Getting and Using Your First Credit Card

Getting and Using Your First Credit Card A “first” credit card can be exciting, tempting and intimidating. Credit cards are a great convenience, but they are also a huge borrowing responsibility. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you get your first credit card and begin to use it. Choosing a credit card … read more »

Renting vs. Buying a Home: Things to Think About

Renting vs. Buying a Home: Things to Think About (FDIC Consumer News) With housing prices still low in many areas and a favorable mortgage-rate environment, people who don’t own their home may be thinking about buying instead of renting. Here are points to consider: Why Rent? Freedom to move: If you unexpectedly need to find … read more »

Smart Home Equity Borrowing

If you own a home and have thought about borrowing to make home improvements, chances are you’ve heard about home equity borrowing. This popular and flexible borrowing solution, which lets you tap your home’s equity, can be an attractive way to finance not only home improvements, but also other major life expenses. You can even … read more »

Solutions to the Tax Changes on Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit

Recent changes to the national tax code have impacted several areas, including the deductions some home owners were used to taking. This reform affects home equity loans and lines of credit. Here’s the information you should know, and some solutions to help you better manage these changes. First off, what is Equity? Home equity is … read more »

Community Lender working with a customer

Home Makeover: Indoor Edition

Winter may have you spending more time in your home, but that doesn’t mean your home improvements have to stay dormant. There are still plenty of things you can do inside your home to improve its appearance, keep you busy, and most importantly, beat those winter doldrums. Best of all, you don’t have to spend … read more »

Man setting tile on cement board. He is tapping the tile in place with the handle of a hammer. Closeup. Real person on the job.

Using Equity Loans to Winterize Your Home

There are all sorts of ways to guard your home from the winter elements. Some are cheap and may even fall in the do-it-yourself category, like adding weather stripping and caulking. Other endeavors, such as swapping out single-pane windows for energy-efficient double panes, or replacing a furnace, are beyond the skill set of most homeowners … read more »

photo of suburban home with snow on drive way, lawn, plants, trees and roof

Using Equity to Winterize Your Home

There are all sorts of ways to guard your home from the winter elements. Some are cheap and may even fall in the do-it-yourself category, like adding weather stripping and caulking. Other endeavors, such as swapping out single-pane windows for energy-efficient double panes, or replacing a furnace, are beyond the skill set of most homeowners … read more »

adding insulation to a house

What’s a Good Use for a HELOC?

When you take out a second mortgage, a name for a home equity line of credit, you’re offering your house as collateral to secure another loan. The upside: You can gain access to up to 80% of your home’s value, minus your current mortgage balance and adjusted based on your creditworthiness. The downside? If you … read more »

model home wih paint chips