How Increasing Interest Rates Will Affect You

The Federal Reserve recently met to discuss interest rates and, as anticipated, approved a quarter-point increase in rates. What does this mean for you, and how will it affect your overall financial well-being?
 
Unfortunately, if you carry a balance on a credit card, you’ll most likely see your monthly payments increase. Now is a good time to evaluate your finances and pay off your balances in full if you can. Paying off your balances will not only help you avoid an increase in monthly payment amounts, it will also help to improve your overall credit. 
 
If you can’t afford your monthly payments and your account goes into default, it may be sent to a third party debt collector. Debt collectors must follow specific guidelines when they contact you about your debt, as outlined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact a debt collection attorney or consumer protection lawyer. 
 
You may also be able to negotiate a payment plan with the collector. The amount that the collector demands is often negotiable; charges like interest and late fees could be removed from the balance when negotiated. If the collector is willing to agree to a payment plan, be sure to get the agreement in writing. 
 
Credit.com also reports what the rate increase means for auto loans, mortgages, savings accounts, and refinancing.