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美联储再次提高利率,对信用卡欠款者有什么影响?

Kevin Kellher 2018年12月25日

现在除了债务总额不断增加,利率还水涨船高,美国人需要花更多钱还卡债。

尽管面临特朗普总统施压,美联储于上周三再次将利率提高了25个基点,同时表明可能在2019年两次加息。这是美联储三年内第九次加息。对于有信用卡债务的消费者而言,屡次加息的影响将共同叠加在他们身上。

美联储通过调整联邦基金利率来设定利率,因而影响银行对客户贷款收取的费率。尽管今年利率持续上调,消费者的信用卡债务仍在不断增加。美联储表示,第三季度信用卡债务增加150亿美元,达到8440亿美元,至此信用卡债务已连续增长17个季度。

从那时起,即使股市暴跌,消费者也需要偿还更多的信用卡债务。根据NerdWallet的调查,从2018年年初到现在,信用卡债务已经增加了5%。有卡债的家庭平均每户未清余额约为6929美元。

现在除了债务总额不断增加,利率还水涨船高,美国人需要花更多钱还卡债。要多还多少?CompareCards网站计算出,仅仅提高25个基点就意味着消费者需要额外支付24亿美元利息。

其他类型的消费债务也在增多,包括抵押贷款、学生贷款和汽车贷款等。有迹象表明,利率稳步缓慢增加,已经对一些消费者产生了负面影响。逾期90天以上的信用卡账户已经增至所有未清缴账户的7.9%,高于两年前的7%。汽车贷款拖欠率近年来也逐步上升。

“今天的加息意味着借贷的成本更高了,对于信用卡、房屋净值信贷额度和可调利率抵押贷款的借款人而言更是如此。”金融网站Bankrate的首席金融分析师格雷格·麦克布莱德表示。“消费者应该大幅清偿债务,进行利率固定的金融融资,获得零利率信用卡优惠,以防止额外加息造成的影响,同时还应提高还债速度。”

如果说还能从美联储的新闻中看出一线或两线希望,那就是人们存在金融市场账户或存款证里的钱或许能有更高利率。而且虽然美联储仍表示将在2019年再次加息,但它现在的计划是加两次而非三次。但这可能不足以消除部分消费者接下来几个月打开信用卡账单时感受到的刺痛。

美联储此举也导致股市早早开始出现下跌,收盘价仍下跌。道琼斯工业平均指数收报23323.66点,下跌1.5%。(财富中文网)

译者:Agatha

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another quarter of a percentage point on last Wednesday, while signaling it could raise rates two more times in 2019, despite pressure from President Trump. This is increase marks the ninth time the Fed has raised rates in three years. And it’s all starting to add up for consumers with credit-card debt.

The Fed sets interest rates by adjusting the federal funds rate. That in turn influences the rates banks charge customers for loans. Even as rates have been rising this year, consumers are building up bigger balances on their credit cards. The Fed said that credit-card balances rose by $15 billion in the third quarter to $844 billion, the 17th straight quarter of rising debt.

Since then, consumers have more debt on their credit cards, even as the stock market tumbled. According to a survey by NerdWallet, credit-card balances have increased by 5% so far in 2018. The average outstanding balance for households with credit-card debt stood at around $6,929.

Now add to that growing pile of debt the trend of higher interest rates and you have U.S. households paying more for their credit-card loans. How much more? The website CompareCards calculated that the quarter-point increase alone will mean consumers are paying an additional $2.4 billion in interest payments.

Other types of consumer debt have also been rising: mortgages, student loans, and auto loans. And there are signs that the gradual but steady rise in rates are taking a toll on some consumers. Credit-card accounts that have been delinquent for more than 90 days have risen to 7.9% of all accounts with outstanding debt, up from 7% two years earlier. Auto loan delinquencies have been on a gradual rise for several years.

“Today’s rate hike means borrowing gets costlier, especially for credit-cards, home equity lines of credit, and borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at financial site Bankrate. “Consumers should aggressively pay down debt, refinance into fixed rates, and grab zero percent credit card offers to insulate against additional rate hikes and accelerate debt repayment.”

If there is a silver lining or two in Fed news, it’s that people saving money in money-market accounts or CDs may receive a higher rate. And, while the Fed is still indicating it will raise rates in 2019, it’s now planning on two rates instead of three. But that may not be enough to remove the sting some consumers will feel when they open their credit-card bills in the coming months.

The Fed’s move also caused stocks to give up early losses and close with losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.5% at 23,323.66.

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