How to React to Rising Interest Rates

The Fed has announced that it will raise interest rates “soon.” There is some speculation that this will start in March at the latest. This move is mostly in reaction to the rising inflation. And will be the first time that interest rates have been raised in over three years. Raising interest rates is a logical antidote to rising inflation, since increasing borrowing costs for consumers and businesses will slow economic activity, but some fear that it could harm the economy if the process takes place too quickly. 

The Fed lowered interest rates in response to the pandemic, hoping that this would provide support to struggling individuals. And businesses during those early days of lockdowns and uncertainty. The economic impact of COVID-19 is still being felt today in the form of labor shortages, supply chain issues.  And other phenomena, but consumer prices have surged in the United States. 

While the Fed called inflation “transitory” for most of the year, this proved not to be the case when inflation reached 7% in December 2021. Just a reminder, the target inflation rate is supposed to be 2%. The Fed must raise interest rates to correct the highest recorded rate of inflation in the last 40 years in the US, which stands at 7%, despite the ongoing pandemic.

Inflation Reaches 7%: Fed’s Response and Impact on the Economy

  • Fed acknowledges inflation reached 7% in December 2021, contradicting earlier claims of transitory inflation.
  • Fed must raise interest rates to address high inflation, despite the ongoing pandemic.
  • Raising the federal funds rate sets the standard for other interest rates, impacting borrowing costs for banks and customers.
  • Rising rates slow business and consumer spending, leading to a decrease in inflation.
  • Markets anticipate multiple interest rate hikes in 2022 to curb inflation.
  • Balancing rate increases with supply chain issues and labor shortages is crucial for the Fed.
  • Higher rates benefit savers and investors, but pose challenges for homebuyers, students, entrepreneurs, and car buyers.
  • Securing loans before interest rates rise is advisable for individuals with upcoming financial goals.
  • Debt consolidation offers an opportunity to take advantage of low interest rates before the Fed raises them.
  • Transferring credit card balances to cards with 0% or low-rate introductory offers helps avoid excessive interest payments.

Refinancing a mortgage is another way that people can take advantage of good interest rates before they begin to rise. Refinancing describes the process of revising the initial terms of a credit agreement, and is most commonly seen in reference to mortgages. This process requires assessing the borrower’s current financial position, but it can potentially lock in lower interest rates for folks and thus save them a good amount of money over the years. Interest rates rose by half a percent in the first few weeks of January 2022 alone, so if this option sounds appealing it would be best to look into it as soon as possible. 

If the Fed’s promise to raise interest rates is concerning you.

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