What the rising interest rate means for those in the Heartland

How high interest rates are affecting Heartland communities.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Borrowing money is getting more expensive. The federal reserve increased interest rate .75 of a percentage point.

So what does that mean for folks in the Heartland?

“We need to have breaks for people, we need to know that real people are out here still saying okay, I’m here to help, I’m here to support, I know you got issues, I know you got kids,” said Valeria Taylor, a Murphysboro resident.

Ask just about anyone and they will tell you inflation is taking a bite out of their wallet.

Taylor said she’s getting creative to save money now a days, especially on gas.

“I downloaded apps like Upside to get rewards, Casey’s, Huck’s, you better believe it. When the recession comes, when something goes down, I got to move forward. And I move forward by getting benefits that will be effective for me and my business,” Taylor said.

Inflation is currently hitting historical levels for 16 consecutive months.

Jean Anderson is visiting her parents in southern Illinois. She refinanced her loans before the interest rates rose.

“We got lucky, and we refinanced before all that happened and so that hasn’t affected me, but of course food and supplies and everything is more expensive and you notice it,” said Anderson.

Kevin Sylwester is an economics professor at Southern Illinois University. He said the Federal Reserve is raising their interest rates with hopes of relieving the pressure from inflation.

“Eventually these interest rate increases will trickle down, they’ll extend to things like car loans, mortgages, things that people, you know, are big items in their budgets and, you know, they’ll see paying a little bit more on these repayments each month,” said Sylwester.

He said if you are loan-free, the interest rate can help with certain things.

“To the extent that your savings interest rate and the interest that you gain, instead of pay you’re actually benefited because of this,” Sylwester said.

Sylwester said this isn’t just an issue here in the United States, it’s a global issue.

“The problems that we’re seeing now; the high inflation, potential slowdown in the economy that’s happening in Europe, it’s happening in other places of the world,” he said.

And while some workers did see pay hikes, the rate of inflation is far outpacing the bump in paychecks.

A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 65 percent of registered voters believe the United States economy is currently in a recession, although one hasn’t officially been declared by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the nonprofit organization that officially makes such a determination.

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