The two-year period of historically low rates of interest is about to come to an end, perhaps in the next month.Â This means that time is all but over for both borrowers as well as savers.
The Federal Reserve is wondering when it will begin raising the federal funds rate this year and how fast it’s going to do it to control the rate of inflation, which is currently at its highest in the past 40 years.Â In a press release following the central bank’s meeting of policy at the beginning of January Fed staffers said the good labor market and a rising inflation should warrant the need for a rate increase “soon”.Â Market participants believe there is a greater than 95% likelihood for a rate hike. Fed will decide to raise rates during its next meeting in the middle of March.
The rate hike that was announced is symbolic, marking that the fall of close-to-zero interest rate that Fed created in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic.Â The more important thing, however, is the fact that policymakers are likely to keep raising rates of interest this year.Â A number of Wall Street banks are planning five rate hikesthat could bring Federal funds rates up to 1.5 percent at the at the end this year.
What do you think this means to you?Â It’s possible to add a new item to your list of personal financial goals you could be able to tackle prior to your coming Fed meeting.Â However, more generally you’ll have time to organize your financial plan.Â “You don’t have to shoot from the hip and make rash decisions,” recommends Robert Gillliland, managing director and senior advisor to wealth of Concenture Wealth.
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Prioritizing them in order, here are five wise money decisions you could think about.Â
1.Â Refinance your mortgage
The interest rates are increasing but no one is sure the exact amount, but the borrowers must take advantage of the lower rates currently.Â “The window is closing for homeowners to refinance at these rates,” Gilliland states, noting that he has customers with mortgages that have rates of more than 4 percent.Â The interest rate for an adjustable rate 30-year mortgage is at 3.55 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
Looking for a mortgage refinance opportunity can save you lots of money over the long term.Â According to a study conducted by Black Knight, a mortgage information provider, close to 6 million homeowners with 20 percent equity in their home and have a credit score of 720 or better can save an average of 275 dollars each month.
homeowners with an adjustable-rate mortgage may possibly save more money right away – the rate for an adjustable rate mortgage 5/1 is currently 2.7 percent. However, you should be aware of the possibility of losing this rate once the term is over and rates will likely increase, Guilland said.
A couple of rate increases will not impact your budget, however an increase of 0.25 percentage point difference could be significant for someone who has an $500,000 mortgage, says Alec Quaid, a planner certified financial planner for American Portfolios.Â As house prices rise across the nation, mortgage rates will continue to rise and this was the motivation that his wife and he required to “bite the bullet” and purchase their first house in the Denver area earlier this year.
“I don’t think anyone who isn’t in a position to buy should be looking to buy just because of this rate increase, but if you’re vapid and potentially considering buying and you’re in able to buy, that could be a good kick in the ass,” Quaid adds that the delay of a year for buying may result in mortgage rates rising by more than one percentage percent.
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2.Â Pay off debts with high interest
The next step?Â Take care to pay off any debts that have variable interest rates such as credit cards.Â If you’ve been accumulating savings in the last two years, which many Americans have done, now could be the right time to make use of the savings you have saved to pay down high-interest credit, as Guilliland suggests.
With the rising cost of borrowing those who don’t pay off the credit account in its entirety could be further behind, he warns.Â “A installment of $1,000 would reduce the amount you are owed.Â >>
Additionally, if you’re among of the over 43 million Americans who are owed student loans it’s a good idea to think about refinancing with lower interest rates.Â But other factors make this choice a bit more difficult, since forbearance on student loan repayments is scheduled to end on May, and there’s a chance of a large-scale forgiveness program, Quaid declares.
If you’re a victim of outstanding federal student loan obligations, you should think about whether it is a good idea to refinance private loans since you’ll be losing some advantages such as the possibility of an income-driven repayment program, Quaid says.Â “It’s easy to hunt for the lowest rate because it looks better, but you have to peel off a few more layers before making a decision based solely on rates.”
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3.Â Consider the big purchases to come.
Quaid was already contemplating purchasing a home, but the possibility of higher cost of borrowing slowed his decision.Â While thinking about other major expenditure decisions, the possibility of higher rates is only one of the many things to take into consideration, he adds.
Guilliland is in agreement that you shouldn’t make a decision too quickly such as buying a home or a vehicle.Â However, the time frame of your purchase may be crucial.Â “Find out where the funding is today and where it might be later.”
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4.Â Change your investment portfolio
Do not completely drain your savings, as you might decide to invest the money into the market for stocks or keep from making an “bad” decision like selling during what’s becoming an era of volatility in the market, advises Guilliland.
This is also a good time to evaluate your portfolio, says Guilliland.Â Consider, for instance, bonds with a shorter term to avoid being stuck in low interest rates for long periods of time Also, consider investing in shares of financial firms, as the rising rates of interest will be “really, really good” for this sector Guilliland says.
There could be opportunities to purchase stocks at a lower price.Â “Volatility can be hard to bear in the short term, but it’s your long-term friend,” says Quaid.
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5.Â Consider a savings account
When the Fed begins to increase rates of interest, savers can gain more from their deposits.Â Quaid advises all its customers to choose an account with a high yield and an emergency account.Â Although higher rates of interest are nice but the main reason to have this account is to keep cash available whenever you need it, he says.
With the potential of rate hikes in the coming year, the savings community should remain cautious.Â “It will take some time before higher rates in the money market and savings accounts have an impact,” Guilliland says. Guilliland.
Remember that, while increasing rates and inflation are the talk of the hour You must be aware of how the larger trend is impacting your life before you take action, says Quaid.Â “It’s easy to get carried away by hysteria, but not everyone should.”
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