Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Fed hoists key interest rate as mortgage rates reach new heights. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on recession prep, a quiz to cut your credit card costs, and how long it could take for business travel to return to normal.

Fed Hoists Key Interest Rate as Mortgage Rates Reach New Heights
Some 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates surpassed 6% even before the Federal Reserve’s 75-point increase to the federal funds rate.

Smart Money Podcast: Recession Prep, and Lightning Round Money Questions
This week’s episode starts with a discussion about how to prepare your finances for a recession.

Pass This Credit Card Quiz and Cut Your Costs
Put your credit card knowledge to the test. Knowing the correct answers could save you money.

How Long Until Business Travel Returns to Normal?
Business travel is down, big-time, with experts anticipating a slow return to 2019 levels.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

New laws, lenders boost access to affordable small loans. Also in the news: 5 ways to prepare for better interest rates in savings accounts, why 2022 is the year of all-inclusive travel, and for meat-free meal options, a U.S. airline hits the spot.

New Laws, Lenders Boost Access to Affordable Small Loans
New laws have made payday loans safer in some states, and more banks are entering the small-dollar market.

5 Ways to Prepare for Better Interest Rates in Savings Accounts
Be ready to make an informed decision if interest rates rise.

2022 Is the Year of All-Inclusive Travel, and Here’s Why
Hotel chains are expanding and entirely reimagining their all-inclusive portfolios.

For New Meat-Free Meal Options, 1 U.S. Airline Hits the Spot
Delta’s partnership with Impossible Foods and other plant-based brands is a game-changer.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Are reluctant home sellers too attached to their low rates? Also in the news: Are I bonds a good investment, a new episode of the Smart Money podcast on a travel nerd’s guide to Costa Rica, and the best time to buy cars, appliances, and other things that have been hard hit by inflation.

Are Reluctant Home Sellers Too Attached to Their Low Rates?
An effect that’s difficult to quantify.

Are I Bonds a Good Investment?
I bonds are a safe way to guard your money against inflation, but what do you risk by keeping your money out of the market?

Smart Money Podcast: Nerdy Travel Diaries: Getaway to Costa Rica
This episode, Sean talks with NerdWallet travel editor Kevin Berry about his recent trip to Costa Rica.

The Best Time to Buy Cars, Appliances, and Other Things That Have Been Hit Hard by Inflation
If you can’t necessarily shop cheap, you might as well shop smart.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do instead of worrying about the Fed’s latest interest hike. Also in the news: Why the Fed wants home buyers to face higher mortgage rates, staying off the beaten path for summer travel deals, and how college-bound grads could exit with nearly $40K in student loan debt.

Worrying About the Fed’s Latest Interest Hike? Do This Instead
Yes, the Fed just raised rates again. But take action rather than agonizing over what’s ahead for the economy.

Why the Fed Wants Home Buyers to Face Higher Mortgage Rates
The Federal Reserve yanked a short-term interest rate higher this week, making it more expensive to borrow money to buy a home or fix it up.

For Summer Travel Deals, Stay Off the Beaten Path
Summer vacationers should brace themselves for intense travel demand this season.

College-Bound Grads Could Exit With Nearly $40K in Student Loan Debt
College-bound high school graduates will amass thousands in debt. Many will share this debt with their parents.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How supply chain issues are crushing hotels – and your stay. In other news: As mortgage rates hit 4%, buyers can still boost their chances, the perks of selling your home could outweigh the challenges of buying, and everything you should do before interest rates go up.

How Supply Chain Issues Are Crushing Hotels — and Your Stay
Hotels aren’t immune to the impact of supply chain disruptions.

As Mortgage Rates Hit 4%, Buyers Can Still Boost Their Chances
With the 30-year mortgage rising fast, buyers may need updated preapprovals and revised expectations.

Perks of Selling Your Home Could Outweigh Challenges of Buying
While it’s a notoriously tough time to buy a home, the incentives to sell the one you’re in could be too good to pass up.

Everything You Should Do Before Interest Rates Go Up
Borrowing money is about to become more expensive.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Tonight’s top story: 3 ways minority-owned banks make a difference in America. Also in the news: How much interest you can earn on $100, $1000, or $10,000, 10 money insights from 25 years of financial writing, and get guaranteed price matching at these retailers for your holiday shopping.

3 Ways Minority-Owned Banks Make a Difference in America
Equal opportunities matter.

How Much Interest Can I Earn on $100, $1K or $10K?
A look at the options.

10 Money Insights From 25 Years of Financial Writing
How we use and think about money — not simply accumulating lots of it — literally can determine our happiness while we’re alive.

Get Guaranteed Price Matching at These Retailers for Your Holiday Shopping
Make your shopping a little easier.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t skip these steps when borrowing parent student loans. Also in then news: How to build a home office without breaking the bank, medical student borrowing slows, and the easiest way to lower the interest rate on your credit card.

Don’t Skip These Steps When Borrowing Parent Student Loans
Assess your financial situation and talk openly with your child before borrowing parent student loans.

How to Build a Home Office Without Breaking the Bank
Decide where you’ll invest to make a home office that’s comfortable and productive, as well as affordable.

Med Student Borrowing Slows, but Debt Still an Issue
In the class of 2019, 73% of medical students took out loans; their median debt was $200,000.

The Easiest Way to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate
Get ready to spend some time on the phone.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Sustainable investing could get a lot harder. Also in the news: Why you should file the FAFSA ASAP, why savings accounts and CDs are still worth it despite low rates, and how to find your lost 401(k).

Sustainable Investing Could Get a Lot Harder
The Labor Department wants to keep socially responsible investments out of 401(k)s and private pensions.

The FAFSA Just Opened: Why You Should Apply Now
File the FAFSA early to get a better shot at more free money and more time to appeal if you need to.

Savings Accounts and CDs Are Still Worth It Despite Low Rates
Rates will rise again.

How to Find Your Lost 401(k)
Don’t leave hard-earned money behind.

Q&A: Remodel the house or sell it?

Dear Liz: Should we take out a home equity loan so we can do some improvements on our house and make it work better for us, or should we sell it and upgrade to a bigger house? We are not in a rush to move, so we are content to take our time to find the right new home at the right price. We are also considering staying and doing work on our current home. But we have a lot of equity and are wondering: Would it be smarter to cash that in? We both remember the housing crash and are very nervous about getting in over our heads.

Answer: People are spending a lot of time at home these days, and many are longing for a little extra space. Interest rates are low, which makes borrowing for improvements or a bigger home more affordable for many.

You’re smart to be cautious about taking on too much debt, though. Lenders are much more cautious than they were before the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, but it’s still possible to borrow more than you can comfortably repay. Big mortgage payments could prevent you from saving for important goals such as retirement or your children’s college education.

If you like your current neighborhood, remodeling is often the more economical route. You spend roughly 10% of your home’s value when you sell it and buy another. Real estate commissions take a big chunk, as do moving costs. Bigger houses — whether through remodeling or moving — also can mean higher tax, insurance and utility bills. That’s not to say you should never upgrade, but you’re smart to consider all your options because the cost of exchanging homes is pretty high.

By the way, you aren’t really cashing in equity when you use it to buy another home or borrow against it to make improvements. Some people would say that’s “putting your equity to work,” but the idea that equity needs employment is what led many people to borrow excessively against their homes before the last recession. It’s perfectly fine, and often desirable, to have lots of equity just sitting around. That way, it’s there for you when you really need it. You can tap it in an emergency, for example, or to help fund your retirement.