Release the hounds...

The long-awaited interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve was finally announced today. The Fed announced that it would raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point, up from close to zero. While the increase was small, the move was significant.
The last interest rate hike came in mid-2006. The Fed’s decision to lower rates and keep them close to zero for so long was unprecedented. But it made sense. Since 2007, when the country entered a financial crisis, the Fed kept moving rates lower in the hopes of boosting economic activity. The idea was the low rates would allow consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more.

Now, however, the economy looks stronger. Unemployment is approaching 5 percent—very close to the point when inflationary pressure typically starts to kick in. While there really isn’t any inflation yet, the small increase in interest rates could help to ward it off.
So how will the interest rate hike today affect you?