Forex Trading

Wall Street Prime Rate WSJ Current Prime Rate Index

That’s why seeing the impact of a prime rate hike might not be immediately obvious. However, over time, the prime rate does push consumer rates in the same direction. By keeping an eye on the prime rate trends, you can get a sense of how expensive it will be to borrow and you can plan around any changes. Most base it off the national average listed under the WSJ prime rate, but some could charge more or less depending on their goals. Data are provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only and are not intended for trading purposes. As you can see from the table, the prime rate has returned to the levels see before the Covid-19 recession.

This includes credit cards as well as variable rate mortgages, home equity loans, personal loans and variable rate student loans. If the prime rate goes up, the bank could end up charging you a higher interest rate so your monthly payment on variable debt would increase. The prime rate is used often as an index in calculating rate changes to adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) and other variable rate short term loans.

Note that certain lending products, like fixed rate mortgages and some student loans, are based on measures like SOFR and are less tied to the movement of the prime rate. The prime rate is one of the main factors banks use to determine interest rates on loans. If you’re in the market for a new variable rate mortgage or a personal loan, understanding the prime rate and how it works can give you a better grasp on how much you’ll pay and the best time to get a loan. Borrowers with variable rate products will typically want to follow the prime rate, and specifically the WSJ prime rate, since it is published publicly.

  1. The WSJ prime rate has historically fluctuated substantially over time.
  2. Generally, a bank’s prime rate is the lowest rate it charges on lending to its highest credit quality customers (and also to other banks).
  3. Over the longer term, the prime rate remains well below the highs seen over the last 20 years.
  4. The prime rate is one of the main factors banks use to determine interest rates on loans.
  5. The prime rate is determined by the current federal funds target rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve.

Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range, can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. The Wall Street Journal Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is a measure of the U.S. prime rate, defined by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) as “the base rate on corporate loans posted by at least 70% of the 10 largest U.S. banks”. It should not be confused with the discount rate set by the Federal Reserve, though these two rates often move in tandem.

The 10 Most Recent Prime Rate Changes

Banks usually only charge the prime rate to large, corporate customers with lots of financial resources. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products.

Thus, the rate is heavily influenced by the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies. As of November 1, 2023, the current prime rate is 8.50%, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Money Rates table. This source aggregates the most common prime rates charged throughout the U.S. and in other countries. In the United States, the prime rate is traditionally established by the Wall Street Journal.[2] Every major bank sets its own prime rate. When 23 out of the 30 largest US banks change their prime rate, the Journal publishes a new prime rate.

The WSJ prime rate has historically fluctuated substantially over time. In Dec. 2008, it reached a then low of 3.25% after being reported at 9.5% in the early 2000s. Generally, the rate is dictated by changes from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, which meets every six weeks and reports on the level of the federal funds rate. The WSJ prime rate provides a gauge for the prime rate at banks across the industry. The WSJ prime rate has historically been approximately 3% higher than the federal funds rate.

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Many credit cards with variable interest rates have their rate specified as the prime rate (index) plus a fixed value commonly called the spread. “Best in this sense are the borrowers with the least risk of default,” says Jeanette Garretty, chief economist and managing director at Robertson Stephens, a wealth management firm in San Francisco. It’s usually the lowest interest rate banks will charge and is a benchmark to determine interest rates for other products, like lines of credit, credit cards and small business loans. Indexed rate products often use the prime rate as the base rate of interest with a margin or spread determined by the borrower’s credit profile. The prime rate is commonly utilized in variable rate products as an indexed rate, since it is widely recognized and followed across the industry.

Lending Products That Utilize the Prime Rate

Typically a prime rate is most broadly used in variable credit products with the prime rate serving as the indexed rate. If a borrower has a variable rate loan or credit card, the terms of the variable rate changes will be disclosed in their credit agreement. Lenders typically base their rate spreads for variable rate products on a borrower’s credit profile. Therefore borrowers with a higher credit score can receive a lower margin while borrowers with a lower credit score will receive a higher margin. In a variable rate credit product, the margin remains the same over the life of the loan; however, the variable rate is adjusted when there is a change in the underlying indexed rate. The prime rate is also important if you have any debt with a variable interest rate, where the bank can change your rate.

And when the federal funds rate and prime rate go down, other rates fall too, making it less expensive to borrow. Since individual consumers do not have the same resources, banks typically charge them the prime rate plus a surcharge based on the product type they want. This combined rate is obtained by way of a market survey and published regularly by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “Decisions by a bank’s asset and liability committee will ultimately determine where those other rates will settle,” says Garretty. For example, if one bank wants more credit card business on their books while another does not, they will quote different credit card rates, even though they are working off the same prime rate. “This is unlike other rates that move daily/weekly according to short term financial market, supply and demand conditions,” says Garretty.

The print edition of the WSJ is generally the official source of the prime rate. The Wall Street Journal prime rate is considered a trailing economic indicator. Many (if not most) lenders specify this as their source of this index and set their prime rates according to the rates published in the Wall Street Journal. Traditionally, the rate is set to approximately 300 basis points (or 3 percentage points) over the federal funds rate.

When a majority of the banks surveyed by WSJ increase their prime rate, then it is a good indication that variable rates are rising. When the prime rate goes up, so does the cost to access small avus capital uk limited reviews business loans, lines of credit, car loans, certain mortgages and credit card interest rates. Since the current prime rate is at a historic low, it costs less to borrow than in the past.

Historical data for the WSJ prime rate

Over the longer term, the prime rate remains well below the highs seen over the last 20 years. Julia Kagan is a financial/consumer journalist and former senior editor, personal finance, of Investopedia. David Rodeck specializes in making insurance, investing, and financial planning understandable for readers. He has written for publications like AARP and Forbes Advisor, as well as major corporations like Fidelity and Prudential.

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