All the tools you need to help you become financially savvy.

How to Avoid Holiday Scams

‘Tis the season to be wary of deals that are too good to be true, emails that want to know too much about you, and fake charities that want your money too. While the holidays are a great time for giving, crooks target them for taking - whether it’s your personal information or your money. Here are some tips for avoiding common holiday scams: Beware of online deals that seem too good to be true. If little-known sites are showing prices far below normal or if they claim to have...



Early Retirement and How to Make it Happen

Many people dream about retiring early, but it requires diligent financial planning. To determine if you're on the right track to achieve this goal, you'll need to do some careful calculations. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of assessing your readiness for early retirement. Step 1: Calculate Your Expenses First, you need to determine your expected annual expenses during retirement. Consider all your essential costs, such as housing, groceries, utilities,...



The Rise of Buy Now, Pay Later: Is It Right For You?

When buying a product online or in a store, you might be offered the option to ‘buy now, pay later.’ The question is, ‘What is it and how does it work?’ Buy now, pay later – or BNPL – lets you purchase a product by paying a certain percentage of the cost at checkout, then paying the rest in fixed amounts over a period of time, generally a few weeks or months. Those payments can be linked to your debit card, an account at your financial institution, or possibly your credit...



Stay Secure Online: Essential Tips for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time to educate ourselves about the ever-evolving landscape of online threats and reinforce good cybersecurity practices. In today's digital age, our personal and professional lives are increasingly intertwined with the internet, making it crucial to protect our online presence. This article offers 7 essential tips and additional resources to help keep you safe while online. Use Strong Passwords Create complex passwords using a mix of...



Tips to Prevent Check Fraud

While credit cards and digital payments are becoming more popular, paper checks continue to be a common payment method for many consumers and businesses. However, with a rise in check fraud attempts, it’s important to be alert when accepting or choosing to pay with a paper check. According to the American Bankers Association, attempted check fraud at U.S. banks totaled $15 billion in 2018. Before depositing a check you weren’t expecting or mailing a check to an unknown recipient, here...



Should I Use A Debit Card Or A Credit Card?

Most of us carry at least two pieces of plastic to pay for things – a debit card and a credit card. But what’s the difference between the two? To begin with, think of it this way: With a credit card, you’re borrowing someone else’s money to make a purchase, but you’ll have to pay it back. With a debit card you’re pulling money directly from your own bank account. It’s the difference between taking out a short-term loan or spending only what you have. So which one is...



Should I Buy Or Rent A Home?

Should you buy or rent a home? The answer often depends on your finances and plans. What’s the best way to spend your money? How long are you planning to stay in your home? Are you changing jobs or possibly moving? Below are a few factors to consider when deciding if you should rent or own. Perks of Home Ownership: Your payments build equity. You may enjoy tax benefits. You build credit. Overall, most home values increase over time, which...



Buying A Home? Here Are Some Of The Common Loan Types.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that most people will make. While it is possible to pay for a home outright, many people opt to finance their purchase with a loan. There are many different types of loans available, so it will pay to work closely with a mortgage professional to see which option is best for you. Here are a few of the most common options available today: One set of choices includes conventional vs. government-insured loans. Conventional loans...



FDIC Insurance Protects Your Money Deposits

When you visit a branch or our website, you’ve probably seen the signs that say: “Each depositor insured to at least $250,000.” Have you ever thought about what that sign really means? The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was formed to protect the money deposited into accounts at banks covered by FDIC insurance. So your money is protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account category. FDIC coverage separates insured accounts into different...



Have Your Important Tax Information Ready and Organized

Whether you have your taxes done by a professional or you do them yourself, it’s important to be organized and have all your important documents ready. When working with a tax preparer, be sure to ask about what information you will need, then organize it based on the professional’s advice. Here are some key documents to consider. Have information about your income sources, such as: W-2’s from employers. 1099 forms that show any investment or interest income. Social...



Watch Out For Scammers Claiming To Be From Your Bank

Watch out for suspicious text messages, emails, and phone calls claiming to be from your bank. These messages or calls may claim that there is an issue with your account needing immediate attention. Or, it may claim that you need to update your account, information, or password. What should you do? Start by being skeptical. It could very well be a scam to steal your money or your personal information. These scams are designed to trick you into divulging important information that...



Mobile Banking: It’s Safe and Easy

‘Security’ is a strong word. And it’s at the core of our simple-to-download and easy-to-use mobile banking app. We want you to know that your accounts are protected behind multiple layers of security whenever and wherever you log in with our app. This powerful protection guards you against online fraud so you get safe, secure access to your accounts day or night. And while our mobile app is specially designed with your banking security in mind, experts advise that you...