When the Fed does move to raise interest rates, the cost of all sorts of other loans, from mortgages to credit cards, will likely also go up. Lending is the lifeblood of the economy, so any change could affect not just the price to borrow but the stock market, the jobs market and the value of the dollar. It will also mark a new chapter in the nation's economy, and a sign that nation's economic stewards believe it is relatively safe from the risk of a sudden downturn. Not everyone agrees, however.
Understanding what the Fed is, and why the Fed does what it does, can be pretty complex. Here's what you need to know.
What exactly is the Fed?