To help people understand what consumer rates may do in the future and when they’re likely to hit their absolute bottom, Bankrate.com turned to the past. We compiled more than a decade of interest rate data from our historical database and the Federal Reserve’s records. Consumers can use the results of our study — listed below — to make an educated guess about when the best rates will be available.

The two tables show how the average rates on six bank products changed in the wake of two rate-cutting cycles and two rate-hiking cycles. The dates of the cycles are listed across the top of the tables. The dates when rates on the various products reached their lowest or highest levels are listed below, as are the number of months it took them to get there after the last Fed cut or hike. A negative number means the average rate for that product bottomed or peaked before the Fed was done cutting or raising rates.

Rate-cut time lags
June 1989 – Sept. 1992 cycle
Sept. 1998 – Nov. 1998 cycle
Product
Rate bottom
Lag
Rate bottom
Lag
48-month. new-car loan
March 1994
19 months
June 1999
7 months

30-year mortgage

Oct. 1993
12 months
Oct. 1998
-1 month
1-year ARM
Oct. 1993
12 months
Oct. 1998
-1 month
HELOC
June 1993
10 months
March 1999
4 months
1-year CD
Dec. 1993
15 months
Jan. 1999
2 months
5-year CD
Jan. 1994
17 months
Feb. 1999
2 months
 
Rate-hike time lags
Feb. 1994 – Feb. 1995 cycle
June 1999 – May 2000 cycle
Product
Rate peak
Lag
Rate peaked
Lag
48-mo. car
April 1995
5 months
Oct. 2000
2 months
30-yr. mtg.
Nov. 1994
-3 months
May 2000
0 months
1-yr. ARM
Jan. 1995
-1 month
May 2000
0 months
HELOC
March 1995
1 month
June 2000
1 month
1-yr. CD
Feb. 1995
0 months
Sept. 2000
4 months
5-yr. CD
Feb. 1995
0 months
June 2000
1 month

— Posted: May 15, 2001