There are a wide variety of personal checking accounts available. A little research can go a long way in choosing the account that’s right for you. First, check and see if your bank provides an account matrix. This handy tool allows you to easily compare the benefits of each type of account offered. Depending upon your financial goals and banking needs, some of these features will outweigh others. Continue reading to learn how to determine which checking account might be right for you.
AimMortgage home loan expert Stormy Ray explains escrow accounts and how they affect your mortgage payment and loan closing process.
What is an escrow account?
An escrow account is money collected as part of your monthly house payments to pay property taxes and homeowner insurance premiums for your new home.
How does it work?
Escrow accounts are generally established at the time you close your new loan. Your house payment is divided into three parts: principle, interest, and escrow. Your escrow payments are spread across twelve months. Every month when the mortgage payment is made a portion of that payment would be applied to your escrow account.
Most people know that is it is important to protect yourself from identify theft, but many don’t realize their business is also at risk of identity fraud. Taking these simple steps can protect your business from costly fraudulent activity.
Protect sensitive information.
Your sensitive business information should be guarded the same way you protect your personal information. Don’t share items like your company’s EIN or banking information on any platforms that aren’t secure, including email. Don’t text sensitive information and never communicate with an employee’s personal email. Personal email servers are particularly vulnerable to phishing and hacking attempts.
Posted December 26, 2018
Buying your first home can be an exciting and often overwhelming time. It’s a major decision that requires plenty of thought and planning. Before you fall in love with a house’s perfect kitchen or beautiful curbside appeal, consider these not so obvious factors that play a vital role in happy homeownership.
1. Select a high-quality, experienced realtor.
When you first begin your house hunt, be sure to hire a real estate agent who is respected and generally trusted. Along with your mortgage lender, your realtor is an integral part of successfully finding and closing on your dream house. Choosing the right realtor will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.
Posted November 9, 2018
When choosing the bank that’s right for you, it’s wise to consider community banks. Community banks offer unique advantages to both personal and business banking. What’s a community bank? As defined by bankrate.com, “a community bank is a locally owned and operated financial institution that addresses the needs of a community by offering loans to small-business owners or personal loans to individuals. It’s the place to take your money if you’re concerned about malfeasance by corporate banks, or if you appreciate the community bank’s role in fostering small businesses and growing the local economy.”
What exactly makes a community bank different than a corporate bank? The following are just a few of the advantages community banks have to offer.
1. Better customer service
What would you do if you had $1,000 extra dollars?
1. Pay off debt.
Paying off debt and, in particular, credit card debt, is one of the most effective ways to spend extra money. Many personal finance experts advise using the extra $1,000 to pay down the balance of cards with the highest APR first in order to see the greatest financial benefit.
Another effective way of paying down debt is to use Dave Ramsey’s “debt snowball” method of lining up your debts from smallest to largest and paying off your smallest debts first. Many find this technique creates momentum for faster debt elimination as it allows you to see immediate results by paying off your smallest balances first. For those who like to mark things off lists, this technique is especially emotionally satisfying.
Saving money is something that tops many to-do lists. Actually meeting those savings goals, however, can be a struggle. These helpful tips will put you on the path of to saving your hard-earned money and reaching your financial goals.
1. Set your priorities.
“Define what’s important to you,” advises Jonathan Hill, AimBank’s Lubbock market president. “As you’re making decisions throughout the year financially, ask yourself, ‘Does this financial decision get me closer to a priority I’ve already set, or does it get me further away from that priority?’”
Whether your goals are something large like a down payment on a house or a shorter-term goal like an upcoming vacation, making all purchasing decisions with your priorities in mind will make it easier to walk away from tempting impulse purchases that will take you further away from that goal.