The Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Wednesday for the seventh straight time since September of last year. This makes the Prime interest rate a low 5%! Many experts believe that the Fed is done cutting interest rates and will begin a new watch-and-wait policy. This new policy is due – in part – to the fact that the first Stimulus Act rebate checks are hitting millions of mailboxes this week. The Fed hopes this money gives a boost in the arm to the economy.
They cut the federal funds rate by a quarter of a point to 2 percent on Wednesday, the latest – and possibly last – in a series of reductions aimed at staving off a recession and easing the credit crunch.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS
• In September, when the Fed initiated the first of seven consecutive interest rate reductions, the federal funds rates stood at 3.25 percent. The last time the rate was this low was in December 2004.
• In making the announcement, the Fed noted that, “The substantial easing of monetary policy to date, combined with ongoing measures to foster market liquidity, should help to promote moderate growth over time and to mitigate risks to economic activity.”
• There was some speculation that the Fed was leaving the door open to additional rate cuts if inflation concerns become reality. However, others speculate the Board may leave rates alone until the impact of its recent efforts become clearer.
If you’ve been taking a watch-and-wait approach with your own finances, now is the time to call and review your options.
Consider this: the Federal Reserve Board meets 11 times this year to review the health of the US economy and make adjustments if needed. Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to take just a few minutes and do the same with your own financial goals?
I want to ensure that you’re taking advantage of this unique market and not letting it pass you by. Here are just a few things to consider:
• Today’s tougher housing market means there are some great buys to be had if you’re looking to purchase. This is an especially friendly market for first-time home buyers.
• The government has temporarily increased FHA loan limits in many areas across the US. These government-insured loans are not FICO-score driven and require little to no down payment. Here’s the catch: these new limits expire at the end of the year, so you must act now.
• You really don’t want to play the waiting game if you are holding an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). That’s because there is nowhere for the rates to go but up from here, if we are truly at the end of the Fed’s cutting cycle.
Invest 10 minutes in your financial future. Call me today. Together we’ll review your situation. While the Fed takes a quick break from cutting to plan its next move, take advantage of the opportunity to do the same for yourself. I look forward to hearing from you!