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Greece is having trouble paying its debt, and markets around the world are taking a hit.

Front of Bank of Greece

Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, announced a July 5 referendum to allow citizens to vote on whether to accept the repayment terms offered by the country's creditors, The New York Times reports. Meantime, banks and markets have been shut down.

Is a 'Grexit' imminent?

There's worry over whether Greece will miss Tuesday's due date for repayment of a loan, worth about $1.8 billion, to the International Monetary Fund. If it fails to pay the debt, it could send the country into default and threaten its future in the eurozone.

Markets worldwide are plunging because of the news, most notably in Europe and Asia. The United States is less affected by it, so long as the chaos is cleared up soon.

The Washington Post explains:

"If the Greek crisis is prolonged, a flight-to-safety in U.S. Treasury bonds could bolster the dollar, crimping exports and economic growth."

How the Greek crisis affects rates

In Bankrate's latest survey of interest rates, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.13% to 4.16% and many industry experts predicted the rate to continue rising. This was before the most recent Greek drama made headlines.

The housing market has been seeing an increase an activity as borrowers expect rates to move higher in the coming months, once the Federal Reserve begins gradually raising the federal funds rate. It was widely predicted that the central bank would start its rate hike in September, but that could change if the Greek crisis evolves into something more far-reaching.



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