Defining A Community Bank – From The Words Of A Community Bank Employee

 

Perhaps you don’t know this, but there is no clear definition that you will see on community banking if you check Merriam or Webster’s Dictionary. And while many people are aware of what community banking is and how it differs from the other banks, still, others do not know what it means. Let me share with you the definition of community banking from a community bank employee’s point of view.

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In the year 2013, the community bank I’m working on was named the Business of the Year Award for 2012. I felt so honored to be part of the bank receiving recognition, especially since several other banks were also nominated just like us. I was contemplating on what qualities led to the award, and finally, I arrived at some principles that I believe a community bank should symbolize.

 

  • The bank’s reputation is dependent on its profile. A community bank is measured by praises and recommendations from clients and other people from the business community.

 

  • The bank and its employees must know all its clients and the community must know the bank well. Community banks are proud that because they are relatively smaller compared to others, they know their clients’ names and addresses.

 

  • Decisions and agreements regarding loans are geared toward the community. They must be consistent, trustworthy, and fair to everyone concerned. It is a known fact that community banks are not obliged to always approve of loan requests. If the request is denied, the bankers must stand firm with their decision. The loan officer is the responsible person who can approve or deny a loan request, and there is no one else who can do that task but him.
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  • Employers and employees of the community bank should prioritize their clients first. This means that they must strive to make the clients feel that their relationship does not only exist when the bank wants something from them. Before they make decisions, they must make sure that they have exhausted all efforts for the good of the clients. It is a gratifying feeling for the bank and the client to succeed in their endeavors by helping each other even through the tough times.

 

  • Community banks are not expected to have marketing plans that are equal to or higher than the larger financial institutions. The client base of a community bank does not depend so much on the market campaign but the honesty, strength, and assertiveness of its employees. When a client is introduced and is walked through the guidelines of the community bank, it is the employees’ goal that the client decides to stay for good.

 

  • Employees of the community bank are obliged to take part in community activities and events. The bank cannot donate large sums of money to show its support; the employees almost always work together with local entrepreneurs as well as the local government to find ways in making their community a much better and safer place to live in.
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  • Community banks know and understand their roles in society. As a long-time employee, people would ask me how banks like ours could compete with the larger national banks. I would always tell them that it’s because we know who we are and what we can offer, and despite having a limited niche compared to the national banks, we are still able to accomplish the goals that are set for us to achieve community-wise. Our clients are living testimonies of this truth.

 

Overall, just recalling the award that our bank has received, I feel very proud to work in a community bank. It hasn’t always been easy. Of course – because if it was, then I guess all of us could work here!

 

 

Getting A Loan From Community Banks And Credit Unions

Many community banks have remained unfazed and unaffected by the mortgage collapse and still manage to lend money to their clients. However, they are not spared from the routine scrutiny and are striving to improve their portfolios. They try to steer clear of loans from the same businesses. For example, a bank with a lot of outstanding loans to coffee shops will not approve a loan request from the same business despite how strong the application, as it is trying to decrease their exposure to specific areas of town or certain shopping malls.

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Getting A Loan In Community Banks

If one bank denies your loan request, you can ask help from the loan officers about what other local establishments are making loans that include your niche or industry. You can also try looking into the bank locator for independent banks in your town. The bank locator is found on the Independent Banks of America website. Executives and senior heads of community banks agree that they typically approve loans to borrowers who are mostly residents. It is because they want to establish an intimate relationship with their clients and be able to do a background check conveniently and easily before giving them a credit line.

Community banks are happy to divulge that they don’t have very stringent written contracts and standards as compared to regional or national banks. They are also willing to help their clients understand as simply as possible why, say, you’ve had a loss for the past year. They would do the necessary steps to find the reason for this loss and then move forward and try to repair that loss.

Here’s a final piece of advice from community bankers: when it’s your first time to visit your local bank, please don’t go there to ask for a loan right away! Allow your bankers to know you and build a relationship with you. Talk to them about you and your business and maybe get a feel of what the bank sees you. Find out the common businesses that the bank usually favors. You can get these details from the loan officer himself. It’s much better knowing straight from him if, say, your loan request might be too large for the bank, or if your business is one of the few new niches you’ll be introducing to them.

Getting A Loan From Credit Unions

 

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Perhaps you gave up on getting a credit line from your bank. Think about getting it from a credit union. When the banks hit their rock bottom, credit unions were popping here and there, silently accumulating millions of dollars from clients’ savings and interests from their car and home loans. A lot of have transitioned into lending – but that’s if you can find their location.

“The world’s best-kept secret.” That is what Mike Hales, Director of the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations, describes credit unions. That isn’t a compliment, though. He says that there are almost 8,000 listed credit unions and 2,000 of those are lending business credit lines to their clients. Plus, they are encouraging them to become official members. The Boeing Employees Credit Union is willing to help residents from Washington. You may also want to check out the National Credit Union Association website to find other credit unions as well.

Credit union heads agree that their typical small-business lending capabilities are undoubtedly increasing throughout the United States. And in the past few years, there have been approximately 30 cooperatives that have been formed to manage the business loans of several hundred credit unions.

Other Sources

If you are unable to get approved at a community bank or a credit union, there are still hundreds of companies that provide short-term loans. However, be cautious, as many of the agents offering financial loans are former mortgage brokers, and we don’t have to elaborate on that.

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Also, business to business lending – which is what it’s going to be called once you decide to go into business with these financing companies – is unregulated and usury laws and guidelines don’t apply to these loans. This means that the loans can have very high-interest rates. Some have reportedly reached as high as 80%.

So before making a final decision, do ask questions. Besides, it’s free to inquire about anything and everything related to your planned loan. Ask around, too from friends and competitors. It’ll do more good than harm!

 

 

 

Community Bank – An Excellent Place To Invest

To date, there were only less than 6000 community banks open in 2018, the lowest so far in current history. This is said to be due to the value and interest in community banks, which had led investors to sell to larger banks when heavy consolidation began in the banking sector. On the contrary, this massive consolidation, in turn, created opportunities for the investors to build new community banks.

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In certain states, such as Florida, where there are over 900 new residents that come in daily, there is a shortage of community banks, particularly in the major areas. This has resulted in the opening of new banks like the Gulfside Bank in Sarasota and Orlando, the Winter Park National Bank. The old banks were also assessed and recapitalized under the One Florida Bank and the Beach Community Bank. The state of Florida is only an example of the many states that have welcomed the increase of community banks.

Importance Of Community Banks

Local banks are significant in that our country prospers on medium and small-scale businesses that employ most Americans. The Small Business Administration reports that small companies make up 99% of American firms, more than 60% composed of new private-sector jobs, and almost 50% make up the private sector employment. The lenders of these groups are community banks.

JP Morgan is a renowned brand that has been trusted by many investors and clients for years. Its CEO, Jamie Dimon, wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 2016 that in this business, local and community banks do play a vital role. They are located in the communities that they serve, and ultimately, high-ranking officers reside in the same community as their clients. This gives them a great opportunity to establish strong and long-term relationships and share extensive information regarding the local culture and economy. The banking services they can provide are exceptional.

The Role Of Community Banks

The country should place equal value on community banks as it does on national banks. Each of these types of banks has a responsibility of contributing to the country’s economy and placing the country’s businesses in a steady position both locally and worldwide. And with nearly 50% of business loans transacted through community banks, these locally built banks must be kept strong and significant.

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A study done by a university in the United States concluded that major consolidation was seen in many banking sectors, including the community banks. This was seen as a concern because community banks were often the relationship lenders that frequently had local ownership and control and were an important part of the decision-making process. When there is a lot of the lending and depositing transaction locally, it encourages economic progress. The resources of the whole community are ultimately put to good use. Community banks have always been intricately linked to free enterprise. In 2011, they had more than 10% of the industry’s assets and nearly 50% of the industry’s loans to businesses and farms.

Just two years ago, the regulatory sector greatly improved, as seen by the FDIC, decreasing the strict requirements and rules of opening new community banks. This move would lead to more banks and more local investors. And in the markets today, there is a return of 200% of the initial investment. Now, wouldn’t you call that productive?

 

Stressing Over Your Budget? Here’s What Your Therapist Wants You To Do

Are your finances making you stressed and worried all the time? Well, you are not alone. A lot of people are in worse cases than yours. Some of them are even trying so hard to get rid of the impossibility of not having any. Others are also trying to make it through the day with just a small amount of cash in their hands. Either way, all people suffer the same struggle with financial matters. So with all the stress and anxiety that can build up over financial control, you might want to listen to what your BetterHelp therapist advises you to do.

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According to the American Psychological Association, money is always the top stress producer among many other things in life. Yes, it is even more emotionally and mentally complicated than having a bad relationship. People will never get through with their life without thinking about money. However, there are specific ways that can help reduce money-related anxiety and stress.

Start Organizing Financially – “Of the patients that I would attribute their medical problems to stress, the overwhelming majority have money at the root,” says Dr. Arta Bakshandeh, senior medical officer with Alignment Healthcare in Los Angeles. “Most commonly, these patients complain of headaches, elevated blood pressure, ulcers, depression and moderate to severe anxiety.”

Organizing your money better is not just buying the stuff you need in bulk. You need to look at what you own and what you owe. You need to understand where you financially stand at the moment. Because when you assume that your money is capable of proving you a fixed help, you will end up using all of it. And in no time, you will get broke.

Track Your Income And Expenses – The misconception about handling financial is the idea that you can buy everything when you have enough cash. Sadly, that is not how financial strength goes. Because when you are spending more than what you are making, you only allow stress to crawl up. It will make you feel lost and unmotivated. If you don’t try and track your income and expenses, there is a tendency that you will gain more debt than savings.

Dr Annie Zhang, M.D. Ph.D., also highlights the importance of family on this matter. “It is good to know that the family and basic human relationships matter and play a significant role in the increasingly complex financial system. On the other hand, however, our reliance on family is problematic because of a real need for considered and educated responses to inform our decision making.”

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Live With Your Means – Not because you are earning, it doesn’t mean you need to have everything. But not because you can’t have everything, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to have something. The only way you can handle personal financial stress is by living with your means. Don’t buy things you don’t need, and don’t disregard the idea of practicality.

“The two things we need for financial health and security are: to save money for the future, and not to spend more than we make,” says Brad Klontz, PsyD, founder of the Financial Psychology Institute and an economics and finance professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Have A Definite Goal – It is easier to reach a destination when you already planned it in your head. When you know what it is that you want, it will become better for financial adjustments and considerations. But take note, you need to be careful with the danger of mismanagement. Remember that bigger goals take huge responsibilities. Learn to maintain and work on things step by step.

Hold Onto Financial Literacy – Learn to value financial literacy and think of it as something worthy than any other knowledge. It will help you realize things you often don’t consider, such as savings, business, and investments. Learn and create a plan on how to make money work for you. Do not just think of it as something that helps you get through the day. But instead, use it as something that will give you a convenient and brighter future.

Use Technology – Innovation is growing rapidly, and there is no stopping it. Instead of trying to ignore it, use it to your financial advancement. Create something out of it and make the world see how valuable it is for growth and development. Expand your horizon and live with innovation. There are plenty of techniques to use it, such as online marketing, stocks, and currency exchanging, bonds and trading, and so on.

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Try New Things – Understandably, your budget means a lot. But it should not limit you from trying new things. You need to understand that the only way to perfection is through practice. Allow yourself to make mistakes, try new budgeting methods, try to adjust on your needs, and create something out of the ordinary. You need to imagine outside the box if you want to reach financial stability.

Seek Out For Help – One thing you need to understand when trying to solve a problem is that not all the answer lies in your hands. Same goes out to financial inconsistencies. You can’t control and handle everything alone because there are things you don’t know. With that, it is favorable to seek out for help. Just remember to be critical in choosing the ones you want to trust with your financial statements. Only consult someone who knows the process better.

There are no definite tricks in getting a financially stable life, only self-awareness, and learning. So instead of complaining all about the anxiety and stress your money-related issue is giving you, start working your ways on it.

Benefits Of Furniture Reupholstery For Homeowners On A Budget

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Way before you have been able to afford your residence, you are probably conscious about the fact that obtaining several pieces of furniture that will make it more comfortable for people to live in can cost thousands of dollars. We are talking about five to six figures here, in case you get them all in a brand-new state. If you see a sectional in the clinic of your psychologist and aim to buy it, it will add to your expenses as well.

Nevertheless, the idea is that you do not have to get things items fresh off the store if you can get a hand-me-down or buy them at an auction or garage sale. Here’s why you should consider having your furniture reupholstered.

It Can Immensely Save You From Overspending

Assuming that you are a new homeowner when you visit the furniture store, the sales agents will zero in on you and most likely point you in the direction of higher-priced dining sets, sectionals, and various stuff you may need. Why? Perhaps because they get a commission off of every home article that they can sell, and so making you purchase an expensive set will mean higher profits for them. However, the only that separates a high-end settee from a reupholstered one is the brand name. Letting the branding slide will help you avoid spending too much.

Longer Lasting Furniture Can Be Installed In Your House

For the reason that you have taken full control over what goes to your furniture and what does not, there will be no doubt in your heart and mind that this can withstand the test of time and even get inherited by your successors. Of course, it does not hurt as well if you know that the people who have made your dream sectional a reality have been in the business for decades. Thus, they immediately get your drift and follow your requests down to the last dot. They can also work around your budget, so you do not need to be tempted to purchase low-quality furniture.

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You Can Customize Your Sofas, Couches, Etc.

Another fantastic aspect of reupholstering your furniture is that you can personalize it based on your preferences. It is often not feasible when you are merely buying a ready-made sofa, costly or not, as they are just shipped to the store as is. Therefore, your options are quite limited, and you will feel the need to cover it up with throw pillow. Conversely, you can bring your old couch that is the perfect size for your living room to a reputable upholstery shop, and then decide on how much padding you want to be added to it, as well as what fabric, color, and design you think will look great.

Bonus: Benefits Of Using Leather For Reupholstery

Timeless Appeal

Leather is typically subjected to a series of dyeing procedure for pigments to be integrated within its grains. It ensures that years can pass by, and the color of the couch or loveseat will remain intact. Considering that it has not been created through artificial means as well, every material, though of a similar kind, will never look the same. Thus, the design on the fixture(s) can be unique.

Sophisticated

Authentic fabrics that have been generated from the hides of animals are often deemed elegant by a lot of people. These are, therefore, highly prized materials in the eyes of many. When consumers showcase even a piece of furniture with leather as a covering, the visitors can immediately sense that the people who live in the house are cultured. It is all because their furniture preferences reflect their classiness.

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Comfortable

Regardless if the person decides to stay in a tropical or cold climate, having leather fitting is very beneficial for everyone as it can keep its owners feeling fresh when the weather’s hot or warm when it is freezing outside. It is possible since leather can breathe, in a sense. Besides, such fixtures have great padding to increase the level of comfortability that the products can provide.

Economical

Some feel as if fittings with this type of material are way beyond their ideal budget. However, if only they consider how cost-efficient it is not to be required to purchase another set of furniture, they are going to realize that a few extra bucks invested on the leather are worth every penny.

Final Thoughts

Prioritizing furniture reupholstery instead of buying new fixtures for your brand-new house is excellent not only for the small- and medium-scale businesses that offer this service but also for your budget. Imagine, if you can obtain a similar section for a third of its price and then reupholster it for another third, you still get to save a substantial amount of money for other expenses. Isn’t that incredible?

Community Bank Pros And Cons

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Are you looking for a financial institution that can give you a run for your cash? Don’t think ‘big banks’ right away. Often, it’s these types of banks that give you a headache and make you turn to an online therapist for help. Yes, the big banks may have powerful visibility in your area, but the local banks are popular for offering competitive rates on your deposits and loans. They’re even well-known for providing high-quality customer service compared to the national banks. However, the former may have certain limitations that perhaps you can (or cannot) do away with.

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What Happens If You Become Bankrupt?

Finding out that you are on the verge of declaring bankruptcy can be a stressful thing to deal with. You will always have a headache trying to figure out the ways on how to get out of this situation. The first thing that you need to remind yourself is the fact that what you are going through right now is only temporary. Everything is going to improve in your life as long as you know how to take the issue of bankruptcy seriously.

 

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In this article, we are going to provide you with some strategies that you have to remember when it comes to dealing with being bankrupt. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these things;

 

Find A Lawyer

 

The initial step that you have to complete as soon as possible is to talk to a lawyer who can assist you in filing the proper petition in court? At the same time, this professional can also help in advising you on the appropriate measures to take so that your creditors cannot go after all your properties. Because of this, it is best if you will take time in searching for the best lawyer in town. Do not rush the entire process of hiring an attorney to ensure that you can get the proper representation that may be needed for your case.

 

Talk To A Loved One

 

Now is the time in your life when you need full support and assistance from the people you trust. Do not shut people away just because you are going through a difficult time. Instead, welcome them with open arms. Always believe that they only want nothing but the best for you. Several people in your life are more than willing to help you with what you are going through at the moment. Even a simple conversation with them can already change your outlook in life. At the same time, opening up about your problems can also ease the emotional burden that you are feeling.

 

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Rest If You Must

 

Almost all BetterHelp experts remind everyone not to feel guilty if they want to take a break from everything that is happening. Remember that your mental health is the number one priority that you must always look into. Whenever you feel that everything is falling apart, the right thing to do is to take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes, you have to detach yourself from the usual environment of your busy life and take the much-needed vacation. You do not have to spend lots of money on the trip, especially now that you have already run out of money. Spend some days trying to think about what has happened and how you can move forward after this debacle in your career or business. You have to get going.

 

Consult With A Financial Expert

 

Identifying the next steps to do after declaring bankruptcy can be a struggle. It is only normal for you to be clueless about what to do next. As such, it is highly recommended to talk to a financial expert who can provide you with smart options on how you can get back to a life that is full of financial freedom. Speaking to this professional can also boost your confidence in moving forward after declaring bankruptcy. Remember that there is always something that you can do to survive what you are experiencing at the moment. You can still turn your life around. You can find ways to avoid unwanted emotional and mental exhaustion.

 

Be Financially Educated

 

Another essential thing that you must consider is to educate yourself with all topics relating to finance. Accept the reality that you have lost your money because of some mistakes that you did in the past. Do not dwell on the reasons for the bankruptcy. Instead, use it as a powerful force that will help you to become more motivated to aspire for greatness. Lucky for you, it has now become more accessible to search for the right materials to use for educating yourself. You can go online to read more finance articles, or you can buy the proper books.

 

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Forgive Yourself

 

As already mentioned above, there is nothing that you can do to change what has already happened. As such, the smart thing to do at this point in your life is to learn how to forgive yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself and always convince it to focus on positivity. Take note that the more you keep on blaming yourself, the more difficult it would be on your part to reclaim your success. Remember that with the proper mindset, everything in your life can still turn out to be completely okay. Just commit to loving yourself so that you will not have a hard time getting past the bankruptcy.

 

As long as you continue to follow the tips mentioned in this post, you are going to be okay. Keep on moving forward because there is still a life to enjoy after bankruptcy.

 

 

Will You Take The Leap This 2019? (Sale Saver)

As the holiday is fast approaching, we are again drawn to frequent the malls for sale and more sale items.  But think about it, are you really saving money when you are tempted to buy everything on sale?  Is it a wise, frugal move?

 

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Stores offer alluring items on sale that you can’t resist.   You end up bringing home stuff that you will just pile up in your storage rooms.  That’s because you no longer pay much attention to details and its usability.  It’s the impulse that all you think of is wanting to buy because it’s half the price and the thought that you might need it in the future.   But days, months, sometimes years passed, it’s still in the same packaging.   You never even dare to look at it once more the moment you brought those items home.

 

Obsessed With Bargain

Christmas is the season where every store bargains their items.  Clothes, toys, accessories, appliances, kitchen wares at a price that is almost a giveaway.  People who are utterly obsessed with bargains will go on a shopping spree, wanting every color and every size.

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You don’t actually need those stuff, but you bought them anyway thinking you saved a lot of money.  But actually, you don’t.  Why?  Because you wouldn’t actually use those.  And because of your splurge purchase, you spent beyond your allotted budget.  You probably have spent the money that you intend to spend elsewhere or pay some bills.

 

Bargain To Clutter

Unfocussed shopping leaves you with a bad spending habit and tons of clutter in your home.  Sometimes, you feel good giving away the items you hoard over the years.  But the amount of time you waste sorting out your stuff and cleaning (if ever you do), and the money you throw away with things you would not actually use speaks so much about you being mindless. You can also check out some tips on how to spend money wisely at FamilyHype.

Those bargains that turn into clutter will just accumulate dust which is not good for your health.  The site of chaos in your house will cause you to feel stressed, wanting to clean but can’t find the willpower and energy to do it.  That’s not frugality you’re practicing when things just go to waste.

 

Purchase Item The Wise Frugal Way

When going to a store, be sure to have your written shopping list and stick with that.  Never rely on your mental list, because you might forget the items you’re only supposed to buy and cheat easily to purchasing other things.

You can still treat yourself with new clothes or accessory that is on sale as long as you know what exactly you needed (not wanted).  No matter how cheap it is, if you don’t need it and won’t use it, it’s still a waste of money.

Why not treat yourself to a new restaurant that just opened, purchase a new book to read, have a glass of wine, or get a relaxing massage or a new haircut instead of buying material things.   These non-material things are more rewarding and excellent stress reliever.

 

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Think first before you buy anything.  Is it something you need, or you want?  Is it something you can’t live without?  Why do you have to buy it?  Do you have to buy it now or it can wait?  More importantly, do you have the budget?

Answering the above questions will help you decide to monitor your spending and help you maintain your clutter to a minimum or even eliminate.

Every New Year, people make a list of resolutions that they wanted to accomplish but often fail.  This year, I’m not urging you to make one, but I’m challenging you, are you ready and willing to take the leap to avoid the bargains, eliminate your clutter, and start saving for the days ahead.

 

Shopping Addiction And Counseling

Wanting to buy the things that you love or enjoying a shopping spree is not a bad idea, as long as you know how to control it. Take note that spending too much money on items that do not add value to your life can be dangerous for your financial stability. This is the primary reason why it is imperative on your part to be careful when it comes to engaging in shopping activities.

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Continue reading “Shopping Addiction And Counseling”