Fed raises rates … again

Green Escrow Services | Federal Reserve Board

For the fourth time, the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a point but indicated that future hikes might possibly be lower. Noting that hikes take a while to affect the economy and inflation, many analysts expect the next rate increase to be one-half a point.

While the economy continues to grow and hiring remains strong, sales of existing homes have decreased for eight straight months.

Currently, mortgage rates remain above 7 percent, up from 3.14 percent just a year ago.

Interest rates remain low

Green Escrow Services | American economy

The good news is that the Federal Reserve is keeping its benchmark interest rate close to zero. While it’s not directly linked to mortgage rates, it does bear a strong influence.A

The not-so-good news is that lending standards have gotten stricter as banks are concerned about the long-range economy.

Analysts say that consumers with a credit score above 700 will most likely get the best rates while those with lower scores may have difficulty securing a loan.