FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Local financial professionals say all investors would be affected if America defaults on its debt.

The US has never defaulted on its debt before, so local investment professionals are struggling to define exactly how it’d play out for the average person, but say it likely wouldn’t be good.

The president of Freedom 5:one Ministries, Chris Haas, helps NWA families create financial plans, but he says its hard to plan for a default.

If the US goes into default, Haas expects interest rates to increase, making it cost more to buy things like a car or home. He said it could also send our economy into a recession and push companies to stop growing and causing people to lose their jobs

“It can really impact the overall economy, which impacts the everyday American like us,” said Haas. “So, from a retirement standpoint, if the United States economy goes down retirement accounts typically follow.”

Clay Nickel is the Chief Investment Officer with Arvest Wealth Management. He said for most investors, they should be fine if they continue to keep cash contribution going into their 401k.

If you’re looking to retire soon, Nickel said it may be a good idea to raise enough cash to cover living expenses over the next six to twelve months. This may help you avoid withdrawing your investments at a bad time.

For younger people, Haas said they have more time for their retirement investments to go back up.

Still, Nickel said there’s a lot of fear over the uncertainty, and said it’s reasonable for any investor to feel that way right now.

“We find typically when folks make investment or financial decisions from an emotional basis, that’s usually when they make some of their largest financial mistakes,” said Nickel.

People who need cash quickly and hold short term treasury notes will be the most affected by a federal debt default, according to Nickel.

“Invest in quality investments and invest for the long term,” said Haas. “Trying to time market fluctuations is a real hard thing.”

If the US does default, Nickel expects markets to rebound faster than they did after 2008’s downturn.