This is how a higher Fed rate could affect your finances

This is how a higher Fed rate could affect your finances

WASHINGTON Record low mortgage rates are long gone. Credit card rates are likely to rise. The cost of an auto loan will also rise. Savers could finally see a significant return.

The unusually high t hree-quarter-point hike in its benchmark short term rate announced Wednesday by the Federal Reserve won’t have a significant impact on Americans’ finances. Economists and investors expect the fastest rate of rate increases since 1989.. This is because of earlier rate hikes and large increases to come.

The result is increasing borrowing costs as the Fed combats the most severe inflation in 40 years and ends a decade-long period of historically low rates.

Chair Jerome Powell believes that by making borrowing more costly, the Fed will be able to cool demand for homes, cars, and other goods and services, and slow down inflation.

But the risks are great. The Fed may have to raise borrowing costs to keep inflation at bay. A series of higher rates could lead to the U.S. economy going into recession. This would lead to higher unemployment, increased layoffs, and continued pressure on stock markets.

How will it impact your finances? These are the most frequently asked questions about the impact of the rate increase.



Home loan rates have risen in the past few months largely in anticipation of Fed moves and will likely continue to rise.

Mortgage rate don’t always rise in tandem with Fed’s rate hikes. Sometimes they move in the opposite direction. Long-term mortgages tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which, in turn, is influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include investors’ expectations of future inflation and the global demand for U.S. dollars. Treasurys.

For now, though, faster inflation and strong U.S. economic growth are sending the 10-year Treasury rate up sharply. The national average for a 30-year-fixed mortgage has increased from 3% at year’s beginning to well over 5% now.

In part, the rise in mortgage rates is a reflection of expectations that the Fed would continue raising its key rate. However, the Fed’s future hikes are not yet fully priced in. If the Fed jacks up its key rate even higher, as expected, the 10-year Treasury yield will go much higher, too, and mortgages will become more expensive.


If you are looking to purchase a home but are frustrated by the insufficient supply, which has led to bidding wars, high prices and eye-watering bids, it may become a little easier.

Economists believe that buyers will be discouraged by higher mortgage rates. The average home price, which has been rising at an 20% annual pace, could rise at least slightly.

Sales for existing homes have dropped six consecutive months. Also, new home sales have declined. These trends are modestly increasing the supply of properties.


Auto loans can become more expensive due to rising Fed rates. These rates can also be affected by other factors, such as competition from car manufacturers that can sometimes lower borrowing cost.

The Fed’s hikes are likely to cause higher rates for buyers with poor credit ratings. Monthly payments will increase as used vehicle prices are on average rising.


Rates for credit cards, home equity loans, and other variable-interest debt would rise roughly in line with the Fed’s hike, usually within one to two billing cycles. Because those rates are based partly on the prime rate of banks, which moves in tandem to the Fed, it is not surprising that they have increased.

Those who aren’t eligible for low-rate credit cards may have to pay higher interest on their balances. Their cards’ rates would rise in line with the prime rate.

The Fed’s rate hikes have already pushed credit card borrowing rates over 20%, for the first time in at most four years, according LendingTree. LendingTree has been tracking the data since 2018..

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT MY FINANCIAL SAVINGS You may make a little more, but not by much. It all depends on where your savings are located, if any.

Savings and certificates of deposit, as well as money market accounts, don’t usually track Fed’s changes. Banks tend to take advantage of a higher rate environment to increase their profits. Banks do this by increasing interest rates for borrowers while not offering better rates to savers.

This is especially true for large banks. They have been flooded by savings due to government financial aid and decreased spending by many wealthy Americans during the pandemic. They won’t have to increase savings rates to attract more CD buyers or deposits.

Online banks and other high-yield savings accounts might be an exception. These accounts are well-known for being aggressively competitive for depositors. They do require large deposits.


Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could become a little less attractive to many investors.

While bitcoin prices remained relatively stable after the Fed’s announcements, crypto prices had fallen in the days before the central bank’s announcement. They fell by a third within seven days.

Higher interest rates make safe assets like Treasuries and bonds more attractive to investors, as they have higher yields. This makes cryptocurrencies and technology stocks less attractive.

Bitcoin is also suffering from its own problems, which are not related to economic policy. In a matter of months, two major crypto companies have failed. The fact that bonds seem like a safer place to store your money is not helping crypto investors.


Currently, federal student loan payments are being halted until August 31 due to an emergency measure taken during the pandemic. Inflation means that loan-holders have less income to pay their loans. However, a slow economy that lowers inflation could provide some relief by fall. Depending on the economic state, the government could extend the emergency measure that defers payments at the end summer. President Joe Biden is also looking into loan forgiveness. Expect to pay more for private student loans. Rates will increase depending on the lender.


Associated Press journalists Ken Sweet, Adriana Morga and Cora Lewis contributed to this report. Lewis and Morga cover financial literacy for The Associated Press. Charles Schwab Foundation provides support to The Associated Press for educational and explanation reporting that will improve financial literacy. This independent foundation is not affiliated with Charles Schwab and Co. Inc. The AP is solely responsible to its journalism.

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