Latest Finance Articles and Promotions

CEFCU (IL) Saving First-time Buyers more than $1,000 in Closing Costs with Home Purchase

Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) logoHaving a place to call your own is an exciting endeavor, but it requires a significant amount of time and money to secure. Buying a home not only takes an evaluation of what you can afford on a monthly basis but also what you can pay out of pocket for one-time expenses. Closing costs, a down payment, and moving bills add up quickly, making it important to look for deals that offer some help in these categories. Fortunately, there are several banks and credit unions drawing home buyers in with promotions and specials to help offset home buying costs.

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Melissa

BankSouth offering Protection on Homebuyers’ Down Payment

BankSouth Mortgage logoOwning a home comes with many uncertainties, like the unexpected cost of a major repair, the upkeep of other homes in the neighborhood, and the potential for decreased market value over time. Because of these unknowns, many homebuyers opt for a larger down payment as part of the purchase process. Contributing more to a home purchase upfront means homeowners have equity in the property early on, protecting them from a rapidly declining market. However, in cases like the economic downturn of 2008, a home’s value may depreciate to the point that the only recourse is to sell at a loss. There are strategies to avoid this all too common problem, though, but it takes an understanding of the options before purchasing or refinancing a home.

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Melissa

Small Business Owners: A Quick Guide for Separating Business and Personal Finances

African American man reviewing personal and business financesAs a business owner, you wear too many hats to count, like an operations manager, sales director, and yes, even the bookkeeper. While you may know the industry your business operates in like no one else, there is one place where many business owners fall short. When it comes to managing the money of the business, there are often too many moving parts to maintain organization and adequate control when you need it most. And that can lead to some less than ideal outcomes.

Posted on October 16, 2017 by Melissa

Understanding Digital Wallets and How They Work

Hand holding cell phone to pay for items using his digital walletJust about every consumer has seen firsthand the shifts taking place in the economic landscape. It may not be something you consciously take note of, but changes like chip-enabled cards, money transfer apps, and digital wallets are creating a new environment for doing business. Technology companies focused in the financial sector have been working diligently for years to develop tools for both consumers and businesses, meant to simplify transactions while also offering a greater level of security. While shoppers may be fond of carrying around a purse or overflowing wallet full of store loyalty cards, credit cards, cash, and other forms of payment, the move toward digital wallets is a way to help keep consumers safe. Here’s what you need to know about digital wallets in today’s technology-infused world.

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Melissa

Chelsea Groton Bank offering First-time Home Buyer Discount – $500 Off Closing Costs

Chelsea Groton Bank logoBuying a home can be quite the process from a financial perspective, especially if it is the first time owning real estate. Potential first-time homebuyers must have a keen understanding of how much they can afford in a new home in terms of the monthly mortgage payment and additional expenses that are due at the time the home is purchased. It is often these ancillary costs that add up to a significant amount for first-time buyers. Fortunately, there are several programs available through financial institutions to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home without breaking the bank.

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Melissa

What is a Credit Bureau?

Credit rating agency buildingWith the influx of personal and business lenders in the financial market over the past few decades, it has become increasingly necessary to have a system in place that provides relevant information on borrower risk. The credit bureau system was designed to achieve that end, as it acts as the organization responsible for compiling information from lenders regarding the credit behavior of borrowers. A credit bureau is an independent entity that allows subscribers, or lenders, the ability to easily access credit application history, repayment history, default history and total debt obligations of borrowers to determine overall creditworthiness.

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Melissa

Citizens Bank offering HELOC Fall Special with 0.25% Interest Rate Reduction

Citizens Bank logoA home equity line of credit can be an incredibly beneficial financial tool for homeowners. With a higher credit line and lower interest rate than the average credit card, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be used to responsibly borrow for major expenses. Financing a home renovation, funding a child’s college, or consolidating other consumer debt are all options for homeowners with access to a home equity line of credit. Before applying for a new HELOC, it’s helpful to shop around with different financial institutions to ensure you’re receiving the best rate and terms.

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Melissa

Business Owners: How an EIN Protects You

Federal employer identification number (EIN) application for business ownerEach year, tens of thousands of individuals decide to take the plunge into business ownership for a myriad of reasons. Owning a business is an exciting endeavor given those who have the courage to step out on their own have the potential for more freedom in managing their time, their income, and their impact on the world around them. However, business owners face many challenges along the way, including confusion surrounding how the business should be structured and how to separate business and personal assets. One of the tools business owners can and should use to ensure they are set up for success in the long run is an Employer Identification Number or EIN.

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Melissa

Debit versus Credit: Which Card is Safer?

Debit card and credit card for online shoppingThe old saying, cash is king, rings true in far fewer scenarios than in decades past. Now, consumers are all but programmed to swipe away for everything they buy, from major purchases to a routine morning latte. While credit and debit cards are more often used because of their speed and simplicity, each type of card serves a different purpose for consumers. Debit cards take money directly from a bank account to pay for a transaction almost immediately; credit cards, on the other hand, put the transfer of money on hold for a period of time, giving buyers more purchasing power in some cases. But there are other differences in how credit and debit cards benefit spenders, especially when it comes to their security features. Here’s what you need to know about the safety of debit versus credit cards.

Posted on October 6, 2017 by Melissa

Bank of the West Offering .125% Interest Rate Discount on Home Purchase or Refinance Loan

Bank of the West logoThe experience of being a homeowner comes with a variety of benefits, including building equity over time, having the ability to borrow against that equity at an affordable rate, and certain tax benefits reserved for homeowners. However, buying a home comes with several expenses that can make the dream of homeownership out of reach. Closing costs, moving expenses, maintenance requirements, and the monthly mortgage payment all add up to take a significant bite out of a homeowner’s cash flow. Some financial institutions offer discounts and promotions to make the purchase or refinance of a home more affordable.

Posted on October 5, 2017 by Melissa