Pedestrians walk by an advertisement for a clothing company along Broadway in Manhattan on October 15, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP
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U.S. household debt climbed in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace since 2007, according to the Federal Reserve.The Federal Reserve is steadily hiking rates, most recently on March 21 when the federal funds rate rose a quarter point to a target range of 1.5 to 1.75 percent.New loans are linked to long-term rates, which haven't risen along with short-term Libor and fed funds rates.That leaves rising rates on credit card debt as the biggest financial worry for many U.S. families.Card debt is typically based on a "prime rate" that's directly linked to the fed funds rate. If the Fed pushes through a quarter-point increase, your card's rate could go up by the same amount a month or two later.Take, for example, a consumer who owes $1,000 on a card with a 19 percent annual rate.
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