Will interest rates go up if there’s a recession?

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When the economy is good, it often seems like it will stay that way forever. But if you study history — or just live long enough — you’ll realize that future recessions are inevitable. That’s why many people want to know what will happen to interest rates in a recession.

 

If you have a home loan, car loan, or personal loan, or you pay interest on your credit cards, you may wonder: Do interest rates go up in a recession? In general, interest rates during a recession actually tend to go down. Read on to learn why and how recession interest rates can impact your financial decisions.

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Related: How rising inflation affects mortgage rates

What Is a Recession?

Most people simply consider a recession to be a time when the economy is weak. However, the technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of economic decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) along with other indicators, such as a rise in unemployment.

How Do Recessions Affect Interest Rates?

During a recession, interest rates tend to fall as the government attempts to stimulate the economy. With lower interest rates, it’s less expensive to borrow money. On the flipside, you’ll also earn less interest from saving your money. As more people spend money thanks to lower rates, the hope is that the economy will grow stronger and the recession will end. For instance, with lower interest rates, consumers can more easily buy a home or car or finance another large purchase.

Supply and Demand

Interest rates, like the prices of many other goods and services, are partially determined by market forces, including supply and demand. While interest rates generally decline during a recession, one factor that could cause interest rates to go up in a recession is an increased demand for loans.When a recession begins, there could be a demand for funds as businesses and consumers turn to credit to make up for falling revenue and income. This uptick in demand can create a decrease in the available supply of funds, which in turn could drive up interest rates at the beginning of a recession.

Role of the Central Bank

While supply and demand are important factors in setting interest rates, central banks also play a major role. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve Bank, commonly known as the Fed, can influence interest rates by buying and selling debt instruments, such as Treasury Bonds. During a recession, the Fed can buy up bonds. This offers additional liquidity to banks and can lead to lower interest rates. In turn, this can stimulate the economy through increased lending.

Role of Private Lenders

private lender is a non-government bank or credit union that loans money to individuals and businesses. Private lenders also have a role in determining interest rates during a recession, either directly or indirectly. For example, private lenders may make it more difficult for borrowers to qualify for loans during a recession, as they will become far more cautious about loaning money. During a recession, you may need a higher credit score to qualify for a loan, or a loan may require a higher down payment than it did before.

Example of a Recession and Its Impact on Interest Rate

The most recent example of a recession and its effect on interest rates is the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, when lockdowns began taking effect in the U.S., the average interest rate of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.45%. However, that rate dropped steadily over the year, falling to 2.68% by December 2020.As the economy began to recover in 2021, that rate rose and fell, eventually rising to 3.10% by December 2021. And as the economic recovery continued to progress and economic growth increased, the rate reached 3.76% in February 2022.

Should I Refinance During a Recession?

Your decision to refinance your home mortgage or other debts will depend on your existing rates and the current rates available, as well as your income and credit score. If you have credit cards or personal loans, you might have the opportunity to pay off your loans sooner if you have a lower interest rate.

Mortgages

When it comes to refinancing your home mortgage, you could save a lot of money if interest rates during a recession have fallen below your current rate. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay your closing costs if you do refinance, and prepayment penalties may also apply. You’ll want to consider how much longer you plan to stay in your home and crunch the numbers before moving forward to ensure it makes financial sense.

Auto Loans

During a recession, you might be able to secure a lower interest rate on your auto loan. Plus, refinancing an auto loan can have fewer costs than other kinds of loans. However, some auto loans may have prepayment penalties that you’ll need to look out for and take into consideration. Also, keep in mind the difference between soft or hard credit inquiries when you’re shopping around, as a hard inquiry will have an impact on your credit score when you apply for refinancing.

Personal Loans

If you have an outstanding personal loan, and you think you can qualify for a new loan with a lower rate, then it could make sense to do so during a recession. In general, personal loan interest rates tend to fall during a recession as interest rates are cut to stimulate growth. If you can qualify for a new personal loan at a lower rate, then you can save money by using the new loan to pay off the old loan, while also enjoying lower monthly payments. Just make sure to look at the drawbacks and advantages of a personal loan before considering one.

Student Loans

Refinancing your student loans during a recession can be a good idea if you can reduce your interest payments. Student loans rarely have prepayment penalties. However, if you refinance a federal loan into a loan from a private lender, then you can lose some valuable benefits, such as loan forgiveness programs and hardship protections.

The Takeaway

Recessions can be a difficult time for many who are unable to find a job, or for business owners who face lower sales. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who continue to be financially secure, then you may have an opportunity to borrow money or refinance your existing debt at lower rates.

 

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This article originally appeared on LanternCredit.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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More from MediaFeed:

23 jobs that are pretty much recession proof

 

Do you want to keep your job during a recession? Let’s talk about the recession-proof jobs that you can choose in any field. While no job is 100% recession-proof, certain career fields are impacted less during a recession.

During an economic slowdown or downturn, there are generally layoffs and fewer job offers. It is harder to get a job since many sectors get hit. Everyone will experience a recession differently, but it will impact most people. Whether you have high-income skills can become irrelevant quickly.

At any time a recession occurs, many are worried about their jobs. During the 2008 recession, the unemployment rate was over 10%. In the recent pandemic, the employment rates quickly rose to 14.7%. It has since come down to 8.4%, which is still significantly higher than the 3.5% before the pandemic.

Are you looking for career fields that are impacted less during a recession? While there is absolutely no guarantee, specific industries or professions are essential for our society. Here is a selection of recession-proof jobs at every skill level.

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re a registered nurse, doctor, assistant, or anything in between. Having a job in the medical and healthcare field is a great place to be during a recession.

Even when a recession hits, people will get sick, and health care is needed. Hospitals or clinics are a great career choice if you want to have job security. Plus, if you’re someone who has a nonmedical job in a healthcare clinic or hospital, you may benefit from this as well. As long as health care is needed, you will be as well.

 

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Technology is advancing daily, and we’re trying to benefit from that. Companies are improving systems to replace manual labor and save on expenses.

If you’re looking for a recession-proof job, working in the IT field is something to consider. People need help with their computers, phones and software more than ever before. Our world relies on technology and needs IT professionals to function.

 

fizkes / istockphoto

 

Whether there’s an economic crisis or not, accountants and auditors have a relatively recession-proof job. As long as businesses will continue, they need an accountant to report their yearly numbers and check their books. With their qualifications and specific skill-set, job opportunities are all around.

Also, people who have an accountant file their tax returns will most likely still use that. It’s better to pay an accountant than to make a mistake that costs more than their rate.

 

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An unfortunate side effect of a recession is that many are going into debt. People will add more money to their credit card balances, rack up more debt and need help managing it.

As a debt management professional, you help people reduce their debt and prevent bankruptcy from happening. You help people that need money now to reduce their debt.

 

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When we are talking about core services that we will always need, utility workers are providing them. We still need support in waste management, water, electricity and other utilities. Everyone is using these services daily, meaning there is constant and high demand.

The high demand combined with the aging current labor force means that there will be a labor shortage for years to come. If you’re looking for a recession-proof job, utility workers are high on the list.

 

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Just as utility working, public safety professionals are crucial to society during any time in the economic cycle.

Working as an ambulance driver, firefighter or police officer makes you relatively recession-proof. It is also a great option when you are looking for a job where you can help others.

 

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If you work for the government, you have one of the most stable jobs there is. Government jobs will be influenced little by the economic cycles, as there is a constant need for them. Also, the government is a big organization that will not downsize the moment a recession hits.

When you are applying for jobs, check out the postings they have online. It is a stable career path for your work life. Don’t worry if you are an entry-level worker without a lot of work experience. You can choose from several jobs at all levels.

 

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People need education, no matter the state of the economy. Teachers are essential, even during times when learning takes different forms. It doesn’t matter whether you are providing online classes, the need for education is still there.

Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby found that colleges and graduate schools saw higher enrollment numbers during the Great Recession. People want to postpone their entry into the job market since there are fewer openings. They enroll in higher education instead.

 

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Online shopping and delivery services have increased over the years. In the last couple of months, delivery services are booming. People want to avoid going to shops, and ordering your things online is easier than ever.

You can deliver groceries, clothes, household items, furniture and more. Everything that you have in your home, you can transport. The continued increase in people having things delivered makes delivery and courier services, one of the most recession-proof jobs out there.

Extra tip: Deliver groceries through Instacart. With Instacart, you can determine your own schedule, and you get paid to deliver food to peoples’ doorstep.

 

triocean / istockphoto

 

Whatever the state of the economy, people still need to get their car fixed. While people will skip the smaller optional repairs, most auto repairs are mandatory to keep driving safely.

Many people wait to buy a new car and will get their current one repaired instead. Because older cars need plenty of maintenance, auto mechanics will not be bored.

 

Omar Osman / istockphoto

 

If you are working in law enforcement, you have a job that won’t stop just because of a downturn. People still want to live in a safe environment, and laws need continuous enforcement. Whether you are a federal agent or a detective, your job will be relatively stable during recessions.

 

 

aijohn784 / istockphoto

 

Corrections professionals like corrections officers and parole boards are great recession-proof jobs. They often don’t see layoffs at all during a recession.

Just as in law enforcement, prisons operate as usual, and everyone involved will need to continue their work.

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When the economy experiences a downturn, everyone that is involved in the justice system stays employed. Whether you are a judge or work in a related service like the court’s security, you will keep working.

Currently, with the pandemic, some courts are closed or postponing services. It is not something related to an economic downturn, but rather to the current global health crisis.

 

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Whether the economy is crashing or flourishing, funerals and cremations will continue. Certain families may go for the less expensive option, but there will still be enough work during a recession.

While this may not be your dream job, think about it in your search for jobs. If you’re looking for a new job or are unemployed, this field may be an opportunity for you.

 

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In big cities, public transport workers are always in high demand. People taking public transport to work may even increase during a recession, as some may have to get rid of their car.

Whether you drive the bus or sell train tickets, public transport workers will have relatively high job security when a recession hits.

 

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The moment a recession hits, people are slowly going to decrease their discretionary spending. They don’t buy things they don’t need, search for no spend ideas and look into at-home date night ideas. They’re staying in more and going out less.

When you cut down on how often you go out to eat, you will do more grocery shopping. While there are some quick tips to save money on groceries, you will still need to get groceries. If you’re looking for a job, a grocery store worker may be more stable than other jobs.

 

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Just like other healthcare services, pharmacists will see a steady stream of customers. People will still need their sleep medication or antibiotics. With the population aging, this can be one of the best recession-proof jobs for years to come.

 

 

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The general population ages, creating more jobs for senior care professionals. People need assistance living in nursing homes and at home, even during a recession. People need quality elder care, unrelated to the current economic situation.

 

 

diego_cervo / istockphoto

 

On the one hand, some people may stop their therapy sessions if their financial status is declining. On the other hand, when a recession occurs, many people are stressed out. It can cause more mental health problems and more marital problems. Some people will develop an anxiety disorder, while others will turn to alcohol.

Mental health professionals are crucial at the time a recession or economic downturn hits.

 

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As with health care for humans, pets also need health care during recessions. While people do bring their pets to the vet, they do so less regularly. With people having more pets and spending 7% more on pet care every single year, we can conclude it’s a rather recession-proof job.

 

istockphoto/Kateryna Kukota

 

Actuaries help with the risk analysis of businesses. In normal economic circumstances, their jobs are necessary for companies to assess risks and hedge for them. In an economic downturn, analyzing risks is even more essential.

Actuaries help companies analyze the areas with high risk, the best places to cut costs, and increase efficiencies. In times of crisis, these are all valuable things to know. Generally speaking, actuaries will keep their jobs during an economic recession.

 

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Digital or not, marketers have a great shot at keeping their jobs during a recession. Most marketers will increase the investment made by companies. For every dollar companies spend on their marketing budget, they want to see more than that dollar returned.

For example, at my company, we have marketers who will return $1.50 for every $1 invested in the marketing budget. No matter how much money you put into it, you will get more out.

 

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During recessions, couples won’t stop getting divorced. As financial distress is one of the main reasons for divorce, recessions may increase divorce rates. On the other hand, financial hardship may keep couples together.

If you are a divorce attorney or mediator, you will still have enough work during downturns.

 

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Why are some jobs recession-proof while others aren’t? Plus, how is your specific job doing when it’s not on the list? Don’t worry. The fact that your job isn’t on the list doesn’t mean that you’ll get fired next week.

There are a couple of things to consider when you want to know if your jobs can survive a recession. Ask yourself:

  • Is your job essential for society? For example, without healthcare or public transport workers, there would be chaos quickly.
  • Are you filling a need? For example, people want to get their pets healthy again.
  • Do you need specialized training or experience? For example, IT professionals or accountants have specific education and experience that is hard to obtain quickly.

If you don’t answer yes to all three questions, don’t worry. There are so many jobs that are crucial to our society and general well-being. We simply weren’t able to list them all.

 

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While no job is 100% recession-proof, some jobs are more recession-proof than others. That said, recessions are hard and affect our society in many ways.

If you’re worried about layoffs or you already lost your job, go through the list of these best recession-proof jobs again.

See what jobs suit you and start to include those jobs into your job-search. Searching for a new job and job-hunting, in general, can be challenging.

Find career opportunities for a job you enjoy by checking online job boards, (online) job fairs, vacancies, and make sure you connect with recruiters.

Finding a job or finding employment depends on the career path you want to take. Check out the available jobs that are currently trending and looking for staffing. You may find your dream job that is entirely recession-proof!

This article was originally published on RadicalFire.com and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

 

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