Why mortgages, other interest rates could go up faster than you think

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Janet Yellen/Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

By Patti Domm | CNBC

Interest rates may be going up even faster than you think.

That’s because the Federal Reserve, in the minutes from its last meeting, announced that it would begin to shrink its balance sheet, ending some of the extreme measures it took to save the economy during the financial crisis.

The Fed balance sheet grew from about $1 trillion before the crisis to $4.5 trillion currently, as the central bank purchased Treasurys and mortgages to help the economy and keep interest rates low. The Fed carried out such “quantitative easing” even as it held interest rates at zero for years.

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