Credit Cards at 20%, Mortgages Near 6%: The Fed's Rate Hikes Are Already Having an Impact

US credit-card rates have soared past 20%, mortgage costs have climbed to the highest since 2008 and companies are having a harder time borrowing money.

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate-hiking cycle to tame decades-high inflation is expected to take months to fully filter through the economy. But the impact has been immediate for the millions of people who need a loan today to pay bills, go to college, buy a home or expand their business.

That’s because the federal-funds rate, which the central bank raised by the most since 1994 this week, is a benchmark for debt that affects consumers and companies big and small in everyday life.