In Britain, the debate over whether to remain in the European Union was an impassioned one, an existential crisis of national identity that inspired protests along the famed River Thames and divided families from Sheffield to Southampton.
But here across the pond, the idea of a Brexit has often seemed like an abstraction, one of those vague global uncertainties that seems to perpetually threaten, but never quite derail, the U.S. economy. The financial ripple effects could complex.
Now, with Britain voting Thursday to leave the European Union, many Americans will wonder what Brexit will mean to them. Here’s a look at the three perhaps unexpected ways what happens in Britain could affect your budget.
Mortgage rates have plunged to the lowest level in three years in recent weeks as the Federal Reserve has begun to fear that Brexit might become a reality. The latest data from housing giant Freddie Mac shows the average interest rate on a 30-year conventional loan at 3.54 percent, compared with more than 4 percent a year ago. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported loan applications have increased 17 percent from the first quarter, while refinancing is up 10 percent.