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Find Your Way Back Home to Northeast Iowa

Posted on August 20th, 2014 in Bank Services, Communities, General, Home Buying, Savings by vgmforbin |
Our find your way program can bring you home!

Our find your way program can bring you home!

Northeast Iowa is filled with great places to live and work. You can raise your children here and know they are receiving a great education and hometown values. Northeast Security Bank is a big supporter of buying local and staying local, which is why we created the Find Your Way Home Program.

This program was created to encourage graduates from the local schools to come back to our community and buy a home in the area. We have set aside $1,000,000 to finance low rate mortgages to encourage graduates from local schools who have moved away or are currently renting a place to stay to purchase a home in our communities.

We want to provide people with manageable mortgages so your future family can have the upbringing you did. Whether you are looking to move back to Fredericksburg, Fairbank, Decorah, or Sumner we want to help. So if you graduated from any area high schools, we encourage you to look around the area to find your dream home. It is more affordable than you think.

We have many reasons why staying in Northeast Iowa is the best thing you can do and we hope you make the decision to buy here and stay here:

  • The rich history and culture. From Decorah’s Nordic ties to the fun of Sumner Days, you get the small town feel with big city touches.
  • The great area schools. From kindergarten to senior year, you can be assured the educational system is top notch. You will enjoy Friday night football to Saturday game days at Luther.
  • The food is delightful. How could anyone not like small town favorites from Fredericksburg to Fairbanks and everywhere in between.
  • Strong community ties. We are proud to be located in communities with tight knit families and organizations.

Northeast Iowa is a place to call home. Northeast Security Bank can make your dream of moving back or buying your first home in the community a reality with our Find Your Way Home program.  Simply contact any Northeast Security Bank location today to see how to get started.

Must See Places in Iowa

Posted on August 6th, 2014 in Decorah, General by vgmforbin |
Iowa is filled with attractions for the whole family to see.

Iowa is filled with attractions for the whole family to see.

Most people who don’t live in Iowa or have never visited think of it as a flat, flyover state. Little do they know that it is filled with adventure and must see attractions. Iowa is a place to call home for over three million people and is known as America’s Heartland. Northeast Security Bank is proudly located in Iowa and we encourage you to explore all it has to offer. While we understand that our own part of Iowa is amazing, there are great destinations throughout our state.

We have compiled a list of four must see attractions across Iowa, so pack up the family and take a road trip across your favorite state.

Four must see places in Iowa:

  1. The Amana Colonies are full of history and culture. German Settlers came to the area nearly 150 years ago and the colony is like taking a step back in time. The area is known for the food, theater performances, and historical tours. It is a must see for people of all ages.
  2. Pella, Iowa and the Dutch Tulips Festival. Anytime of the year is great to visit Pella because of the Dutch History and historical village area. May is the annual Tulip Time and it is a sight to see. The children can learn about Iowa’s history all while enjoying themselves.
  3. Lake Okoboji is a summertime getaway the family will never forget. Spend a weekend away at one of Iowa’s most fun boating attractions. It is one of Iowa’s hidden gems when it comes to water sports and beaches.
  4. Stay in the area and immerse yourself in Decorah’s Nordic history and college town atmosphere. Spend a day downtown and enjoy the delicious food options or take the kids camping and canoeing. No matter what you want to do, Decorah has it all.

Now that you have an idea of where your next visit in Iowa will be, start planning. Start a savings account today so you can check these must see places in Iowa off your bucket list. Whether you travel near or far, you should also be sure to let us know of your travel plans. Most importantly, travel safe and make some great memories with your traveling companions.

Increase your Savings by Limiting your Spending

Posted on June 25th, 2014 in Savings by NSBblogger |

There are a few easy fixes available to help you increase your savings to make your piggy bank happier!

Northeast Security Bank knows that it is always a good option to increase your savings and that takes the initiative from you to limit your spending. There are many benefits of having a savings account as a security blanket.

A savings account can protect you from financial ruin in case you were to lose your job or were suddenly diagnosed with a serious illness. Limiting your spending now could save you from a stressful situation in the future.

Northeast Security Bank has many options for you to work with as you get serious about finding ways to increase your savings by limiting your spending. We know that for your convenience, access to your accounts 24/7 is practical. That is why we have online banking services you can access virtually and you do not have to go into the bank to make transfers, pay bills, and see your statement.

Being able to access your bank information from the comfort of your home or office will give you an insider look at where you are spending your money and how much you need to be saving. We also provide e-statements to be more environmentally friendly and convenient for you.

To see all features of Northeast Security Bank’s online service, visit our online banking page.

Increasing savings at an early age will help to limit spending later on in life because you or your child will become accustom to saving money each week. Teaching children early on in life about the value of limiting their spending will surely be beneficial later on in life, especially for those teenagers who are starting their first part time jobs.

Reevaluate your current spending habits. You may not realize what bad habits you are spending your money on until you look at your expenditure trends. You might be going out to lunch one too many times during the work week or your family spends more on take out than they should. This problem can be easily fixed with a little bit of family planning.

Whether you have the goal of a family vacation in the near future or are working on increasing your savings for unknown problems, we hope these tips help you reach your goals.

Easy Home Fixes for Keeping Your Cooling Bill Low

Posted on June 10th, 2014 in Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

Keeping your home pleasant this summer doesn’t mean you have to pay a huge cooling bill!

With the summer weather finally here in full swing, your energy bill is beginning to rise because of air conditioning use.  There are some easy home fixes for keeping your cooling bill low throughout June and into July.

Eight tips for easy home fixes for keeping your cooling bill low:

  1.  Use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans sparingly. These fans can warm an entire home within an hour if they are left running, so be careful about keeping them on for too long.
  2.  Using curtains can keep the sun from beating into your home. Be especially aware of the west and south facing areas of the home because those spaces are targeted by the sun during the day.
  3.  Weather stripping the doors will keep cool air in and seal the cracks that can quickly become costly.
  4.  Circuiting air throughout the house with box fans will increase the flow of the air conditioning to each room without paying too much on your utility bill.
  5.  Utilize your basement area. A good way to stay cool in the summertime is to hang out in the basement as it is the coolest spot of the house.
  6.  Avoid using the oven and stovetop. These appliances can quickly heat up not only the kitchen, but the entire house. Use smaller appliances like the microwave or toaster oven as they use much less energy as well.
  7. Don’t cool unused areas. Close doors and registers in rooms that are not occupied by your family.
  8. Installing an automatic setback on your thermostat so your air will start shortly before you get home. This will save you money because it cuts back on costs during times of the day that you are not around.

Northeast Security Bank knows everyone wants to stay cool when the weather gets hot, so we found ways for you to do so while saving money on your energy costs. These easy home fixes for keeping your cooling bill low will surely save some green.

Buying Local: Keeping our Communities Thriving

Posted on May 21st, 2014 in Communities by NSBblogger |

Buy local facts from NSB

If you were to walk or drive around your community past all the small businesses and restaurants, how many of them would you be able to say, “I know the owner or someone who works there” about?

 

Local businesses owned by our family members, friends and neighbors are a staple in the communities Northeast Security Bank serves. Some of them have been around for a while, while others are newer. Regardless of age, these local businesses all have one thing in common: they employ community members and help the local economy stay thriving.

 

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some facts, figures and analysis that show how the local businesses in Sumner, Fredericksburg, Decorah and Fairbank are keeping the local economy going.

 

Double the Fun- according to a study done by the New Economics Foundation, when you purchase produce at a local farmer’s market or community agriculture program over a national chain supermarket, twice the money stays in the local economy.

 

Opportunities abound- think about items you have to buy from box chain stores or online because no local business offers them. Could you or another local business find a way to turn this gap into another stream of revenue that brings more dollars to the local economy?

 

Pick up velocity- buying local increases the “velocity” of money, or how quickly it passes through different people’s hands. The faster it circulates, the more people get the benefit of the money.

 

A few facts and figures about buying locally:

  • Local businesses generate 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box chain retail stores.
  • Spending $100 at an independent business equals $68 dollars in local economic activity, versus $48 when you spend $100 at a big box retailer.
  • $326 vs. negative $468: the difference in net annual return per 1,000 square feet between local shops and big box stores.

 

This all adds up to keeping profits within our community. This means local businesses stay open, and the people in our communities stay employed. Northeast Security Bank recognizes you have a choice whenever you head out to make a purchase. We encourage you to buy local when possible to keep our local economies thriving now and for our children in the future.

Financial Wisdom for Our Favorite Graduates

Posted on May 7th, 2014 in Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

Financial tips for grads from NSB

It is once again May, and along with the upswing in good weather, there is also a lot of celebrating going on. High school and college graduation mark a significant step in a young person’s life, whether they are leaving high school behind or getting ready to join the real world.

 

While various rules and responsibilities may change in these transitions, there is at least one concept that stays the same: the need for financial responsibility. Your graduate will face unique monetary challenges in college or in adjusting to the world outside of school, so Northeast Security Bank is here to help. We’ve put together this “gift basket” of financial wisdom to help the graduate in your life stay financially responsible and live a little easier.

 

A Few Financial Tips for our Graduates

  • Easy on the credit cards- you’ll be targeted by credit card companies with offers that seem too good to be true, because they are. Credit cards should be used almost exclusively for emergencies, and only if you know you will be able to pay the balance off quickly.
  • Student and other loans- sure, an extra little bit of money couldn’t hurt. Or can it? Borrow only what you need, whether it’s for tuition or replacing a totaled vehicle. Anything extra is just more interest you will have to pay out of your pocket.
  • Be smart during your grace period- if you’ve just graduated from college, you will most likely have a six-month grace period before you have to start loan payments. Be sure you are taking this time to save money and create a smart budget to incorporate loan payments.
  • Save for emergencies- cars need repairs, you can get sick or injured or you can even lose your job. Having money stashed away for these emergencies will help you keep your head above water.
  • Create good credit habits- this works into going easy on the credit cards. By using them responsibly and paying down the balance without missing payment dates you are creating a good foundation for your credit history.
  • Don’t fly by the seat of your pants- “winging it” may work for some things in life, but not so much for spending in saving. Budgeting and having specific savings goals helps you stay on track and out of the red.
  • Invest in your future- it may hurt and mean some lifestyle tradeoffs, but the power of compound interest is more than enough to make it worth it. Plus, if you think Social Security benefits will be enough for your retirement, you are sorely mistaken (if they are around at all).

 

We’re not saying you will never face financial difficulties if you follow these rules. Life happens, and new costs can pop up at inopportune times. However, if you have a solid financial foundation established, you can make it through just about anything.

 

Northeast Security Bank would be glad to help our high school and college graduates any way we can. Don’t hesitate to call or come by any of our locations today for help!

Shared Roots: Local Farmers and Northeast Security Bank

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 in Bank Services by NSBblogger |

Spring, specifically late April and early May, brings a great deal of excitement and anticipation to our communities and the rest of Iowa. Corn and soybean planting seasons are the beginning of a time that results in billions of dollars in revenue for the entire state. With much of our local economy resting on an agricultural foundation, it is critical for our local farmers to have the equipment and supplies necessary for the best crop production. That’s where Northeast Security Bank comes in.

 

Simply put, we know agriculture in Northeast Iowa. Many of us grew up on farms as part of farm families that have been in this area for decades; many of our staff members that work with agricultural customers still live on farms themselves. The relationships we’ve built with local farm families are about more than just being where you keep your money or service your loan. In our eyes, each farm family we work with is a success story in the making, another chance to help a hard working family achieve their financial and life goals.

 

Whether your agricultural banking needs are basic or a little more complex, Northeast Security Bank has a solution.

  • Personal and Interest Checking- a variety of accounts with different benefits; you work hard, so why shouldn’t your money?
  • Ag Loans- our ag lending officers listen to your unique needs and provide you with loan solutions tailored to your situation.
  • Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Online Services- the convenience these services provide help you spend less time worrying about your finances and more time concentrating on your farm.

 

Many people may think we’re in the banking business, but Northeast Security Bank is in the business of helping our customers succeed. We wish good luck to all of our farmers this season, and we’re hoping for the best possible weather for a great yield!

Financial Literacy: The Haunting Facts and Resources You Need to Know

Posted on April 9th, 2014 in Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “debt” as “an amount of money that you owe to a person, bank, company, etc.” While most Americans know the definition of the word, what they don’t know is how to avoid it or get out of it. As of the beginning of March, Americans owed $11.52 TRILLION in debt: over $8 trillion in mortgages, just over one trillion in student loan debt, $856.5 billion in credit card debt and the rest of the total made up from a variety of sources.

 

Simply put, Americans are illiterate when it comes to money. It’s not an opinion, but a fact. In a 2008 report by the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, almost three-fourths of 6,856 high school students who took a 31-question exam covering a range of financial topics, failed.  While college seniors fared better, the JumpStart report pointed out that “the good news is that most college graduates are financially literate. The bad news is that only 28 percent of Americans graduate from college, leaving nearly three quarters ill-equipped to make critical financial decisions.”

 

A few other shocking statistics about the lack of financial knowledge in the U.S.:

  • 56 percent of U.S. adults do not have a budget
  • 39 percent of U.S. adults have no non-retirement savings
  • 60 percent of U.S. adults have no emergency funds in place
  • 55 percent of Americans spend equal to or more than their household income

 

So, what does this mean to you as a customer of Northeast Security Bank? First, it means you are banking with a community bank that pursues responsible banking and lending strategies in order to prevent customers from taking our loans or mortgages that they will only fall behind on.

 

Second, it means we’re here to help as much as possible. The following are resources you can use to help identify your financial weaknesses and work toward a more balanced, debt-free lifestyle:

  • MyMoney.gov- this introduces the MyMoneyFive concepts and offers money quizzes and other tools.
  • JumpStart.org- even more resources and tools, as well as news and activities for people of all ages.
  • PracticalMoneySkills.com- personal finance tips, resources for educators, games, calculators and videos about a range of financial topics.
  • Wisebread.com- Financial tips and advice for personal finances and more including debt management, insurance, investments, taxes and frugal living.
  • Our blog! Our archives are full of great strategies aimed at reducing debt, spending wisely and many other aspects of your financial life.

 

Becoming financially literate and responsible is a team effort, and Northeast Security Bank looks forward to help you becoming more informed about the various aspects of your financial life.

The 6 Ultimate Steps to Being Ready to Buy a Home

Posted on March 26th, 2014 in Home Buying by NSBblogger |
Checklist for buying a home from Northeast Security Bank

Keeping a checklist is an easy way to mark off your progress when purchasing a home.

It is no secret buying a home is a complicated, and often long, process. With the correct preparation, however, the process can be made much more manageable. While we’re not guaranteeing that taking these six steps will make the process shorter, they are definitely aimed at reducing your stress when it comes time to purchase your new home.

Figure out how much home you need- what got most people in trouble during the housing bubble was they bought more home than they needed and could afford. Take your family’s current size and future plans into account when figuring out the size of home you need.

Improve your credit score- the higher your score, the lower your down payment and monthly payments. A score of 700 to 720 will get you a good deal, and 750 and higher is the best.

Save for down payment and closing costs- down payments are typically anywhere between 3.5 and 20 percent of the home’s value, and closing costs average between $2,300 and $4,000.

Build up your savings account- this is in addition to saving for closing costs and a down payment. Lenders want to see that you have some fall back money and aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.

Get preapproved- the preapproval process has gotten much more extensive than it used to be. Get your financing in place before you walk through your first home.

Commit to staying in one place- Buying a home is not for someone thinking they’re going to be moving around a lot. Short-term ownership is an expensive idea and should be avoided at all costs.

These are all items you need to have completed before you begin to look at houses. Your friends at Northeast Security Bank can help you with your mortgage needs should you need it, so don’t hesitate to ask. We hope to see you or hear from you soon!