Federal Reserve raises interest rate for the first time in seven years

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WASHINGTON, DC - The end of the near-zero interest rate era is over.  The Federal Reserve has decided to raise the short-term interest rate by a quarter of a point, for the first time since the financial meltdown nearly a decade ago.

What does this mean for your wallet?  Simply put, borrowing money could become relatively more expensive and those who have savings might start getting some interest back.  The Fed claims this decision is a sign that the U.S. economy is strong again.

"This action marks the end of an extraordinary seven year period during which the federal funds rate held was near zero to support the recovery of the economy from the worst financial crisis and recession since the Great Depression," said Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

According to our chief economists this 0.25% is the first hike, and gradual increases should be expected in the future.