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Perhaps you’re enjoying the benefits of higher earnings on your savings. Or maybe you’re feeling the pain of higher interest rates on credit card debt and new loans. In either scenario, it’s hard to ignore the fact that interest rates are higher today than they were in the not-so-distant past.

Between March 2022 and July 2023, the Federal Reserve has increased federal funds rate in the United States a total of 11 times. And with so many interest rate increases happening in such a short period of time, many people wonder what the future may hold.

Will borrowers continue to face the sting of high interest rates on credit cards, loans, and other types of financing while savers enjoy higher APYs on interest-bearing deposit accounts? Could the Fed raise interest rates even higher? Or is there a chance that interest rates might start to come back down again sometime soon?

Read on to learn how interest rates may behave in the future. Plus, discover why interest rates increased in the first place and how to deal with the impact that higher rates may have on your own financial life in the meantime.

When Will Interest Rates Come Down?

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The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets eight times a year to set the federal funds rate for the country. And unless you’re one of the 12 men and women who holds a current seat on this committee, you can’t say for sure what’s in store for the future when it comes to interest rates in the United States.

When the FOMC met in September 2023, they decided not to raise the federal funds rate. With the next meeting taking place October 31 - November 1, economic experts are divided on what they believe the Fed will decide to do in the year's remaining meetings.

Some predict that Americans are in store for at least one more rate increase before the end of the year — a move that savers would welcome and borrowers would not. Other financial professionals predict that the federal funds rate will hold steady at its current level of 5.25-5.50%, at least for the time being.

Unfortunately, almost everyone agrees that the Fed probably won’t call for any rate decreases until 2024. And even once interest rates begin to come down again, experts project the decline could be a slow and steady process that might stretch well into 2025.

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Why Did the Federal Reserve Increase Interest Rates So Much In 2022 and 2023?

Over the past two years, households in the United States have experienced a rollercoaster of soaring prices and rising interest rates. Inflation climbed rapidly to 7.1% starting in 2021 on a wide variety of goods and services. By June 2022, inflation peaked at an alarming 9.1%, placing a heavy financial burden on millions of Americans.

The Federal Reserve aims for an inflation rate of 2% a year. Historically, 2% inflation is the rate that keeps both employment and prices stable for American businesses and households. So, when prices begin to get out of control, as they did in 2021 and 2022, the Federal Reserve will often step in and take action.

In response to escalating prices, the FOMC raised its benchmark rate in March 2022 — the first increase in the federal funds rate since 2018. That initial rate hike proved to be the first of many. Between March 2022 and July 2023, the FOMC increased the rate 11 times.

How to Deal With Higher Interest Rates

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Economic experts predict that higher interest rates could be here to stay for some time. So, it’s important to understand how higher interest rates impact you from a financial perspective and the mistakes you should avoid.

As a consumer or small business owner, you don’t have any ability to influence the federal funds rate. Yet you can take steps to ensure you’re in a position to take advantage of the best deals available from banks and lenders to lessen the impact that higher rates have on your financial life.

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1. Take Good Care of Your Credit

When interest rates rise, one of the biggest pain points you’ll face as a consumer happens when you need to borrow money. But if you can access the best rates that lenders offer to borrowers, this pain might be a bit more bearable.

For example, imagine you want to take out a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage. The best rate available as of September 19, 2023, is 6.944%, according to myFICO. However, that rate tends to be reserved for borrowers with FICO® Scores of 760 or higher.

By comparison, if you have a FICO Score of 620-639, a lender might offer you an interest rate of 8.533%. On a $400,000, 30-year fixed mortgage, the difference between 6.944% and 8.533% could cost you an extra $439 per month and an extra $157,979 in total interest over the life of the loan.

2. Shop Around for the Best Interest Rates on Financing

If you’re in the market for a new credit card or loan, it’s wise to compare multiple offers. The best credit card offers could lead to a lower APR, lower fees, or better rewards and sign-up bonuses. And with credit cards, if you pay off your full balance by the due date each month, you can avoid paying interest during the account’s grace period.

When you’re shopping for a loan (e.g., personal loan, auto loan, mortgage, etc.), rate shopping also matters. Finding a lower interest rate could save you money every month. According to Freddie Mac, when shopping for a mortgage in particular, taking the time to get five quotes saves consumers an average of around $3,000.

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3. Compare Interest Rates on Deposit Accounts

Another step you don’t want to skip when interest rates are high is searching for the highest rate on deposit accounts. Otherwise, you risk leaving money on the table.

Getting the best rates on CDs, high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and other types of deposit accounts could help you grow your cash savings at a faster rate. And if you choose an FDIC-insured account, you can rest easy knowing that you’re keeping your money safe, even in an unsteady economic climate.

Recommended High-Yield Savings Accounts

Bank Account APY Features Learn More

BrioDirect High-Yield Savings Account

5.35% More Info

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 5/1/2024. Rate is subject to certain terms and conditions. You must deposit at least $5,000 to open your account and maintain $25 to earn the disclosed APY. Rate and APY may change at any time. Fees may reduce earnings.

$5,000 min. deposit
No monthly fee

UFB Direct logo

UFB Direct Secure Savings Account

5.25% More Info

UFB Direct breaks balances into five tiers, but, currently, there is only one interest rate.

No minimum deposit
No monthly fee

SoFi Checking and Savings

0.50% - 4.60% More Info

Customers earn 4.60% APY on savings balances when they set up recurring monthly direct deposit of their paycheck or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Alternatively, deposit at least $5,000 each month to earn 4.60% APY on your savings balance. Checking balances earn 0.50% APY

No minimum deposit
No monthly fee

CIT Bank logo

CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account

5.00% More Info

Earn 5.00% APY on balances over $5,000. Balances of less than $5,000 earn 0.25% APY. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of May 6, 2024. Interest rates for the Platinum Savings account are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.

$100 minimum deposit
No monthly fee

Bottom Line

There’s no crystal ball you can use to predict whether interest rates will rise or fall in 2023 and beyond. But you can make smart financial moves to help protect your money and your credit now. Then, no matter what the Federal Reserve decides to do, you’ll be in the best position possible. 

ML

Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.