The Fed interest rate only went up by 0.5%. Experts say the last few interest rate hikes may be working to ease inflation.
CHICAGO (WLS) -- After the Fed raised interest rates for the seventh time this year on Wednesday, our I-Team is finding out what it all means for you.
That interest rate hike by the Fed only went up by 0.5%. Experts say that means the last several interest rate hikes may be working to ease inflation. However, another interest rate hike also means you're paying more on your lines of credit.
"We are seeing an increase of delinquency where consumers have a hard time paying their bills and missing some payments," said Michele Raneri, a vice president and head of research and consulting at the credit reporting agency TransUnion.
She explained how recent interest rate hikes are causing late payments on credit cards and higher balances if you don't pay them off every month.
"For most people the interest rate hike probably means that their credit card amounts will go up, and so, if you carry a balance, then your monthly payment probably will go up also, and if you're looking for other new loans, those interest rates will be higher," Raneri said.
Those new loans include auto loans and home loans.
"For home loans, I know that it's getting 6.6 to 7%, maybe a little bit more than that," Raneri said. "And so that's a lot more then it was at the beginning of the year, which it was typical to find the 3% loan. And so that means a huge amount being paid more in interest on a $300,000."
Here's what interest rate hikes have done over time. On a new $300,000 home mortgage, the monthly payment now is about $562 more than it would have been on a mortgage taken out January. But there is some good news, Raneri said.
"The economy is stabilizing and that stability, even before a correction, is starting to work because of previous increases," Raneri said.
The latest, smaller interest rate hike of 0.5% means the strategy may be working to slow down inflation.
Month to month inflation is slightly down from 7.7% to 7.1%.
The costs of gas, used cars, airfare, and other goods bought online are down, too. Food is only up 0.5%.
But when you look year-to year, inflation is still up.
The latest consumer price index shows year-to-year food and gasoline are both up more than 10% and overall energy up about 13%.
As far as the interest rate hikes go, the best thing you can do right now is to pay off your credit card balances in full, especially as we're spending during the holidays.