McBride also advises cardholders with high balances to deal with them now.
After all, the Fed is expected to hike not only three times this year but also three more times in 2018, and to keep going until it takes the funds rate up to about 3 percent. The current rate is 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent.
"If you have variable-rate debt, it's going to be a significant exposure to rising interest rates," McBride said. "Grab those zero-percent credit card offers now while you still can. There are zero percent offers that extend as long as 21 months. That gives you a great window of opportunity to get your credit card debt paid off once and for all."
Interestingly, rather than pay down debt while rates are rising, many people use it as an opportunity to borrow more — to lock in lower rates before they go up.
"Borrowing goes up in the year after a Fed rate increase," said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. "People try to get in before rates go up even more. People who put off buying a car or a durable good — an appliance, a big-screen TV — think, I better buy it now and put it on my credit card."
However, Rick noted that some credit card companies are using adjustable rates now, putting those making new purchases in a vulnerable position now that rates are rising again.