mortgage

Fed affects banks, rates, prices and jobs

Home equity lines
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Home equity lines

Also directly tied to the federal funds rate: your home equity line of credit, or HELOC. That's because HELOC rates are typically linked to the prime rate. When the Fed raises or lowers its target rate, HELOC rates follow suit.

"It's a great time to refinance or restructure your debt, if you've got home equity that you can use to consolidate high-interest credit card debt or other less accommodative types of debts," Mervine says.

By encouraging the use of HELOCs through low interest rates, the Fed is also trying to stimulate the economy. If you take out a HELOC to make home renovations, the money you pay the contractor is then used for his or her purchases and fuels the economy.


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