Protect your finances after Fed rate hike – Daily Local
The Federal Reserve has once again unleashed its most prominent weapon to combat the highest inflation in 40 years: higher interest rates. While not unexpected, we’ve all become accustomed to low interest rates on everything from buying a home to car loans. Here are some ways you can protect your finances before interest rates rise further.
Special “Step-Up” Certificates (CDs)
You may have read our previous post on why certificates are getting so much attention right now. Certificates (also called CDs) guarantee a rate of return and a fixed rate of interest, which is a great safety blanket in these volatile times. It is crucial to secure a short-term certificate at the best rate – but also with some flexibility if interest rates change again. Benchmark Federal Credit Union offers a 60-month “step-up” certificate where you lock in an annual interest rate of 2.48% and then increase it at any time during the 60-month life of the certificate. In addition, the “step-up” does not extend the term of the certificate. Note that when investing in a certificate, you will not be able to access your money until the certificate matures. But with a “Step-Up” Certificate, you’re not just locking in an interest rate; They also give themselves the opportunity to earn a higher return at a later date.
Fixed home loan
If you’re struggling with high-yield credit card debt or another adjustable-rate loan, your interest rates will rise with the Fed’s recent rate hike. You may want to pay off that debt now with a fixed rate home equity loan before interest rates start to rise again. Home equity loan rates are lower than credit cards and other unsecured loans because your property serves as collateral for the loan. This means there is less risk for the lender. A home equity loan also allows you to consolidate multiple debt obligations into one convenient monthly payment.
Benchmark Federal Credit Union is offering our Fixed Home Equity Loan at 0.99% APR for 60 months at up to 80% loan-to-value (LTV). Longer terms are available at discounted rates. Home equity loans can be used for anything you need, including home improvement projects and repairs, education expenses, debt consolidation, paying medical bills, weddings and other celebrations, financing a vacation, making a major purchase, starting a business, and emergency expenses.
Rebecca Worthington is Vice President of Community Relations at Benchmark Federal Credit Union. As the only state credit union serving Chester County exclusively, Benchmark FCU has served the community for more than 80 years and is known for exceptional service. To learn more about the products and services available at Benchmark FCU, visit our website at BenchmarkFCU.org. Anyone who lives, works, prays or attends school in Chester County, PA is eligible to join the Benchmark Federal Credit Union.