No one knows how long these record low interest rates are going to be around. We've heard Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke proclaim the only way to grow the economy is through inflation, which usually means interest rates would go up.
The Fed announced another round of quantitative easing, or QE2 for short, and that it was going to buy up some $600 billion worth of government debt. While that could push interest rates even lower, some analysts are saying that would be temporary and that the ultimate goal was to spark a rise in consumerism and an increase in prices. Translation: inflation and eventually higher interest rates.
That's why you should take advantage of the current low interest rate environment and U.S. News has put together a list of ways you can do that:
Obviously, you could either buy a home or refinance the mortgage you already have. But since most people may not be in a position to do that, here are three other ways to profit from low interest rates.
1. Get free money from your credit cards. Some of the best balance transfer offers give you interest-free money for 21 months. Just a year ago, the best deal was for 12 months. Add to the longer transfer periods, the fees on these offers are back down to 3 percent from what use to be 5 percent. These deals offer a great way to pay off high interest credit cards, and they can enable you to climb out of credit card debt faster while paying no interest.
2. While most think of refinancing a mortgage, you can also save a lot of money by refinancing your auto loan. It's easy to compare rates and apply for refinancing loan entirely online. In fact, you never even have to go into the bank. If your current car loan is charging a high interest rate, refinancing can save several hundred dollars a month.
3. Finally, debt consolidation can be a great way to take advantage of low rates. By combining high interest car loans, school loans, credit cards, and other debt into a single low interest loan, you can not only save money, but also reduce the number of payments you make each month. One option is to consolidate high interest debt into a home equity line of credit. If that option is not available, you may consider a bank loan or other line of credit, so long as you can qualify for an interest rate that makes sense.