When Will Interest Rates Come Down?

When Will Interest Rates Come Down?

If you’re in the market for purchasing a new home or taking on a business loan or personal loan, you’re likely finding it difficult to score the almost-2% APR we saw in 2020. That’s because the Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates since March 2022 in an effort to cool inflation.

“The Fed has two objectives: To keep inflation low, their current obsession, and to keep unemployment low, which is of current lesser concern,” says Amy Hubble, a certified financial planner who has a Ph.D. in consumer economics. “In practice, this means they lower rates to incentivize growth and hiring, and raise rates to combat inflation when the economy gets overextended. This leads to a policy teeter-totter meant to balance out economic activity in the US.”

So the question remains: When will we finally see interest rates start to come down? CNBC Select asked three experts to give their take on what lies ahead for interest rates. Here’s what they had to say.

What we’ll cover

When will interest rates come back down?

Nobody outside of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the 12 men and women tasked with setting target interest rates, can predict with any certainty what will happen with rates and when. But that hasn’t stopped economists like Preston Caldwell, a senior U.S. economist for Morningstar Research Services LLC, from making their own educated guesses.

“I think rates will start cutting in early 2024,” Caldwell says. “I think inflation will be nearing the Federal Reserve’s 2% target at that phase and the economy will show signs of slowing, but it’s hard to predict.”

Other professionals in the space echo a similar vision. Hubble points to a recent FOMC report that includes committee members’ projections on gross domestic product (GDP) growth, inflation and the unemployment rate — all factors the Fed will weigh when deciding how aggressively to cut rates.

“All FOMC members believe that rates will be stable or higher through 2023 before slowly coming down in 2024–2025 to settle at a comfortable 2.5% for the longer-term,” she says.

Elliot Eisenberg, the Chief Economist at Graphs and Laughs agrees. “There was a belief that once the second half of 2023 came around, rates would’ve been lower than they were at the end of 2022,” he says. “But it hasn’t come down. These things take a long time to work their way through the economy, so sometime in 2024 sounds about right.”

However, he also warns that it’s hard to believe that we’ll see any interest rate cooling in 2023.  

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What should you do when interest rates go down?

Lower interest rates make borrowing money cheaper. That means all other factors (like your credit score) being equal, you’ll generally pay less in interest on any new student loans, personal loans, business loans and mortgages than you would during today’s high-rate environment. Existing loans with a variable rate may also start charging less interest as the Fed lowers interest rates.

That’s why waiting until interest rates come down before borrowing money for a large purchase — like a home — can be easier on your bank account. The current average mortgage interest rate on a 30-year loan is 7.98% even for borrowers with a credit score between 700 and 719. That’s a tough pill for a first-time homebuyer to swallow month after month as they pay their mortgage.

However, if holding off on getting a mortgage isn’t doable for you, make sure you improve your credit score before applying so you can qualify for an interest rate that’s as low as possible. Also consider choosing a mortgage lender that helps you save money throughout the process. Ally Bank, for instance, doesn’t charge any lender fees. And if you qualify for a Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage, you can get a home loan with no private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements even if you make a down payment of less than 20%.

Ally Home

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    Apply online for personalized rates; fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages included

  • Types of loans

    Conventional loans, HomeReady loan and Jumbo loans

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Minimum down payment

    3% if moving forward with a HomeReady loan

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    Apply online for personalized rates

  • Types of loans

    Conventional loans, VA loans, Military Choice loans, Homebuyers Choice loans, adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

    Not disclosed but lender is flexible

  • Minimum down payment

    0%; 5% for conventional loan option

You can also refinance your mortgage down the line during a lower interest rate environment so you can score a better rate on your loan. PNC Bank is one of the most accessible lenders because it has locations in all 50 states and customers can apply both online and in-person.

PNC Bank Mortgage Refinance

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    Apply online for personalized rates; fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages included

  • Types of loans

    Fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, FHA loans, VA loans and jumbo loans

  • Fixed-rate Terms

  • Adjustable-rate Terms

    Available in periods of 7 and 10 years for a fixed rate, followed by an adjustment period when the interest rate may increase or decrease on an annual or semi-annual basis

  • Credit needed


  • Refinance available for primary and secondary homes, and investment properties
  • Offers a wide variety of loans to suit an array of customer needs
  • Offers refinancing for VA and FHA loans
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Online and in-person service available


  • Doesn’t offer home renovation loans

Lower interest rates can also have an impact on the APY you earn on your high-yield savings account. While buying a house or taking out a personal loan becomes more affordable during lower interest rate environments, you typically can’t earn as high an interest rate from the money in your deposit accounts.

That’s because banks use the Fed rate as a benchmark for yields on savings accounts. So when the Fed rate falls, the interest rate on your high-yield savings account will likely also decrease. Right now, some high-yield savings accounts, like the UFB High Yield Savings Account, are offering more than 5% APY on account balances.

UFB High Yield Savings

UFB High Yield Savings is offered by Axos Bank, a Member FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • Minimum balance

  • Monthly fee

  • Maximum transactions

    No max number of transactions; max transfer amounts may apply

  • Excessive transactions fee

  • Overdraft fee

    Overdraft fees may be charged, according to the terms, but a specific amount is not specified; overdraft protection service available

  • Offer checking account?

  • Offer ATM card?

Even though we’re unlikely to see sky-high APYs stick around after the Fed lowers interest rates, it’s still worth keeping your money in a high-yield savings account even in a lower-rate environment. You’ll still grow your money faster in a high-yield account than with most traditional savings accounts, and it provides a safe, FDIC-insured place to keep your emergency fund.

Bottom line

According to experts, we aren’t likely to see significantly lower interest rates this year, but 2024–2025 is likely to see more progress on that front. Lower rates can make life easier for individuals who have been waiting to buy a house or take on other types of loans, even if savers won’t enjoy the high APYs that thrive in a world of high rates.

Meet our experts

At CNBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. For this story, we interviewed:

  • Preston Caldwell, a senior U.S. economist for Morningstar Research Services LLC. 
  • Elliot Eisenberg, a chief economist and Graphs and Laughs.
  • Amy Hubble, a CFP with a Ph.D. in consumer economics.

Why trust CNBC Select?

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.