Easy Auto Loans

Everyone knows how much easier (and sometimes a lot more complicated) life has become since the advent of the Internet.  This is obviously no exception to financial institutions, and they continue to make it easier and easier every day.

I have grown up with Online Banking.  Back before I had bills, all I needed to do was check my balance every once in a while.  When I started getting real bills, it was always difficult to convince myself to sit down and write out my checks and mail them off.  The ease of point-and-click Online Bill Pay solved that problem.

Now it’s time to get serious and purchase a new car.  Did you know that we can accept applications for auto, debt consolidation, personal, and even mortgages through the internet?  It’s quick – no need to write it out by hand and no need to mail it to the bank.  Most of the time you will receive response e-mail within 2 hours and can close the loan any time and at any branch that day!  Even though you are filling out a form, there is additional space for comments and questions, just as if you were sitting at your personal banker’s desk.  You can also fill out the application 24 hours a day making it convenient and fast.  Auto loan applications are accepted whether you are ready to purchase a vehicle today or if you are just getting started and want to know how much spending power you have.   Now there is no reason to put it off any longer!  To view more information, click here.

And as always there are lenders here to help both in the bank and on-line. :-)

Biweekly Mortgages

Do you wish you could pay off your home mortgage loan more quickly than with a traditional 30-year fixed rate loan, significantly reducing the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan?  Well bi-golly, a Biweekly Mortgage may be right for you.

Biweekly Mortgage payments are made every two weeks, resulting in 26 (sometimes 27) payments per year.  As a result of the number and frequency of payments, you can pay off the loan faster than with a traditional 30-year, fixed rate, monthly payment mortgage.  For example, a loan that ordinarily would take 30 years to amortize fully could be paid off after just 23 years of biweekly payments depending on the interest rate of the loan. A Biweekly Mortgage may also save you interest expenses over the life of the loan.  For example, a $150,000.00 loan at 7 percent rate paid monthly over 30 years will cost a borrower approximately $53,000 more in interest over the life of the loan than a Biweekly Mortgage for the same loan amount and interest rate.

I’m not sure about you, but an extra $53K might come in handy someday.

Gimme a little credit!

I admit when I left home and went to college, I was not the most financially savvy high-school graduate. Now at the ripe old age of 27 I wish I knew then what I know now, at least when it comes to my credit report.

I’m still not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to apply for seven credit cards in one day to get free one-size-fits-all t-shirts that sat in the back of my closet until finally making their way to the trash. Mind you, I never actually used any of those credit cards, so my credit report was safe, right? Wrong.

Why didn’t somebody tell me that was a sure-fire way to lower my credit score instantly? Maybe because I didn’t even know what a credit score was or why it was important.

Oh, and don’t get me started on student loans. You mean I actually have to pay those back someday? With interest? And who ever thought it was a good idea to offer me more loan money than I needed for tuition? Yet I gladly accepted it.

Well, I’m a little bit older and a little bit wiser, especially after I had the opportunity to attend a financial literacy seminar offered by my bank. Now I plan to make it my goal to spare the young and credit-naive the pain of learning from bad experiences. I recently had the honor of coaching a group of young adults who are enthusiastic about building a strong credit history for themselves. Maybe I can live vicariously through them as I watch them avoid the mistakes I wish I didn’t make!

Two Simple Ways to Make Your Life Easier

Are you a Central Online Banking user?  Do you have a CNB Debit Card?  If so, here are two tips that will make your life easier when you use these products:

 Central Online Banking

Do you find it hard to remember the 12-digit user id that you’re given when you first sign up?  You may not realize it, but you CAN change this user id to something that is simpler to remember!  Simply sign into Central Online Banking, then click on Options.  You’ll see a field called “Personal ID”.  Type in what you want your new user id to be and click Submit.  Now, you can forget your old 12-digit user id and log in with the one that you just created!  Note that your password will remain the same.

 Central National Bank Debit Cards

We all know how important it is to keep your debit card’s PIN number in a safe, secure place (preferrably your brain!).  But you may have trouble remembering the PIN that you were originally issued.  Some people even write their PIN numbers on the back of their card to remember it (big no-no!).  Did you know that you can change your PIN number?  That’s right, simply visit one of Central National Bank’s 70+ ATMs across Kansas and change your PIN.  To do this, first swipe your card and then go to Other.  Next, go to Change Personal ID Number.  From this menu option, you can change your PIN to whatever you like!

We hope these two tips will help make your life a little easier! 

It’s not easy being green…

So ever since I read a “Green” issue of a favorite magazine I’ve been trying to be conscious about what I could be doing to help the Earth. I know I take a lot of things for granted but after reading about how many forests are cut down to make toilet paper I was depressed! It seems like everything I do thru the day has a harmful side effect on the world, so what is one to do who wants to help?

At first I started freaking out thinking I’m going to walk everywhere and never buy a piece of plastic again. That lasted all of five minutes before I decided I needed to drive to the store for some sandwich baggies because I was fresh out. L Hmmm this was going to be tougher than I thought.

Made a quick note to self: Self- be more realistic and change small things constantly until your lifestyle changes.

My change for this week is to get some bills and my bank statements e-mailed to me (uses less paper), and make a recycle pile for my junk mail. I’ve only been collecting my junk mail for a few days and have already filled a shoebox!

Plus almost anything I can think of has a recycled version. Its nuts, I’m a knitter and there is even recycled yarn, or bamboo yarn that is made from a renewable source. I had no idea that the acrylic yarn I was using to make mittens is more from an oil Derek than a Ewe! I encourage you to change something small and make yourself a little greener! The World appreciates our efforts! J  

Check out this link but make sure you are sitting down!

http://www.myfootprint.org/

HSA’s – Taking Care of Your Own Health Care Dollars

When I look at my paycheck and see how much money is taken out for health care, I feel like I’m going to lose my lunch.  After years of not going to the doctor’s office, I wonder why I am paying so much mullah for something I don’t use.  I believe the insurance people are using all my hard earned, unused money, to throw their daughters a sweet 16 party worthy of being on MTV.  When I think of all the things I could use that money for, well, I feel like I might actually need to see a doctor.

There is a way one can keep the money they don’t spend on health insurance; Health Savings Accounts!  HSA’s must be opened in connection with a high deductible health insurance plan, (So ask your boss if you have this, it benefits him too). HSA’s are tax deductible; the money inside them grows tax deferred and comes out tax free for qualified medical expenses.

Health Savings Accounts are ideal for healthy people who want to save money on health insurance by increasing their deductibles. If you don’t spend any of the money in an HSA in a given year the balance carries over to the next year and keeps growing.

Health Savings Accounts are the only investment vehicle where you get a tax break for putting money in, and then the moola (interest included) comes out income tax free.

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel better already.  That HSA guy should be a doctor.
 

Mortgages-Ask Questions, Save Money!

As soon as I graduated college I knew that I wanted to buy my own place. I had rented for four years, done the math of how much I had paid someone else, and was ready to start paying myself! Plus my family was done hauling my stuff to a new place every year. 

I figured out my gross income from my first full time job and thought, “I’m ready to buy a house and some patio furniture!”

I went thru the process the blind way. Got pre-approved on one program, didn’t ask enough questions and got a lot of surprises at closing time. I tried researching on the internet and it was a great place to start, but should have sat down with a mortgage professional to clarify things for me.

Fees, insurance, and taxes were all things I could have gotten a better grasp on before starting the process but I had no idea how many mortgage options were available to me! I took the first mortgage that was presented to me, not cool considering I looked at thirty houses before making an offer. Just like houses, there are several mortgage programs on the market as well. There are 100% financed programs and no PMI insurance programs just to name a few.

So these are not your parents 20% down 30-year mortgage days. And mostly the unbelievable rates on the internet and radio are too good to be true. Always ask about fees, its not just interest-rates you are shopping! And see where your mortgage will be serviced. A lot of places sell it to another company you’ve never heard of as soon as you walk out the door.

It helps to talk to a real-live person, tell them you are a first time home buyer, and ask them tons of questions. They don’t mind! They want to help you get the home and will show you responsible ways of getting the funds.  

So now I have a house, more information for next time, and still no patio furniture!!

How much is a 20-pack really costing you?

$$ After discussing Roth Individual Retirement Account’s (Bank Lingo Roth IRA’s) with an investment professional today, I realized I could have been a millionaire! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take the $839,343 I will probably make off of the IRA I began at age 25. However, had I started putting three-thousand a year in at age 21, with an average return of eight percent, I would have ended up with $1.1 million.

 

Sure it’s hard to save when you are young, but it’s worth it if you can. How can you? You have to think about items you could cut down on or cut out of your life. I tried to think of something lots of young 21-25 year olds spend their money on. One common item could be alcohol. Now this is a hypothetical, but say you buy a 20-pack of beer every weekend at the cost of $15. If instead of investing $720 a year on beer, you invested it in a Roth IRA. After 40 years your beverage investment of $28,800 would be worth $201,442.32. That is at a conservative eight percent return. The stock market, on average, over any 10 year period since 1926, has had an average return of 10%.

 

I’d strongly recommend meeting with a financial planner and discussing investment options. They can plug in all kinds of numbers and tell you what various amounts over various time periods can yield you. Nobody likes to think about being 65, but if you have to be 65, why not be 65 and Rich? $$

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Please join us in welcoming newest addition to the Central National Bank web site–CNBconnect!  CNBconnect is our new blog that will provide helpful financial tips and knowledge, in-depth information on Central National Bank products and services, and much more useful (hopefully!) information.

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