Fed Cuts Interest Rates; Consumers Can Expect Savings On New Cars, Homes
Posted January 2, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST
DURHAM — Have you been admiring a shiny, new car or a big, beautiful home? Both just got a little easier for you to afford Wednesday. For the first time in two years, theFederal Reservemight have saved you big bucks on the money you borrow.
Credit counselors say low interest rates can add up to big savings for most of us. If you like to charge items, then expect to see a small savings on your next bill. If you are looking for a new credit card, you may really be able to find a good deal.
"I imagine folks will see a difference. It won't be a big difference, but it'll be a difference," says credit counselor Mike Farrell. "For me, I look for a fixed rate, not an introductory rate. I don't mess around with introductory rates."
If you are thinking about a student loan or perhaps interested in a new car, the low rates should fuel a flurry savings at car dealerships. However, the best place to pad your wallet may be right at your front door.
Mortgage lenders say now is a good time to think about re-financing if the new rates will save you more than a percentage point in interest, and if you are planning to stay put for another four to five years.
"It depends on the loan amount, but usually the savings is $100 a month. That's a nice savings," says mortgage lender Bill Kerns.
If you have been thinking about buying a car or a house or just refinancing, this could be a big window of opportunity. The Federal Reserve has its regularly scheduled meeting at the end of the month. Some analysts think there may be more cuts to come.