The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate again — Wednesday’s increase was the fourth this year — and consumers can expect to feel it, one way or another.
Whether you will cheer or chafe at the increase depends, broadly, on whether you’re a saver or a spender. Savers and retirees seeking juicier yields will have an easier time finding savings accounts that pay more than 2 percent, a figure that looks attractive after they were starved of any interest for nearly a decade. But people trying to whittle down a pile of credit card debt, tap their home equity line of credit or purchase a car may find that it will cost a little more.
All these changes are a result of the Fed’s gradual increase in the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate banks and depository institutions charge one another for overnight loans. The rate influences how banks and other lenders price certain loans and savings vehicles — and it can have broader impact on our financial lives.