Banking

Preparation is essential no matter what kind of banking services you may need.

Financing

What can I do to raise money for my small business?

Although the process is complex and frustrating, raising capital is the most basic of all business activities. When looking for financing, there are various sources to consider. For most new businesses, the main source of capital comes from savings and other forms of personal resources. Read More »

For business financing, what kinds of loans exist?

You must know the exact amount of money that you need, what your purpose is and how you will repay it in order to be successful in getting a loan. You must convince the lender in a written proposal that you are a good credit risk. Read More »

When considering a loan request, what do banks look for?

The bank official who reviews the loan request is focused on repayment. Most loan officers request a copy of your business credit report to determine your ability to repay. Read More »

What do I need to include in a good loan proposal?

The following main points should be contained in a good loan proposal: Read More »

Getting a Loan

What are the advantages of prepaying a mortgage, and should I if I can?

It is highly recommended that you prepay as much of your mortgage as possible every month, which will drastically reduce the total amount that you pay. However there are times where this could be disadvantageous. Read More »

Should I refinance?

In order to refinance your home, the current market rate should be at least 2 percentage points lower than what you are paying on your mortgage. Speak with a lender to see what rate you may be able to get. Read More »

Does borrowing against my securities make sense?

This could be a low-cost option for borrowing but there is some risk involved. Deductions are not allowed for the interest unless that loan is used to invest in a business.

Can a Home Equity Line of Credit be beneficial?

A home equity line of credit is a form of credit which allows you to borrow and use your home as collateral. Since for many, a home is their greatest asset, they tend to use these sorts of credit lines for large things like a college education for their children, medical expenses or for large unexpected bills as opposed to luxuries or day to day expenses. Read More »

How does a reverse mortgage work?

A reverse mortgage is a way for you to take advantage of some of the equity that is currently tied up in your home. A reverse mortgage works in the same manner as a normal one, reversed, and the homeowner is paid monthly versus having to pay. The major difference between this and a home equity loan is that you aren’t required to pay anything back to the lender as long as you retain ownership of the home. Read More »

Is any loan interest tax deductible?

These interests are deductible, some fully, some partially:

  • Education-related interest
  • Business interest
  • Investment interest
  • Mortgage interest
Can you stop paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

Usually people that make a down payment of less than 20% are required to pay private mortgage insurance by their lender. Once you reach 20% equity, PMI is cancelled, and any money accrued in your escrow account towards it will be credited to you.

Loan FAQs

What are the possible implications if I co-sign for a loan?

The co-signer enters an agreement to be responsible for the repayment of the loan if the borrower defaults. A lender will usually not go after the co-signer until the borrower defaults, but they can lawfully go after the co-signer at any time. Read More »

How can I ensure that I get the best possible rates on my loans?

Be careful when signing up for a home equity loan or line of credit – the disclosed APR does not reflect the total fees that are associated with the loan, such as closing costs and others. Do not forget to compare this cost, as well as the APR, across multiple lenders. Read More »

Is it better to get a home equity line of credit or a traditional second mortgage?

With a second mortgage you will have a fixed amount of money that is repayable over a fixed period of time or is due in full at a given time. A home equity line of credit, on the other hand, is much more open-ended. Read More »

What will the loan cost?

Before you are charged any fees, the Truth in Lending Act requires that the lenders disclose to you all pertinent terms of the agreement: the APR, payment terms, other charges, and any information about variable interest. Read More »

Bank Account FAQs

Which banking fees should I watch for with a new bank account?

Keep in mind that banks are always required to notify you of the fees for their accounts. The best account to choose is usually the one with the lowest fees, regardless of the interest rate.

Keep an eye out for potential extra charges when shopping for checking accounts. Read More »

What are the different types of bank accounts I can choose from?
Checking Accounts

Checking accounts provide you with quick, convenient access to your funds. You are able to make deposits as often as you wish, and most banks provide you with an ATM card to access your funds, or to charge debits at stores. Of course, you can also use the conventional method of writing checks. Read More »

What type of account should I go with?

This depends on how you plan to use the account. If you want to grow your money and do not need to access it readily, put it in a CD.

If you need ready access to your money, a savings account could be a good option.

If your primary concern is paying bills, a checking account would be easiest. Read More »

How should I “shop around” for an account?

There are several features of accounts you should investigate at various banks. Read More »

How much protection do I get from federal deposit insurance?

Only deposit accounts at federally insured depository institutions are protected by the FDIC. Check to see if your bank falls into this category. Read More »

Can I negotiate my checking account fees with my current bank?

Yes. Here are some tips on how to approach this: Read More »

What is overdraft protection and should I have it?

This protects you from the possibility of bouncing checks. If you write a check and do not have sufficient funds, it will draw money from your line of credit to make sure the check goes through. Read More »

What is the Truth in Savings Act?

This is a federal law that requires depository institutions to inform you of the following: Read More »

ATM Transactions

How do ATM transactions work?

There are a variety of electronic transactions one can execute: Read More »

What should I do if I find an error on an EFT or ATM transaction?

Call your bank as soon as possible, or within 60 days of the error. They may ask you to submit your account information and the alleged error in writing. Generally they have 10 business days to investigate the error, and if they fail to come up with an answer your funds should be reimbursed. Read More »

What if my ATM card is lost or stolen?

It’s important to note the difference in how you will be reimbursed for credit cards vs. ATM or debit cards. For a credit card your loss is limited to $50.

However, for an ATM or debit card the loss is limited to $50 if you notify your institution within 2 business days after the card is lost or stolen. Read More »

Can I use my ATM card abroad?

Yes, there are plenty of ATMs all around the world, but it is wise to check beforehand. With Visa and MasterCard, you can pinpoint ATM locations worldwide on their website. Read More »

How do I know when a pre-authorized credit has been deposited into my account?

Your institution may notify your employer, or you. Many times your bank may only notify the recipient if a scheduled credit does not come through. Often, you can check your statement online or call your bank to check on your credits.

How do I cancel a pre-authorized payment?

You can call or write your bank, or often stop the payment by going to your bank’s website. Do this at least 3 days before the scheduled payment. It is a good idea to request a written confirmation of giving a telephone notice to stop the transfer.