What Do Our Lenders Wish Customers Knew About Home Loans?

Building or buying a home can be stressful. There are countless decisions to be made and processes to follow that customers typically don’t experience often. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced banker who can show you the way. We asked some of our experienced lenders what they want customers to know prior to financing a home.

Mortgage Loan Officer Brooke Adams works at our Ross County Banking Center in Chillicothe where she provides borrowers with a checklist of items she will need to start their loan application.

She pointed out that there are many moving parts and pieces of any mortgage or construction loan process at the bank as well as through other individuals including appraisers, surveyors and the title company. Working within their individual timelines can create some challenges. “Each person involved in the many steps of the process have the same goal  –  to help the person close on their loan. However, in this big mortgage boom, we all have to be patient with turn-around times.”

Chad Meadows, a Mortgage Loan Officer at our Friendly Banking Center in Lancaster spoke specifically about the effort involved in building a home. “It’s always a pleasure to help customers realize their dream of building a home which will probably be their largest investment within their lifetime,” he said.

He suggests that customers speak with a lender prior to meeting with a builder to insure they are setting realistic financial expectations. “Realizing this dream and making it a reality requires coanstant communications between the homeowner, builder and lender. The continuity of this team is paramount for a successful project. It is most helpful to speak with a lender prior to meeting with the builder to accomplish realistic financial goals from the start.”

He elaborated on why this is important. “Items such as property taxes, insurance and monthly mortgage payments are a necessity to set realistic expectations for their dream home. This also helps the builder to save time and resources to effectively initiate the project on the right path. Accomplishing these few objectives in the beginning along with the team communicating consistently will make for a smooth and effortless construction project.”

Salt Creek Banking Center Senior Retail Lender Doug DeLong said that there is never a perfect time to take the leap but that there are practical reasons that make this the right time. “I would tell customers that now’s the time to do it! Rates have literally never been lower. With the costs of construction materials pretty high right now, the customer can more than make up for it with the extremely low interest rates.”

Still not sure if you’re ready to take the first step toward buying or building your next home?  Our lenders will be happy to answer your questions. “It is pure joy at the end of the day to watch a borrower achieve the dream of owning a home or buy that next home to grow their family.” Adams said.

Contact our Customer Service team at 1.800.542.5004 or contact a lender close to you!  

Bank Outside The Branch

VCNB was encouraging customers to bank outside the branch long before the pandemic caused people to seek safer ways to handle errands.

We know your time is valuable and we know you can’t always bank during regular business hours. We also want you to do businesses with us in a way that’s convenient and safe. For many, that means using technology on their phone or computer to bank wherever they may be. For some, that means popping by the drive-thru or an ATM to make a deposit or get cash.

Here’s a refresher course on options we offer for banking outside the branch.

Direct Deposit – Payroll, social security and unemployment checks can all be received by direct deposit. Instead of driving to the bank, direct deposit users simply wait for their money to appear in their account on the day they are owed.

VCNB Mobile – You may not realize it but you have the power of a bank lobby in your pocket. Download VCNB Mobile from the app store on your mobile device and do much of your banking from wherever you are. Just log in to your account to transfer funds, pay bills, check balances, and open new accounts. You can also deposit a check using Mobile Deposit. With Mobile Deposit, use the camera on your mobile device to send a photograph of the front and back of your endorsed check. If the check is endorsed properly and the deposit is made correctly, you will receive immediate credit for up to $1,000 per day.

Website – Much like the mobile app, use the website to open accounts, apply for a loan, check balances, pay bills, view statements, set account alerts and more!

ATM – Most VCNB branch ATMs have been upgraded to accept image deposits. The last upgrade is expected to be completed at our East Main Street Lancaster location by December 12.  Receive immediate credit for up to $500 in cash and check deposits per day at the ATM. The remainder of the balance will be processed and credit will be given the next business day if deposited before 2 p.m. and the second business day if deposited after 2 p.m.

MoneyPass®  – VCNB customers can access a network of over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the nation. Visit www.MoneyPass.com to find a MoneyPass ATM near you!

Of course, we also have a great Customer Service Team waiting to help you via phone and the staff at your local branch will be happy to see you in-person by appointment, to help you via the drive-thru or to chat on the phone or via email!

What’s your favorite way to bank outside the branch? Leave us a note in the comments!

 

Earn Rewards Points With A Visa Platinum Credit Card

Earlier this month we told you about Rewards Checking and how so many of our customers are accessing uChoose Rewards®. These rewards points can be redeemed for cashback to your checking account, gift cards, experiences, and other things simply by doing regular debit card spending and banking.

Today we’re going to talk about our Visa® Platinum Credit Card and how it can be used for earning rewards as well!

Here for You BadgeOur points savvy customers will tell you that having both the credit card and the checking account linked to the same uChoose Rewards account allows them to accumulate points more quickly. That’s because credit card customers earn one point for every dollar spent on purchases.

To earn points, you must register your card with the uChoose site. If you have both Rewards Checking and a Visa Platinum Credit Card through VCNB, be sure to link those cards to the same uChoose account to watch your points accumulate more quickly.

Click here for terms, rates and other important details about the Visa Platinum Credit Card. Note that customers who hold only the credit card are not eligible for cash back but can still receive all the other rewards including gift cards, movie passes, travel and merchandise. Receive 1,000 bonus points when opening a new Visa Platinum Credit Card account.

Contact your local banker or visit any of our branches to apply for a credit card or to learn more about uChoose Rewards and the Visa Platinum Credit Card.

 

Reward Yourself With Rewards Checking At VCNB

If you use your debit card a lot and don’t have VCNB Rewards Checking, you are missing out on an opportunity to earn rewards for everyday purchases and other banking activities. This includes cash back, gift cards, travel credits and all sorts of merchandise.

How does Rewards Checking work? It’s simple!

With Rewards Checking you will receive UChoose Rewards® Points for every PIN and Signature based purchase you make with your debit card. You will receive one point for every $3 spent as well as 200 bonus points for 21 or more purchases.

Additional points are also offered for using Online Bill Pay, Direct Deposit and Automatic VCNB Loan Payments. Receive 500 bonus points annually for the life of the card and 1,000 bonus points for opening a new savings account. Use a Visa® Platinum Favor Credit Card to earn one point for every dollar spent.

You do have to sign up for a UChoose Rewards account and link your debit card and credit card to that account to begin earning points and to later redeem all those points for those great rewards you deserve!

There is a $7 monthly fee for this account that will be refunded if you either use your debit card for at least fifteen or more transactions a month or keep a combined balance of $5,000 or more in all of your VCNB accounts.

We know you work hard for your money. Why not put your VCNB account to work for you?

Existing customers can ask their personal banker to easily switch from their current account to a VCNB Rewards Checking. New customers can open a Rewards Checking account online, on VCNB Mobile or in their neighborhood VCNB branch. Get full details by visiting us online.

 

Take Control Of Your Bills With Online Bill Pay

If you’re trying to bank and manage your money from home, one key tool provided by VCNB is Online Bill Pay. There are many advantages to using this service now and during regular times too.

Here for You BadgeWith Online Bill Pay, customers can maintain control over their payment activity without the expense of sending paper checks or the uncertainty over when the check will arrive. In fact, you can specify the exact date you want the bill paid and are able to set up payments to businesses of any size. Whether it’s the dentist down the street, the local electric company, or a Fortune 500 business, we’ve got you covered with Online Bill Pay.

 

Here are a few things you need to know:

  • Recurring payments can be set up on autopay. You choose the day you want the bill paid and we take care of the rest.
  • You can also pay bills on demand.
  • Easily sign up for e-bills from businesses that offer this service. This allows you to keep all your bills and payment activity stored in one place.
  • Your bill history is searchable so it’s easy to find past activity.
  • Setting up reminders helps you know when a payment is due.
  • You can even send money to a friend using just their email address. Do they owe you money? Send them a reminder! You can even split a bill with a roommate or someone else!

Access Online Bill Pay through your Online Banking at VCNBfamily.com and on VCNB Mobile, our mobile app. There is a quick three step process to get started and this service is free to customers as long as you use it once every month. Inactivity will result in a $3 monthly fee. Visit our Learning Center to view a tutorial on this service as well as videos about many other VCNB products. Click here to read more about banking outside the branch!

 

Make Deposits At The ATM

ATM depositThink the ATM is just for withdrawing cash? Think again! You can also deposit cash and checks at your local VCNB ATM. We are in the process of updating the ATMs at all of our branches. This means that machines at some of our branches have more advanced capabilities than those scheduled to be upgraded.

Here’s the breakdown:

New machines are available in McArthur, Logan, Lancaster W. Fair, Pataskala, Circleville, Ashville, Laurelville, Commercial Point, Grove City, and Bremen. Here, the machine is able to read images. This means that the customer follows instructions on the screen and inserts cash and checks to be processed without an envelope. The customer will receive immediate credit for up to $500 per day. The remainder of the balance will be processed and credit will be given next business day if deposited before 2 p.m. and on the second business day if deposited after 2 p.m.

The branches in Jackson, Canal Winchester, Chillicothe and on E. Main Street in Lancaster are operating with older machines and scheduled for upgrades. This means that the customer places checks and cash into an envelope for deposit in the ATM. Credit will be given next business day if deposited before 2 p.m. and on the second business day if deposited after 2 p.m.

We are actively and regularly cleaning our ATMs. However, we do encourage customers to take precautions by using hand sanitizer and washing their hands as soon as possible after use.

We miss seeing our customers in the branches and are happy to serve you through the drive-thru. However, if you need to make an after-hours deposit or if you wish to practice greater social distancing than you find at the drive-thru, please remember that the ATM may be a good option for you!

 

 

Banking Without Coming In

VCNB_V_CMYKWe have customers who have banked with us for years without coming into a branch more than a time or two. Want to know their secrets? We’re going to spend some time in the next couple of weeks doing a deep dive into how all of this works but for today, we’ll give you an overview. You’ve heard of thinking outside the box? We want you to think outside the bank!

Many of our customers receive their payroll, income tax returns, social security income, and unemployment income by direct deposit. This means they don’t wait for a check to arrive. Instead, the funds are automatically deposited into their bank account. No wait, no trip to the bank. It’s just there for them.

Customers who don’t come to the bank use their debit cards a lot and get their cash either at the ATM or at the check-out in the store. Since we have joined the MoneyPass® network, VCNB customers have access to a nationwide network of over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs. That means, no matter where you go in the United States, you are likely near an ATM where the surcharges are free. Read more about that here.

Those customers make deposits using the ATM, Mobile Deposit on their phones, or even through Express Drop at the bank. Mobile Deposit takes checks and you’ll receive immediate credit for up to $1,000 per day if the deposit is made correctly. Checks and cash can be deposited at the ATM and through Express Drop.

These customers who prefer banking outside the branch also know they can apply for loans, open accounts and find many of their answers online. However, they also know how to reach us if they need us. They know that we’re just a phone call or online chat away.

As community bankers, we like people. We like to talk to our customers and get to know them. We like running into our customers at the ball game or in the store. Unfortunately, this period in our life calls for temporary changes and distance.

We thank you for your patience and for allowing us to be your community bank through this challenging time. Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to this blog to keep up to date with all the ways VCNB is here for you and proud to be your community bank.