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How the Fed affects auto loan rates Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make better financial choices by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators that provide objective and original content, by enabling you to conduct your own research and compare information at no cost to help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers, including but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The offers that appear on this site are from companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including for instance, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing, except where prohibited by law. Our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other products that lend money to homeowners. This compensation, however, does have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial offerings that could be accessible to you. SHARE: Adam Parent/Shutterstock

3 min read Published February 1 2023.

Writer: Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is an expert with the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to buy cars. Edited by Chelsea Wing Edited by Student loans editor Chelsea has been working at Bankrate since the beginning of 2020. She is invested in helping students to navigate the steep costs of college , and breaking down the complexities in student loans. The Bankrate promise

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At Bankrate we strive to help you make better financial choices. We adhere to the highest standards of journalistic integrity ,

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In 1976, Bankrate was founded. Bankrate has a long track history of helping people make smart financial choices.

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They ensure that what we write will ensure that our content is reliable, honest and trustworthy. Our loans reporter and editor focus on the things that consumers care about most — the various kinds of loans available as well as the best rates, the most reliable lenders, the best ways to repay debt, and much more. So you can feel confident when making a decision about your investment. Editorial integrity

Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct and rigorous policy, so you can rest assured that we’ll put your needs first. Our award-winning editors and journalists create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial choices. Key Principles We respect your confidence. Our mission is to provide our readers with reliable and honest information. We have established editorial standards to ensure that this happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly check the accuracy of editorial content to ensure that what you read is true. We have a strict separation between advertisers as well as our editorial staff. Our editorial team doesn’t receive direct compensation from our advertisers. Editorial Independence Bankrate’s editorial staff writes in the name of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice that will help you make smart financial decisions for your personal finances. We follow strict guidelines for ensuring that editorial content is not in any way influenced by advertising. Our editorial team is not paid direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly verified to guarantee its accuracy. Therefore whether you’re reading an article or reviewing it is safe to know that you’re receiving reliable and dependable information. How we make money

There are money-related questions. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your money for more than four decades. We strive to continuously provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict policy, therefore you can be confident that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and journalists create honest and accurate content that will help you make the right financial choices. The content created by our editorial staff is factual, accurate and is not influenced from our advertising. We’re transparent about the ways we’re in a position to provide quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools for you , by describing how we earn money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the promotion of sponsored goods andservices or by you clicking on certain hyperlinks on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and when products are listed, except where prohibited by law for our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity and other home lending products. Other factors, like our own website rules and whether the product is available within your area or at your personal credit score could also affect the manner in which products are featured on this website. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about each financial or credit item or service. It is important to understand that the Federal Reserve is a complex facet of the American economic system. At what’s typically eight times per year, the Fed determines the amount it will cost to borrow money. Its primary task is to establish a benchmark rate for short-term consumer lending which private lenders use to determine their rates. If the Fed raises its federal fund rate during any of their meetingssuch as they did at their most recent December meeting -it is possible to have to pay more for a private or auto loan. How do Fed rates affect car loans The auto loan rates are determined by the time of the year and the kind of car, the credit score of the borrower, and much other factors. But the Fed sets the on which auto loan lenders are able to lend . The decisions made during Fed meetings are not the exact interest rates consumers will receive; rather, they impact the cost that banks have to lend each other. Due to this, lenders and banks may alter the rates they provide to customers when the federal funds rate changes. If the Fed raises interest rates and auto loan rates may rise as well, or vice versa. The month of February is 2023. Fed rate increase in response to the disruptions in the economy caused by the pandemic, the central bank aims to curb inflation with an increase in rates. The updated target of the Federal Funds Rate has been set at 4.5-4.75 percentage as of Feb. 1, 2023. This rate does not influence the auto rate directly. Instead, it is linked with the rate of interest. Simply, this steep rate increase means that vehicle financing could be more expensive. However, lenders still have power when it comes to the amount they will charge to customers based on their credit record. However, Sarah Foster, senior U.S economic reporter at Bankrate and Bankrate.com, says currently it’s an unaffordable time to purchase a vehicle regardless of this rate hike. “The Federal Reserve raising interest rates this year is just one of many factors likely to make buying a car more costly.” The combination of the chip shortage and the pandemic led to sky-high prices for both new and used vehicles through 2021 and into 2022. This rate hike can be beneficial for drivers, Foster says, “If you’re hoping for a glimmer of hope, higher rates could be a good thing for people who are considering purchasing a car, particularly if it causes demand to be balanced with supply. The easing of the pandemic can increase production. That means the prices of vehicles in 2022 may come down even though the rates are rising.” What is the reason Fed meetings are important Fed meetings are important because they allow anyone to have a transparent look into the economy — specifically, how interest rates shift and are expected to shift. If the Fed declares it will be increasing the interest rate, then you could anticipate higher-priced loans or notice a rise in the variable rate loans you have. Learn more about how the FOMC could impact your financial situation and personal finances. How can you prepare yourself for future Fed rate changes Preparation is the key to saving money. For the best preparation be aware of the and how shifting rates can affect your finances. In the case of federal funds and automobile loan rates aren’t the same but there’s a domino effect that reaches the lenders, which then influences the rates you pay. Even though the current federal funds rate is the determining factor for the overall rate in auto loan rates however, your credit score serves as the primary factor in determining how much you’ll pay. To get a loan that has the best conditions, you need a credit score of generally 660 or higher with a good credit score. The federal funds rate is out of your control, but you can plan for future vehicle financing. Next steps When the Fed adjusts rates, available auto loan rates can be affected as well. Even though the Fed’s decision will affect the cost of your auto loan, the rate that you’ll pay is determined by your own credit history. Regardless of how the federal funds rate is changing, you can benefit from the by working to improve your credit score as well as your financials. It’s also important to stay up to date on current loan rates prior to applying for a new auto loan. Find out more


The article was written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car. The article is edited by Chelsea Wing Edited by Student loans editor Chelsea has been with Bankrate since early 2020. She’s dedicated to helping students to navigate the daunting costs of college , and breaking down the complexities of student loans.

Student loans editor

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