Prime Rate History | Definition – Historical Graph

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Prime Rate History

(1930 – Present)


Current Prime Rate

The Prime Interest Rate is the interest rate charged by banks to their most creditworthy customers (usually the most prominent and stable business customers). The rate is almost always the same amongst major banks. Adjustments to the prime rate are made by banks at the same time; although, the prime rate does not adjust on any regular basis.  The Prime Rate is usually adjusted at the same time and in correlation to the adjustments of the Fed Funds Rate.  The Prime Rate graph below is based upon the actual change dates for the Prime Rate since 1930.   Some banks use the name “Reference Rate” or “Base Lending Rate” to refer to their Prime Lending Rate.  Publications may refer to the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate or the WSJ Prime Rate in addition to “Prime Rate”.  If you are looking for the Current Prime Rate, that can be found at

Historical Graph of the Prime Rate

Prime Rate Historical Graph

Source: Federal Reserve Board & other sources (Data points from 1930 to 1949 are based upon incomplete information and are best estimates.)

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