As inflation continues to rise in the first half of 2022, consumer debt is rising right along with it, according to the Federal Reserve System’s consumer credit report released on Aug. 5.

Consumer debt in the United States is nearly $3.4 trillion, according to the Fed. That is approximately $10,600 of debt for every man, woman and child living in the United States.

Staring at a mountain of debt is daunting. But with proper discipline – and a lot of hard work – you can eliminate your debt.

If you’d like to learn how, read on for these tips on how to greatly reduce and eventually get out of debt.

Know What You Owe and Track Your Spending

You can’t get out of debt if you don’t know where your money is going.

The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend, according to Federal Trade Commission.

Start by listing your income from all sources. Then, list your “fixed” expenses — those that are the same each month — like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that vary — like groceries, entertainment, and clothing. Writing down all your expenses, even those that seem insignificant, is a helpful way to track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest.

Change Your Routines

It’s important to account for every penny earned and spent. Most people are shocked at the amount of money spent monthly on fast food lunches, coffee shops and online purchases. Small expenses add up.

By changing your habits – packing a lunch instead of eating out or brewing coffee at home or drinking from the “office pot of coffee,” you can quickly accumulate “extra” money in your budget.

Then you can take those savings and make a debt payment immediately. The instant gratification of seeing balances fall can be extremely motivating.

Tackle Your Debt

Small debt victories likely will make you feel good and motivate you to continue. But you must find a strategy that is right for you, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB even offers a worksheet to help.

Here are the two methods the CFPB recommends. Both strategies have their pros and cons, the CFPB says.

Snowball Method – Tackle one debt at a time.

Highest Interest Rate Method – Pay a little more than the minimum payment on all debts.

Don’t Take on More Debt

You cannot borrow your way out of debt. Low-interest payments and credit cards may indeed be a good deal, but you should work toward paying down what you currently owe before adding any new debt.

It’s important to try to make paying off your debt a top priority, because the way that you manage your credit could determine how much access you have to it in the future. Don’t be afraid to talk to a banker or a financial professional for suggestions on ways to attack your debt situation.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.

Sources:

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/default.htm

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/how-reduce-your-debt/

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/coping-debt

Recently there has been a rise in email fraud where a scammer poses as a major retailer, luring unsuspecting people with claims that an expensive purchase was made by them. The email will give a number to call if the email recipient doesn’t recognize or wants to dispute the purchase.

This is a common phishing scam. The scammer simply wants you to call the number, and that’s when they’ll try to get information out of you.

Once the scammers get you on the phone, they’ll sound official. They may ask who you bank with. They’ll ask you for your account number and passwords.

Don’t fall for it. Do not give any personal information once they ask for it, no matter how official they sound. If they ask for access to your computer or mobile device, hang up!

There will be several red flags to look for if you receive such an email:

Don’t just call a number you receive in an email without researching the phone number first.  Review your accounts to see if any unauthorized charges were made. If you don’t see any charges that are mentioned in the email, it’s very likely a scam.

If you believe you’ve been scammed, call your bank’s fraud department. You also can report fraud to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/.

Source:

https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Scams-and-Fraud/Phishing-and-Other-Internet-Scams

 

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

As the world continues to move more toward digital transactions, more and more businesses and organizations utilize digital payment methods. Digital payments have boomed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because of their flexibility and ease of use.

But as more digital payment processing companies begin to emerge, scammers adapt. A new scam that has been on the rise is a micro-deposit scam.

Micro-deposits are small amounts of money – generally under $1 – that are transferred from one account to another. They typically come in pairs and in separate amounts, usually coming within three days of linking accounts. The purpose of micro-deposits is to verify if the account on the receiving end is the account that is intended to be linked to the depositing account.

So far, everything described is common when linking accounts.

But how micro-deposit scammers operate is by linking online accounts with strings of random numbers, just hoping to get a valid bank account. When a deposit is verified from a bank account, the fraudsters will use information about the account holder to withdraw funds from their account.

The best way to combat this type of fraud is to monitor your account regularly. If you notice a micro-deposit, DO NOT verify it if you didn’t initiate it and DO NOT click on any links that are embedded in a verification request message or download any attachments in a verification email.

If you’ve been the victim or a target of a micro-deposit scam, contact your bank to ensure it won’t happen again. And then contact the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/.

 

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Spring traditionally is a time of regrowth, new life and budding. You may get the itch to deep clean and organize your house.

And while you’re at it, you should consider a “spring cleaning” of your mortgage as well. These tips could lead to saving money, so take the time to look to see if any of these situations apply to you.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Private Mortgage Insurance, known as PMI, is required on some loans. If you started your loan with PMI, it will fall off once you reached the date when the principal balance of your mortgage is scheduled to fall to 78 percent of the original value of your home. This date should have been given to you in writing on a PMI disclosure form when you received your mortgage. If you can’t find the disclosure form, contact your servicer. Also, if your home has increased in value since you purchased it, your Loan to Value (LTV) ratio may be at a point to discontinue your PMI early. You can request this from your lender and they would determine with an updated evaluation of your home with an appraisal. Discontinuing your PMI can free up some extra money each month if this applies to you.

Insurance

Check to see if your homeowner’s insurance policy has risen, and shop around for a lower rate. Getting a quote costs no money. Are you bundling your home and auto policies? Most insurance carriers offer a discount for bundling policies. It’s a good idea to get quotes to see if there’s savings of which you weren’t aware. Also check to see if your agent might have you over-insured. Lowering your policy to what you only need vs. more than you need could lower your cost as well.

Tax refund

If you receive a tax refund, consider using it as an additional payment toward the principal of your mortgage. Making one additional monthly payment a year can shave up to four years off your mortgage!

Refinancing

Now is a good time to think about refinancing your home. If you’ve owned your home for awhile and don’t plan on moving anytime soon, refinancing likely will save you a significant amount of money. In some cases, refinancing to a 15-year mortgage will make more sense.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

Source:

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/when-can-i-remove-private-mortgage-insurance-pmi-from-my-loan-en-202/

As tax season kicks into high gear, scammers are looking to take advantage. Scammers will make aggressive phone calls posing as IRS agents, hoping to steal money or information from victims.

Scammers will demand immediate payment for tax bills, regardless of whether you owe taxes or not. And if you give the scammers personal information, that can lead to identity theft, which in turn could lead to the scammer filing tax returns in your name and stealing your tax refund – in addition to other negative financial effects.

“With filing season underway, this is a prime period for identity thieves to hit people with realistic-looking emails and texts about their tax returns and refunds,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. “Watching out for these common scams can keep people from becoming victims of identity theft and protect their sensitive personal information that can be used to file tax returns and steal refunds.”

Be on high alert if you receive a call, text or email asking to disclose your personal information. Don’t click on any links if you receive an email, and don’t respond to any texts.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately. You can report any email you receive and report the phone number from which you received a suspicious call or text by emailing the IRS at  phishing@irs.gov.

To ensure you stay safe this tax season, remember that the IRS will NEVER:

Stay alert and safe this tax season, and remember the deadline to file your taxes is Monday, April 18, 2022.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Source:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts

CLAREMORE, Okla. – RCB Bank, a $4.2 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas, is now accepting applications for its 2022 internship program.

The paid internship is a 10-week program from May 23-July 29 and will be focused on these four core departments:

“Our goal is to engage interns in meaningful work, educate them in the field of community banking, encourage growth, and empower interns to drive the success of the program,” RCB Bank AVP Talent Acquisition Specialist Stacey Moeder said. “Our goal is that each intern receives a well-rounded introduction to community banking and the opportunity to one day become a key contributor at RCB Bank.”

Requirements:

 

For more information and to apply, visit: RCBbank.com/Internships. RCB Bank is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

RCB Bank is a $4.2 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

New Year’s resolutions help keep people motivated to stick to their new-year goals. And if you’re looking to kick-start your savings this year, try the 52-week savings resolution.

Just think, by the end of the year, you could have nearly $1,500 stashed away.

What you do with the money accrued from this savings is up to you. It could be set aside and used strictly for emergencies. It could be used for your Christmas shopping. It could be used to pay for a well-earned vacation.

Or you could choose to keep it in your savings account and add to it with the same challenge next year.

The basis of the challenge is simple: Every week, you add money to your savings account. In Week 1, you save $1. In Week 2, you save $2, and so on, all the way to Week 52, where you will save $52.

At the end of the year using this method, you’ll have saved $1,378.

With this method, the brunt of the savings comes toward the end of the year. And for many, that could be a hefty amount of money to sock away during the holiday season.

If that seems like it’s too daunting of a task, you can reverse the order of savings: i.e. save $52 in Week 1, $51 in Week 2, $50 in Week 3, and so on, all the way to Week 52, where you will save $1.

Here is an example of how the plans will look:

Even if there are some weeks where you can’t meet that week’s savings goal, save what you can that week. There may be some weeks where you can catch up later in the year. Or there may be some weeks earlier in the year where you can save more.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Staying motivated is the key to sticking with your resolutions, and watching your money grow weekly can help keep you motivated. If you’re ready to get started, click below for more information.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Timing is everything, and that is especially true when purchasing a house. Whether you’re waiting for the right home or applying for a mortgage, there are many time-sensitive processes to follow to ensure you can get the home and the financing you want.

It may seem like there’s a lot of hurry up and wait going on. But because it is likely the biggest purchase you’ll make in your life, there’s a good reason for the wait.

For traditional mortgages, the most noticeable is the three business-day waiting period between receiving your closing disclosure and the consummation date (often known as your closing day). This three business-day rule was introduced in October of 2015, and it applies to both original mortgages and refinancing.

When your three business-day waiting period starts is determined by your consummation day. This three business-day rule may include Saturdays, but it does not count Sundays or holidays.

For instance, if you want to sign on a Friday and a holiday falls on a Thursday, you must receive your closing disclosure on Monday. Because of this, the three-day period is NOT measured by hours.

You can sign the closing disclosure any time before you sign your final documents on your consummation day.

This waiting period gives you time to review all the documents to ensure that the terms you’re agreeing to match the terms outlined at the beginning of the mortgage process when you received your loan estimate (which lenders are required to disclose no later than three days after receiving your completed application).

The closing disclosure will show you the final terms of your mortgage, including your purchase price, interest rate, APR, closing costs, monthly payment, and more. Between the closing disclosure and consummation, if the APR, loan product type or prepayment penalty changes, that would require a revised closing disclosure, which in turn would require a new consummation date. Other changes to terms and costs outside of these (like title fees and insurance), will warrant a corrected closing disclosure, but will not require a new three business-day waiting period.

Basically, the closing disclosure is designed to protect you from bait-and-switch tactics if a lender promised you one set of terms but then presents worse terms just prior to the consummation day.

Source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/know-before-you-owe/

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

‘Tis the season for scams.

This Christmas season, be on the lookout for scams and fraud. The Christmas season is the busiest shopping part of the year, and scammers are in full swing waiting to take advantage.

As many retailers begin their Christmas sale specials, scammers are ready with fraudulent websites and social media campaigns, impersonating those retailers. The scammers are hoping to entice you to spend money for products you’ll never receive.

Add in projected shipping delays and supply chain issues, and this Christmas season scammers are projected to be rife. Scammers preying on those will offer products that aren’t available or products that may not be quite what they seem.

Scammers generally won’t have any new tricks during the holiday season, but they will try different spins on scams that have worked in the past. During the Christmas season, scammers thrive as many tend to be more generous and in a giving spirit.

Here are some seasonal scams of which to be aware:

Charity scams

One-third of all charitable giving is done in December, fundraising software company Network for Good reports. That means more sham charities exploiting Americans’ goodwill via fake websites and pushy telemarketers.

Delivery scams

As holiday packages crisscross the country, scammers send out phishing emails disguised as UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service notifications of incoming or missed deliveries. Links lead to phony sign-in pages asking for personal information, or to sites infested with malware.

Travel scams

Nearly 50% of U.S. adults plan to travel during the holidays in 2021, a SurveyMonkey poll found. Spoof booking sites and email offers proliferate, with travel deals that look too good to be true and probably are.

Letter from Santa scams

A custom letter from Ol’ Saint Nick makes a holiday treat for the little ones on your list, and many legitimate businesses offer them. But so do many scammers looking to scavenge personal information about you or, worse, your kids or grandkids, who may not learn until many years later that their identity was stolen and their credit compromised.

Gift card scams

When purchasing gift cards, make sure to purchase from counter attendants or from customer service. Thieves will copy the codes on cards and call after the holidays (when they know they will be activated) and use them before the intended recipient gets a chance to. Grabbing a card from an unattended sales rack increases the chances of having this happen to you.

Being aware of the types of scams that scammers use can help keep you — and your money — safe this Christmas season.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Source:

https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2019/holiday.html

The holidays are a time when it’s tempting – and easy – to toss your budget out the window and splurge on your friends and family.

After all, it’s the season of giving. And often, giving the perfect gift is just as fun as receiving a gift.

However, with proper planning, you can stay on budget while spreading Christmas joy and avoiding the stresses that come with searching for that perfect present.

There’s no magic secret to a holiday budget. You’ll have to put the pen to the paper and figure out ahead of time how much you can afford to spend. Then you have to stick to it.

In other words, make a list and check it twice.

Having a budgeted list and sticking to it will help you navigate all the expenses that come with the holidays.

Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and then a price range for each person with gift ideas. If you do this, it will come in handy later.

Let’s say you find a great deal on a gift for one person on your list and it comes in $25 under budget. That can help you later if a gift you found for another person is $20 over budget – you can still purchase that gift, because you were under budget on the first person.

One final tip is to start thinking about next year. Save your receipts. They can come in handy next Christmas when making your budget. You’ll know who all you shopped for and how much you spent on them.

Also, when planning for next year’s Christmas budget, talk to your bank and see if they have options that will help you save throughout the year. They’ll most likely be happy to set up a separate account that you can deposit money into every payday. Then you’ll automatically have your money ready to go!

Make it a challenge to see if you can come in under budget. If that happens, you can reward someone who wasn’t on your list – yourself!

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank, member FDIC.

With the recent news of Social Security benefits increasing by nearly 6% in 2022, now is the time to be on the lookout for Social Security scammers.

Those who receive Social Security benefits don’t have to do anything to receive the increase. The increases will happen automatically.

However, scammers will try to take advantage of those who are unaware that their increase will happen automatically.

These tips from the Social Security Administration (SSA) show you what to look for and how to recognize a Social Security scammer:

Social Security scammers may:

DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!

If you owe money to Social Security, the agency will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. Social Security does not suspend Social Security numbers or demand secrecy from you, ever.

How you can help:

If you think you’ve been a victim of a scammer, call the SSA fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Source:

https://www.ssa.gov/scam/

Spoof websites can lure unsuspecting people into giving away their information without knowing that they’re doing it. A spoof website will try to make itself look almost exactly like the website it is trying to spoof, hoping a person will enter their personal information or username and password.

Once a scammer’s fake, but legitimate-looking website gets indexed by search engines, it will appear in search results based on the search words you type.

Even if you are a seasoned internet user, it is easy to fall prey to the sophisticated techniques that are used in website spoofing. With the wool pulled over your eyes, you could inadvertently give phishers extremely damaging information. The best way to handle spoofed websites is by exercising caution at all times.

Finding your way onto a spoofed website usually happens by using vague or incorrect search engine terms. It also can happen if you type a web address too quickly and accidentally transpose two letters or misspell the web address.

How to spot spoof websites

There are several ways to spot a fake website:

If you see any of these red flags, don’t click on any links.

How to prevent visiting a spoof website

If it is a website you visit often, such as your bank website, bookmarking the website and accessing it directly via the bookmark will prevent you from accidentally typing in the website address incorrectly.

Also, be extra careful when using a search engine. Ensure the words are spelled correctly.

Before clicking on a link, hover over it and read the true website address at the bottom left of the browser. If it isn’t familiar, don’t click on the link.

By taking your time and being careful, you should be able to avoid most problems.

What to do if you suspect a spoof website

If you happen across a spoofed website, you can report the fake website to the federal government here:

https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/

You can report it to Google as well here:

https://safebrowsing.google.com/safebrowsing/report_phish/?hl=en

Sources:

https://www.phishing.org/phishing-and-spoofing

 

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Starting a savings plan for emergencies may seem like a daunting task. Your goal may seem unreachable or impossible, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

According to a May 2021 survey, not saving enough for emergencies is Americans’ biggest financial regret.

But why is an emergency savings plan important? Because while you can’t control when something unexpected happens to you, you can control being prepared for the unexpected.

Imagine your air conditioner going out in the July heat on the hottest day of the year. Or, your car breaking down. Unforeseen circumstances can cause problems that can then snowball, if not addressed as soon as possible.

An emergency savings plan creates a financial buffer which helps in times of need and can stave off debt. An emergency savings fund can keep you from needing to take out a payday loan or using high-cost credit cards to cover the cost of the emergency.

According to a July 2021 survey, more than half of Americans have less than three months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund – and 25% have no emergency fund at all – which is up from 21 percent in 2020.

Three months’ worth of savings won’t happen overnight.

So how do you start saving?

If money is tight, start small, with a goal of saving $100. Then $500. Then $1,000. Work your way up to six months’ worth of expenses. It’s not about how much money you make — it is how you manage your money that matters.

Once you have it established, resist the temptation to dip into it.

Have the money direct deposited from your paycheck into a designated emergency fund account – not your checking account – so it’s automatic.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

What is auto refinancing?

Auto refinancing is when you replace your current automobile loan with a new loan that has better or different terms. The new loan pays off your original loan and you open a new loan with new paperwork, a new loan rate and new terms and conditions.

 

When to Refinance Your Car

There are many reasons why someone might need or want to refinance their car:

• Interest rates have gone down since you took out your original loan. If interest rates have dropped, it is worth talking to a lender and seeing what your potential savings could be over the life of the loan.
• You didn’t get the best deal possible when you purchased the car and would like a more favorable loan now. Car dealerships may not offer the best rates possible. If you took out your loan with a dealer and did not negotiate the interest rate, a refinance could save you a lot of money over the life of the loan.
• Your personal finances have changed and you would like a lower monthly payment. While refinancing can reduce your monthly payments, it often means taking a longer loan payoff period. Your car will also depreciate during that time and you may pay more in interest over the life of the loan. Term restrictions may also apply depending on the year of the vehicle.
• Your credit has improved since you received your original loan. If you previously had bad credit or no credit, checking to see if you can get a better deal a few years down the road is a good idea. You may receive better offers and save money over the life of the loan with a lower interest rate.

How to Refinance Your Car

Before you decide to refinance, talk to a few lenders to see what rates they offer and whether it will save you money over the life of the loan. Find out if there is a prepayment penalty, or fee for paying off your other loan early, and what others fees you may be responsible for when you refinance. You will also want to make sure your car’s value is more than the loan amount left, or it could be hard to get a new loan. Some lenders may have restrictions about the age of the car they will refinance.

Once you have determined if refinancing is a good option, prepare your documentation. You will likely need a number of documents on hand to apply for a new loan.
• Proof of income
• Evidence of auto insurance.
• Information on your current loan.
• Information about the car, including the make, model, mileage, year and vehicle identification number, or VIN.
• Your driver’s license.

After you have gathered your documentation, shop around. Look for loan promotions in your area and get prequalified with a few different lenders. Some lenders also offer a discount if you use an automatic payment option, so don’t forget to ask.

GAP Insurance

GAP, also known as Guaranteed Asset Protection, provides the consumer with protection in the event of a total loss of the covered car due to vehicle theft or an accident. If a total loss occurs, you file a claim and GAP will pay off the residual loan balance that the primary claim fails to pay. Given the ever-increasing costs of a complete vehicle restoration after an accident, GAP protection may be needed more now than ever before.

When to Get Car GAP Insurance

As a general rule, if you have less than 20% equity in on the car when you open the loan, GAP coverage should be considered. Conversely, if you enter the loan with more than 20% equity in the car, GAP coverage becomes less beneficial and effective. Also, the longer the loan period, the more helpful GAP coverage becomes.

Our lenders are happy to answer your questions, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a lender in your area.

Financing available with approved credit. Other qualifications, restrictions, and conditions may apply.

Mortgage Refinancing Basics

What is refinancing?

A mortgage refinance is when you replace your current mortgage with a new mortgage. There are many reasons why homeowners may want or need to refinance:

When to Refinance

In order to know if refinancing is a good option for you, you need to understand your long-term goals and your current financial situation. If you are refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates, there are mortgage calculators that give you an estimate of how much it will cost to refinance and how much you can save over the life of the loan.

You also want to consider the break-even point, or how long it takes to earn back the money you spent to refinance. For instance, if it will take seven years to earn back the money you spent to refinance and you plan on moving in three years, it is probably a bad idea to refinance your loan.

Your personal finances can also determine if it is a good idea to refinance. If you need lower monthly payments because money is tight, refinancing might be a good option to relieve the monthly stress of the payment.

How to Refinance Your Home

In order to refinance your home, you will need to get approved for a loan the same way you did for the original financing. The first thing to do is have your documentation ready. This can include pay stubs, bank statements, a credit check, tax documentation and anything else your lender requests. It is also important to know that a strong credit score will have a positive impact on your refinancing terms. You may want to wait a few months to improve your credit score before starting the process.

Once your documentation is in order and your credit score is in a good place, you should then apply for a refinance with several different lenders. Apply at three or four places and do so in a short-time period so it reduces the impact on your credit score.

After you receive the loan estimate from different lenders, compare those documents and determine how much you will likely pay in closing costs. Closely compare the lenders’ fees, which could include the Origination Fee, Discounts Fee, Underwriting, Processing and Tax service Fee. Some third party fees, such as appraisers and title company fees, will likely be the same no matter what lender you choose.  Choose the lender that works best for you and try to get your rate locked in as soon as possible. Then you will work with your lender to close on the loan in the exact same way you closed on your mortgage the first time.

No matter what you decide, do your research and ensure it makes financial sense to refinance before beginning the process. Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply.  RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

Malware, otherwise known as malicious software, is a type of fraud that uses viruses, spyware, or other software to intentionally damage a computer, server, device or computer network. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, commit fraud, send spam or monitor and control online activity.

There are many different types of malware, including spyware, viruses, worms, adware and ransomware. Your computer may contain malware if you are experiencing one or more of the following problems:
• Your computer slows down, crashes or displays constant error messages.
• You cannot shut down or restart your computer.
• Unexpected messages and ads frequently pop-up on screen.
• You lose access to computer files.
• Settings on your browser change, such as the toolbar or home page.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware designed to hold data hostage. Ransomware encrypts or conceals access to your files in attempt to get you to pay a ransom to regain access. This is a growing threat for both individuals and businesses alike. The most common targets for ransomware attacks are small to medium-sized businesses, school districts, municipalities, health¬care institutions and financial institutions.

How to Prevent Malware

Most common malware attacks occur on the internet and email. To prevent malware, use up-to-date security software and firewalls. Do not change the security settings on your browser and pay attention if you receive a security notification from your browser. More tips to protect yourself from malware:
• Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
• Do not download any unknown software or click on links in email, text messages or social media.
• Do not click on pop-up ads or banners that show up on your computer.
• Back up your data regularly.
• In emails, you should never click on a link you do not know or recognize.

Report a Scam

If you think your computer has malware, report it to the Federal Trade Commission here. You can also file an incident with the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency here. If your personal information is compromised or fraud has occurred, call your bank immediately and call a credit reporting agency such as Equifax to place a fraud alert on your account. You can also contact your state Attorney General to report fraud.

Types of Construction Loans

A variety of constructions loans are available to homebuyers. It all depends on your specific situation. If you want to shop around and potentially use more than one lender, then getting two separate loans (one for the construction and then a second to pay off the construction loan and put the debt into monthly payments) may be the best choice. If you prefer to work with one bank and one lender, a construction-to-permanent loan may be the best finance solution. The important part is that you talk with a trusted banking professional before making any decisions.

Construction Only Loan

In this scenario, the borrower actually gets two loans. The first loan finances the construction of the home and the second loan refinances the construction into a long-term mortgage. This type of loan allows the homeowner to work with different lenders for the construction and permanent financing if they would like. The upside of doing this this loan is that you may have more flexibility if there are cost overruns and you can typically draw out money more often. A potential downside is that you typically cannot lock-in your interest rate or obtain full underwriting approval on your permanent loan until 90 days or less before home is complete.

Construction-to-Permanent Loan

With a construction-to-permanent, or “one time close,” loan you finance the construction of your home and the permanent financing with a single loan. In this type of a transaction the lender releases the money to the builder, contractor or other authorized suppliers as the phases of the construction are complete. The upside of this type of loan is that you know the details of your permanent financing up front. The downside is that these loans may be more limited in the number of times you can draw money to pay builders and contracts. It can also be more difficult to change your loan amount due to cost overruns.

Renovation Loan

If you see the home of your dreams, but it is a fixer-upper, a home renovation loan may be the right solution. A home renovation loan is based on the value of your home after the renovation is complete. This means you are borrowing against the future equity of your home and not just its current value. This may be a good option if the renovations are likely to increase the value of your home and/or reduce the long-term costs of the home.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A HELOC is a line of credit secured by your home based on the current equity of your home. A HELOC may have lower closing costs than a traditional construction loan. Another upside is that most banks only charge interest on what you draw, or use, from the HELOC and not from the total amount approved. A potential downside is that rates for a HELOC are often variable and can increase throughout the life of the loan.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

It starts with a morning coffee or a quick lunch out. Maybe you want the newest tech gadget or video game. Before you know it, you have the item, but you also have more financial stress.

This is common scenario for many Americans. In fact, 71% of Americans report feeling stressed about money, according to a recent survey done by American Psychological Association. However, these simple budget strategies may help relieve stress and improve your finances.

Step 1: Know your Expenses 

Before you can create a budget plan, evaluate your personal money habits. For a few weeks, use text banking, online banking or your debit card records to track your spending. Once you know what you are spending money on, determine if those things are wants or needs.

A simple way to track these personal expenses is to take a piece of paper and write “wants” on one side and “needs” on the other. Wants are things you enjoy, but don’t necessarily need. Needs are essential items you need to live such as your rent or mortgage payment, food, water and clothing. Calculate how much you are spending in each column, then look for places to cut costs.

Step 2: Create a Budget Plan  

After you know all your expenses, evaluate your monthly bills and see where you can cut costs. One simple budget idea is to reduce the amount you eat out or order take-out. Instead, create a grocery list, plan your meals and cook at home. You may be surprised at how much money you save. To pinch a few more pennies, look for coupons on items you regularly purchase and buy off-brand items.

Another good way to save money is to change your phone plan or provider. If you signed up for 10GB of data per month and your phone company shows you only use half of that, change your plan and reduce your bill. You can also research deals other carriers offer a few times a year. Even if you only save $20 or $30 each month, those savings add up.

Another way to reduce financial stress is to budget the amount of money you spend on streaming or cable services. If you can reduce one or more streaming service every month, you can save a hundred dollars or more every year. You can also call your cable company and talk about ways to reduce your monthly bill.

Step 3: Make Saving Money a Habit

Once you know how much money you are spending and have created a budget, start saving. One way to save is to call your bank and set up automatic savings. In this case, the bank can schedule a recurring time to move your money to a savings account before you have a chance to spend it. Even if you only contribute $50 or $100 each month, these savings allow you to prepare for unexpected costs such as medical bills, car or home repairs.

Once you have started saving and have an emergency fund in place, you should consider long-term savings goals such as education funds for your kids or retirement accounts for yourself. It is best to meet with a wealth advisor to discuss these long-term investment options and how to plan for the future.

Just remember, it all starts with one small thing. Whether you brew your own coffee at home, bring your lunch a few days a week or cut one streaming service, every little bit helps.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank, member FDIC.

Sources: 2020 APA Stress in America Report

Connect with an RCB Bank Trust Wealth Advisor in your area.

While most of us know saving money is a good idea, we often struggle to save for the future. Saving is not a one size fits all solution, but building a savings plan for your future is an important step to becoming financially independent. Talk with a wealth advisor about your personal goals. Your future self will thank you.

Build an Emergency Fund

Set a reasonable goal. Start by trying to save a small amount, such as $1,000. Don’t feel pressure about how much you are saving, just save something.

Take the next step: Track your spending and develop a budget. Do everything you can to stay within your budget. Little things will help you succeed, e.g., set up automatic savings with your bank, create a grocery list (and stick to it), cut coupons and save change.

Save for Education

Consider education investment programs. A traditional savings plan is good, but you also may want to consider an investment account.

Take the next step: Look up your state’s options for 529 plans or speak with a wealth advisor on interest-earning, tax-advantage plans. Some education plans allow you to use earnings on tuition and fees (including K-12 public and private), books, computer equipment and room and board.

Retirement Planning

Save today for your future self. There are four primary ways you can fund your retirement: personal savings (e.g., IRAs and investment accounts); Employer retirement plans; Social Security benefits and retirement income (rental property, part-time job).

Take the next step: Talk with a wealth advisor who can help you build a retirement savings plan and income strategy to maximize your savings.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Investment products are not insured by the FDIC. Not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by the depository institution. Subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Ask for details.

Our land professionals are committed to the performance and stability of your land and assets. We can negotiate and secure fair market leases, distribute and disperse profits, develop an estate and succession plan, maximize revenue sources, and prepare annual budgets and year-end analysis. Get a free land assessment or call us at 620-860-7732.

Meet the Team

Brock

Brock Thurman

VP, Senior Farm Manager

Brock has over 30 years of experience in farm management across Kansas and Oklahoma. Raised on a cattle farm in northwest Oklahoma, Brock has extensive experience in grain marketing and commodity risk management. In his free time, Brock enjoys cheering for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and spending time with his wife, Kelli and their two grown children.

Tim

Tim Stucky

VP, Farm Management Services

Tim has been assisting farmers with financial planning for 40 years. His areas of expertise include record keeping, tax planning and preparation, retirement and succession planning, economic analysis and navigation of the farm bill and USDA programs. He has a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University and teaches at church in his free time.

Tyler

Tyler Jones

AVP, Trust Officer

Tyler grew up on a farm and has been in the financial industry for 22 years. He has spent the last seven years in farm services. He has a Business Administration degree from Sterling College, is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) and is a graduate of the Kansas Bankers Association School of Trust and Financial Planning. In his free time, Tyler enjoys spending time with family, biking, and cheering for the K-State wildcats and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Request a free land assessment at no obligation.

Investment products are not insured by the FDIC. Not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by the depository institution. Subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Wealth advisors do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Seek advice of professional tax consultant.

Do you want to renovate a home after buying? Are you considering building a new home? In these situations and many others, you will need a construction loan before you start a traditional mortgage. Depending on your situation, different loans are required.

Construction to permanent

With a construction to permanent loan the lender releases money to the builder as phases of the construction are completed.

Upside: Once the build is complete, the loan converts to a standard 15 or 30-year mortgage.

Downside: You have to lock in the interest rate at the beginning of the process. It can take a year or more to build a home and interest rates could be lower by the time you actually move in.

Construction only

Another way to finance the construction of your home is with a stand-alone construction loan. With this loan type, the homeowner take two loans. The first loan finances the construction of the home and the second refinances the construction loan into a long-term mortgage.

Downside: Since you obtain two separate loans, you pay two sets of closing costs and go through multiple loans applications and closings.

Upside: If you want to shop around for mortgage options instead of being locked into one lender’s options, you can secure a lower interest rate.

Renovation construction loans

These loans are available to people who want to do a renovation, but do not have the money to finance it themselves. You have many options to pay for home improvements, including personal loans, lines of credit or government insured loans.

Upside: Renovations can increase the value of your home or reduce your costs in the long-term. Bathrooms, new insulation, kitchens and finishing basements all add value to a home.

Downside: The improvement in home value may not justify the cost of renovations. There is also a chance renovations will cost more or take longer than you expected.

We are to here to help, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a local RCB Bank lender to get answers to your lending questions.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.

CLAREMORE, Okla. – On Tuesday, June 9, the USDA, RCB Bank and Claremore Public School employees teamed up to hand out 1200 boxes of food and 600 gallons of milk to people in the community.

“The collaborative effort by RCB Bank employees and the Claremore Public School staff was a great example of how we can serve our community,” said RCB Bank Market President Matt Mason. “It was certainly enjoyed by all who were there.”

As part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, the USDA is partnering with farmers, ranchers, specialty crop producers, food processors and distributors, and non-profit organizations to ensure that all Americans have access to the fresh and wholesome food they need during the COVID-19 National Emergency.

“This program will not only provide immediate relief for our farmers and ranchers, but will allow for the purchase and distribution of our agricultural abundance to help our fellow Americans in need,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The program will purchase $1.2 billion dollars in fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products, and transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020.

RCB Bank is a community bank with locations across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.BANK.RCB. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Reduce Expenses

It’s a good habit to annually review your monthly expenses, looking for areas where you can cut costs. Start by discontinuing unused memberships/subscriptions. Call your cable, phone and insurance companies and ask for options to reduce your bill. Compare prices of other companies or consider alternatives like pre-paid phones or streaming services. Reduce utility expenses by adjusting your thermostat a few degrees. Unplug electrical items when not in use and reduce the number of days you water the lawn.

Reuse Stuff

Use less. Save more. An easy start is to ditch disposable items. Clean with rags rather than paper towels or cleaning wipes. Use reusable water bottles and dishes instead of buying bottled water and paper plates. Look for creative ways to repurpose common household items. Save glass jelly jars or clear plastic containers to organize your kitchen, office or craft room items. Cut up your old t-shirts for cleaning rags. Grab those Easter eggs and use them as handy snack containers. Find more money-saving ideas online.

Rethink Spending

Rethink your purchase decisions. Start by making a list and sticking to it. Consider paying with cash. And bring only the cash you need, so you’re not tempted to splurge. Before grocery shopping, plan out your meals, check your cabinets for what you already have and buy only what you need. Use coupons and avoid impulse purchases. Choose off-brand items. They’re made the same but without an expensive label.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.

No matter what stage of life you are in, your current and future financial well-being should ALWAYS be in your plans. Taking full advantage of your workplace retirement savings options plus utilizing the help of a professional wealth advisor can help you build enough resources to enjoy the retirement lifestyle you want.

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964

elderly couple in a park

You are at or nearing retirement age. Boomers are breaking boundaries and re-defining retirement for the generations to follow.

  • Have you accumulated enough assets to comfortably supplement Social Security?
  • Do you know how long those assets might last?
  • Are you confident you are managing your investments to preserve what you’ve built?

Generation X: Born 1965-1980

father and child riding scooters

You have limited time left to accumulate sufficient assets for retirement. The temptation to raid your retirement savings to help fund your children’s college or to provide care for aging parents may be very real for you.

  • Do you understand the costs of this decision?
  • Do you need help prioritizing your financial obligations?
  • Are you saving enough now to generate the income you will need for 20-35 years of life in retirement?

Generation Y: Born 1981-1996

woman using an ipad

Retirement seems far away and may not be on your radar. Statistically, your generation saves better than the one before. But, your mobility often causes small repeated cash-outs from retirement accounts as you move from job to job, leaving little savings as the years go by.

  • Time is on your side if you take advantage of it now.
  • Aim to save a minimum of 10% (including your employer’s contribution, if available, and any IRA’s or other plans).
  • Provide for your future self by including retirement savings in your current budget.

Generation Z: Born 1997-Present

young adults smiling and waving

You may not have the obligations of a mortgage or children. This puts you in a prime position to build your retirement nest egg.

  • The sooner you start saving, the longer your money has a chance to grow with compounding interest.
  • Aim to put at least 5% away for retirement.
  • Don’t be tempted to cash out your retirement account if you switch jobs.
  • Make retirement savings a necessary expense in your budget.

Investment products not insured by the FDIC. Not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by the depository institution. Subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested. The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute tax, investment or legal advice. Consult a professional wealth advisor to discuss your individual retirement savings needs.

A mortgage is one of the most expensive and long-term commitments you will make in your life. So how can you both save money and take years off your loan? It’s actually pretty simple. If you pay just a little extra on your mortgage each month or year, you will owe significantly less over the life of the loan.

Although most borrowers know their home is a valuable asset, they often don’t consider how much interest adds to their overall cost. Your mortgage is amortized, meaning you pay regular installments on principal and interest over the specified period of time. Every time you pay your mortgage, interest costs decrease and the principal increases. If you pay nothing extra on the mortgage, the total amount you owe over the life of the loan will not change. However, pay a little extra and you can take years off your loan and save thousands of dollars in interest.

Let’s look at this closer. If you get a 30-year loan for $250,000 and it accrues 4% interest per year, you will end up paying $179,674 in interest over the life of the loan. This is a big number, but one you can reduce by budgeting some extra money for your mortgage.

Using the example I’ve just described, the monthly mortgage payment is $1193.54 per month. If you can make one extra mortgage payment per year, you can save over $28,000 in interest over the life of the loan! Make it a Christmas present and pay a little at a time or make one lump payment at the end of each year. Paying just a little extra on your mortgage is the gift that keeps giving.

The more knowledge you have about the mortgage process, available loan options and your individual qualifications, the more satisfying your homebuying experience will be. Connect with a local RCB Bank lender to get answers to your lending questions. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  The monthly payment calculation expressed above is not for any specific loan type and is meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

If you are preparing to buy or refinance a home, take a look at your VA Loan option, which offers lower out-of-pocket financing than traditional lending options. Here are five benefits of VA Loans.

No. 1. 100% Financing

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) guarantees this loan, allowing you  to finance the entire purchase price of the home. Nearly all conventional and FHA loans require the loan-to-value to be below 100%.

No. 2. No Monthly Mortgage Insurance Costs

Most loans with less than a 20% down payment require you to pay for a mortgage insurance premium (for FHA loans) and private mortgage insurance, commonly referred to as PMI, for conventional loans.

While there is no monthly mortgage insurance, there is a one-time funding fee, which ranges from 1.5% – 3.3%, based on your eligibility and down payment. You may also be exempt from the funding fee if you were awarded a service-related disability.

You are also able to roll your funding fee into the loan to help keep your out-of-pocket expenses lower at closing.

No. 3. More Flexible Underwriting Standards

A VA Loan is the only loan that does not require student loans deferred over  one year to be included in the debt–to-income ratio, which is used by lenders to determine how much you can afford to borrow. Also, a VA loan allows for higher debt ratios than other loans like FHA, conventional and rural development.

No. 4. You Can Have Two VA Home Loans at a Time

VA does allow you to purchase another home if you are choosing to move prior to selling your current VA-financed home. It depends on how much entitlement you have left from the previous purchase and the loan limits in the area where you are buying your new home. Your mortgage lender can help you calculate your entitlement and qualification.

No. 5. VA Jumbo Option Available 

In most counties today, the maximum loan limit for conforming conventional and VA loans is $484,350. However, there are certain counties where the VA maximum loan limit exceeds $484,350; these loans are known was VA Jumbo loans. These amounts are current as of the time of writing this article. Most Jumbo loans require 20% down payment; however, VA loans do not. Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to pay a 10% or less down payment.

You can learn more about eligibility requirements at www.benefits.va.gov. Search VA home loans.

When it comes to obtaining a VA Loan, you want to work with a qualified VA mortgage lender.  RCB Bank is proud to offer a VA loan benefit to our active duty service members and veterans. We can help you determine your eligibility and what you qualify for. Plus, once you start the loan process, we’re here to walk you through start to finish.

Connect with a local RCB Bank lender to get answers to your lending questions. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

There is a lot of incorrect information out there that may persuade you not to pursue getting a home. Before you run in fear, talk to a lender first about your concerns, so we can help you know what is truth or myth.

Myth #1: You have to have a 20% down payment in order to get a mortgage – WRONG.

There are many down payment options. For instance, if you are a veteran, or buying in a rural location, you could potentially get into your new home with little to no down payment.

Several first-time homebuyer loan options start with a 3% down payment, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers financing options starting with a 3.5% down payment.

With all of these down payment options, homeownership may be more BOOlievable than you think.

Myth #2: Being Pre-Qualified is the same as being Pre-Approved – WRONG.

Pre-qualification is based on un-verified information. This is an initial look at your application to make sure there are no major red flags that may prevent you from getting a mortgage. For example, a pre-qualification may use an estimate of your credit score and compare your income with your debts to see if you can support a mortgage payment. The pre-qualification process is quick and is based on information you provide to your lender. A pre-approval is a more extensive process where the lender uses verified information (e.g., your credit report and pay stubs) to determine which mortgage you actually qualify for.

Without a pre-qualification or pre-approval, home shopping may become a frightfully batty experience.

Myth #3: Shopping around for lenders will hurt your credit – WRONG.

Multiple inquiries can hurt your credit, but FICO allows for rate shopping by grouping all similar inquiries made within a 30-day timeframe as one hard-hit. This allows you to shop around as long as it is within 30 calendar days.

When shopping lenders, be sure to ask what fees they charge, what the interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) are, and if you aren’t putting 20% down, what is the cost for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Don’t be spooked by misinformation about mortgages. Talk to a lender and get the truth. I’m here to help you have a FANGtastic homebuying experience, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a local RCB Bank lender to get answers to your lending questions. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Alex Penny NMLS #1535836.

By Brent Carroll, RCB Bank Lending

New cars can quickly depreciate in value causing your auto insurance to pay less than what you owe on your car loan. What happens when an accident totals your car? Who pays the difference between the insurance settlement and your outstanding loan balance? You do. Or, maybe not.

Get$Fit Tip: Protect your assets.

It may be worth buying Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage to help you avoid the risk of negative equity and having to continue making principal payments after a total loss. Depending on your loan term, GAP adds on average an estimated $7-$111 to your monthly loan payment, but it potentially could save you thousands of dollars in the event of loss.

After insurance settles, GAP will pay off your remaining loan balance2, including up to $1,000 of your car insurance deductible.

 

When GAP may benefit you:

• You make a small or no down payment on a new car
• You agree to a loan term longer than 48 months

Talk to a lender for details to see if GAP is right for you.

Our lenders are happy to answer your questions, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a lender in your area.

Invest in yourself. RCBbank.com/GetFit

1GAP insurance costs varies between lenders and loan terms. See your lender for specific questions regarding your personal loan qualifications and overall costs. 2GAP Insurance covers the residual value of the loan as of the date of loss. Ancillary products can be purchased at an additional cost, which vary based on loan terms. Qualifications and restrictions apply. Above example is for generic illustration purposes only, based on 700 credit score. Does not factor in down payments, additional fees or other costs. Subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of June 15, 2018, and subject to change without notice. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, RCB Bank NMLS #798151.

As students head back to school and college, fraudsters are eagerly waiting – not only for the students, but for their parents and relatives as well.

But college students are especially susceptible to being a target. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), people aged 20 to 30 lose money to fraud more frequently than older consumers.

Here are some common back-to-school type scams for which to be on the lookout:

High school diploma scam

Scammers will prey on those who are seeking their high school diploma.

Student tax scam

If you receive a text, email or call from the IRS claiming that you did not pay your student tax, this is a scam. The IRS always reaches out through mail first and will never demand payment through a wire transfer. If you are threatened with imprisonment, this also is a sign it is a scam.

Scholarship scams

Fraudsters know that education costs money and have many scholarship scams designed to get your money.

Fake check scams

Scammers will target students who are looking to make money. According to the FTC, the scams that target students often involve jobs that could be done on the side — like being a mystery shopper, advertising with a car wrap or working as a part-time assistant or dog walker for someone pretending to be your professor. These scams all involve someone sending you a check, asking you to deposit it, sending some of the money to someone else, and keeping the rest as payment.

However, those “jobs” are all fake, and the check will bounce – and when it does, and the bank realizes the check was fake, it will want that money back.

Remember, as with all scams – just like the ones mentioned above – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you spot a scam, report it to the FTC at http://ftc.gov/complaint.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Sources:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/data-visualizations/data-spotlight/2019/10/not-what-you-think-millennials-fraud

https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2022/03/college-students-we-want-hear-you

EDMOND, Okla. – RCB Bank welcomes Luke Williams as SVP Loan Officer in Edmond.

Williams has worked in banking for more than two decades in a variety of roles and now specializes in serving the needs of dentists.

“I love working with all types of customers and businesses, but for the past five-plus years, I’ve helped countless dental professionals with their banking needs,” Williams said. “It’s an industry I’ve become very familiar with and understand the challenges and opportunities of, and I look forward to ensuring our customers’ needs are met with all that RCB Bank can offer.”

Williams was born in Texas and raised in Kansas. He moved to Oklahoma for college, attending Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Central Oklahoma.

Williams said his No. 1 piece of financial advice is “Discipline equals freedom.”

He is a longtime supporter and volunteer at the YMCA Council, and he volunteers regularly at his children’s schools and various nonprofits, especially those who help foster children and families. Williams also is very involved with the worship and youth ministries at Heritage Church of Christ in Edmond.

“I have a passion for families – of course my own family, but developing strong family units is vital to the success of our communities, and providing family for those who don’t have it is such a big need right now,” Williams said.

When not working, you can find Williams working in his church, coaching youth sports, hanging out with family and friends, playing games, riding bikes and hiking mountains – which he says “is not as easy as it sounds.”

Williams spent years as a health and fitness coach and was a certified Insanity (workout program) instructor. He and his wife Lacy, who is a USA Today best-selling author, have four children and two puppies, Junior and Ace.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Luke Williams

Luke Williams

Loan Officer
909 W. Edmond Rd.
Edmond, OK 73003

So you’ve decided on a house and your closing day is set.

That means you’re finished and can let out a big sigh of relief, right? Not so fast.

Since your home most likely is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, it’s best to make absolutely sure everything is as it should be before the keys are handed over to you.

That’s where your final walkthrough comes in.

A final walkthrough allows you to make sure the house you committed to buying is in the same condition as when you first looked at it and that everything is in working order. In essence, this is your chance to make sure your new home is absolutely ready for you.

Usually, it’s just you and the real estate agent at the final walkthrough.

Whatever you do, don’t rush through your final walkthrough. You may want to hurry up and “get to the finish line” of owning your home, but if you rush through this final step, you may overlook something you hadn’t seen before.

Here’s what to look for in your final walkthrough:

If you have any questions, now is the time to ask them. And don’t settle for an answer you’re not comfortable with. Remember to trust your gut. If something feels wrong, speak up. It’s better to walk away than signing a bad deal.

The final walkthrough is your last chance to fix any problems that may have been unaddressed. Don’t skip anything on the list, and if you find problems, consult your real estate agent to decide the best course of action.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

Sources:

https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_buying-a-house_mortgage-closing_checklist.pdf

https://benefits.va.gov/stpaul/docs/VeteransHomeBuyingGuide.pdf

If you’re new to investing and looking for a place to start, a certificate of deposit may be what you’re looking for. Or if you’ve been investing for some time, a certificate of deposit can be one of the many tools you can use to help you toward retirement.

Certificates of deposit – otherwise known as CDs – are considered to be one of the safest saving options, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

CDs can give you a place to keep your cash safe and potentially earn a higher interest yield than a savings account.

But before deciding to invest in a CD, keep in mind you should use money that you’re not counting on to use for anything else. For instance, you shouldn’t put your emergency savings funds into a CD.

That’s because with a CD, you commit to keeping your money untouched for a set amount of time – anywhere from 30 days up to 10 years or more, depending on the bank. There generally are penalties and fees if you withdraw your money before the term to which you agreed expires.

When your term expires, you can roll your initial investment and earned interest into another CD, or you can cash it out.

Before getting a CD, make sure you understand all of the terms and carefully read the disclosure statement. Ask questions, and check out the answers with an unbiased source.

The guaranteed rate of return of a CD is enticing, but keep in mind that rate usually is low and oftentimes won’t always beat inflation.

One advantage of a CD can be the fact that you can’t withdraw it (without incurring penalties and fees), so say if you have a big expense coming up that you have the money set aside for – like a vacation, for instance – putting those funds in a CD can keep you from dipping into it, plus it will add money to your original amount invested.

Keep these tips in mind when if you decide to go with a CD:

The bottom line is this: Does a CD make sense for you? CDs can provide security and stability, but they likely won’t provide you with enough returns to build on your wealth.

Talk to a financial adviser to compare your options and help you determine what’s best for your situation.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.

Sources:

https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubscertifichtm.html

https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/investment-products/certificates-deposit-cds

Have you heard of jugging?

You probably know what it is, but may not have heard the term by which it goes.

Simply put, jugging is theft. The jugglers can work in teams or work alone. They identify a potential victim withdrawing money from an ATM, or watch for people coming out of a bank with bank bags or cash envelopes. The jugglers will then follow the victim – sometimes to multiple locations – to look for the right time and place to steal the money.

Jugging cases have risen recently, according to law enforcement officials.

Use these tips to avoid becoming a victim of jugging:

If you believe you’re being followed after leaving a bank or an ATM, call 911 and drive to a public area or, better yet, a police station.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Sources:

https://leb.fbi.gov/file-repository/archives/january-1963.pdf

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/two-leaders-jugging-crew-sentenced-federal-court

https://www.mctxsheriff.org/news_detail_T6_R459.php

Your debt-to-income ratio – commonly referred to as DTI – is all of your monthly debt obligations, divided by your gross monthly income.

This ratio is one way lenders check how you manage payments you make on money you’ve borrowed.

This number can affect how much money you’re qualified to borrow and your interest rate. Higher DTIs appear riskier to lenders, while lower DTIs may allow for a lower rate and a higher loan amount.

Lenders have different DTI limits and lending criteria. The same holds true on different loan types as well, be it a mortgage or an auto loan, the acceptable DTI numbers typically will vary.

Generally, a DTI of 50 or higher is concerning, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a U.S. government agency dedicated to making sure you are treated fairly by banks, lenders and other financial institutions.

A DTI between 36 and 49 generally is considered good, but there is room to improve it. A DTI of 35 and lower shows lenders you have enough money to take on new debt and pay it back on time, and that if an emergency came up, you likely won’t fall behind on payments.

How to figure your DTI

As previously mentioned, your DTI is your monthly debt obligations divided by your gross monthly income.

To calculate it yourself, first add up all your monthly bills – rent or mortgage payment; student, auto or other loan payments; credit card payments; alimony or child support (if applicable); and other monthly bills not mentioned. Next add up your gross monthly income, which is your monthly salary before taxes.

Now that you’ve obtained those two numbers, divide your monthly debt obligations by your monthly gross salary. You’ll be left with a decimal number, such as .3391. Move the decimal point two places to the right, and you’ve got your DTI – in this case, 33.91.

Do your best to lower your DTI as much as you can before taking on new debt. It can not only help you qualify for a loan but may also help you get a lower interest rate.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.

Source:

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-debt-to-income-ratio-en-1791/

Escrow accounts are a vital part of mortgages for nearly all homebuyers. Some lenders require mortgage borrowers to have escrow accounts, or the borrower may opt in to an escrow account through their mortgage servicer.

Escrow accounts set aside funds for tax and home insurance payments until they’re due. With each mortgage payment, a portion is set aside in the escrow account. When it’s time to pay property taxes and home insurance, the mortgage servicer will pay those bills on your behalf.

A cost increase of any of the items in the escrow account can cause an escrow shortage. For instance, if your property tax rises dramatically or your home costs more to insure if its value increased, this could make an escrow shortage.

If there is a shortage, typically you can pay the amount in full, or have the amount added to your monthly mortgage payment.

An escrow analysis typically is performed about once per year, so escrow shortages generally are rare occurrences.

But as a homeowner, it’s prudent to be prepared for any unexpected costs that come up with homeownership. It’s good to keep your eye on your escrow account, that way you can be prepared if it looks like there’s going to be a shortage.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.

WICHITA, Kan. – RCB Bank welcomes Helen M Silcott as a VP loan officer in Wichita.

Silcott has worked in the financial industry for more than 25 years. Silcott is passionate about commercial and consumer lending, but also will help identify and grow the relationship throughout all product lines at RCB Bank, including Treasury Service, Deposits, and Wealth Management.

“I look forward to fostering relationships and making sure our customers’ needs are met with all that RCB Bank can offer,” Silcott said. “My greatest accomplishment has been to provide a level of service to those customers with whom I have done business, which has created a relationship of trust with those customers to where they have felt comfortable in referring me their family, friends, and business associates. To me, this is the highest compliment.”

Silcott is a Northern Michigan native, but is a graduate of Wichita State University who lives in El Dorado with her husband Mark and son Holton, as well as their three dogs: Mojo, Walter and Stella.

Silcott said her No. 1 piece of financial advice is to make it personal.

“Doing business should be viewed as building a relationship, not as a transaction,” Silcott said.

She has served her local community through volunteer activities and board appointments at several organizations, including the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, El Dorado Community Foundation, Women in Commercial Real Estate, Women in Business and Chamber Ambassadors.

When not working, Silcott enjoys spending time outdoors, on the water, and supporting all things Shockers.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Helen M. Silcott

Helen M. Silcott

Loan Officer
10501 E. Berkeley Square Pkwy
Wichita, KS 67206

INOLA, Okla. – RCB Bank welcomes Cas Salley as a VP loan officer in Inola.

Salley has worked in banking for 18 years and specializes in agriculture lending. Salley owns a ranch in Inola, where he and his wife Brenda run a commercial cow operation and raise quarter horses.

“I understand the challenges of running a business and want to help business owners succeed,” Salley said. “I’m passionate about agriculture, and want to help business owners improve their cash flow, either with the products we offer at RCB Bank or through referrals to a connection I’ve made in the community and state.”

Salley was raised in Catoosa, and his family owned and operated the Tulsa Stockyards for 20 years. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.

Salley said his No. 1 piece of financial advice is to bank in a small town.

“You can get to know your banker on a personal level in a small-town bank,” Salley said.

He is a longtime board member of the Rogers County 4-H and FFA Premium Auction, a member of the Inola Education Enrichment Foundation and treasurer of the Tulsa State Fair Ringmasters, which provides scholarships to 4-H and FFA students across Oklahoma.

When not working at RCB Bank or on his ranch, Salley works livestock sales across the Midwest as a bid spotter and he competes at team roping events in the four-state area.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Cas Salley

Cas Salley

Loan Officer
11 W. Commercial
Inola, OK 74036

Scammers target everyone.

They rely on people being unaware and uninformed in their attempts to obtain your personal details and/or your money.

Every day, scammers prey on those who are uninformed. When they succeed, it’s because the scams appear to be authentic, trying to catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it.

While you can’t keep yourself from becoming a target of a scammer, you can protect yourself from scammers by staying alert and vigilant at all times.

Here are ways in which you can protect yourself:

As technology evolves, so do scammers. Letters and documents can be faked, which, at first glance, looks official. But there are ways you can spot a scam:

If you believe you’ve been scammed, call your bank’s fraud department. You also can report fraud to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/.

 

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

 

Source:

https://www.ftc.gov

Wichita, KS. – RCB Bank welcomes Christy Simonsen to its Treasury Services Department in Wichita. In her new role, she will be a consultant to RCB Bank’s commercial customers, helping them find the best banking solutions for their current needs.

Simonsen brings a wealth of experience to RCB Bank and is known for her expertise in payments solutions, including bank cards. She has provided expert service to multiple organizations, helping them improve the use of resources and technology with payments solutions, resulting in a better customer experience.

Simonsen spent her childhood years on a farm and attended high school in Derby, Kansas. She graduated from Wichita State University, where she currently volunteers as an assistant coach with the WSU Spirit Squad.

“I am passionate about the benefits of learning through involvement on teams in school,” Simonsen said. “I am an advocate for banking careers and often speak to middle and high school students about the industry.”

When not working, Simonsen likes to golf, explore new and unique restaurants in the Wichita area, and organize events for her family, including her family’s annual Labor Day whiffle ball game.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Christy Simonsen

Christy Simonsen

Treasury Services Representative
10501 E. Berkeley Square Pkwy
Wichita, KS 67206

You don’t have to be an expert to buy a home. But it does help to be prepared, especially as the housing market continues to boom. If you don’t even know where to start, here are some tips to put you on the path to homeownership.

Find Out How Much You Can Borrow

It may be tempting to start looking at houses right away, even if you’re just browsing. But getting prequalified for a mortgage will let you know exactly how much you can afford to borrow. Finding the right mortgage lender can make the entire process that much easier. If you apply for prequalification and later decide you’re not ready to buy a house in your desired price range, it’s better to learn that before you start shopping for houses.

Keep “Hidden” Costs in Mind

Sure, you’ll know how much the houses cost based on their listing price. But what about insurance, property taxes, closing costs, moving expenses and HOA fees (if applicable)? Knowing about these costs before you start looking at houses can prevent a surprise you weren’t counting on and could sully the joy of buying your home. Ask your mortgage lender about the costs that come during the mortgage process.

Have Your Financial Records Ready

Your mortgage lender will thoroughly examine your finances to ensure you qualify for a loan. You’ll need paystubs, tax records, bank account statements and child support/alimony documentation, if applicable. Before you buy, make sure you have those documents ready so you won’t have to track them down later.

How Long Does it Take?

In pretty much all instances, finding and buying a house isn’t something that can be done in one day. It took an average of 51 days to close a mortgage in 2021, according to ICE Mortgage Technology. That doesn’t mean all mortgages take that long to close. But this will give you an idea of how long the process can take. So while there is no set-in-stone time of how long it takes to get a mortgage, the sooner you start the process, the better off you’ll be.

Down-Payment Options

Conventional wisdom says to aim for a 20% down payment on your mortgage. But saving money for a down payment on your dream home can be downright daunting and likely impossible on an average salary. The down payment is the upfront cash you pay toward the home purchase. Lenders offer a variety of mortgages with different down payment requirements. You can even buy with no down payment in some instances. Explore your options with your mortgage lender to decide how much you’ll need to save for a down payment.

There are a lot of things to know before buying a house. Remember, the more you educate yourself about the process, the more likely you’ll have the confidence to buy the house you want at a price you can afford.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

CLAREMORE, Okla. – RCB Bank welcomes Brian Ball as senior vice president, commercial lender in Claremore. A former business owner, Ball understands the challenges of running a business and wants to help business owners succeed.

Ball has been a commercial lender for 15 years.

“Having run several businesses, I understand the challenges many business owners face every day,” Ball said. “I enjoy helping businesses enhance and grow their companies, either with the products we offer at RCB Bank or through referrals to a connection I’ve made in the community.”

Ball grew up in southern Oklahoma, graduating from Marlow High School. He attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Ball said his No. 1 piece of financial advice is to build strong relationships.

“Success in business is dependent on the relationships you build,” Ball said.

When not working, Ball enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife, Bridgett, and their two daughters Lexi and Alyssa.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Brian Ball

Brian Ball

Loan Officer
300 W. Patti Page Blvd.
Claremore, OK 74017

Whether it’s budgeting, saving, credit card interest or loans for big-ticket purchases, the more knowledge you impart upon teenagers, the better prepared they’ll be once they’re on their own. There are so many online money tools and financial phone apps, teenagers today can be more prepared and knowledgeable about money than any previous generation. And while these technological tools are useful in introducing teenagers to the concept of money management, they shouldn’t be entirely responsible for teaching them. That’s where you come in. Showing teenagers how it works in the “real world” will show them the rewards of proper money management and the pitfalls that can pop up along the way.

Here are some tips to help teach your teenagers:

1. Know the real cost of things. The price tag is rarely the actual cost. Talk about hidden fees, taxes and interest. Talk about personal expenses – utilities, car payments, mortgage, and unexpected purchases that can lead to financial trouble if you don’t plan for them, like auto repairs and medical expenses.
2. Learn to budget. Building wealth is not about how much money you make, it’s about how you manage the money you have. Money flows out faster than it flows in. Learn to spend less than you earn. Plan for purchases, comparison shop, negotiate terms and fees and save up money before buying things.
3. Be very careful with credit cards. Talk about the pros and cons of credit cards. One missed credit card payment can set you on a course toward long-term debt. Misuse of credit cards can also hurt your ability to take out a loan for a car or house. Don’t be afraid to share your personal experience with credit card misuse or debt and the sacrifices you had to make to rise above it.
4. Learn the secret to saving. The easiest way to build wealth is to set up automatic savings. Enroll in payroll direct deposit. Schedule recurring automatic money transfers from checking to savings. Start small and increase with pay raises. If you learn to put money aside and live below your means when you are young, it will be easier to build wealth as you move up the ladder.
5. Consider your future. Most adults in or nearing retirement wish they had saved more money. Nearly half of Americans have no retirement savings and still have to work when they are 70 and 80 years old. The younger you start saving, the greater control you’ll have over your financial well-being. Talk to your teenagers¬¬ about your personal retirement preparations.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Source:
https://www.fdic.gov/resources/consumers/money-smart/teach-money-smart/money-smart-for-young-people/index.html

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – RCB Bank welcomes Jason Brooks as an AVP commercial lender in Broken Arrow.
Brooks has worked in banking for four years. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds a Master of Business Administration.

“I look forward to fostering relationships and making sure our customers’ needs are met with all that RCB Bank can offer,” Brooks said. “I am excited to work in the thriving Broken Arrow community.”

Brooks was born and raised in Tulsa, graduating from Union High School in 2008. After playing soccer at Memphis for one year, he returned and finished his education at OSU.

Brooks said his No. 1 piece of financial advice is “don’t live beyond your means.”

“Save when you can, and pay for what you can without financing, but build credit as early as you can,” Brooks said.
He is a longtime supporter and volunteer at Camp Loughridge, which is a Christian summer day camp in West Tulsa, and was a soccer coach for the Tulsa Soccer Club Hurricane for many years.

When not working, Brooks enjoys playing pickleball with his wife, Kate; playing recreational soccer; and golfing with friends.
“I look forward to getting involved in organizations in the Broken Arrow area,” Brooks said.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Jason Brooks

Jason Brooks

Loan Officer
5000 W. Kenosha St.
Broken Arrow, OK 74012

VINITA, Okla. – RCB Bank helps sponsor the Vinita Girls Senior Tea and Senior Boys Lunch meal, which are hosted by the Vinita Lions Club each year.

“The Lions Club plays an important role in the community,” RCB Bank Market President Eddy Allensworth said. “RCB Bank is proud to support this organization and the work it does helping the young men and women who will be our future leaders.”

RCB Bank donated $400 total – $200 to the Girls Senior Tea and $200 to the Senior Boys Lunch.

“I’m proud that RCB Bank is committed to continue this support for the Vinita community,” Allensworth said.

Pictured, from left, Vinita Lions Club member Judy Echenrode, RCB Bank Community and Customer Relations Rep and Lions Club member Marlene Kincade, Lions Club member Andrew Haire, and Lions Club member Michelle Allard.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

If you’re looking for a place to get away for weekends or longer vacations, or if you’re getting close to retirement and thinking of a place to relocate to, a second home may be just what you need.

A second home also can be a great investment opportunity.

Defining a second home

A second home is defined as a one-unit property that’s located within a reasonable distance from your primary residence. It can be a home you occupy for just a portion of the year.

It is not considered a second home if someone else lives there full time. For example, if you buy a home in Stillwater but you live in Oklahoma City and your child lives in the Stillwater home full time while attending school.

Second homes are typically located near an attraction such as a lake, mountain or beach.

A property can be considered a second home if you live there occasionally because you work far from your primary residence. For example, you live in Tulsa but work in Oklahoma City.

You may short-term rent a second home, but cannot rent it full time. Full-time rentals should be purchased as an investment property.

Financing a second home

The financing guidelines for a second home are similar to financing a primary residence. The down payment on a primary residence is a minimum of 3% in certain instances; the minimum down payment for a second home is generally 10%. Rates typically are higher on a second home than a primary residence. However, the terms usually are the same – up to 30 years.

Your lender will need to verify you have sufficient funds for closing and 6 months’ worth of reserves to cover both your primary and second home loan payments. Government loan programs (FHA, VA, USDA) are not available for second home financing.

If you’re interested in purchasing a second home, talk to a mortgage lender before taking the plunge. They can help you get prequalified. Your lender will help you navigate the process and determine if purchasing a second home is right for you.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

If you’ve made some credit mistakes in the past, they may still be reflected on your credit report. The benefits of having a high credit score are many. But if you have some marks on your credit report, it’s likely that is what’s keeping your score from rising.

However, it won’t be an overnight process. It can take anywhere from one to six months to clean up your credit report, depending on how many disputes you need to make.

Examine Everything Closely

Completely scour your credit report to identify if there are any errors in it. You can pull a copy of your credit report for free once a year through the official AnnualCreditReport.com website. Federal law allows you to initiate a dispute with the credit bureau that’s reporting information you believe to be inaccurate. The credit bureau then has to investigate your claim and if there is an error, correct it or remove it.

Review Your Identity

This may seem like common sense, but it’s very easy to overlook. Make sure your name, address and Social Security number are correct on the report. Having an incorrect Social Security number on your credit report can lead to dire consequences.

Document, Document, Document

If you need to file a dispute, document it for your personal records. Keep any supporting documents pertaining to your dispute in a safe place, and then continue to follow up on the dispute until it is resolved. Also keep notes with dates, times and the people you spoke with at credit bureaus and lending businesses. Check your credit report again about a month later to make sure the people with whom you spoke followed through on what they said they would do.

Attempt to Remove Past-Due Accounts

If you have a past-due item on your report, try to get the creditor to remove it by asking for a goodwill removal. You can write a goodwill letter asking for a removal of a paid-up debt that at one point had a late payment. However, the creditor is under no obligation to forgive past-due payments, but some may if you’ve continued to be a customer in good standing.

As previously stated, repairing your credit report is not a fast process, but it’s worth it to take the time and make the effort to clean it up. Raising your credit score can make you more attractive to lenders and could lead to more favorable rates and offers.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Source:

https://www.ftc.gov/business-guidance/privacy-security/credit-reporting

YUKON, Okla. – RCB Bank welcomes Mike Harris II as a VP loan officer in Yukon, Oklahoma. A Registered Angus cattle operation owner, Harris understands the challenges of running a business and wants to help business owners succeed.

Harris has 18 years of commercial lending experience with an emphasis on corporate real estate, construction and agriculture. He holds an Agriculture Economics degree from Oklahoma State University.

“Running a small business, I understand the challenges many business owners face on a day-to-day basis,” Harris said. “I’m passionate about helping small businesses find solutions to grow their companies and improve their cash flow, either with the products we offer at RCB Bank or through referrals to a connection I’ve made in the community.”

Harris, who was born and raised in Western Oklahoma, serves on the Oklahoma Angus Association Board of Directors, the OK&T Angus Breeders Association Board of Directors, and multiple private sector corporate Boards of Directors. His childhood was spent working ground, raising cattle and playing sports.

Harris and his wife, Erin, recently celebrated their 21st anniversary. They have four daughters. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

“I believe through Christ – with some technical assistance from Google – a man can accomplish anything he sets his mind to,” Harris said.

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Mike Harris II

Mike Harris II

Loan Officer
800 Garth Brooks Blvd., Suite 125
Yukon, OK 73099

Nowadays, we’re all used to buying something and it coming relatively quickly. With a few clicks, we can select what we want, buy it, and your purchase can be on its way within hours, usually finding itself on your front porch within days.

But if you’ve found your dream home, it won’t be as easy as picking it out and moving in the next day. Just like finding the right house, getting approved for your mortgage takes time.

It took an average of 51 days to close a mortgage in 2021, according to ICE Mortgage Technology.

The mortgage process has several parts, so if you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s best to start the mortgage process first – even before you begin looking at homes. Getting prequalified for a mortgage not only shows owners you’re serious about buying, it also will let you know just how much you’re qualified to borrow.

That doesn’t mean all mortgages take that long to close. But this will give you an idea of how long the process can take.

Getting a mortgage requires a thorough review of your finances, including your income, your assets and your debt. Once you start the process, you’ll need to share financial documents and other relevant information with your mortgage lender.

If you’ve been approved for a mortgage after a thorough review of your finances, an appraisal of the property you want to purchase will take place. Your mortgage lender will request the appraisal. Appraisals can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete.

Assuming the house appraisal is good, your mortgage lender will do a title search of the property, which ensures you’ll have a clear title. If problems arise with the title, this can add time to the process while the problem is remedied.

Once all of these steps are completed on your mortgage lender’s end, closing finally comes. There is a three-day loan disclosure waiting period that must take place before your official closing day. Once closing day comes, you’ll sign a bevy of paperwork before finally getting the keys to your new home.

So while there is no set-in-stone time of how long it takes to get a mortgage, the sooner you start the process, the better off you’ll be.

Lenders at RCB Bank are happy to help answer questions even if you are not a customer. Give us a call or visit our online Mortgage Center.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Kenneth Wohl and meant for generic illustration purposes only. With approved credit. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Kenneth Wohl NMLS #453934.

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Lawrence Business Hall of Fame class of ’22 recently was inducted during a ceremony and tribute dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Regency Ballroom.

Inducted were: Roger Scott, of Scott Temperature; Richard Haig, of Westside 66 Inc.; Marilyn Bittenbender, of Heck Land Company; and Gary Toebben, of The Lawrence Chamber (Past President /CEO).

RCB Bank was one of the sponsors of the tribute dinner, and Market President Chris Kollman serves as chairman of the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame.

CUTLINE: The 2022 Lawrence Business Hall of Fame class includes, from left: Roger Scott, Scott Temperature; Richard Haig, Westside 66 Inc.; Marilyn Bittenbender, Heck Land Company; Gary Toebben, The Lawrence Chamber (Past President /CEO).

RCB Bank is a $4.1 billion community bank with 65 locations in 36 cities across Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1936, RCB Bank is committed to serving its communities with conservative banking practices and progressive banking products. Learn more at RCBbank.com or give us a call at 855.226.5722. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #798151.

Looking to Build or Improve Your Credit Score? Try These Tips

Your credit score plays a significant part in your financial well-being. Generally, the higher the score, the easier it is to get approved for loans or lines of credit, and you also can benefit from lower interest rates.

But a low score can make it difficult to secure credit, and the interest rates can be much higher. In essence, a credit score allows lenders to gauge how reliable you are at paying your bills. So if you don’t have a credit history, it can be harder for lenders to determine the level of risk.

A person with a higher credit score can save thousands of dollars over the course of their life than someone with a low score.

So what steps can you take if your credit is poor, or if you have no credit history? Read along and find out.

Review Your Credit Report

First things first: you need to figure out what your history shows, so you can find out if anything requires immediate attention. You can pull a copy of your credit report for free once a year through the official AnnualCreditReport.com website. Review your report to make sure everything is correct, and have any inaccurate listings removed. Federal law allows you to initiate a dispute with the credit bureau that’s reporting information you believe to be inaccurate. The credit bureau then has to investigate your claim and if there is an error, correct it or remove it.

Pay Down Your Debts

According to the Fair Issac Corporation (FICO), payment history has the biggest impact on your credit score. So avoid late payments at ALL costs. One way to avoid late payments is to set up automatic payments. Also, the more available credit you have, the higher your credit score will be. This is known as your credit utilization percentage, which refers to the portion of your credit limit that you’re using at any given time. This is the second-highest determining factor in your credit score. A good rule of thumb is to keep it under 30% of your credit limit. Once you get there, work at getting it under 10%, which is considered ideal to maximizing your credit score.

Ask for a Limit Increase

If you have credit cards, ask for a credit limit increase. If granted, this will lower your credit utilization percentage, which, as explained above, should help raise your credit score. But this is only helpful as long as you don’t use that limit increase to purchase more items.

Take Out a Personal Loan

If you’ve been using credit cards for a while and making timely payments, you should have enough credit history to qualify for a personal loan. However, this isn’t a quick fix. Personal loans can take up to a year to raise your credit score. But, it can diversify the types of credit on your credit report, and you can use your loan to prove you can consistently make payments on time.

Limit Hard Inquiries

Hard inquiries can affect your credit score for anywhere from a few months to two years, according to Experian. Hard inquiries include things like applications for a new credit card, an auto loan, a mortgage and other forms of credit. The occasional hard inquiry won’t have much of an effect. But many of them in a short period of time can damage your credit score. So if you are trying to improve your credit score, avoid applying for multiple new lines of credit for awhile.

If You Rent, Make it Count

If you pay rent monthly, there are several services that allow you to get credit for those on-time payments. Search the internet for companies that will report your rent payments to the credit bureaus on your behalf, which in turn could help your credit score. Note that reporting rent payments may only affect your VantageScore credit scores, not your FICO score. Some rent-reporting companies charge a fee for this service, so read the details to know what you’re getting and possibly purchasing.

The bottom line is start now. It can take several weeks, and sometimes several months, to see a noticeable impact on your score when you start taking steps to turn it around. Improving your credit score is a good goal to have, especially if you’re planning to either apply for a loan to make a major purchase, such as a new car or home, so the sooner you start, the better you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of a good credit score.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at RCBbank.com/GetFit. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

 

Source:

https://www.ficoscore.com/about/