How An Interest Rate Raise Could Affect You

Posted at 10:31 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 23:31:28-05

Interest rates have gone up for the first time in nearly a decade. It's a big decision from the Federal Reserve, after two days of meetings and months of hints this was coming.

Yet, analysts told people not to panic. Rates only went up a quarter of a point, and if you have fixed rates for your mortgage or credit card you won't be affected.

However if you have rates that can vary, you may start to see a few small changes, first on your credit card.

Former mortgage company owner Chris Hogan said the most important thing you can do is pay off your debt.

"If we focus more on our own personal economies instead of worrying about the national economy we can have more of an impact on our own homes day to day," Hogan said.

Less debt means less interest you have to pay as minimum payments go up, but variable mortgage rates usually change only once a year. 

This will pinch people harder if the Fed decides to continue to raise rates next year.

Raising rates is in response to the economy getting stronger, coming out of the Great Recession, and is meant to both head off inflation and create a buffer in case the economy destabilizes again.