What the FED’s rate hike means for mortgages, credit cards, loans and pensions – KIRO 7 News Seattle


The Federal Reserve: What you need to know The Fed acts as a lender of last resort for member institutions that have no alternative to borrow. (DTM)

The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it would raise short-term interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, the biggest interest rate hike in 28 years.

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This decision, aimed at bringing down a high rate of inflation for 40 years, will affect the wallets of Americans in several ways.

Wednesday’s rate hike comes after two others initiated by the Fed this year – a 0.25% hike in March and a 0.5% hike in May. Further rate hikes, a 0.75% hike in July, followed by two 0.5% hikes in September and November, are expected.

How do rising rates affect your finances? Here’s what we know now.

First, what is the Fed?

The Federal Reserve, or “Fed”, is the central banking system of the United States. Its objective is to regulate the money supply while maintaining price stability (controlling inflation) and maintaining full employment.

What is the federal funds rate?

The federal funds rate, or “Fed rate,” is the interest rate that banks charge each other to borrow money overnight.

This is done overnight in order to meet federal regulatory requirements and be ready to handle morning market conditions.

Now, how do rates affect your life?

Home loans

Mortgage rates have risen since last fall, when the Fed announced its intention to raise rates.

This trend is likely to continue. Tuesday’s rate, 6.28% for a 30-year fixed rate, is the highest since 2008. The rate fell a little on Thursday.

“Mortgage rates are definitely going to rise over the next few weeks,” Matthew Pointon, senior real estate economist at Capital Economics, told The Wall Street Journal.

How high they will do is unclear.

“Given they’ve already risen so dramatically, it’s hard to say how much mortgage rates will rise by the end of the year,” said Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst at LendingTree.

How does a rate increase affect the cost of a home loan?

If you have a loan of $300,000, at a fixed rate of 3.11% for 30 years – the interest rate that was charged in December – you would pay around $1,282 per month.

That same loan with a 30-year fixed rate at 6.28% (Tuesday’s average rate) would cost $571 more, making your monthly payment $1,853 per month, according to Grow’s mortgage calculator.

Credit card

Credit card interest rates follow the prime rate, or the interest rate that banks use as a basis to set rates for different types of loans and lines of credit. That means credit card interest rates will go up, according to Bankrate.com.

While credit card interest rates are tied to the prime rate, the prime rate is typically 3 percentage points higher than the federal funds rate — the rate rose Wednesday.

“With the frequency of Federal Reserve rate hikes this year, it will be a drumbeat of higher rates for cardholders every two statement cycles,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. com, to the New York Times. “And the cumulative effect is growing. If the Fed raises rates by a total of 3 percentage points this year, your credit card rate will be 3 percentage points higher by the first of the year.

The rate fell from 16.34% in March to the current rate of 16.73%.

Car loans

While credit card rates are tied to the prime rate, auto loans tend to track the five-year Treasury rate. This rate is also influenced by the federal funds rate.

The Treasury rate refers to the current rate of interest that investors earn on debt securities issued by the US Treasury.

However, with auto loans, other factors help determine the cost of a loan, such as a down payment, the buyer’s credit rating, type of vehicle, and other factors.

A borrower’s credit history, vehicle type, loan term, and down payment all factor into this rate calculation.


A Fed rate hike can mean higher returns for savers.

When you save money in a bank, you are essentially allowing the back end to borrow your money. You lend them money and they pay you interest in return.

As the Fed rate rises, banks may raise rates on savings accounts to attract new customers.

Click here for advice on what to do with savings accounts.

Retirement accounts

If the stock market dips like it has for the past few weeks, your 401(k) account is likely to take a hit if you have a large number of stocks in your portfolio.

However, if you have retirement funds from fixed income investments, you may see the interest on those investments increase.

How much will the dollar rate hike cost you?

Every 0.25% increase in the Fed’s benchmark interest rate equals an additional $25 a year in interest on $10,000 of debt.

In other words, the 0.75% increase launched by the Fed on Wednesday means $75 in additional interest for every $10,000 of debt.


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