Consumers can expect higher credit card rates

Many people have had an easier time paying off their credit card debt in recent months, but that could change in the near future, as a lower credit rating for the U.S. could lead to higher interest rates for credit cards and other consumer loans.

The credit rating giant Standard and Poor’s recently dropped the rating for the U.S. to AA+ from AAA, and now many experts fear that consumers who have variable rate credit cards will see the APRs on their balances go up in the near future, according to a report from TIME Magazine. Other credit rating agencies will likely follow S&P’s lead within the next three to six months at the longest.

Consequently, interest rates for credit cards that are tied to the prime will likely go up by as much as 2 or 3 percent, the report said.

Consumers who are concerned that their accounts will be affected may want to make sure they have either a fixed-rate or variable-rate card before making any significant purchases on their credit cards.