While go-go lending was partly to blame for the economy's current financial troubles, ironically, borrowing money may help ease the country out of the downturn. At least that's the thinking behind the Federal Reserve's recent pledge to keep low interest rates through 2014.
While this move has not triggered an uptick in consumer confidence, experts agree money probably won't get any cheaper to borrow than right now. At press time, average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, home equity loans and even 60-month new-car loans are hovering around 4 percent, 6.4 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of interest rates.
If you have a good-to-excellent credit score and not a lot of debt, you may want to consider ways to take advantage of these historically low interest rates, says Jessica Cecere, regional president for CredAbility, a nonprofit credit counseling and education agency in West Palm Beach, Fla.
"Interest rates are so low that consumers should take advantage of these rates, if they can afford to, to help them save money on planned purchases," Cecere says.
So what are some smart borrowing decisions to make while interest rates are low? Here are a few.