, margin can be used as overdraft protection for a variety of withdrawals on an account, including checks, bill pay, and Visa card purchases. Cash can also be withdrawn from a Merrill Edge brokerage account on margin.

A margin balance inside a Merrill Edge brokerage account can be paid back at will. There is no required minimum schedule as long as the account is in compliance with the broker’s margin rules.

A $2,000 minimum balance is required to start borrowing inside a margin account at Merrill Edge.


Adding Margin


An investment account at Merrill Edge that’s opened as a cash account can add margin at a later date. This is really simple to do. Just log into the website and hover over the Forms & Applications tab in the top menu. In the drop-down window that appears, find the section for Margin Lending Program Application and Agreement - Self-Directed (managed accounts are not eligible for margin). You’ll see the Apply Now link.

The link produces an online enrollment form for adding margin privileges to an existing cash account. If you have more than one eligible account, you’ll need to select from a drop-down menu the specific account you want to sign up. Each account must be enrolled separately.


Cost of Margin on Merrill Edge


Merrill Edge does not charge anything to open a margin account or to convert a cash account to a margin account. Margin accounts have no ongoing fees, such as annual, low-balance, maintenance, or inactivity fees.

Cash and margin accounts have the same commission schedule at Merrill Edge. This means $0 trades on stocks and ETFs.

Merrill Edge charges margin interest on a tiered schedule. Customers who have at least $250,000 in total assets can receive negotiated rates by calling the broker.


Margin Requirements on Merrill Edge


For initial margin, Merrill Edge follows the Federal Reserve Board’s Reg T requirements. This means both long and short stock trades have a 50% margin requirement. Maintenance on long stock positions is between 30% and 100%. A stock with a market price over $10 will be at 30%.

For short positions, the same sliding scale exists, 30% to 100%, although it takes a market price of $16.67 to get to 30%.

The above numbers are standard figures. If an account has more than 25,000 shares of a security that represents 25% or more of an account’s portfolio, the numbers will become more strict. Leveraged ETFs also have more stringent margin requirements.


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Margin Trading Education


Merrill Edge has several educational materials on its website for margin traders. These resources include articles, videos, and an interactive self-guided tour that describe how margin can be properly used in a brokerage account.


Day Trading


A pattern day-trading account will need to be margin enabled at Merrill Edge. In various situations, Merrill may issue a day trade call. For example, if account equity falls below $25,000. In this case, the account holder has 4 business days to cover the call.


Software


Both the website and MarketPro (Merrill Edge’s advanced desktop platform) display balance details for margin accounts. Data points include funds available to withdraw and trade, both with margin loans.


Best Margin Rates


See Best Margin Rates »


About the Author
Arthur Chachuna is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of Brokerage-Review.com. He has been an avid investor for 23 years, and has background in both applied math and programming.