There are only ten more days until Christmas.  Fortunately, the charts show that the cost of purchasing those meaningful expressions of love has risen less that the average paycheck, just in case you don’t have an army of elves helping you out this year.

This week the Fed raised their Funds Rate by 0.25%, making that index now 1.5%.  Three percent is tacked onto that rate to give a Prime Rate of 4.5%. and banks tack loads of profit on top of Prime to make their credit card offering rates significantly higher still.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that the holidays were sponsored by Master Card and Visa.  Borrowing on a credit card is not going to get any cheaper either if the Fed adds another 0.75% in 2018 as they hope.  So be wise with your Christmas giving, and if you need some help making that debt more manageable, mortgage rates are now less than even Prime :).

Have a wonderful, festive, loving week!

The uncertainty of the future level of taxation in the United States is still being debated by Congress today.  20%, 30%, 50%?  Corporate, personal, long term, and estate rates?  Will it pass?  Will we need to raise the debt ceiling?  Chinese take-out or pizza delivery for lunch?  Pretty serious stuff. Mortgage rates have held fairly steady for the last ten weeks while these matters have echoed around the hallowed halls that house our elected officials. In the meantime, the stock market continues to soar to new highs every other day.

Though you wouldn’t know it by the weather, it’s now December, and that means Christmas shopping is on everyone’s mind.  American consumers did a good job of budgeting last month: Personal Spending rose 0.3%, just under the 0.4% rise in Personal Income.  It’s always a good practice to spend less than you earn.  Remember that this month 🙂

It feels like the winds of change could soon be blowing, and I am not just referring to the weather.  The outcome of the new and allegedly improved tax code,  the path of the stock market, and the Fed decision to raise rates in 12 days may be enough to kick mortgage rates back up above 4.0%