How the Fed’s Interest Rate Raise Will Affect You | News

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since 2018, in part due to consumer anxiety and anger over rising inflation. Have you seen the gas price?

In general, a rise in rates is good for savers and we can see some declines in the prices of consumer goods. But the rise is not so fabulous for borrowers who will see mortgage and credit card rates jump.

Millennials and younger Gen Z have experienced historically low mortgage rates their entire adult lives. First-time home buyers may be shocked, especially as rising interest rates collide with rising home prices.

Interest rates for mortgages, auto and other consumer loans, credit cards, and private student loans rise when the federal interest rate rises. This could happen six times in 2022.

The quarter-point increase on March 16 to 0.25-0.50% could be the first of as many as six increases this year, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Further increases in 2022 may be needed to combat both inflation, particularly the rising cost of food and fuel, and the economic impact of sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine. .

Why the Fed is raising interest rates

The Federal Reserve uses the benchmark interest rate to regulate the economy. The higher the interest rate, the more expensive it is to borrow money for purchases such as houses and cars, which slows down trade and fights inflation. The lower the interest rate, the cheaper it is to borrow money, which weighs on a sluggish economy.

Since December 2008, in response to the Great Recession, the benchmark rate has been exceptionally low, starting at nearly zero percent and reaching 2.25% in December 2018, about a year before the pandemic hit.

In response to the economic calamity caused by the pandemic, the interest rate fell back to near zero in March 2020 and has not changed so far.

Thanks to the improving economy, supply chain problems and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, inflation rose to 4.7% as of March 22, and the Fed prefers to keep inflation around 2% .

What rising interest rates mean for you

To be clear, the federal interest rate is what financial institutions pay to borrow money from each other. But the rise and fall of this interest rate affects consumer interest rates on savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and other personal loans.

Everything you buy on credit comes with an interest rate, and that interest rate is affected by a change in the federal interest rate.

Credit card

Your credit will become more expensive. Most credit card companies offer variable interest rates, which means they can (and will) change the interest rate on balances you carry from month to month when the Fed increases interest rates in general.

The current average floating rate is 16.34%, according to BankRate. It will take some time for this rate to increase, but you can expect a jump in a few months. Do what you can to pay off credit cards now.

It will cost you more in the long run to buy on credit. If it’s true that the Fed plans to keep raising the benchmark rate, now might be the time to consolidate your debt with the one with the lowest interest rate, or find a transfer offer. zero rate balance which, for a limited time, would allow you to pay to reduce the balance and not increase interest payments.

Check out our guide on how a balance transfer card can help you get out of credit card debt. Or at least consolidate payments.


If you currently have a fixed rate mortgage, the increased interest will not affect your monthly payments. If your rate is variable, it’s about to fluctuate higher, and your monthly mortgage payment will increase.

The current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.45%, the 15-year mortgage rate is 3.72%, and the average 10-year adjustable mortgage rate is 3.78%.

If you want to refinance in response to rate moves, available bank rates will also rise in response to the Fed’s decision. The prime rate also affects home equity lines of credit, so you should consider reducing the amount of this debt.

Consumers looking to buy a home can expect to pay more interest, which has been near zero for some time. First-time home buyers could be the hardest hit as they will see their interest rates rise with rapidly rising home prices in many markets.

Car loans

It will cost more to buy a car with a payment plan, but not much more.

Due to supply chain issues, new car prices are on the rise and the increase in the interest rate offered on car loans will also increase. Supply chain issues caused by the pandemic have slowed the delivery of new cars and reduced used car inventories.

Auto loan rates are based on your credit score, and the current average rate for a credit score between 780 and 850 is 2.58%. It can climb to nearly 10% for a low credit rating.

Student loans

Find out if your loan is a fixed rate loan (most federal loans are) or a variable rate loan. This is good information to have even if the pause on federal student loan payments will be in effect until May 1. It has not been announced whether the payment freeze will be extended for a fifth time.

Private loans can be refinanced the same way as a mortgage, and there will be competition among lenders for new business due to the Fed’s new prime rate.

Interest on savings will increase

It can be difficult for consumers to identify the good news associated with a rise in the federal prime interest rate. There should be, but the reality is that such news is rare and far away.

If you have a savings account, chances are you’ll earn less than 1% interest on that account. The growth of savings accounts has been low and has been since the Great Recession. In situations where the Fed raises prime rates to borrow money, the rate offered by federally insured banks to save money takes a very long time to respond in kind.

There are private banks that operate online only and may offer higher rates for certificate of deposit savings accounts, but the difference won’t be impressive. Still, any rate increase is better than no rate increase when it comes to saving.

Expect interest rates on savings to rise a bit along with Fed interest rates. Here is our list of nine best savings accounts about.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Fed Interest Rate Hikes

We’ve rounded up the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about rising interest rates.

Why is the Fed raising interest rates?

The Federal Reserve uses the prime interest rate to stimulate or slow the economy, depending on current economic models. With inflation reaching over 4% and the supply chain problem further increasing the cost of living for everyone, the Fed decided to raise the rate to slow down borrowing and purchases of large items like homes and automobiles. Such action is aimed at slowing inflation, although Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has said there could be six more similar increases in the prime rate through 2022, and an additional increase of 1. 5% would certainly have an impact on both inflation (positively) and employment (negatively). .

What happens when interest rates rise?

When the Federal Reserve raises the benchmark interest rate for borrowing, public and private lenders follow suit. As a result, any interest cost included in a purchase will increase. Mortgage rates and all loans will see an increase in interest rates for borrowings, and the interest rate on your credit card balances is likely to increase as well.

What does it mean when the feds raise interest rates?

Typically, that means the economy is booming, and too fast for the good of the country’s consumers, whose incomes can’t keep up. When the Fed raises the prime interest rate, it generally aims to reduce the annual inflation rate, which indicates how much the cost of consumer goods varies from year to year.

How will the interest rate increase affect my mortgage?

Rising interest rates will not affect your mortgage if you have a fixed rate mortgage. If you have a variable rate mortgage, that rate is likely to rise slightly and change again if the Fed goes ahead and raises the benchmark rate further throughout 2022. Now might be a good time to consider refinancing into a fixed rate mortgage. to avoid surprises on the line.

What are the disadvantages of low interest rates?

When it comes to spending or borrowing money, there are no downsides other than overextending yourself by acquiring too many loans or credit cards. When it comes to savings, low interest rates make it unattractive. Since the Great Recession, savings have dropped dramatically among Americans, in part because interest rates are so low (in some cases 0%) that saving is pointless. It’s no different than putting money under your mattress. However, an increase in interest rates is unlikely to produce a similar increase in savings account interest rates, at least in the short term.

Kent McDill has been a seasoned journalist specializing in personal finance topics since 2013. He contributes to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally posted on The Penny Hoardera personal finance website that empowers millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money with practical, inspirational advice and resources on how to earn, save and manage the money.

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