E The State Of The U.S. Credit Market Ahead Of The Rate Hike

Another rate hike is highly expected to be announced on Wednesday despite the stock market plunge on Monday. Since the last rate hike in March, most signs have indicated that the Federal Reserve will increase its target rate by another 25 basis points in June.

And this Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is expected to make the announcement of another rate hike in 2017. That would be the fourth time Federal Reserve has hiked rates since December 2015.

For those who had credit just before the first rate hike, the implications of four rate hikes will weigh heavily on their interest expense. According to WalletHub, if the Federal Reserve raises the target rate by 0.25 basis points as expected, it would imply an additional $1.5 billion in extra finance charges during 2017.

And in total, when you factor in the previous three rate hikes, then the additional cost in finance charges this year will be about $6 billion compared to a scenario with zero rate hikes. This is likely to make an already tough situation in the credit market worse. Based on the latest data, estimates indicate that outstanding credit card balances will surpass $1 trillion in 2017.

As such, the credit market is in for a time of reckoning as the Federal Reserve sets its sights on a rate hike binge in 2017. This has somewhat affected the market with consumer credit falling to $8.2 billion in April from $19.5 billion in March.

Reports from credit repair companies indicate that consumers are also seeking to improve their credit scores as they prepare for higher lending rates going forward. Most people are now going for credit monitoring services, which according to reviews of CreditRepair.com and more cost from just $25.00 a month. So, basically, no one wants to sit around and assume everything will fall into place. With interest rates changing rapidly, a lot could happen that can affect credit scores.

While credit card lending rates might be easier to predict when it comes to auto loans and mortgage rates things become a little bit complicated. They are long-term in nature, which makes them difficult to predict.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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