What does the Federal Reserve hike mean for U.S. finance, and how does it affect me?

On the same day the Federal Reserve bank hiked short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 2.25 to 2.5 percent, banks across the U.S. began raising their prime lending rate to 5.5 percent from 5.25 percent.

Bottom line, it just got more expensive to borrow money.

According to the Fed, consumers have about one trillion dollars in credit card debt — that means, with the quarter point hike, cardholders will end up paying $2.4 billion more.

Meanwhile, U.S. shares dropped on Thursday — a day after the rate hike — while global equity markets slipped.

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