Rising Interest Rates: What Do They Mean For You?

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If you read financial headlines, you’ve no doubt seen the news that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates. These headlines can be accompanied with all sorts of hyperbole about the end of the stock market, the boom of bonds or any of a dozen other possible predictions. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when there’s this much information and so much of it is conflicting. Let’s set the record straight on what rising prime interest rates mean for you and your:

  • Adjustable-rate Mortgage
  • Portfolio
  • Savings
  • Debt

The prime interest rate is the rate that the Federal Reserve charges financial institutions to borrow from it. It influences a lot of other financial prices. Many of these are only of concern to investment bankers, professional investors and other economic enthusiasts. Here are some key ways the prime rate hikes can affect you!

1.) Get out of your ARM

Many people opted for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) when interest rates were historically low. These mortgages often have much better rates for an introductory period, usually five years, before they adjust to a new rate. That new rate is determined in large part by the rate the Federal Reserve charges.

The Federal Reserve is planning to continue to increase interest rates as the economy continues to improve. This means the rate on your ARM may go up as well. Worse yet, the rising rates could make your monthly mortgage payment unpredictable, putting you in a bit of a budget bind. Fortunately, you can refinance your mortgage into a fixed-rate loan and take advantage of still-low interest rates. You may still be able to secure a low rate on a 10-, 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. As interest rates continue to rise, your fixed-rate mortgage will stay the same, meaning your savings will increase as time goes on.

2.) Balance your portfolio

The historically low interest rates over the past six years have done wonders for the stock market. Because companies could borrow at affordable rates, they could expand rapidly. That expansion fuels growth in stock prices.

As interest rates rise, that credit availability will decrease. Companies will find it more difficult to expand, and their growth will slow. This slowing of growth may lead to a decline in stock prices.

However, as interest rates rise, bond rates will also increase. That will lead to an increase in their price as more investors chase those rates. Individual investors need to ensure their portfolios are properly balanced to take advantage of changing market conditions. Speaking to a financial adviser to ensure your assets are where they need to be will help keep your investments growing at a healthy rate.

3.) Save more

The Federal Reserve interest rate also affects the rates that financial institutions are able to offer account holders. As it becomes more expensive to borrow from other institutions, it’s more profitable for those institutions to “borrow” from their members in the form of certificates and savings accounts. As interest rates continue to rise, it’ll be increasingly more profitable to sock your money away in an interest-bearing account.

If you’ve been putting off opening a certificate or increasing the deposits in your share account, now is an excellent time to consider it. With a 12- or 24-month certificate, you can take advantage of rising interest rates while still leaving yourself the flexibility to re-invest once interest rates rise again.

4.) Refinance your debt

The service charges on several kinds of debt are tied to the prime rate. Notably, credit cards and private student loan rates may increase as the prime rate continues to climb. That makes now a great time to think about refinancing.

Take advantage of currently low interest rates with several strategies. A home equity line of credit can help bundle your high-interest, unsecured debt with your low-interest mortgage. A personal loan for refinancing can also help secure a better interest rate. Other options exist, and the sooner you speak with a debt counselor or other financial professional, the better off you’ll be.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the financial terminology surrounding news events like rate hikes. That’s why it’s best to have an advocate in your corner to help you figure out what to make of a changing economic landscape. Utah community Credit Union can do just that. Call, click or stop by to speak to a member services representative about how you can take advantage of this opportunity and put yourself on the path to financial wellness.

Find your nearest UCCU location here: http://www.uccu.com/home/uccu/locations

Your Turn: Got questions about rising interest rates? Leave your questions in the comments. Or, if you’ve got a handle on all things economic, share your wisdom with others!

Sources:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumers/2017/01/19/bit-bit-rising-interest-rates-making-impact/96560462/
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/your-money/increases-in-interest-rates-on-savings-accounts-remain-slow-to-materialize.html?_r=0
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/12/28/what-2017-may-mean-your-personal-finances/95736736/

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President's Message April 2016

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We are well into our 60 year celebration and many people are taking advantage of our Cash for You, Cash For Your School initiative. Don’t forget that for every loan you transfer to UCCU we will give you 0.5% cash back, as well as donate 0.5% cash back to the K-12 school of your choice. Tell your friends and neighbors and help support local education.

The Utah housing market is booming. There is significant demand for mortgage and construction services and consumers are continuing to build equity due to rising housing prices. With the growing population rate and the increasing demand for housing, appreciation rates have continued to rise and will likely continue to be favorable.

Trying to help your children get into their first home? It may be easier than you think. UCCU has our first time home buying program that takes the guesswork out of finding the home of your dreams.  UCCU offers support and resources to help you find the right loan product to suit your financial needs. Our BuyerRelax program offers access to mortgage experts who can answer any question – big or small.

It is our pleasure to serve you! We want to be your trusted financial partner now and into the future. Take full advantage of your membership by visiting with one of our financial experts. If you are not yet a member – become one and let the benefits of UCCU membership help you save money, make smart financial decisions, and propel you and your family closer to you financial goals and dreams.

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Jeff Sermon
President/CEO

 

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President's Message March 2016

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The credit union continues to celebrate 60 years of serving this great community! This year-long celebration will give members and the credit union many opportunities to strengthen the community and take advantage of special offers and services provided by the credit union. We welcome your participation and urge you to take advantage of the special offers, rates, and service opportunities that are part of our celebration.

  • Support the School of your Choice

Throughout the year, you can earn money and also support a local school of your choice – just by transferring an existing loan to UCCU!

When you transfer a loan from somewhere else to the credit union, you will not only benefit from lower loan rates and lower monthly payments – but UCCU will pay you ½% of the loan balance in cash up to $125. But that’s not all. The credit union will also send the school of your choice the same amount (1/2/% of the loan balance up to $125) in your name!  So, by moving a loan to UCCU, you’ll most likely end up with better loan rates and terms, some cash in your pocket, and the credit union will donate the same amount to a school of your choice in your name!

  • March Loan Sale Going on Now

You’ll find low special rates on auto loans and on home equity loans as part of our 60th Anniversary celebration. Whether its time to replace your car or whether you’re planning some needed home improvements or other summer projects, UCCU’s low loan rates will help you succeed.  There will be additional special offers throughout the year.

  • Your “First Choice” Financial Partner

As always, we thank you for your trust and your membership. Our sole focus, as a not-for-profit financial institution, is to provide you and your family with the services and information that will help you set- and reach- your financial goals. One valuable resource to help you make smart financial decisions is UCCURelax.com. This educational site is a great guide to help save you money and frustration in purchasing a home or car. Check it out and see how it can give you confidence in making some of life’s biggest purchases.

We love serving you and look forward to another 60 years of serving this community!

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Jeff Sermon
President/CEO
Utah Community Credit Union

 

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Lower Your Home Equity Payment Today

Consolidate your debt into one loan with one low payment.

With UCCU’s new Low Payment Calculation, you can consolidate your debt into one loan and one really low payment! No-fee home equity lines of credit–with Low Payment Calculation–available right now at UCCU. Only 1.99% Fixed APR for nine months, then 3.74% Variable APR thereafter.

For more information visit uccu.com or call us at 801.223.7650

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